Bishop Nyathi of the Catholic Diocese of Gokwe, Zimbabwe was urged to be a good shepherd who loves and listens to the people he leads. This was said by Fr. Jabulani Nyoni, Vicar General of Hwange Diocese, during Bishop Nyathi’s thanksgiving mass on 4 November 2023, at Marian Shrine in Hwange.
In his speech, Fr. Nyoni said, “Go and be a good bishop who humbles himself and loves the people of Gokwe who have been put in your hands. I want to remind Bishop Nyathi that being a good bishop means developing a listening character. Open your ears to the people you are ministering to and be patient with them,” hinted Fr. Nyoni.
Bishop Raphael Ncube of Hwange Diocese appreciated the role of catechists in inculcating Christian values and building Christian communities. He said Bishop Nyathi was a product of catechists who nurtured his faith since childhood. “This bishop came out of the hands of catechists who nurtured his faith. Today is the opportunity to thank the catechists who formed him for their work, for this is a result of their effort,” Bishop Ncube said. In the same vein, Bishop Nyathi paid tribute to Fr. Tim Peacock as the first priest he approached upon deciding to join consecrated life in 1985. Narrating his spiritual journey, Bishop Nyathi said: “Many people doubted if it was a genuine vocation. But here we are today, celebrating his goodness.”
Bishop Nyathi thanked Archbishop Robert Ndlovu who ordained him both as a priest and consecrated him as Bishop Gokwe. Speaker after speaker thanked the family for the gift of Bishop Nyathi for raising a person who emerged to be a leader in the church.
Fr. Trust Mwembe, a representative of the Hwange Diocesan Clergy, urged the people of Gokwe to work closely with Bishop Nyathi for the development of their diocese. He told them that Bishop Nyathi would lead them to greener pastures if they worked together. Bishop Ncube urged Bishop Nyathi to seek help with the other bishops, who should also pray for and guide him in his work. The thanksgiving mass was attended by Chief Hwange, priests from Zambia, Botswana, Gokwe, and other dioceses in Zimbabwe, as well as laity from Gokwe and Hwange Dioceses.
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