• Short Summary

    The Roman Catholic Seminary for Africans at Kacebere is situated four miles from Fort Manning, Nyasaland, exactly on the boundary with Northern Rhodesia.

  • Description

    The Roman Catholic Seminary for Africans at Kacebere is situated four miles from Fort Manning, Nyasaland, exactly on the boundary with Northern Rhodesia.

    It is among the most imposing and beautiful groups of buildings in the Federation and certainly an inspiring sight in the middle of the African bush on the side of Kalulu (rabbit) Hill.

    The true marvel of this vast edifice becomes apparent when it is realized that it was designed and built in five years by only two White Brothers, both truly skilful, but neither qualified as builders. Only raw African labour was used, taught by the Brothers and recruited from the local villages. As many as two hundred were employed, housed and fed each month during the building operations.

    To start with, the whole side of steep Kalulu Hill was excavated and levelled off by hoes and wheel barrows. All the essential materials came from the earth and surrounding bush. Five million bricks and 250,000 tiles were hand made, fired and burnt in the mission's own kilns. Although used in the foundations, no cement was used as mortar in the construction. Each brick was laid in mud, locally known as 'metope', and at a later date, pointed with cement.

    All the timber used in the buildings and furniture was felled and hewn from local trees. Every chair, table, door and piece of furniture for the vast number of rooms in the Seminary was made by the Fathers and a number of Africans which they had taught in their carpenters' shop.

    They also made and carved each of the beautiful pews and the altar in the Chapel, and the Crucifix was created by a Grey Nun. The lovely alter rug, in the shape of a 'f', was hand made by the Father Superior and measures fifteen feet in length and thirty feet across the tee section.

    The site was originally a Mission Station, founded in 1903. In 1912, a Church was built by the White Fathers and is still in use for the local people.

    Although the new Seminary was only completed in 1954, Kacebere has been established as a Seminary for Africans since 1949 and the old buildings are now occupied by Grey Nuns. Fifty Africans have so far been ordained as priests in the Seminary and are serving in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

    The African students have to pass the Cambridge Certificate before being accepted by the Seminary and they undergo identical training and teaching during their eight years of residence as would any other Roman Catholic priest in Europe or elsewhere in the world.

    Kacebere Seminary was the scene of the Roman Catholic Church Conference held just lately when criticism was levelled at the Federal Governments Policy towards Federation.

    Three Arch-Bishops and fifteen Bishops attended and it was the first time that the highest R.C. Church dignitaries of the Federation had congregated in Nyasaland.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
    Black & White
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