Birth of Zimbabwe-Mozambique Province
On December 7, 2014, Superior General, Fr Nicholas Adolf signed a degree uniting the Jesuit Province of Zimbabwe and the Region of Mozambique into a single apostolic unit, the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Province.
The people of Zimbabwe and Mozambique share close cultural and liberation ties, with many Mozambicans migrating into Zimbabwe during times of conflict and economic instability.
There are over 4 million Catholics in Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony and the country is divided into 12 dioceses, including 3 archdioceses. There are a total of 66 Jesuits from Mozambique who are joining 117 of those from Zimbabwe.
Explaining the creation of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Province, the Provincial, Fr Chiedza Chimhanda, said, ”This decision was taken in order for the Society to offer more universal and better apostolic service in Mozambique and Zimbabwe… There has been much work done in planning, praying and reflecting on the structures of the Society worldwide.
“Zimbabwe started off as a Mission and became a Province in 1978. Mozambique has been a dependent region of Portugal. What it means in practical terms is that all Jesuits in Zimbabwe and Mozambique now fall under one administration.
"There are some Jesuits in Mozambique who speak very little English or no English at all, but are fluent in Portuguese. But language will never be our worry. The nature of the Society of Jesuits is that we do not join a Province but we join the universal Society, with different languages. It means we are experiencing closely the universal dimensions of the Society.
"From the 7th of December 2014, all our plans now will include Mozambique, and the next Province Assembly on 8 and 9 January 2015 will definitely include our brothers from Mozambique.
“The Jesuits in Mozambique are largely in Maputo, Beira and Tete, working in 5 rural parishes and 3 urban parishes, with others at the Catholic University, and others in Secondary and Primary Schools and an orphanage."
Fr Chiedza said “because of colonial ties, we all started off as Dependant Regions of colonial countries, and there is hope that by the end of 2016, there could be a solid Province of Southern Africa, that will include the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Province with the Dependent Region of South Africa, and working closely with the existing Zambia-Malawi Province."