A reconstruction of the History of St. Andrews Roman Catholic Parish in an Evangelical stronghold of Kasempa District
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Through the qualitative research strategy and a survey design, the study reconstructs the history of St. Andrews Catholic Parish in an Evangelical stronghold. It reports challenges that the Catholic missionaries faced when opening the mission station and the contributions made towards the development of the people around St. Andrews Parish in Kasempa district. There has been no study or written history of St. Andrews Catholic Church in North-western Province. Thus, it was important that the history be written for posterity. This research is a continuation of efforts by individual Roman Catholics, clergy and lay, to document the Church’s histories in Zambia. It brings out the following salience: it was difficult to establish a mission station in Kasempa district by the Roman Catholic Church and St. Andrews was established after several attempts. The Catholic Church had initially abandoned the mission due to evangelical hostility,but returned after receiving government support.Despite several challenges, the mission established itself firmly and still exists amid many challenges. Nonetheless, the Parish contributes a lot to the welfare of the people in the area. The study found that St. Andrew’s Parish had, through its parish priests, initiated projects that aimed at mitigating the impact of poverty, HIV and AIDS, illiteracy and ignorance as well as underdevelopment of the area. One notable recent development has been the setting up of a radio station, which has produced discourses on civic matters such as citizens’ rights. The radio station has become a window for conscientization of the ‘voiceleless’ of Kasempa.The study has made some recommendations to St. Andrews Parish priests and to the diocese of Solwezi. But the researcher admits that it is easier to make suggestions than to state how those suggestions can be operationalised. The researcher is fully aware of the economic constraints of the diocese. Overall, the researcher is of the view that writing the Catholic Church’s histories by lay people like myself should be sustained if the Catholic Church’s history has to be told in full.This is not about the marvels the Church has done, but the existence of the Church in Zambia and the transition from western missionary dominance to local priests with some remnants of white missionaries most of whom are old.
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