By A Correspondent| Bulawayo recently paid tribute to Ignatius Arnoz, the inaugural Catholic Bishop of the city, through a lecture and tour that drew over two hundred attendees.
Ignatius Arnoz, a Czech prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, who entered priesthood on July 25, 1910, as a member of the Mill Hill Missionaries, was appointed Senior of the then Mission “Sui Iuris” of Bulawayo in 1931.
During her presentation at the Catholic Archdiocese of Bulawayo, Dr. Marie Imbrová highlighted a historic moment from May 30, 1937, when Czech newspapers buzzed with the news of Mons Dr. Ignatius Arnoz’s appointment as Vicar Apostolic in Bulawayo, capturing the solemnity of his ordination vow.
“Mons Dr. Ignatius Arnož is appointed Vicar Apostolic in Bulawayo. Kneeling, his right hand on the Gospel Book, the future church official is taking his ordination vow,” said Dr. Imbrova.
The event was also attended by distinguished guests, including Mr. Michal Novak, Second Secretary of the Czech Republic Embassy in Lusaka and featured a Mass service led by Archbishop Alex Thomas Kaliyanil prior to the lecture.
Dr. Imbrová also recounted how Ignatius Arnoz’s tenure in Bulawayo, spanning from 1931 until his passing in 1950, marked the zenith of his missionary career and destiny.
Arnoz devoted his most productive years to the mission, upheld rigorous moral standards for incoming priests, systematically established new mission stations, developed mission schools with practical skills training, initiated hospitals, and fostered collaboration with local authorities and the international community.
The occasion featured the generous donation of four large panels by the Czech Republic Embassy in Zambia, depicting Ignatius Arnoz’s life and contributions.
These panels will be exhibited at St. Mary’s Basilica, along with a visit to his final resting place at Emphandheni Mission.