Fr. Alessio’s Report from Harare

The past year has seem some important developments for the Priory of St. Joseph’s in Harare. Three missionary trips have been made to Kenya, the last by Fr. Alessio in November 2001 and 2 before that by Fr. Ockerse which included trips further afield to the Nakuru region near Lake Victoria. In Nairobi, 20 to 30 faithful have attended Mass at the home of Dr. Migue, where a garage has been extended and a new altar constructed. A number of vestments and altar linen has been collected by the faithful in South Africa, from Pilgrim’s Rest, White River and Cape Town to assist this fledgling Mass centre. Br. John Maria Maina, of Kenya, who previously spent many months with the Priory in Johannesburg gives tremendous aid to the priests in arranging their travels, Mass serving and recruiting before the priests arrive. A special item of Fr. Alessio’s trip was a visit to a shrine popular with the Nairobi Catholics, the Resurrection Garden with its outdoor Stations of the Cross and other paintings of Old and New Testament scenes.

The chapel of St. Joseph’s has had a major facelift this past year with a considerable amount of work being done to the interior of the church. This was completed just before Christmas in time for the priests to come on retreat in Johannesburg. Perhaps due to the work load, Fr. Ockerse felt the need to take a leave of absence, bringing back to Southern Africa, Fr. Reinartz for a 6 month visit as temporary Prior. He arrived just in time to attend a Christmas concert by the parish children, as well as a Carols by candlelight. The Priory also keeps as elsewhere, prayer vigils, New Year’s eve, on 3rd February 2002 an all day adoration, and another for the First Friday of March till Midnight to pray for the Zimbabwean Presidential elections.

Amidst the trials of Zimbabwean life 2 Ignatian retreats are scheduled for April and May. St. Joseph’s Priory thanks all its faithful for their support during this troubled time in the history of Zimbabwe.