THE CLARETIANS IN ZIMBABWE
«Go into the whole world and proclaim the Good News» according to the mandate of Jesus Christ and «My Spirit if for the whole Word», by following the words and deeds of our beloved Father Founder Saint Anthony Mary Claret. The Claretians Missionaries placed their feet in this beautiful mission land of Zimbabwe in 2002, with the arrival of the three passionate and energetic missionaries from the Southern part of Spain.
Due to the unstable situtation of the country and various other factors, in the early stages, our missionaries encountered several challenges and difficulties in carrying out the mission of God, but as our Father Founder defined: A Claretian is a man that, «Nothing daunts…» (Aut. 494). None of these tribulations stopped our missionaries from going forth and spreading the Good News of God. Our time in Zimbabwe is still short; we are carrying out the mission of God in two dioceses of Zimbabwe (Gokwe and Harare).
Our Congregation is not bound to a particular region or group but it embraces all the people without any discrimination. We, the missionaries here in Zimbabwe, are living in inter-cultural communities where some missionaries are from Zimbabwe, some are from India, and others from Spain. In our years in Zimbabwe, there have also been missionaries from Nigeria, Tanzania, Korea and Sri Lanka.
As we complete almost 20 years in this land, we, the Claretian missionaries, total nine final professed members in two communities and a residence. One community and the residence are in the Archdiocese of Harare, the community in Ruwa near to the capital city of Zimbabwe, and the residence and formation house in the city itself. The other community is in a remote periphery area in the diocese of Gokwe known as Zhomba Mission.
Even though we are entrusted two parishes in Harare diocese (St. Charles Lwanga Parish and St. Dominic Parish) and a mission in Gokwe diocese (Zhomba Mission), with the parishes and mission now set up, we are carrying out several activities to improve the life style of the people of God, as God wishes. Nowadays the following ministries are attended by us: Vocation Promotion, the initial formation, Parishes of Ruwa, Schools of St. Vicent and St. Claret Primary Chiutsi, Zhomba Mission, development projects, publications and other ministries. One of our ministry´s priorities is to promote local vocations to our Congregation and their initial formation. At the moment eight students are in initial formation at different stages: four are studying Theology (Temporally professed members), two are doing the noviciate year and two are philosophy students (Postulants).
Claretians are also known as the Servants of the Word. We are also involved in Bible Apostolate: the publication and distribution of the Bible Diary in Shona; preaching and conducting seminars about the Word of God; retreat and recollection facilitating and several social services such as helping the education of orphans and the marginalized; different projects such as scholarships for students with financial difficulties to enable them to reach tertiary education; awareness programs at different levels for parents, youth and children; water projects; self-reliance projects; and in the field of education, we are the responsible authority for three Catholic Schools in both dioceses. With our limited personnel we carry out the will of God in these different fields. We are Claretian Missionaries, born to evangelize like our founder, Saint Anthony Mary Claret and we are Missionaries, witnesses and messenger of the Joy of the Gospel as echoed by our 25th General Chapter.