How I came to Mercy
I’m Marvis Mazhunga, born into a Catholic family in Chirumanzu, Gweru, Zimbabwe. My parents used to tell us stories from the Bible and read the Bible to us. They taught us prayers before meals and, as children, we took turns to pray before every meal. My mother taught us our prayers long before we went to catechism classes and we prayed the rosary together as a family.
I was baptised as a child by Fr. Whissy at Chaka parish, received my first holy communion and was confirmed by Bishop Francis Mugadzi while I was at St Joseph Hama Boarding School. The school was run by diocesan priests and the SJI Sisters in Midlands, Gweru. At school I was assigned to work as a sacristan in the convent chapel. From Form One to Matric my duty every morning was to ring the huge Church bells, prepare for Mass and attend Mass before school started.
Sr. Marvis and her sister, Sr. Andrea
I had a desire to join the sisters after school, but I thought that my parents would not allow me to because my older sister Andrea had just joined the Dominican Sisters in Harare when she finished school. I did not tell anyone my story but was pondering it in my heart.
After studying at the University in Bulawayo, I taught at Mufakose High School in the city of Harare and discovered a Catholic Church on my way to school and so I could attend morning Mass. I was really happy to be able to do this. Some time later, I discussed with my sister Andrea about my desire to join the sisters and she gave me the Southern Cross newspaper where I could find the names of convents.
When I had my first long leave from teaching, I came to South Africa with a friend for five months and we stayed with my friend’s sister and her husband, Mr Nyamadzawo, who was the caretaker at the house at Christ the King parish church in Mabopane, Gauteng Province, South Africa. The day we arrived I met Fr. Emile Yav Kayembe from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who was ministering in South Africa. We were introduced to Fr. Emile and I told him that I was looking for work. Fr Emile contacted Sr Majella Quinn at Mercy Centre, Winterveldt (where I now live!)
When I met Sr Majella, I became interested in joining her congregation – the Sisters of Mercy. I was very happy to talk to her about her congregation as it was my first time to see a nun without a veil - I was really excited to discover this. I also had a chance to ask questions about what to do if one wanted to join the Sisters. The following week Sr. Majella called to inform me that there was a vacancy to teach Mathematic at Mmashiko Adult Centre in Mmakau Village where there was a Convent of Mercy and where Sr Jean Evans was Principal. I went for an interview and was appointed as a teacher there. I was very impressed by how the Sisters at Mmakau were living. After some time Sr Breda Quigley, who was a nurse, asked me to accompany her as she went to help families in the village. She attended to the sick members of the families and she helped them build their houses. When Sister Jean heard of my interest in joining the Sisters she referred me to the formation directress, Sr Mirriam Senatsi, who journeyed with me until I entered the convent in Rosebank, Johannesburg, on 18 April 2009.
Sr. Marvis reading her vows at her First Profession
Many people helped me come to Mercy: My parents, Thomas Saverio and Veronica in Zimbabwe, Fr Emile from the Congo, Sr Majella from Wexford Ireland Sr Jean from California USA , Sr Breda from South Central Province Ireland and Sr Mirriam from Soweto.
Sr. Marvis Mazhunga