OFM Order of Friars Minor
The Friars Minor (OFM) forms part of the bigger Franciscan first firmly together with Conventual friars and Capuchin friars. Their coming together in Zambia is traced as far back as 1986. The Capuchin friars who were working in Zambia passed a mandate during their chapter of the possibility of cooperation with the other religious institutes in Zambia to establish joint facilities for post novitiate formation. The two Conventual Custodies in Zambia expressed interest in participating in a joint Franciscan House of Studies. This saw the establishment of such a house in Livingstone. Just across the southern border, the Friars Minor in Zimbabwe who were under the Franciscan Irish Province together with the then Vicariate of St. Francis in East Africa, Mauritius and Madagascar, inquired about their possible participation. Their idea was welcomed and that marked the establishment of a unique Franciscan collaboration in Africa. This took place in 1986.
Since then, the Friars Minor have been part of this Franciscan enterprise. In the last 47 years, the friars have been sending young friars for philosophical studies and religious formation from different entities namely, Custody of Good Shepherd, Zimbabwe, Province of St. Francis- East Africa, Independent Custody of St. Clare- Mozambique, The Province of Our Lady Queen of Peace- South Africa, and the Foundation of Juba in South Sudan. In the university campus, the Friars Minor have a friary which houses up to sixty friars. It is called Portiuncula Friary.
This has been the only Friars Minor’s presence in Zambia for a very long time until recently when the Province of St. Francis – East Africa established a mission in Mwakapandula Mwachisombola in Kabwe diocese. The Friars Minor are glad to be part of this Franciscan Family engagement here at St. Bonaventure and we continue to rally behind its growth.
CAP. Order of Friars Minor Capuchin
CONV. Order of Friars Minor Conventual
St. Francis of Assisi received the first brothers as a gift from God the Father in 1208 in his own town where he had started living as a ‘penitent’. And when they reached the number of 12, he felt he had to submit his form of life (made up with quotations from the Gospel) to the pope of his time: Innocent III. This he did in 1209, and after the latter’s initial surprise, he was given the task of “preaching penance” to people.
From that moment, while living the fraternal joyful experience in minority and humility, he allowed the advice of the Church leaders to contribute moulding this family as it grew over the entire Europe and in missionary lands as far as China, and later to the American continent.
In 1517 pope Leo X divided the Franciscan family and called Friars Minor Conventual that section that from the very first century had implemented the popes’ call to renew Christian Europe by preaching, catechizing and administering the sacraments in large town churches, where the friars had continued spreading the message of ‘peace and goodness’. Others had been teaching both to young candidates to the Order and to students at large in the public and private schools which were erected in various countries.
In 1930 a small group of Conventual Friars left Italy for Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and (after an initial training in the languages and in the local customs of the area with the Missionaries of Africa in Northern Province) on 8 April 1931 settled on the outskirts of Ndola, since the Vatican “Propaganda Fide” (propagation of the Catholic faith) had entrusted to them the evangelization of the entire Copperbelt.
By 1938 they were assigned also the North-Western Province (then called Kasempa Province) and to that combined work contributed over the next 70 years nearly 200 Conventual Friars from Europe and United States of America, and even as far as from Japan.
On 19 July 1991 the first Conventual friars moved from the Franciscan House of Studies in Livingstone to the site where St. Bonaventure was still being built. The first few months were tough, but with the completion of the buildings, the beginning of classes, the cultivation of the vegetable garden, orchard, planting other trees and the introduction of animal husbandry, life became more manageable.
Today prayer, study, manual work and sport fill the daily life of the young student friars who arrive at Rivotorto friary, within the campus of St. Bonaventure University, for the three-year course in Philosophy and Franciscan Studies.
The present composition of the Conventual family stretches both to Western Africa and to Eastern and Southern Africa, with friars from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Angola, Zambia.
If you feel like experiencing our life, we repeat to you the words of our Lord: “Come and See”.
CMM Congregation of MarianHill
CP Congregation of Passionists
CSSP Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans, Holy Ghost)
FMBS Franciscan Missionary Brothers of Service
OMI Oblates of Mary Immaculate
The Oblates from the Zambia Delegation are found at Sancta Maria in Lukulu, St. Michael in Kalabo, St. Leopold in Shang’ombo and Oblate Radio Liseli as well as Jack Joyce Community both in Mongu. In Lusaka, they are found at Mary Immaculate Parish, Centre house, Delegation Administration Office and at the De Mazenod Formation House. In Southern province, they are found in Mazabuka and Livingstone. In Northern Province, they are found in Kasama. In Central province, thy are found in Kabwe. The OMI Zambia Delegation’s main apostolate is Missionary work, which is the reason they came to Zambia in the early 1980s, and celebrated their 25th anniversary in 1999. The Oblates work in areas where life is difficult and most of the people are extremely poor.
The Oblate Centre house in Lusaka was used as a distribution Centre, guest house as well as home base for the Oblates in Zambia. Today, it is the home of the Delegation Superior as the Administration Office has moved to 11 Ng’umbo Road.
The Oblates have a Formation House where a Pre-Novitiate programme is run. This Pre-Novitiate is located off St. Bonaventure Road, plot number 162, Makeni. They attend to philosophy studies for three years at St. Bonaventure University. The formation team is comprised of Frs. Patrick Gitzen, Chola Mumba and Christopher Phiri, OMI. Besides the formal lessons, the pre-novices also go through Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) where the students help out with patients in wards.
The Oblates are also into Mass Media in order to reach as many people as possible in their quest to evangelise and serve Western Province using Oblate Radio Liseli.
A number of programmes have been put in Place for the Youths who have been given a chance to take up leadership roles in the church in all Oblate parishes in Zambia.
Besides Missionary work, some Oblates like the late Fr. Jack Joyce, OMI, went round the country preaching retreats for different congregations. Other oblates worked with refugees while others were involved in educational activities.
OSB Order of St. Benedict
We are Benedictines of Saint Ottilien Congregation. Our founders here in Zambia came from Tanzania (Hanga monastery) and started a new community in Katibunga (Mpika diocese) on October 1, 1987. On 8th March 2021, the community numbered 34 monks.
Beda House was established here in Lusaka on the 8th December 2019 as a residence for Benedictine students of Katibunga and some of East African monasteries of our Congregation. For the moment 10 monks inhabit Beda House in Woodlands. Among these, 5 are students of St. Bonaventure University:
PSS Society of the Priests of St. Sulpice
The Society of St. Sulpice was founded in 1641 in Paris, France by Fr. Jean – Jacques Olier. This was during the period of serious reform and intense renewal for the Catholic Church in France. Olier believed that the reform and renewal of the Church in France would not be successful unless the priesthood was reformed and renewed. Near the end of 1641, he gathered a group of like-minded diocesan priests and established a seminary adjacent to the church of Saint -Sulpice and this group became known as the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice.
The Sulpicians are found in five continents and divided in three provinces: French province, Canadian province, and American province. The Zambian region falls under the American province and has presence in all Zambian diocesan seminaries beginning 1989, St. Anthony major seminary – Kachebere Malawi – 2018 and also, runs the formation house for students studying at St. Bonaventure college in Makeni – Lusaka from Gaborone diocese – Botswana since 2020 August.
Fr. Olier’s fundamental vision for formation is that the seminary community is to share one rule of life. The seminary is to be a single community of formators and seminarians in which the seminarians are invited into the life of the priests, to live with them and to live like them. What matters most in the Sulpician seminary is communicated in the formative relationship of life lived in common. Therefore, Sulpician life is dedicated to serving the renewal of the Church by promoting excellence in the formation of diocesan priests.
Honoring this long-standing missionary tradition, the American province of the Sulpicians came to Zambia under the guidance of Cardinal Josef Tomko, prefect of the Congregation for the Propagation of Faith then (1988), to beef up stability in the Zambian diocesan seminaries. Bishop Telesphore Mpundu, bishop director of seminaries by then facilitated the arrival of the Sulpicians in Zambia.
SAC Society of the Christian Apostolate (Pallottines)
‘Pallottines’ is the known name of ‘The Society of the Catholic Apostolate’ a Religious Congregation Priests, Brothers and Sisters. It was founded by St. Vincent Pallotti in 1835, Rome. Vincent Pallotti was born in 1795 and was a priest of the diocese of Rome. He was canonized on 20 January 1963 by Pope John XXIII. Pallottines endavour to conscientise every person to grow in the awareness to be Apostle of Jesus Christ. According to St. Vincent Pallotti every baptized person is called to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ. The Charism of the Society is to ‘Revive faith and enkindle charity’. The objective of the Society is to revive faith and charity in all Catholics and to diffuse these virtues throughout the entire world by employing all the possible means like prayers, evangelization, labours, or by other contributions. Pallottines do have their presence and apostolates over 55 countries all over the world. Pallottines are working in about 12 countries in Africa including South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Uganda. Pallottine Zambia Mission commenced in 2005 by the Indian Pallottine priests at the invitation of Late Cardinal Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, the then Archbishop of Lusaka. Pallottine Missionary Sisters of Catholic Apostolate belonging to the Mary Queen of Peace Province, England-Tanzania landed in Zambia in 2017. Pallottines in Zambia are mainly located in the Archdiocese of Lusaka and are engaged in Pastoral, Educational, Medical and Socio-charitable Apostolates. Pallottine formation house too is situated at Westwood, Lusaka.
SDB Salesians of Don Bosco
SM Society of Marianists
SVD Society of the Divine Word (Verbites)
DIOC. Diocesan Seminarians (of Gaborone)
Who is a diocesan priest?
A priest who commits himself to and is ordained for service of God’s people in a definite geographical area (a diocese) is called a diocesan priest
In addition to serving the day-to-day needs of people in parishes, diocesan priests may also serve in a variety of other capacities such as campus ministers, teachers, chaplains for hospitals or prisons, or in diocesan administration.
Who can become a diocesan priest?
A single man with average intelligence, emotional stability, good health and sincere interest in serving God’s people may qualify for the priesthood. He must have a sincere interest in people and a true love of the Roman Catholic Church and its teachings, as outlined by the Second Vatican Council and subsequent official Church documents. He should also be a person who is generous and looking for the challenge that comes in following the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church.
How long does it take to become a priest?
For a man considering the possibility of priesthood he must ultimately receive a bachelor’s degree and a graduate theology degree. The exact requirements are tailored to the situation of the individual but generally involve the candidate receiving substantial education in philosophy and theology, much of which is obtained at the seminary.
In the Diocese of Gaborone, seminarians start with one year of spiritual in Botswana then they proceed for philosophy here in St. Bonaventure University for three years while staying in St Kizito House of Formation just 3 minutes’ walk from the university and a theological seminary for four years at St Dominic Seminary. The years of training include significant times of discernment about the vocation to priesthood. Following this time of preparation and discernment, the Bishop may call the candidate to Ordination. Therefore the total years for formation are 8 years.
LAY Lay person