General Councillor, Africa-Madagascar

For forty years, the Oblates have been serving the People of the young nation of Zimbabwe. And they are only getting started.

A testament to the interculturality of our Mazenodian family

In 1983, a group of Oblates from South Africa answered the call of Zimbabwean bishops and began ministering to those on the fringes of society in the Bulawayo area.  Today, this vibrant mission is thriving, with an intercultural community of 13 Oblates ranging in age from 32 to 65, representing not just South Africa but also Australia, India, Paraguay, and the Czech Republic.  It is a testament to the interculturality of our Mazenodian family.  However, as the mission continues to flourish, there is a growing need for more missionaries from different parts of the world to serve in this beautiful country. 

An innovative, holistic approach to ministry

While focused on traditional parish ministries, the Oblates go above and beyond the walls of the Parish!  They have embraced new initiatives like working with charismatic groups, promoting adoration and devotions, organizing youth rallies, conducting retreats, and collaborating with other religious organizations to train new formators.  Moreover, they have adopted an innovative, holistic approach to ministry, taking on development projects such as providing counseling, drilling boreholes for clean water, and helping establish community gardens and farms. Their efforts have made a significant impact on the lives of those they serve, bringing hope and compassion to those in need.

Oblates remain close to the people they serve

Recently, the Oblates have been entrusted with two new mission stations in rural areas, expanding their reach beyond Bulawayo. These missions, St. Kizito and St. John in Maraire, reflect the dedication, perseverance, and vision of the Oblates in Zimbabwe.  Despite the challenges presented by Zimbabwe’s economic difficulties, including high inflation and unemployment rates, the Oblates remain steadfast in their commitment to the people. They continue to provide support and encouragement, remaining close to the people they serve.

Fr. Kapena visiting families in the Oblate Mission of Zimbabwe

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to visit Zimbabwe and witness the incredible work of the Oblates. I thank Bro. Njabulo TAVOTSEDA, Fr. Douglas SHOLTO (Mission Superior), and all the people who warmly welcomed me. The experience has left a lasting impression, with the sound of African drums and songs of joy still ringing in my ears. Zimbabwe has truly touched my heart.