Thousands gather to witness the Installation of Bishop Raymond Mupandasekwa at Gokomere Mission – Catholic Church News

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By Dr. Albert Munyanyi

Part of the crowd that attended the installation of Bishop Mupandasekwa at Gokomere Mission in Masvingo.

Gokomere, Masvingo – Amidst an exuberant breeze of excitement, thousands of faithful Catholics congregated at Gokomere Mission on the 9th of December 2023 to witness the historic Episcopal installation of Bishop Raymond Mupandasekwa as the second bishop of Masvingo Diocese. The ceremony was graced by the presence of all Bishops, along with an impressive turnout of priests, sisters, brothers from diverse religious congregations, and esteemed representatives from various Church denominations. Among the dignitaries were the Vice President of Zimbabwe, a devout Catholic, Retired General Hon Dr. C.G.N.D Chiwenga and the Devolution Minister of the Province Hon Ezra Chadzamira and a host of government officials.

In his captivating homily, Bishop Mupandasekwa humbly reflected on the profound moment when he received the news of his appointment as the Bishop of Chinhoyi Diocese, expressing, “What a great privilege it is for me to be a Redemptorist, and to be given the pulpit as my Altar.”

With an endearing display of humility, he candidly recounted his initial reservations about assuming an administrative role, acknowledging the support of the clergy, religious and the laity while affirming their collective potential to foster growth within the Diocese.

“I remember telling the Apostolic Nuncio that I guess you have picked on a wrong candidate because I am not a good administrator. I am thankful to the Priests, religious, and laypeople from Chinhoyi who helped me become an administrator, even though I struggle with administration,”said Bishop Mupandasekwa.

He acknowledged the support extended by the Redemptorist community and a host of other benefactors during his stay in Chinhoyi, saying this helped him to grow the diocese.

“Though we didn’t achieve much, we achieved enough together to grow the Diocese of Chinhoyi,” said the Bishop.

He underscored the significance of learning from the community in his new role, emphasizing his intent to lead through collaboration and shared understanding. He appreciated the great work that was done by his predecessor, Bishop Michael Bhasera, and pledged to build from where he left.

The reading of the papal bull by Monsignor Felipe Fabiane, the Charge d’Affairs at the Apostolic Nunciature in Zimbabwe, confirmed Bishop Mupandesekwa’s authority over Masvingo Diocese. This was then followed by the installation of Bishop Mupandasekwa by Archbishop Robert C. Ndlovu, a defining moment that marked the formal assumption of his new responsibilities.

Vice President Chiwenga receives holy communion from Bishop Mupandasekwa.

As the Mass drew to a close, heartfelt speeches were delivered by esteemed clergyman and dignitaries, each expressing their support for Bishop Mupandasekwa and the promise of a grace-filled journey ahead. Amid the hallowed halls of reverence and echoes of sacred song, the Masvingo DPC Chairman, Mr Simon Parwaringira, and Fr. Samson Mutsvanga, the Masvingo Diocese Vicar General, represented the local Church in welcoming the bishop.

Fr. Mutsvanga thanked Archbishop Robert Ndlovu for journeying with Masvingo Diocese as its administrator in the absence of the local ordinary. He said the presence of Archbishop Ndlovu advanced the work of the diocese as he committed himself to support all programs that had been laid down.

The Vice President of Zimbabwe, Dr. Constantino Chiwenga, celebrated the Church’s vital part in fostering peace. Congratulating Bishop Mupandasekwa during his installation, Dr. Chiwenga highlighted the importance of the Church’s mission, especifically in establishing and growing health and educational institutions, ranging from schools to universities. He challenged Bishop Mupandasekwa and Masvingo Diocese to initiate poverty alleviation programs in Masvingo Province by constructing more schools and opening up vocational training centres.

The choir, enlivened by great joy, joined their hearts in a symphony of sacred songs, envisaging a dawn of inspirational leadership and renewed devotion under their cherished new prelate.

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