By Leonard Ncube
MORE than 100 members of the National Movement of Catholic Students (NMCS) Bulawayo region gathered in Victoria Falls for their regional conference which ended with a Holy Mass presided over by Hwange Bishop Raphael Macebo Mabuza Ncube.
Fresh from his episcopal ordination which took place at Hwange Colliery Stadium in Hwange on October 30, Bishop Ncube had a thanksgiving mass at his home area in Nkayi on November 12 before the Sunday mass for NMCS members.
He blessed the NMCS regional old and new committees as he challenged young people to uphold the Catholic faith and values, especially at a time when the world is faced with temptations and tribulations that seek to devour them.
NMCS is celebrating 100 years of student formation as International Movement of Catholic Students headquartered in Kenya and 30 years in Zimbabwe.
A cake marking both anniversaries was shared after Mass. In the same vein, Bishop Ncube appealed to parents to assist young people in prayer to overcome troubles in life.
It also came on the day when the whole world was celebrating World Children’s Day.
“To our student today the Holy Father says to all of you; Arise young man, young woman, stand up, arise and witness what you have seen. Arising is a sign of being liberated. You are being set-free from everything that militates against your growth and development,” said Bishop Ncube.
He said young people, students in particular, have always played a very prominent role.
The occasion coincided with the celebration of Christ the King. Bishop Ncube said the kingship of Christ is the Kingship of the Cross and Glory.
“This is the Kingship to which we are all called, we are all kings. The Kingship has three dimensions: We are prophets, we are priests and we are pastors for the church is the sacrament of Christ. As Catholics let’s not be proclaimers of the word of God merely by word of mouth, let people see the word of God through us.
“Today we are celebrating 30 years, we have had this movement (NMCS) and we also celebrate this idea universally for the past 100 years. We are also guided by the spirit of the 36th World Youth Day. We celebrate your energy because we are stressed in this world. There are many things that affect us and youths should show that life is still a reality. Help us not to lose hope, as young people don’t allow life’s ills, be it poverty or diseases, to make you fall and lose hope,” he said.
The Bishop reminded young people that the Pope is calling on them and reminding them to demonstrate and uphold Christian values and to remember that they are Catholics wherever they are.
“You are precious to us as students. Your parents are proud of you, don’t disappoint them. Even in your dating experiences as your leader has said, but remember you always have to be guided by your mother the Church.
“Let’s not meet you wearing other uniforms that we don’t have in the Catholic Church.
Why do we desert our faith? To parents, pray for youths, they face a lot of temptations. It’s not easy to be a young person today, the world is infested with wild animals whose teeth are open to devour youths the same way they wanted to chew Jesus. With prayers, take them to Egypt,” he said.
The NMCS Bulawayo region outgoing committee was led by its president, Privilegio Makari and William Mupangani will be the new president.
NMCS was established in 1990 when 72 students from 12 local tertiary colleges gathered at St. Ignatius College in Harare for the first Catholic Student’s Assembly.
This became an annual event until 1993 when it was resolved that NMCS be formed with a vision to be a formation seedbed of Catholic faith and integral development of tertiary students in Zimbabwe.
It is a platform informed by Catholic Social Teachings. NMCS has five regions in Zimbabwe namely Midlands, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Mutare and Harare and has approximately 3 000 members across the country. The movement is trying to penetrate Hwange Diocese to get new members from new Hwange Teachers’ College, Hwange Colliery School of Nursing, Binga School of Nursing and Don Bosco Technical College.
The NMCS members are running a deliberate campaign called Pray, Register, Vote to encourage young people to be, ‘the salt of the earth’ through the national ballot box.