Chapter

“The Struggle Approximated to the Heroic”: African Catholic Women Becoming Nuns in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1922–1965

Nicholas M. Creary

in Domesticating a Religious Import

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233342
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241774 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823233342.003.0003
“The Struggle Approximated to the Heroic”: African Catholic Women Becoming Nuns in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1922–1965

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In August 1965, the community of the Little Children of our Blessed Lady (or LCBL Sisters) at Hwedza asked Sister Rocha Mushonga to accompany Sister Ancilla, their delegate to the congregation's first general chapter, as a secretary. Thus began the indigenization of the LCBL Sisters' leadership. This chapter describes how small groups of soft-spoken yet resolute groups of African women became nuns. The stories and experiences of these African nuns clearly shows them as agents taking some measure of control over their lives, and their actions had significant effects on African culture as well as on the relations between European administrators and missionaries. These were not merely passive, docile women who did what they were told to do by parents, priests, or politicians. Rather, they defied their parents and their culture. African men's actions also contributed to the forging of a new Southern Rhodesian colonial social practice.

Keywords: LCBL Sisters; African women; nuns; European administrators; missionaries

Chapter.  15330 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Religion

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