Golden Jubilee 2023 - August 2023
We join our members and the local Church in Zambia in thanking God on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee Celebration of missionary work by St Patrick's Missionary Society in Zambia. Our priests arrived in the Archdiocese of Lusaka in 1973 and went to the Diocese of Chipata in 1975. We have been involved in building the local church, pastoral work and education over the years.
We are grateful to all our priests who have served selflessly in Zambia over those 50 years witnessing to the Gospel of the love of Christ. We remember in a special way our deceased members who worked in Zambia: Julian Connolly, Billy Feerick, Eugene O’Reilly, John McLaughlin, Pat Faherty, Tommy Leahy, Peter Hegarty and Tony Sheerin. May God continue to shower them with the love they helped spread on this earth. We are also grateful to all Volunteer priests from different dioceses in Ireland and Africa who generously worked with our members in Zambia over these years.
Our priests currently minister in four parishes in the Archdiocese of Lusaka. We have 7 Society members from Zambia.
The Golden Jubilee Mass was celebrated on August 9th, 2023 at our Society House, Foxdale, Lusaka. The main celebrant was Most Rev. Dr Alick Banda, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Lusaka at our Society House, Foxdale, Lusaka.
May God continue to bless the Church in Zambia and the missionary presence of our members working there.
To view a short report on the 50th Anniversary celebrations in Zambia and the Priestly Ordination of Fr Emmanuel Kasonde SPS please click on the following link:
Fr Joe Archibong SPS interviewed three St Patrick's Missionaries who have worked in Zambia.
Interview with Fr PJ Breen SPS: Click Here
Interview with Fr Michael Murphy SPS: Click Here
Interview with Fr Martin McGowan SPS: Click Here
Fr Joe also interviewed Bishop Gabriel Msipu, Auxiliary Bishop of Chipata Diocese Zambia:
Interview with Bishop Gabriel Msipu: Click here
St. Patrick's Missionaries in Zambia
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.
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 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.