By Br. Alfonce Kugwa
Sisters of the congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart from the island of Malta in Europe have visited Gweru Diocese to cement the relationship between the midlands diocese and their congregation. The two Sisters, Jennifer Wahu and Victoria Sant arrived in the country on 4 August 2023 on a mission to strengthen collaboration between the two institutions and to explore opportunities of establishing a community in Gweru.
Speaking to Catholic Church News on 8 August 2023, Sr. Wahu said they have one vocation from Zimbabwe and that they have come to look for more vocations to join the congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart.
“We have come to visit her country, to visit her home and through that to see if we can get vocations more vocations from here. So we have visited the Diocese of Gweru and we are very grateful to the Bishop and priests for the welcome,” said Sr. Wahu.
She said they have been able to visit several parishes in Gweru which include, St. Theresa’s Cathedral, Regina Mundi and parishes in Kwekwe in order to market their congregation to young girls who may want to join them.
“We have met young people who are very enthusiastic in their faith. We have spoken about our congregation and we hope to get good responses from them and in the future if God wills, we may establish ourselves here. We are very grateful and we have found hospitable people in Zimbabwe,” Sr. Wahu added.
Sr. Sant told the Catholic Church News that the Daughters of the Sacred Heart Congregation has more than 400 members working in different parts of the world with more than 200 sisters in India, 150 in Kenya, while they are also found in the Philippines, America, Rome and in Malta. The Daughters of the Sacred Heart’s presence is felt more in education, social work and pastoral work.
Sr. Sant said her congregation hopes to start a community in Zimbabwe once they secure enough vocations to support their mission. She bemoaned the dwindling interest to join religious life by young people in Malta and Europe in general saying that young people in developed countries are have become more materialistic and selfish to give themselves for others. This, she said, has affected her congregation which is also shaking because of lack of young vocations.
“It is our hope to start a community in Zimbabwe, but the issue is of vocations. There are not enough vocations and the province in shaking and getting very old. So we are hoping to get some vocations from some sisters in Kenya and India so that we can open a house here,” Sr. Sant noted
The two Sisters who were accompanied by Fr. Kudakwashe Musvevereki attributed the lack of vocations in Europe to the limited number of children per family, business opportunities for boys and girls to pursue economic benefits, interference from social media and the materialist environment which prevents them from listening to God when he calls them.