Brief history of the Catholic Church in Zambia
|1795||Portuguese Expedition into Zambia from Tete
(Mozambique) into the Luangwa valley onto the escarpment near Mpika, then
across the Chambers river near Seaway towards Kazan in the Lapful
valley. This expedition, led by the Brazilian Astronomer Dr. Lacerta and
his chaplain Father Pinto, was seen as an exploration of the Northern
parts of the Zambezi “Sui Juris” Mission, entrudted to the Portuguese by
the pope. The Eucharist was celebrated every morning. On the way back from
Kazembe the expedition was ambushed by Bisa warriors near Chungu in the
Luwingu district. All sacred objects and the remains of Lacerda himself
who has died near Kazembe were lost and scattered about.
|1830||A more successful expedition by the Portuguese
Gamitto via the same trade route.
|1881-1885||Three unsuccessful attempts by the Jesuit Fathers
from the southern Zambezi Mission to establish a foothold across the
Zambezi river in Zambia. During one of these crossings the boat overturned
near Lusu rapids above the Sioma-Ngonya falls at Sesheke. A Brother was
drowned. A steel cross can still be seen as a memorial.
The Fathers founded a mission below the
|1891||White Fathers settled at old Mambwe along the
newly constructed Stevenson Road that connected Lake Malawi at Kalonga
with Lake Tanganyika at Mpulungu and formed the border between Zambia and
Tanzania. After an unsuccessful 5 years stay at Mponde (Malawi) they had
traveled North via Lake Malawi. First negotiations by Fr. Van Oost with
Chief Makasa of the Memba about the future establishments took place at
that time. Fr. Van Oost died and was buried at Mambwe Mwela.
|1895||Formation of Kayambi, near the capital of Senior
Chief Makasa by Fr. Joseph Dupont. The area was dedicated to Mary Queen of
the Angels. Many of the first Christians were young people, redeemed from
slavery and whose parents could not be traced.
|12/2/1897||Joseph “Moto-Moto” Dupont was appointed first
Vicar Apostolic of the Vicariate of Nyassa. This comprised the present day
Luapula Northern and Eastern Province and the whole of Malawi.
|24/10/1898||Mwamba III Mubanga Cipoya, one of the paramount
chiefs of the Bemba receives and accepts the protection of Bwana Moto-Moto
Dupont while dying in his capital Mirungu, near Kasama.
|6/1899||Foundation of the mission-enclave Chilubula
(=Redemption, Liberation) and dedicated to Queen Mary, Help of the
Christians. First capital See of Bishop Joseph Dupont.
|10/1899||Foundation of Chilonga by Fr. Molinier. The
Mission, in the Bemba/Bisa area of Mpika is dedicated to Our Lady of
|1903||Foundation of a mission of the Bisa on the
Chilubi Island in the Bangweulu invite the missionaries to settle among
them. Foundation of Lubwe Mission, dedicated to St. Joseph.
|1905||First mission among the Lungu, northwest of
Kasama. The Foundation is dedicated to St. Leo.
Fist establishments by Jesuit Fathers among the
First foundation among the the Tonga on the
|1910||Foundation of Chibote, Our Lady of Peace.|
|1911||Bishop J. “Moto-Moto” Dupont leaves for Thibar in
Tunisia (North Africa) where he died and was buried.
|1912||Foundation of Katondwe, near Feira (Luangwa) by
the Jesuit Fathers, dedicated to the Holy Spirit.
|1913||Consecration of Bishop Etienne Larue, successor of
Division of the huge Vicariate of Nyassa. The
|1914||Outbreak of the First World War in Europe.|
|1922||Foundation of Malole, near the capital of the
Bemba Paramount Chief Chitimukulu. Dedicated to Mary, Mediatrix of all
Establishment pf the St. Francis the Sales Parish
Foundation of Rosa Mission, to the north of
|1923||First parish in the mining town of Kaye, dedicated
to the Sacred Heart.
First Mission in the eastern part of Zambia:
|17/10/1927||The vast areas of the Southern, Western and
North-Western, Central and Copperbelt Provinces are finally separated from
the Vicariate of Zambezi in Harare. The Prefecture Apostolic of Broken
Hill (Kabwe) is erected with as first Prefect Apostolic the Reverend Bruno
|1931||Lufubu Mission in the Luapula Valley.
The territories of Livingstone and Barotseland are
|1931||The first minor seminary is opened and a mission, dedicated to St. Joseph,
is established at Lubushi, west of Kasama.
The Capuchins of the Broken Hill Vicariate assist to establish a parish at
Arrival of a team of Franciscan Conventuals from Italy. They establish themselves
|1932||Foundation of Masala (Holy Trinity), Luanshya (Immaculate Conception),
Kalumbwa (St. Joeseph) by the Conventuals, in Ndola; Kabunda, near Mwansa (St. Stephan)
by the White Fathers and Loanja by the Capuchins, among the Lozi.
|23/5/1933||The North East is separated from the Vicariate of Bangweulu and erected as a Mission Sui Juris, administered
by Fr. van Sambeek, W.F.
Foundation of the Sacred Heart Parish in Kitwe.
|1934||Fr. van Sambeek establishes missions at Ilondola (Maria Magdalena de Puzzi), in Chinsali
district and at Chalabesa (St. Joseph) among the Bisa in the Mpika District
Establishment of Ibenga (St. Theresa) by the Franciscan Conventuals
|1935||Foundations: Lwena, Holy Family (Kasama); Mulobola, John of the Cross (Kasama); Mapula,
St. Francis de Sales (near Mwansa) by the White Fathers, Lukulu by the Capuchins.
Bishop Larue of the Vicariate of Bangweulu resignes and is succeeded by Bishop Alexander
|1936||The erection of a new Prefecture Apostolic, separated from Broken Hill Prefecture, with
as Vicar Apostolic Fr. Killian Flynn (OFMCap).
Foundations: Chassa, St. Peter and Paul, by the White Fathers from Nyassa (Malawi)
Establishment of Katibunga, Christ the King (Mpika) and Mulilansolo near Isoka,
A new mission at Shicili in the vicariate of Livingstone and a parish at Roan, Section 1,
|1937||Erection of Fort Jameson (Chipata) as Prefecture, now independent from the Vicariate
Apostolic of Nyassa in Malawi. The first Bishop is Fr. Martin, W.F.
The birth of St. Ignatius Parish in Lusaka
|1/7/1937||The Lwangwa Sui Juris Mission becomes the Vicariate of Lwangwa with as Bishop the Right
Reverend J. Horst, W.F.
|1938||Erection of the Prefecture of Ndola with Bishop F. Mazzieri (OFMConv) as Vicar Apostolic,
separated from te Broken Hill Vicariate.
Foundations: Msupadzi, Our Lady of Assumption (Chipata); Mporokoso, Our Lady, Queen of Peace (Kasama);
|1939||Foundations: Lumezi, Our Lady of Victory (Chipata); Regiment Parish, St. Francis Xavier (Lusaka); Mulanga
Mission, St. Peter Claver, among the Bisa in Chinsali (Mbala); Kantenshi Parish, St. Lawrence (Ndola).
|1940||Foundations: Maramba Parish, Christ the King (Livingstone); Mufulira, St. Patrick (Ndola).|
|1941||Foundations: Kalala, St. Francis, near Solwezi (Ndola).|
|1942||Foundations: Kasaba (Mansa), dedicated to St. Margaret.|
|1943||Foundations: Wasukile Parish, St. Francis (Ndola).|
|1944||Foundations: Mikomfwa, Anthony of Padua (Ndola).|
|1964||Foundations: Ipusukilo, Sacred Heart (Kasama); Msakaluba, Our Lady of Victory (Mansa); Chingola,
St. Peter and Paul (Ndola).
The Prefecture of Broken Hill moves its headquarters to Lusaka.
|1947||Fr. Courtemanche succeeds Mgr. Martin as Bishop of Fort Jameson (Chipata).|
|1948||Fr. J. van den Biessen succeeds Mgr. J. Horst as Vicar Apostolic of the Lwangwa Vicariate.
Foundations: Chikowa, Our Lady (Chipata); Ngwena, Our Lady of Assumption (Ndola).
|1949||Fr. M. Daubechies follows Mgr. A. Roy as Vicar Apostolic of Bangweulu.
Ndola becomes a Vicariate.
|1950||Livingstone becomes a Vicariate with as Vicar Apostolic Mgr. T. O’Shea.
Lusaka is made a Vicariate with as Vicar Apostolic Mgr. Adam Kozlowiecki, S.J.
Foundations: Lumimba, Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Chipata); St. John’s Parish at Kasama; Chilanga,
|1952||The Prefecture of Mansa is established with Fr. Rene Pallioux as first Prefect Apostolic.|
|1953||Fort Jameson (Chipata) is raised to the status of Vicariate Apostolic.
Foundations: Kanyanga and Nyinga (Chipata); Sioma (Livingstone); Bwacha Parish (Lusaka); Kapiri Mposhi (Lusaka);
|1954||Foundations: Chinyingi (Livingstone); Matero Parish (Lusaka); Misangwa Ndubeni (Ndola).|
|1955||Foundations: Zambezi (Livingtone); Mansa Cathedral, The Assumption of Our Lady (Mansa).|
|1956||Foundations: Mandevu (Lusaka); Kawambwa (Mansa); Chifubu (Ndola); Kabushi (Ndola); Lubengele (Chilalabombwe, Ndola).|
|1957||Foundations: Kafue (Lusaka); Choma (Monze); Kalulushi (Ndola)|
|1958||Foundations: Kabwata (Lusaka); Railway Kabwe (Lusaka); Mindolo (Ndola).|
|1959||Structure of Hierarchy
Chipata, Kasama, Livingstone, Lusaka, Mbala and Ndola become dioceses.
The Solwezi Prefecture is separated from Ndola Diocese: R. Hillerich (OFMConv) becomes the first
Foundations: Kalomo (Monze), Lumulanga (Livinstone), Roan Section II (Ndola), Mwinilunga (Solwezi).
Also at this time the Cathedral of Solwezi, St. Daniel, was built.
In the Abercorn (Mbala) Diocese, the Rt. Reverend A. Fürstenberg succeeds Bishop van den Biessen.
|1960||Foundations: Nsombo, St. James (Kasama) and Nalionwa, St. Michael (Livingstone).
During the following period (1960-1985) a host of new parishes were established mainly in the
|1961||Mansa becomes a Diocese|
|1962||The new Diocese of Monze is formed. It was formerly the southern part of the Diocese of Lusaka. The Right
Reverend James Corboy is the first Bishop.
|1965||The new Bishop of Kasama is Archbishop C. Chabukashana|
|1969||The new Bishop of Lusaka is Archbishop E. Milingo|
|1970||The new Bishop of Chipata is Bishop M. Mazombwe
The new Bishop of Solwezi is Bishop S. A. Potani
|1971||The new Bishop of Mansa is Bishop E. Mutale|
|1974||The new Bishop of Livingstone is Bishop A. Mung’andu|
|1975||The new Bishop of Ndola is Bishop D. de Jong.|
|1977||Solwezi becomes a Diocese.|
|1986||Bishop T.G. Mpundu becomes the new Bishop of Mbala Diocese.|
|The College of Bishops, called the Zambia Episcopal Conference, was established around Independence and
the Catholic Secretariat was opened in 1965.