By Rev. Fr. Walter Nyatsanza
Parish Priest, St Barbra Renco Mine.
The Congregation of the Holy Cross Sisters decided to terminate the stay of the Sisters and close their convent this coming July 2023.
Sr. Elizabeth Panganai was sent for teacher training to Bondolfi College while Sr. Margret Nhariwa will be relocated to join her fellow Sisters already working in Sengwa Mission in Gokwe Diocese.
St. Barbra Bangala Mission salutes and congratulates in gratitude the Congregation of the Holy Cross Sisters for the services they rendered to the whole area since 1988.
The diocese through Father Joseph Haag of the Bethlehem Mission Society with the cooperation of the Catholic Renco Mine Manager Mr. Dorrenboom saw it necessary to build a convent for the Holy Cross Sisters near the Church. Before they moved into the convent, the first Sisters Maria Carmela (in charge), Sr. Wadzanai and Sr. Esnath lived in a small house in the Renco mining compound with the people.
The total number of Sisters who worked at Renco Parish at different periods were thirteen, without counting candidates and postulants who were moved to Renco for their training in preparation for becoming professed Sisters.
The Sisters fulfilled their calling to serve God through various ministries of their charisms. Some were teachers teaching at both Renco Primary and Nyabata Secondary Schools, as well as Bangala and Maramba preschools.
At the primary and secondary schools, the Sisters assisted from their Congregation funds to pay for poor pupils, to buy equipment for domestic science subjects, sewing machines for girls and textbooks for several subjects for students.
Many of their graduates are now working in different fields and occupations in Zimbabwe. Such a contribution to the local population is to be emulated and highly praised.
When the candidates and postulants went to Renco convent they joined Sisters who were doing pastoral work, visiting people in the compound, engaging in Small Christian Communities’ prayers, teaching catechism, working with the youth and produced enough vegetables and garden produce to feed themselves and the Sisters. The community was very vibrant during their stay in Renco Parish.
After working as a nurse at several places in the diocese and especially being matron at Beitbidge hospital for twelve years, and also worked with Caritas Masvingo, her Congregation moved Sr. Margret Nhariwa to Renco Parish where she worked another twelve years.
This time she was moved into pastoral work. She helped in training local Catechists, she advised various associations and guilds, she did counselling with individuals and groups. She often led Church services in the absence of priests. She is dedicated to her prayer life.
Last but not least, the Archbishop Most Revered Robert Christopher Ndlovu, the Administrator of Masvingo Diocese, thanks the Holy Cross Sisters for the wonderful work they have carried out with dedication in St. Barbra Renco Mine community and all its outstations.