By Sr. Maceline Mudambo
Mutare diocese has opened a new mission in Buhera reducing pressure on priests who used to serve the place from St. Richards Mission. The new mission has 23 parishes under its jurisdiction. There was great jubilation on 13 May 2023 when the Bishop of Mutare, Paul Horan, officially consecrated and opened the new mission, St. Anne Chabata.
St. Anne Chabata was previously under St. Richard parish in Murambinda which served 56 outstations. It was extremely difficult for the Priests of St. Richard to cover the mission and its outstations given the long distances and the poor road infrastructure in Buhera. The new mission lies some 95km from St. Richard and is 35 km from Birchnough.
The Vicar General of Mutare, Rev. Fr. K Nyakupinda read out the decree to officially announce the creation of the new mission.
St. Anne’s Chabata will have 23 out stations and Rev Fr. Stanislaus Chetse will work at the Mission as the administrator.
Catholics from St. Richard and St Anne praised Fr. Chetse for his dedication and hard work for the establishment of the new mission. A lot of work needs to be done at the new mission considering that the new mission’s church roof was blown away by cyclone Freddy. The priest’s house is under construction so that the mission has a resident priest.
Fr. Chetse said: “The creation of the new mission was out of the need to reduce the distance that priests travelled from St. Richard to serve communities around St. Anne. Also, it was extremely difficult to effectively discharge pastoral duties to the faithful as expected, hence the creation of this mission.”
According to Fr. Chetse, the new mission is located in a semi-arid region and the presence of the mission would help sustain the needs of the community in many ways. He said there are plans to acquire a nearby council school that can be transformed into a mission school while these is need to develop a health centre at the mission.
Bishop Paul Horan donated a monstrance to the new mission which is to be used for adoration while other parishes from the diocese pledged various gifts towards the completion of the Priests’ house and the roofing of the church.
The creation of St. Anne Mission comes after the handing over of St. Richard Mission to Mutare Diocese by the Archdiocese of Harare on 3 July 2018.