The advent of Mabvuku (St Fidelis Parish)
By the year 1952, the Jesuits began pastoral work in Mabvuku because through the government urbanisation program a new township had been opened there. This is probably the date when Mass was first celebrated in the new suburb (the the letter issued after the purchase of the new piece of land in 1955). At first Mabvuku was served from St Peter’s Mbare were Fr Henry Swift, SJ was parish priest assisted by Fr Francis Barr, SJ. Mabvuku officially became a parish in 1961 and was named after St Fidelis. It was served from Chishawasha Mission by Fr John Davies and assisted by Fr Francis Barr, SJ who worked from Mbare.
From 1965 Mabvuku was served from Silveira House, first by Fr Peter Kavuma, SJ (1965-7), then by Fr Raymond Kapito SJ (1968-71), then by Fr Gilbert Modikakyi SJ (1971-1773). Fr Gerald Finnieston SJ (1974-8) then took over, operating from Chishawasha Mission.
Some of the brothers who worked in Mabvuku at that time included Br Franscis Fitsimmons. He was based at Silveira House (1967-1974) and ran a youth club at Mabvuku during this time, noted for its soccer and drama group. Br Fidelis Mukonori (who is now a priest and grew up in Mabvuku in the 1950s) remembers that he came to Mabvuku in 1967 and continued the youth work. He brought them from the council rooms were they used to meet and made efforts to integrate them into parish structures. Fr Mukonori also remembers the contribution of Fr Alois Nyanhete who introduced the youth guilds of Alois and Agnes in the earlier years. These guilds, according to him, were meant to occupy the idle youths.
[More to come]