Zimbabwe Catholic Bishop's Conference

Tracing the Rich Tapestry of Faith: From Martyrdom to Missionary Triumphs

Footprints of Faith: Catholicism in Zimbabwe

Exploring Centuries of Evangelical Journey, from Martyrs to Local Leaders

Journey of Faith: Catholicism's Legacy in Zimbabwe

Unveiling the Story of Persistence, Sacrifice, and Growth in the Heart of Africa

The first attempt to evangelise Zimbabwe was made in the sixteenth century by the Jesuit Father Goncalo da Silveira of Portugal. His mission was very short lived as he was martyred on 16 March 1561 near the present boarder with Mozambique, not far from Tete.

The Jesuits made a second attempt and returned in 1607 and remained till 1759. After 1775 all catholic missionary work ceased in Zimbabwe until 1879 when catholic priests once again entered Zimbabwe, this time coming from South Africa and not through Mozambique like before.

The Jesuit Fathers and the Dominican Sisters returned with the Pioneer Column and established Chishawasha Mission in 1891 and the Dominican Convent School in 1892 in Harare.

Prior to these institutions, the very first Catholic Mission was established by Fr. Prestage SJ at Empandeni Mission near Plumtree in 1887. It is said that King Lobengula of the Ndebele said to Fr. Prestage SJ: “Go to Empandeni and teach the people there.” (O’Reilly, J., ‘The Centenary of Empandeni”, 1987, p.4).The original Zambezi Mission of the Catholic Church, which included part of Zambia, was entrusted to the Jesuit Fathers by Rome on 7 February 1879.

In 1930 the Bulawayo area was given to the German Marianhill Missionaries, who had previously worked in Manicaland from 1908-1930; in 1946 the Fort Victoria area, now Masvingo, which became Gweru diocese was committed to the Swiss Bethlehem Fathers; in 1953 the Mutare area was confided to the Irish Carmelite Fathers and Hwange area to the Spanish Mission Institute. On 1 January 1955, by Papal Bull, the Ecclesiastical Province of Southern Rhodesia was set up.

Today Zimbabwe has 8 dioceses, 12 Bishops including the retired ones, many religious congregations of men and women and show many signs of a growing local Church blessed with local priests, religious, catechists and hundreds of lay leaders.

Our Bishops

Bishops, in union with and in subordination to the Pope, serve the people of their own dioceses with ordinary jurisdiction and authority. They also have, in collegiate manner with the Pope and with each other, concern and efforts for the general welfare of the whole Church. The Zimbabwean Bishops form, as their coordinating body, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC), which was constituted by Roman Decree on 1 October 1969

Archbishop Robert Christopher Ndlovu

Archbishop Alex Thomas Kaliyanil

Bishop Paul Horan

Bishop Rudolf Nyandoro

Bishop Raymond Tapiwa Mupandasekwa CSsR

Bishop Raphael Macebo Mabuza Ncube

Bishop Eusabius Nyathi