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Looking back the path followed in Marist Zambia



50th anniversary of the Castilla mission in Africa

03/12/2019: Spain

Five decades ago, four Spanish Brothers from the once Province of Castilla(today part of Compostela Province) chose to go to Zimbabwe (antes Rhodesia) in 1969, and later in 1973, join the newly created Marist Sector of Zambia.

Brothers Ángel Mansoa, Isidro Getino, Dionisio Llorente and Jack González were the 4 pioneers who gave life to the Castilla Mission in Zambia, with the aim of responding to the mandate of the XVI General Chapter (1967) that each Province of Europe opened a mission in Latin America or Africa.

Over the years, there have been many events and characters that forged what today is the Marist Zambia that belongs to the Southern Africa Province. On the 50th anniversary of the Castilla mission in Africa, With the help of Br. Jack González, one of the 4 pioneers, we remember some dates.

In 1973, after approval by the General Council, the new Marist Sector of Zambia was established, attached to the Province of Castilla. At the date of foundation 7 Spanish Brothers and 6 Canadians continue to belong to Iberville, with the agreement that each year some will return to the District of Rhodesia.

In 1980, the St Paul’s postulancy - inter-regional novitiate began at Mulunguishi, with Luis Sobrado as master of novices. Then, in 1983, the first 4 Zambian brothers made profession. That same year, a Marist novitiate was opened for the first time in Zambia, St. Paul’s, Kabwe with postulants from Zambia, and, two years later, from Malawi and Mozambique.

A few years later, in 1986, the MIC (Marist International Center) opened in Nairobi with two Zambian scholastics in the first graduating group.

In 1990, the regional inter-novitiate moved to Kutama with Brother Á. Mansoa as novice master and six novices from the Zambia sector.

Since 1992, more than 30 Brothers and more than 140 volunteers from Castilla (Compostela) have contributed to the "Zambia Mission", and have "let themselves be educated" by Africa.

In 2000, the Marist elementary school opened in Mulungushi, Kabwe. The school now welcomes more than 500 students from this rural area.

In 2002, as part of the restructuring of Marist Africa, Zambia became canonically part of the new Marist Province of Southern Africa that includes Angola, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa. Seven brothers from Castilla began to work in the new province.

2006 saw the opening of Chibuluma College, a co-educational initiative with Brother Evans Musakanya as director. Three years later, the Skills Training Center began operating. This and a Youth Center operated under the coordination of Brothers Felipe and Raimundo.Several organizations, including SED, Manos Unidas, the Spanish Cooperation Agency (AECI),and some local industries such as mines, contributed to the construction of this school.

Looking back on the journey, Jack Gonzalez, one of the pioneers, reflects: my opinion and option is that Castilla-Compostela has a moral and institutional responsibility to keep alive its historical commitment to Zambia-Mission, now Southern Africa. We are already doing it with the continuity of five Brothers of the Province in the area and with the annual sending of Brothers and volunteers through SED…all in a symmetrical style and relationship, "walking as a global family", in dialogue and leaving the initiative to the Brothers and policies of Marist Southern Africa”, concludes Brother Jack Gonzalez, one of the 4 pioneers.

Read here the whole document Castilla Marista, Mission Africa. 50 years (1969-2019).

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