The Republic of Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. It has borders with many countries: with DRC to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The capital is Lusaka. The country was a British protectorate in colonial times, when it was known as Northern Rhodesia. It won independence on 24 October 1964. The country is known for its copper mining and also for agriculture and hydro-electirc power generation. The renowned Victoria Falls are in the south west of the country forming part of the border with Zimbabwe and are a popular tourist destination. The population is about 14 million.
St. Patrick's Missionaries in Zambia
In December 1969, Fr Denis Newman, then Apostolic Administrator of Nakuru and Fr Alfie Byrne, who had worked previously in Nigeria, visited a number of dioceses in Central Africa which had made requests for Society priests.
As a result, in September 1973 the Society sent four priests to the Archdiocese of Lusaka in Zambia, which had been evangelized by the Jesuits. Frs Peter Finegan, Frank Taylor and Brendan McCarron took charge of two parishes in the city - one of them the Cathedral parish - while Fr Michael Murphy was appointed to a secondary school at Isoka, 600 miles away. The Society later took on another city parish and two rural parishes as more men became available.
Church in St Oscar's Parish, Petauke, Zambia.
Fr PJ Breen and a hospital patient. Visiting hospitals and prisons is an important part of pastoral outreach.
Fr Emmanuel Sunkutu was the first Zambian priest to be ordained for the Society. He is seen here with Fr Martin Mulholland on his Ordination Day in 2012.
Progress on the building of the church in St Faustina's Parish in Lusaka.
A woman hoeing in her farm. Hard work in the sun!
The road to Petauke from Lusaka, taken by very many St Patrick's Missionaries. It is not always in such good condition!
Further expansion occurred in 1975 when Frs Ned Ryan and Billy Feerick started work in Chipata Diocese. To begin with, our members worked closely with the White Fathers (later known as Missionaries of Africa) who had been in the diocese before our arrival. From 1978, with the arrival of Irish volunteer priests from the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, we were able to move into our own parishes.
Emmanuel Sunkutu, the first Zambian member of St Patrick's Missionary Society, was ordained in 2012.