Current Carmelite Communities & Ministries in Zimbabwe
The Carmelites currently have nine communities in Zimbabwe. There are also many outstations and ministries served by the members of those communities. These locations are listed below. Click on the name for more information on that location.
St Joseph’s Priory, Hatfield, Harare
Mount Carmel Student House, Chisipite, Harare
St Alois’ Parish, Chitungwiza
St Agnes’ Parish, Zengeza, Chitungwiza
St Simon Stock Parish, Rusape
Kriste Mambo Community & High School, Rusape
Prophet Elijah Priory, Nyazura, Rusape
Carmelite Priory, Third Street, Mutare
St Joseph’s Mission, Sakubva, Mutare
ST JOSEPH’S, HATFIELD
In 1958 the Carmelites decided to make a foundation in Salisbury (Harare). They were given responsibility for the new parish of St Joseph’s, Hatfield. A residence was soon built on Jesmond Road. Fr Declan Sugrue was the first Prior and Parish Priest. The population grew rapidly in this part of Harare after 1982 so that the original parish of St Joseph’s now has two centres under its care: St Patrick’s, Epworth, and St Pius, Manyame.
Between St. Joseph’s and the two centres there are over 3,000 practising Catholics. The Priory in Hatfield has facilitated the ministry of other Carmelites in the wider suburbs of Harare, including Zengeza and Chitwungeza. In fact, the original priory had to be extended twice over the years. Among the Irish Carmelites who ministered there were Frs Brian (Pio) Kiernan, Sean Coughlan, and Norbert Heaslip.
MOUNT CARMEL, HARARE
Mount Carmel, Harare, is the student house of the Commissariat. It is currently home to three solemnly professed Carmelites and twenty students. The house is situated on the grounds of Nazareth House, thanks to the generosity of the Nazareth Sisters. It was officially opened in 1998. Although formation is its primary ministry, the Carmelites who live there also work in nearby parishes. The students who live in Mount Carmel study Philosophy and Theology at Arupe College and Holy Trinity College respectively. All students also undertake pastoral placements from June to August each year.
ST ALOIS’, CHITUNGWIZA
In 1962 St Alois’ Parish began with a wooden pole structure for a church. A brick building was then constructed with the help of Fr Jackson, SJ. Frs Anthony McDonald and Fred Lally arrived in 1970. They oversaw the construction of a new Centre which included a hall, kitchen, a dress making room, dining, office and classrooms. The Centre was completed in 1977. Fr Brian (Pio) Kiernan came to St. Alois in 1983 and would be the longest serving Parish Priest to date (1983-2003). Fr Pio oversaw the building of the current church in 1994. In 2000 a Grotto was constructed in the grounds. In 2016 a square with a fountain was built and officially dedicated to the memory of Fr Pio. The square provides a place for quiet and reflection.
ST AGNES, ZENGEZA
St Agnes’ Parish is located in the Harare suburb of Zengeza, and was established in 1981. Fr Tommy Fives ministered here for 20 years (1989-2009). He was much loved by the parishioners. He worked with them in developing the parish to the point where it became financially self-reliant. After Tommy’s return to Ireland, it was hoped to establish a new community in St Agnes’, however due to personnel restraints this was not possible. Fr Jimmy Nyangadi was appointed Parish Priest in 2015 but resides in the Carmelite Priory, Hatfield. Jimmy is currently overseeing the building of a new parish church, which is necessary due to the increase in the Catholic population.
ST SIMON STOCK, RUSAPE
In the early years of the Carmelite presence in Zimbabwe Rusape was an outstation of Triashill Mission. The first Carmelite took up residence there in 1958. A Primary School was built in 1963, followed by a Secondary School in 1965. Over the years the parish has grown and today it is vibrant with many lay groups including the Carmelite Third Order. There are currently twenty-three outstations served by the parish. Extensive renovations have been carried out on the main church, parish hall and residence in recent years. Thanks to a generous donation from the Knocklyon Gospel Choir it was possible to provide three computers as part of a youth project in the parish hall. The newly built Prophet Elijah Priory, Nyazura, is situated within the boundaries of this parish and the friars are able to assist in the ministry of St. Simon Stock.
Kriste Mambo School for Girls was opened by the Dutch Sisters of Charity on January 21st 1964. The land for this modern, fully equipped and well-built school had been donated by Miss May Bloomfield. After the War, the Dutch Sisters donated the school to the Carmelite Order. In taking over the running of the school, the Carmelites appointed a friar as manager who would work with the Principal. Carmelite managers over the years were: Fergus O’Loan, Aidan McLoughlin, Louis Bouthillette, Andrew Thokozane, Paul Horan and now Alexio Makakowe.
The academic curriculum was gradually extended and it is now a High School, preparing pupils for A-level examinations. While Kriste Mambo is mainly a boarding school for girls, it now has a small number of day boys on its rolls. In 2014 it marked the Golden Jubilee of its foundation.
PROPHET ELIJAH PRIORY, NYAZURA
In November 2011 it was decided to build a new priory at Nyazura, close to Rusape. It would serve as a pre-novitiate, as a place of retreat and meetings. It would also have a pastoral outreach within St Simon Stock Parish.
Prophet Elijah Priory was officially opened by Martin Kilmurray, then Provincial, on March 1st 2014. The first members of the community were: Wiseman Musemwa (Prior), Louis Bouthillette and Ezevia Murambiwa.
Since then the Priory has grown in popularity as a place for retreat and has hosted several events. It is hoped to expand the Prophet Elijah Priory to accomodate larger groups. The community have also begun several agricultural projects.
CARMELITE PRIORY, MUTARE
Fr Donal Lamont, Mission Superior, and first Carmelite parish priest of Mutare was appointed Prefect Apostolic of the new Prefecture of Umtali in February 1953. Fr James Carmel O’Shea, O.Carm., was made Mission Superior in succession to Fr Lamont while Fr Gregory Fitzgerald, O.Carm., became parish priest of Mutare which had two centres of worship, St Robert’s, Sakubva, and Holy Rosary Church, on E Avenue off Third Street, which had been built in 1923.
Fr O’Shea, on taking up office as Mission Superior, decided that the Carmelites should have a suitable Community residence in the town of Mutare. The presbytery beside Holy Rosary church was inadequate to our needs. The new priory would be multi-purpose, serving not only as the residence of the Mission Superior and the parish priest but as a centre for Carmelites ministering in the outstations in Penhalonga, Zimyuna, Maranke and Mutasa, and as a base for the friars who came to town from our outlying Mission Centres.
The building of this fine priory, on the site of the old presbytery and beside Holy Rosary church, was completed in 1954. It had 8 bedrooms, 2 parlours, refectory, community room, oratory, kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry. It has continued, over the years, to serve the many purposed, and more, envisaged by Fr O’Shea: Carmelite community and centre of administration, centre of hospitality for Carmelites and others associated with our ministry. The Carmelites who ministered in the newly designated pastoral area of St Joseph’s Sakubva lived at the priory until the fine church and residence were completed there in 1962.
Holy Rosary church was closed in 1971 when the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity was opened and blessed by Bishop Donal Lamont in 1971.
The priory is still an important centre for the Carmelites of the Commissariat in Zimbabwe as a community and centre of administration. Similar to Gort Muire in Dublin, the Priory in Mutare acts as the administrative hub for the Commissariat. The Commissary Provincial resides there. He and the other members of the community help with ministry in nearby churches and outstations.
ST JOSEPH’S, SAKUBVA
St. Joseph’s Mission was founded in 1958 together with the building and opening of a TB Hospital. The hospital was run by the Sisters of Charity from the Netherlands. The primary school was built in 1959. The church was completed in 1961.
The Mission celebrated fifty years of pastoral ministry on August 13th 2011. A defining feature of St. Joseph’s has been the involvement of laity. The members of the various Lay groups and Confraternities run catechism groups, as well as assist in various aspects of Parish administration. In 2013 St Joseph’s Primary School was awarded the Secretary’s Merit Award, Manicaland Province.