A farewell Mass was celebrated at Regiment Parish on Sunday, February 12, 2017, to honour the (MSOLA). Two Bishops were present, namely the Auxiliary Bishop of Chipata, Tr. Rev Benjamin S. Phiri and Bishop of Mpika, Tr. Rev Justin Mulenga together with the Archbishop of Lusaka, Most Rev Thelesphore-George Mpundu. Many Sisters of four Congregations, namely the Sisters of the Child Jesus, the Theresian sisters, the Daughters of the Redeemer and the Bethany Sisters were also present to thank them for the help and formation the MSOLA provided when they were established, like the Theresian Sisters in 1927.
This was the last chapter not written in a book published in 2002 to commemorate 100 years of the MSOLA in Zambia. Altogether, they have been in this country for 115 years. See below presentation of the MSOLA presented by Sister Vickness Nangogo Muleya at the beginning of the Mass which illustrates the variety of ministerial work they did over those years. We ask the blessing of the Lord upon them all as their mission will move to other African countries such as Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.
Thanksgiving of Service of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa in Zambia 12th February 2017.
Today we gather to celebrate the service and presence of the MSOLA in Zambia as well as bidding farewell to you and the country at large.We were founded by Cardinal Lavigerie in the year 1869 in Algeria, a year after founding the Society of Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers). We first arrived in Zambia in 1902 at Chilubula in the Northern Province of Zambia. We have worked in the dioceses of Kasama, Mansa, Chipata, Ndola, Mpika, Lusaka and Solwezi.
From 1902 to 2017 – 115 Years: The sisters have been involved in education, health and pastoral services such as:
- St. Theresa Girls Secondary School in Chilubula
- Santa Maria Health Centre in Chilubi Island
- Minga Teachers Training College and Minga Hospital Eastern Province
- Lubwe Mission Hospital in Luapula
- Catechism and home craft centres to mention but a few.
- We also concentrated on the formation of leaders in the Local Church such as
- Formation of Small Christian Communities Leaders
- Coordinating of On-Going Formation e.g. at Kalundu Centre
- Facilitation of chapters for different congregations.
The development of women and youth through programs such as Youth Alive, literacy classes and carried out many other pastoral activities in parishes. We are glad for the privilege to have been part of the formators at the beginning of the:
- Sisters of the Child Jesus,
- The Theresian sisters
- The Daughters of the Redeemer and
- The Bethany Sisters
We worked at national level at the Catholic secretariat and Zambia Association of Sisterhood. Apart from that, we initiated small Christian communities, taught at Kabulonga Girls Secondary School and schools of higher education such as University Teaching Hospital School of Nursing and Evelyn Hone College. We served as chaplains at Universities E.g. University Teaching Hospital, University of Zambia, Copperbelt University, etc.
Ministries at Regiment Parish (1966-2017)
We initiated the Xaverians youth movement, Catholic Family Movement, Catholic Action and Legion of Mary, taught religion and catechism in the parish and in the schools, visited the prisons, training of volunteers such as the Zambian Helpers Society, launching of the small Christian community movement in Chilenje and the home-based care.
Presentation of Symbols:
The Candle: the light of Christ that has been the guide to our sisters who lived and were missionaries in Zambia.
The Bible, the word of God is core to evangelisation; the word of God is our source of inspiration and strength to carry on the mission entrusted to us.
Cardinal Lavigerie, the founder of our congregation, was convinced that women have a very important role in evangelisation.
Mother Marie Salome, our first Superior General – stood firm in faith to the challenges of the time to see the congregation flourish.
Our Lady of Africa: from the beginning of the Congregation has entrusted itself under the guidance and protection of Mary Our Lady of Africa.
Zambia: Our land of missions – we have loved and still love Zambia with all its people, land, richness and its challenges; we have loved everything about Zambia.