Handing over of our parishes in Kitwe, Zambia

Nadal Oct 2015 Hand over 01By Jacques Natal, ex-stagiaire in Kawama and Twatasha Parishes.

Handing over is quite common in parishes. It is now the turn of two of them which were under the care of the Missionaries of Africa since 1994 who took themselves over from the SMA Fathers. Those parishes are Twatasha and Kawama in Kitwe.

It has been difficult for some Christians to understand this adjustment. Many felt sad even discouraged or apprehended tough time saying «Ba Diocesan balishupa sana» (meaning: diocesan priests are very tough). This decision was made some time ago between SAP Province and the Diocese of Ndola.

A farewell party was organized in Kawama Parish on 4th and in Twatasha on 10th October 2015. The Christians recalled the dedication of the missionaries of Africa with their apostolic zeal, spiritual depth and social concerns. They were very grateful to them and promised to continue praying for them.

Felix Kamunenge, up to then Parish Priest, mentioned that every separation is painful as there is time for everything (Eccl 3, 1-8); time to come and time to go. “I beg you to understand the event which is happening. We are leaving, others are coming. Even though the formation of the Diocesan Priest is different from the one of Missionaries of Africa, we are all Priests of the same God within the same Church. Therefore love them the way you loved us. Never waste time making comparison. Indeed, it can lead to misunderstanding.  Work with them hand in hand and everything will be fine.”

The final ceremony took place on 11th October 2015 in both parishes. Mass started in Kawama at 8hrs to proceed to Twatasha at 10hrs. As Bishop Alick Banda of Ndola Diocese was in Germany, Fr Chisenga, dean of Kitwe deanery, received the two parishes in the name of the Diocese. The names of the diocesan Priests chosen by the Bishop will be announced later on.

Nadal Oct 2015 Hand over 03Felix Kamunenge is foreseen for studies in the Philippines while Piet Van Heijst and the stagiaire Jacques Natal have already moved to Ndola on Friday 16th to create a new community with Reinhold Bloching.

The ceremony of handing over was also attended by our Delegate Superior Babaine Venerato and Laurence Tukamushaba.

Kitwe Parish, Zambia

Brief History, by Phelim Malumo, M.Afr
In 1993, the Missionaries of Africa with the team of Jean-Marie Beliveau and Maurits De Weerdt took over the two parishes of Kawama and Twatasha which was under the SMA. These Parishes were former outstations of Chimwemwe Parish. The team settled in Kawama, house No. 558. This house is owned by the diocese.
Kitwe is the largest city of the Copperbelt. The confreres are living in Kawama compound in the midst of families originating from all parts of Zambia and some from neighbouring countries (Congo, Tanzania, and Angola, etc). Kawama parish comprises Old Kawama, New Kawama and Kamatipa with a total population of about 40,000 of which 8,000 are Catholics. The White Fathers also serve Twatasha parish which covers Twatasha compound and Race Course with a population of about 25,000 people of which 6,000 are Catholics.
About 5% of the population work for different companies in Kitwe as skilled workers, but a good number are employed as watchmen or security guards and others work as house servants, charcoal burners, at the service of commercial farmers or tiling their own small plots along the Kafue River and Chingola road. However the majority of people struggle for survival in small businesses or trading in a variety of commodities.
 2013 Updates, by Serge St-Arneault, M.Afr
According to Jean-Bosco Masaba, who was on his journey back to Lubumbashi, Kawama means “the solitary man there!” A man was living on his own telling people that the place will be a good one in a near future; “pa kawama”. Also, Twatacha refers to a thankful man happy for the plot he had received; “thank you!”
There are fifteen small Christian communities in Kawama and nine in Twatacha. At the moment, four confreres are members of Kitwe community: Piet van Heijst from Holland, Jacques Bédard from Canada, Felix Kamunenge fom Zambia and Venance Shundu, stagiaire from Tanzania.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.