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African Delegation

The Friar Servants of Mary, United States of America Province has supported missionary activity in Africa since 1948.

The present Prefecture of Ingwavuma consists of the three large magisterial districts in the northeast corner of the Republic of South Africa; they are: Ingwavuma, Ubombo, and Hlabisa. In 1938, the Ingwavuma and Ubombo Districts were given to the Servites of the Tuscan Province in the ecclesiastical Vicariate of Swaziland. After the Second World War, Bishop Barneschi of Swaziland asked for and got three American Servites to help him; they were: Fr. Edwin Kinch, Fr. Michael Delahanty and Brother Tim Culhane.

In June of 1947, these three arrived in Swaziland and the following year moved to Ingwavuma to found a mission station there. Two more American Servites were sent to Swaziland in 1948, and they too moved to Ingwavuma during 1949. In 1950 a new mission station was started at Maputa, about 65 miles east of Ingwavuma, on the Indian Ocean Coast. During the following year, the Hlabisa District was given by the Bishop of Eshowe to the care of the American Servites and a mission was started there.

The Zululand foundation is presently composed of four mission communities: Hlabisa, where the Bishop lives and the Apostolate Vicariate cathedral is located; Ingwavuma, the initial foundation and the location of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrows which attracts a lot of people; Ngwanase, near the border of Mozambique, is the location of the Star of the Sea High School, a school that is held in very high esteem throughout South Africa; Mtubatuba, which has become the most important city of the zone; and Ubombo, home of the St. Alexis Mission.

The missions could always use your help. If you are interested in assisting the Servite missions, please contact the Servite Mission Procurator at:

Servite Provincial Center
3121 West Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60612-2729