Fr Cosmas Mwanjabala, the Moderator of the newly opened Livingstonia Parish, celebrated the first Mass at Vunguvungu on 9th July 2017. As the first Mass, it was a historic event for the Christian community of Vunguvungu because this is the place that has been identified to be the parish centre for Livingstonia Parish. Existing at Vunguvungu at the moment is just a small Christian community which is still part of Livingstonia Outstation Church.
About 150 people, both Catholics and non-Catholics attended the Mass that was celebrated in the open because there is no Church building. About 30 were children between 5 and 12 years while the rest were of teenage and adults. In his homily, Fr Mwanjabala stressed the need not to be too anxious on how the people will build the new parish of Livingstonia, now still a sub-parish. Rather, they should trust that God will see them through this noble project. He urged the people of Livingstonia Outstation, in general, and the people of Vunguvungu, in particular, to be more united now than before. “Continue be instruments of peace. Just be humble and docile to the Holy Spirit who will guide our efforts to work for peace and build our parish very well” said Fr Mwanjabala.
Fr Mwanjabala also baptized one infant, Costas Odilo, during the Eucharistic Celebration. Vunguvugnu as an area has very few baptized Catholics. Many are still catechumens, attending their catechetical lessons so that they are later baptized
Also present at this Eucharistic Celebration were traditional leaders led by Principle Group Village Headman (P.G.V.H) Mwembe. It is PGVH Mwembe who gave the land for the parish centre in Vunguvungu to the Church. In his speech after Mass, PGVH Mwembe said that though he is not Catholic, as a traditional leader, he is open to all churches that come into the area to work towards saving people. He said: “We, chiefs and churches work with the same people. Our work is complimentary.”
As a way of nurturing this small Christian community, church leaders of Livingstonia Outstation have decided to continue holding Sunday liturgy at Vunguvungu, once every month until the community grows stronger and can stand on their own. This is the nucleus of the would-be parish centre for Livingstonia Parish which now operates as a Sub-Parish of St. Anne’s Parish.