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Thousands throng Bishop Mupandasekwa installation

MIDWEEK REPORTER

GOKOMERE MISSION-Thousands of people from all walks of life converged at St Patrick Gokomere Mission to witness the historic The Rite of Episcopal Installation of The Right Reverend Bishop Raymond Mupandasekwa (CSSR) of the Catholic Diocese of Masvingo.

Bishop Mupandasekwa who was installed last week on Saturday becomes the second one to occupy the respected office in Masvingo Diocese.

Most Reverend Archbishop Robert Ndlovu was the Main Celebrant and the installation was graced by all Bishops, Monsignor Felipe Fabiane Charge d’Affairs Apostolic Nunciature to Zimbabwe, priests, sisters, brothers and religious congregations.

Among other dignitaries present was the Vice President Retired Constantino Chiwenga, a devout catholic, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Masvingo Province, Ezra Chadzamira and several senior government officials.

“Allow me to say to my dear Right Reverend Bishop Raymond Tapiwa Mupandasekwa, Makorokoto, Congratulations, Amhlophe upon your installation as the second Bishop of Masvingo

‘’l am fully aware that the Lords’s call has brought you to this Diocese to serve where your roots are. I recall you telling me that you were born in Tamirepi Village under Chief Mapanzure, in Masvingo District.

“I humbly exhort the church of Masvingo to support you as you assume your duty of further building God’s kingdom here in Masvingo Diocese. l am confident that with your collaboration with priests, Christians, religious sisters and brothers in your new diocese , more will be achieved , surpassing your record of achievements in Chinhoyi Diocese.

‘’ Given what we have witnessed today, I can assure you, that you will find Masvingo a beautiful place to be and to work in. We have already seen the joy with which you were received. You are coming to lead a faith community and it is that shared faith we have that brings us together as brothers and sisters for God’s work,‘’ said Vice President Chiwenga.

The Diocese of Masvingo was established in 1999 when Gweru Diocese was divided into two Diocese. The first Bishop of the Diocese of Masvingo, Right Reverend Michael D. Bhasera, took canonical possession of the Diocese after previously laying the foundation of Gokwe Diocese from 1991 to 1999.

The Diocese of Masvingo has about 241, 126 Catholics it comprises eight civil districts in the province and Beitbridge.

The Diocese comprises 20 missions, nine parishes, 19 secondary schools, 22 primary schools, five vocational training centres two of which are operational, four mission hospitals five clinics and only Roman Catholic run teachers’ training, Bondolfi College.

Right Reverend Raymond Mupandasekwa was consecrated as the third Bishop of Chinhoyi Diocese on April 7, 2018.  On September 2023 Pope Francis appointed Bishop Mupandasekwa as the second Bishop of Masvingo Diocese.

He takes over from Bishop Michael Bhasera who has been at the helm of Masvingo Diocese for 23 years since 1999.

Currently Bishop Mupandasekwa is the vice president of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference ( ZCBC) and the chairman for the Seminary Commission and Seminary Board.

‘’ I remember telling the Apostolic Nuncio that, I guess you have picked on a wrong candidate because l am not a good administrator when I received the news of my appointment as the Bishop of Chinhoyi Diocese. I am thankful to the priests, religious and laypeople from Chinhoyi who helped me become an administrator, even though l struggle with administration.

‘’ For those five years as a Bishop in Chinhoyi we didn’t achieve much, but we achieved enough together to grow the Diocese of Chinhoyi,” said Bishop Mupa.

Bishop Mupa was born in Tamirepi Village under Chief Mapanzure, Masvingo District in 1970.

ln 1990 he entered the Major Seminary of Chishawasha in Harare, where he completed his philosophical studies. In 1996, he joined the religious family of the Redemptorists. He made his perpetual vows in 2001, and on August 4 of the same year he was ordained a Priest in Hartcliffe in Harare.

After his priestly ordination he held the following positions

From 2001 to 2005 he was the Parish Vicar in Mabvuku and Tafara in Harare. From 2001 to 2004 he attained a Master of Philosophy degree in Theology Socialization in Canon Law at St. Augustine’s College in South Africa. Bishop Mupa was a Parish Priest of St. Gerard’s in Borrowdale, Harae from 2005 to 2007.

He attained a degree in Licentiate in Moral Theology at the Pontifical Alphonsian Academy in Rome from 2007 to 2010.

He was a Pastor of St. Fidelis in Mabvuku and St. Alphonsus in Tafara from 2010 to 2014 and a Professor of Moral Theology at the Seminary of Chishawasha.

From 2010 to 2015 he was a Professor of Moral Theology at Holy Trinity College in Harare.  In 2012 to 2014 he was Professor of Canon Law at the same College. He was a Vice –Rector of Holy Trinity College between 2014 to 2015.

In 2015 to 2018 Bishop Mupa was the Regional Superior of the Redemptorist Fathers in Harare.

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