Zimbabwean Bishop Highlights Inspiration from Two Papal Encyclicals at Installation

Bishop Rudolf Nyandoro of Zimbabwe Gweru Diocese during his installation at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru October 24.
Credit: Website Catholic Church News Zimbabwe.

At his installation over the weekend as the sixth Local Ordinary of Zimbabwe’s Gweru Diocese, Bishop Rudolf Nyandoro highlighted inspirations from two Papal Encyclicals including the most recent one of Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti.

In beginning his episcopal ministry in Gweru Diocese, Bishop Nyandoro who was, until the September 11 Papal transfer, shepherding the people of God in Zimbabwe’s Gokwe Diocese said during his Saturday, October 24 installation ceremony that the message of Pope Paul VI in his Encyclical, Populorum Progressio inspires his leadership strategy.

Looking toward his ministry in his new Diocese, the Zimbabwean Bishop said that he will strategize to achieve “progress in human development as prescribed by Pope Paul VI in his Encyclical Populorum Progressio that there is no development without the progress of people.”

Issued in March 1967, Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical focuses on “the development of the peoples” and underscores the need for the world economy to serve all human beings and not just a few of them.

For the 52-year-old Bishop, the progressive human development will only be achieved if the people of God in the Diocese adhere to the teachings of Pope Francis in his latest Encyclical, Fratelli Tutti.

To realize a progressive human development in Gweru Diocese, the Bishop said October 24, “we have to renew our vision of who we are to each other, a reality that Pope Francis addresses in his recent Encyclical Fratelli Tutti.”

“None of us is completely alone,” Bishop Nyandoro said referencing Fratelli Tutti and added, “We belong to each other; and may the progress we seek shun that which divides us for we are one family sharing a common origin and destiny.”

He therefore encouraged the Clergy who will be under his care to foster a collaborative spirit saying, “I call upon you to have a team spirit that helps us to work for the greater glory of God.”

“We have been entrusted to take care of God’s treasure. Let us be good stewards of all the people of God entrusted to our care,” Bishop Rudolf Nyandoro has been quoted as saying during his installation at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru October 24. 

He added, “May our stewardship also extend to the temporary goods of the Church availed to us for the sake of our mission.”

A Clergy of Masvingo Diocese, Bishop Nyandoro has succeeded the late Bishop Xavier Johnsai Munyongani who died in 2017.

The Diocese has been under the leadership of Bishop Michael Dixon Bhasera of Masvingo as Apostolic Administrator since 2017. 

Speaking during the Holy Mass celebrated in compliance with COVID-19 health restrictions, the Apostolic Nuncio in Zimbabwe, Archbishop Paolo Rudelli called on the people of God in Gweru Diocese to see their new Local Ordinary as a messenger from God guiding all “to eternal life.” 

“Please see always in him not a man in charge of the Diocese, the coordinator of pastoral life, the coordinator responsible for Catholic institutions, but see in him the shepherd that God himself through the Holy Father’s will has sent to you and will send to you every day in order to guide all of you to eternal life,” said Archbishop Rudelli. 

The Nuncio who, during the October 24 event, announced that Bishop Nyandoro will serve as the Apostolic Administrator of Gokwe Diocese, also called on the faithful in both Gokwe and Gweru Dioceses to accept the Prelate’s transfer.

“The move was an exchange of spiritual gifts in the Church,” the representative of the Holy Father in Zimbabwe said in reference to the transfer of Bishop Nyandoro from Gokwe to Gweru Diocese.

He cited Pope Francis’ address to Bishops from Mission Territories who were participating in a Seminar promoted by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in 2018 saying, “The Bishop does not live in the office like a company manager but among the people in the streets of the world like Jesus.”

“As a Bishop, you are called to recognize, foster and promote the different charisms that the Holy Spirit awakens in his Church,” the 50-year-old Italian-born Prelate told Bishop Nyandoro.

He went on to highlight members of the church of Gweru who have the “many and rich charisms” including “so many lay people, mothers, fathers, catechists, the religious brothers, sisters and the priests that are at the service of this church.” 

According to 2017 statistics, Bishop Nyandoro is expected to shepherd some 443,500 Catholics.


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