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    Saturday, 24 September 2016

    2 bishops to honour founder of Serima Mission



    BATSIRANAYI NGUGAMA

    GUTU
    – Two Roman Catholic Bishops, Rt Rev Michael Dickson Bhasera and Rt Rev Xavier Munyongani are converging at Serima High this weekend (September 25, 2016) to honour the founder of one of the most renowned mission schools in the country.
    Hundreds of church members from throughout the country are also expected to join the two in the unveiling of Fr John Groeber, a selfless priest who single handedly built the school known for producing captains and leaders in all sectors of the economy. Ironically both bishops are former students of Serima High School. People who spoke to The Mirror said Serima High School remains an iconic institution for having produced two Bishops who lived at the same time.
    "Single handedly Fr Groeber constructed the mission that is a force to reckon with in this country with its products being captains of industry across the Globe.
    "Therefore, we would like to thank the Priest-In-Charge, Fr Kudakwashe Musvevereki and Serima High School Head Cyprian Dehwah for remembering the late priest," they said.
    The construction of Serima Mission started on a very shaky ground with the Chief of the area known as Chokoto being skeptical of Christianity.
    Fr John Groeber was born on May 24, 1903 in a village called Bacsel in Switzerland. He entered the Seminary of the SMB missionaries in Emmensee on October 12, 1930. He was ordained a priest on April 5, 1936 and started working for the mission on July 23, 1939. On June 24, 1939 he was assigned to Serima as a missionary. He died at the age of 69 in 1972 and buried at church ground at Serima Mission.
    At Serima, he stayed at Kanongovere Village at present primary school. He first met elders Chokoto, Chiradza, Zirasha, Bhegede among others. It is said Chokoto openly prohibited the starting of the church up to his death. Immediately after his death, he tormented the priest frequently reiterating his dislike of Catholicism.
    As a goblin, the two met at odd hours with Chokoto refusing to talk to the priest.
    Sources said the priest prayed Rosary all night around the place now Serima mission.
    Through prayer the priest realised that the deceased (Chokoto) was not in Heaven and still lingering on earth. At one stage, Fred Madzimure recalled Fr Groeber saying (Ndinokunamatira kuti Mwari Baba vakugamuchire kudenga) 'I pray for you to God Father in heaven to accept you there' (sic).
    The priest endured perilious moments, but remained vigilant in prayer, sacrifices, using incense, interceding for him to be accepted in heaven. The process took some time up until his appearances vanished. Thus when he started building a historical church flared with highly artistic and vivid biblical images of apostles and saints.
    The mission has seen thousands of people being educated, baptized and tourists flocking from the four corners of the world. Throughout his stay, he was a selfless, altruistic and philanthropic. His love for people saw him constructing a dispensary for people's medication, the church, priests' and sisters' house.
    Dehwah said the community owed so much to the late Fr Groeber as they depend directly or indirectly from the mission.
    "Personally, this is a legacy left by Fr Groeber and this tombstone is a token of appreciation. He is one man who changed the community and we cherish that.
    "Rt Rev Emeritus Munyanyi, Rt. Rev Bhasera and Rt. Rev Munyongani are expected to grace the occasion on September 25, 2016.
    "The latter however, was once deployed at the Mission as a priest before going abroad" said Dehwah.
    Meanwhile, thousands of people have confirmed that they will come to the historic function.local news
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