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On Saturday 21st November, the Zimbabwean Chaplaincy led a nationwide online event to celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. Zimbabwean Catholics living across the UK joined together for a virtual day of celebration, which included prayers, the Rosary, guest speakers, music, testimonies, as well as children and youth presentations. The day culminated in the Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of Christ The King.

An estimated number of more than 600 members, across 345 devices (inclusive of families), congregated on Zoom. The event brought together participants from across the whole country, as well as three guest speakers from the UK, Italy and Poland. The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ has always been a highlight on the calendar for this vibrant community and the pandemic did nothing to dampen the celebratory mood.

The Chaplain of the Zimbabwean Catholic Chaplaincy, Fr John Mudereri, started the day with a welcome address which focused on the Bishops’ Conference dedicated theme for 2020 and 2021, ‘The God who Speaks’. Bishop Paul McAleenan, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, with national oversight for Ethnic Chaplaincies, delivered a reflection on what God is saying to us in this pandemic.

The children, youth, young couples and adults shared scriptures relating to Christ The King. The inspiring presentations and vibrant liturgical music were in most of the Zimbabwean languages such as Ndebele, Shona, Nambia, Tonga, Venda, alongside English. Ample periods of contemplative reflections, personal testimonies and sacred music punctuated the prayerful programme.

Speaking about the day of celebration, Fr John Mudereri said: ‘It is a true testament of God’s faithfulness in the face of calamity. As families, we continue to keep our relationship alive in God, by sharing our Sacraments virtually. When everything else seems to have failed, we continue to have faith, hope, and trust in God.

‘The community was appreciative of the day and as one congregant noted, “Christ is with us, even virtually! It was certainly a spiritually edifying day!” Despite the pandemic, the celebration was a great enrichment.’

Image shows detail of the apsidal mosaic in St Paul's Cathedral, London. Image credit: Fr Lawrence Lew OP.