General Councillor Named Bishop in Zambia
Article By Fr. Jim Allen, OMI, Bio taken from from an OMI Zambia Special Bulletin
| L-R Bishop Evans Chinyemba, OMI
Rev. Sekula Mpundu Godfrey, OMI
On February 15, the Holy See announced the appointment of Fr. Evans Chinyemba, OMI as Bishop of Mongu in Zambia. On September 30, 2010, the 35th General Chapter had elected him General Councillor for the Region of Africa-Madagascar. He succeeds Bishop Paul Duffy, OMI who has served as the first Bishop of Mongu since 1997. Bishop Duffy had submitted his resignation when he turned 75 in 2007, but the Holy See asked him to continue his ministry for a few more years.
The new bishop was born in 1967 in Lukulu, Western Province, Zambia. His first profession of vows was in 1994. After attending the International Scholasticate in Rome, he was ordained in 2000. Prior to being named superior of the Delegation of Zambia in 2009, he worked in parish ministry for a few years. Most of his ministry has been in formation, serving as Formation Director of the delegation and as director of the pre-novitiate program in Lusaka. Besides speaking several Zambian languages, he speaks English and Italian.
The Diocese of Mongu, established in 1997, covers some 87,000 square kilometres in western Zambia, with a population of over 620,000; of these, approximately 10% are Catholics.
The Oblate presence in Zambia continues to grow. In this delegation of the United States Province, at the beginning of 2011, there were 73 members, including 49 scholastics.
In conformity with the Oblate Constitutions and Rules, the Superior General in Council, acting collegially, will choose a new General Councillor for the Africa-Madagascar Region.
Get to know Bishop Evans Chinyemba
Fr. Evans Chinyama Chinyemba was born on August 19, 1967, in Lukulu Western Province of Zambia. He hails from Sancta Maria Oblate Mission in Lukulu. He first met the Oblates the year they arrived in Zambia in 1984. As a young man he became attracted to Oblate way of life and later entered the pre-novitiate formation program in Lusaka, in January 1991. Having spent two years at the pre-novitiate, he proceeded to enter Our Lady of Hope novitiate in Johannesburg, South Africa.
On January 25, 1993 he was officially received into the novitiate. On February 5, 1994, he made his first Oblation. After the novitiate, Fr. Chinyemba proceeded to the Scholasticate community, in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. He spent two and half years at St. Joseph’s Scholasticate for his Oblate formation and while enrolled at St. Joseph’s Theological Institute doing his philosophical and theological studies. In June 1996, he was sent to Rome, Italy to continue his formation program and at the same time continuing his theological and philosophical studies at the Gregorian University.
He made his final Oblation on January 6, 1999, in Rome. On April 17, 1999, he was admitted to the order of Diaconate. In June, 1999, he completed his studies at the Gregorian University and later returned to Zambia. Upon arrival in Zambia in June 1999, he was assigned to the pre-novitiate community in Lusaka with added pastoral ministry at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Chilenje compound. In the first part of 2000, he went to St. Joseph’s Scholasticate to do some pastoral courses. On August 19, 2000 he was ordained to the priesthood at Sancta Maria Catholic Church in Lukulu, Western Province.
He received his obedience for United States Province/Delegation of Zambia, his first assignment being at the pre-novitiate. In the years 2001 and 2002, he was sent to do a course on formation at the Institute of Religious Formation, in Chicago, USA. He is fluent in the following languages; Luvale, Silozi, English and Italian. For the past 11 years, Fr. Evans has been involved in ministries, both in Zambia, and elsewhere serving the Oblates and the Catholic Church in general.