The Jesuit Province of Zimbabwe held their annual Province Assembly on January 2 with over a hundred of their co-workers, aptly named collaborators in attendance. This was the first time Jesuit lay collaborators were invited to showcase their works, and get to build a stronger understanding and appreciation of the situation in the Province.
The first day of the assembly saw the entire morning dedicated to the “expo” of the Jesuit works in the province. The different apostolates or works of the province were showcased in displays and interactions amongst all those who attended. The works ranged from social apostolates represented by Silviera House, Jesuit Aids Project, Zambuko House (rehabilitation centre for street children) and Shingirirayi Youth Ministry.
The parish ministry was alive through representations made by St Peters’ Mbare, Musami and Makumbi Missions, Banket, Holy Name Malbereign, Mt Pleasant’s Our Lady of the Wayside, Sacred Heart and Braeside. The parishes are engaged in many self-help projects for the poor or for the general running of their parishes.
There is a vibrant Education Office in the province that also showcased its work, together with the schools, among them St. Ignatius College, St Georges, Hartmann House, St Peter Kubatana, St Peter’s Mbare, all based in Harare. From outside Harare were St. Georges Catholic Primary and Sacred Heart Secondary in Banket, St Paul’s Musami high, St Paul’s Primary ant others.
There was also space for mission hospitals and Childrens’ homes to show what the Jesuits family is engaged in as they evangelise the Zimbabwean society. Other sectors represented included the youth ministry, spirituality ministry with CLC, the university chaplaincy, the Jesuit Communications and Jesuit Relief Fund.
The expo entailed numerous displays of the artefacts and works of the Society of Jesus in Zimbabwe. This was an occasion for both Jesuits and collaborators to interact, for some had never met before, whereas some never knew of other Jesuit works in the province.
Since the assembly focused on collaboration, there were presentations by Jesuit collaborators of their experiences. There was a variety of interesting and challenging insights from the collaborators, who were equally partnered during presentations by Jesuits in their particular ministries. Most of the presenters were very appreciative of the collaboration that has been going on so far, but wanted more interactions, for the work is plenty, but the labourers few.