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A dream comes true - Harare, Zimbabwe 2015

14/10/2015: Zimbabwe | Photo gallery

After Lucy and Margaret Shepherd, the “Migrating the Charism” team visited Harare,    Marianne from Australia and Teresa from the UK/Ireland were the first to teach there. We were very privileged to be living in the Spiritan community of some nineteen students in Tafara, a thirty minute drive from the College in Harare.

The morning began with a combined celebration of the Eucharist and prayer at 6.30am. We deliberately use the word “celebration” as that is exactly what it turned out to be, an uplifting and meditative and profoundly prayerful  way to begin and end each day. Though we  had gone prepared for ten students, we ended up with more than thirty third and fourth year seminarians and some lay people and sisters as well. All were enthusiastic and appreciative and we thoroughly enjoyed the teaching. Marianne’s course was on the  separation of early Christianity from Judaism and Teresa  taught the history of Jewish Christian relations from Nostra Aetate to the present through the Church documents.  We also taught a certificate course on Saturday morning for those involved in parish ministry. As we were both aware that we were working in a culture we know little about, we really valued any observations which helped us understand how our reality linked into the African story. The students had their own laptops and knew how to manage even with all the power failures and the lack of books and resources.

The churches are full to overflowing on Sundays and the liturgies are very full of life and energy.  We went twice to Mass at church at Waterfall there the numbers are about  1500  and half sit outside and listen through the open doors. The staple diet (sarza) is made from maize and millet and looks like creamed rice and there is white rice with every meal. The food was simple and nourishing. The Zimbabweans eat a great deal of meat, which they kill themselves so the meat is fresh.

We saw some of the beauties of Zimbabwe as we visited Greater Zimbabwe, where the kings once resided and also the Chinoya caves which are magnificent and mysterious. It was a wonderful experience and extremely worthwhile and vital for Sion and our charism. The Bishop was also delighted to meet us and we realised that there will be much fruitful growth stemming from this initial time.The Board gave us a glowing report, which is a very good start to our Sionian programme. We rejoiced that everything went so well. It was especially hard to say goodbye to Fr Sylvester and the Spirtans.

Marianne Dacy and Teresa Brittain