Parishioners should pull resources together in order to sustain religious men and women of God who have committed themselves to do the work of God, Archbishop Ndlovu has said.
Speaking to hundreds of parishioners who converged for Mubatanidzwa (guilds get together) Ndlovu said its high time local people that local people support priests instead of them being supported by foreign countries.
“Gone are the days when the welfare of our priests was the responsibility of people from far away countries. Local parishioners should pull resources together to support the religious men and women daily working for them…” Archbishop Ndlovu has said.
The guilds get together was meant to fundraise for tuition and other and other support for seminarians in Harare.
The event was held at the Catholic University of Zimbabwe and ran under the theme “The responsibilities of a family in the life of the priests and nuns.”
The fundraising initiative was a response to the sorry financial situation at the seminary in Harare.
The institution that trains diocesan priests for Zimbabwe and Botswana has not been spared the economic challenges bedeviling the whole country. The infrastructure at the seminary is in a sorry state and feeding the students is also a tall order at the place.
Addressing the gathered men and women at the Catholic University, the archbishop first thanked “God for the vocations in our country, and also for the faith that bears fruit in these vocations.”
Ndlovu went on to challenge the faithful to change their mindset when it comes to the welfare of priests and nuns.
“In the olden days, we used to get missionary priests without knowing where and how they were born, where they trained to become priests, and who provided for their meals and upkeep as they worked for us here?
“We used to think priest are not ordinary human beings like us. It was so because even the seminaries were no go areas for most of us. We would just say the bishop takes care of everything.
“That was bad because it even made the priest feel different and special, way better than ordinary human beings who they are supposed to serve.
“Now the seminary is like an open book and I invite you to go and see the conditions the seminarians live under. I thank some of you for the support that you have been giving to the seminarians ever since you visited the seminary” he said.
The archbishop also addressed families that have given the church priests and nuns, edging them to keep supporting their relatives, and not give up simply because their family member has joined the seminary.
“In other countries, parents pay for their child’s seminary tuition, just like they do at university. We don’t have to celebrate when a child joins religious life and we say ‘one burden removed.”
“I am surprised that a seminarian comes to the seminary and has no lotion or toothpaste. I wonder whether such seminarians have parents or not.
He further encouraged parishioners to get responsibility of their priests.