Employing the missiological theory of Henry Venn (1796-1873) and Rufus Anderson (1796-1880) on indigenisation of churches, this article explores the lived experiences of black Zambian Catholic clergymen, nuns, catechists and lay people at some of the mission stations that were once in the hands of Missionaries of Africa, popularly known as White Fathers, from 1891to1991 in the Archdiocese of Kasama and Diocese of Mpika. To write about the White Fathers from the point of view of our interviewees accords us an auspicious opportunity to pay tribute to Fr. Hugo Hinfelaar to whom this article and this particular issue of the Zambia Journal of Social Sciences is dedicated. Having arrived in Zambia as a young Dutch White Father missionary in 1958, Fr. Hinfelaar desired to understand the culture of the Bemba people among whom he was working. He, therefore, became a serious field worker – an anthropologist, historian and theologian. He retired and returned home in 2014, after having contributed to the efforts of indigenising the Catholic Church’s clergy and inculturation of the Catholic faith in the country. The article demonstrates that the indigenisation of Kasama and Mpika Dioceses was incomplete. This is because, of the “three selves”: self-propagating church, self-sustaining church and self-governing church in the indigenisation theory, the self-sustaining church has not been realised according to the respondents, although some of them spoke of the White Fathers having accomplished their mission. This article proposes a reengagement with the discourse of ‘self-sustainability’ which has largely been abandoned by local Catholic theologians. However, it is now an issue which has become all too apparent to be ignored as the Catholic Church becomes more and more indigenised, at least in terms of its clergy. This article proposes a new theme in Church history in Zambia, namely, the localisation of the personnel and self-sustainability in the Catholic Church in Zambia.
Tambatamba, Anthony B.; Cheyeka, Austin M.; and Milingo, Tomaida C.
"From “White Fathers” to “Black Fathers” in Kasama and Mpika Dioceses in Zambia,"
Zambia Social Science Journal: Vol. 7
, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/zssj/vol7/iss2/3