Catholic Bishop-Elect in Zimbabwe Pledges to Foster “self-reliance, true local church”

Mons. Eusebius Jelous Nyathi, Bishop Elect of Gokwe Diocese. Credit: Catholic Church News Zimbabwe

The Bishop-elect of Zimbabwe’s Catholic Diocese of Gokwe has underscored the need to strengthen a self-reliant and “true local church) in the country, noting that the vision of the Zimbabwean Diocese under his leadership will be crafted and implemented by the people of God.

In an interview with Zimbabwe’s Catholic Church News published on Tuesday, July 25, Mons. Eusebius Jelous Nyathi, says the Church would only move forward through the use of local resources, even as he acknowledged the support from external partners.

“We really need to emphasize being a true local church which is self-supporting, self-sustaining and self-propagating in nature. We need to continue growing and reaching out to others becoming missionaries to our own people and to others. Self-reliance is key to the growth of the local Church,” Mons. Nyathi says.

Pledging to always put the people of God under his pastoral care at the forefront of Gokwe Diocesan initiatives, he says, “I would not want to give false hope. I need to understand the context first so as to understand who we are. The vision of the diocese has to come from the people of Gokwe; priests, religious and the faithful and together we will find our way forward.”

The Zimbabwean Catholic Bishop-elect, who was appointed Bishop on June 23 further promises to work to sustain unity and peace in the Diocese, respecting all people despite their cultural and tribal backgrounds.


He says, “It is the mission of the Church to make Christ present there. We have to find ways of how we can be a living Church in Gokwe. My commitment there is to continue with the mission of Christ.”

The Bishop-elect further expresses his understanding of Synodality, noting that it is something that has been there since the beginning of the Church, and an aspect in which the Church had distinguished herself in.

“As the local Church, I think we have done our best. However, we need to continue to enhance platforms of engagement with everyone. Platforms that allow for listening and participation of all so that no one is left behind. We need to bring an experience of unity and help people to understand that it is not only the task of certain people or the ordained but everyone has a role to play,” Mons. Nyathi says in the report that Br. Alfonce Kugwa.

He discourages all forms of competition in the Church highlighting the need for inclusive participation that facilitates growth towards spiritual maturity.

“The Church is big enough to accommodate everyone and there is no need to waste time concentrating on unnecessary competition,” the Bishop-elect who will turn 49 on August 2 says.

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He adds that his concern is to bring people together under the umbrella of Christianity where all are brothers and sisters regardless of one’s tribe or cultural background.

“The issue of tribes or cultural background should not arise at all. Our task is to go and plant the Gospel among all cultures. Everyone is invited to the Church and nobody should be left out,” he says in the report published July 25.

Born in in Hwange, a town in northwestern Zimbabwe, Mons. Nyathi was ordained a Priest in 2004 and proceeded to hold many posts in the Diocese of Hwange including Vice-Rector and Rector of Hwange Minor Seminary, and Parish Priest of St. Mary’s Parish. In 2011, he went to study Dogmatic Theology in Tenerife, Spain, where he obtained a licentiate.

Upon his return from further studies, Mons. Nyathi was assigned to Chishawasha National Major Seminary as formator and lecturer in 2015 and was appointed Vice Rector in 2016 before he landed the post of Rector in 2022. 

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