Pre - St Ignatius Feast Celebration

Last week, on the evening of Friday 19 July 2019, the Jesuits of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Province held a big event at Our Lady of the Wayside, Mount Pleasant Parish, celebrating the founder of the Jesuits. This annual event was held earlier than St Ignatius’ feast day of 31st July so that the Jesuit Provincial Superior, Fr Chiedza Chimhanda, would be able to lead the Mass and preach. 

In his homily Fr Chimhanda highlighted the four Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus, which are the horizons for the apostolic work of the Jesuits in the next ten years. These preferences are (1) to show the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment; (2) walking with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice; (3) accompanying young people in the creation of a hope-filled future and (4) to collaborate, with Gospel depth, for the protection and renewal of God's creation. 

This was the fifth year on a rotational basis that the Jesuit Development Office of the Province has put on this event.  Last year it was hosted by Holy Name Mabelreign Parish, the previous year by St Francis Xavier Parish, Braeside.  As in previous years, the hosting parishioners worked extremely hard to make the event a success.

About 400 people attended the celebrations, including the Chargé d’Affairs at the Papal Nunciature, Monsignor Gabriele Pesce.  The guest speaker, Mr Peter Sandys-Thomas, gave an inspiring speech focusing on how success in life is determined by our positive attitude.
But for the guests, the highlight of the evening was the very captivating drama presented by five Jesuit priests and scholastics.  The message was clear: that the days of missionary support are over.  If we want to have priests and brothers serving the Church in Zimbabwe, then the faithful will have to support their future pastors through their studies and formation. The response of the guests was great, both through pledges and the charity auction of donated items. 
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