On August 21, 1956, two Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary left New York for Umtali, Southern Rhodesia (now Mutare, Zimbabwe), to make preparations for the opening of a secondary school. The school, the first European Catholic school in the diocese, opened in January 1958. In 1963, sisters began teaching African students at the secondary school at St. Kilian's mission, which was about ninety miles outside of Umtali.
Sister Immaculée (now Sister Margaret Ann) Landry with students
at Sr. Kilian's Mission in the early 1960's
Because of the danger, these schools were closed at the time of the war for independence. In 1996, the sisters in Zambia and Zimbabwe joined together to form the Zambezi Region.
Today, RSHM in Zimbabwe are present in Harare, Dangamvura (near Mutare) and Chinhoyi.Their ministries include teacher training, retreat work, hospice and bereavement work, HIV/AIDS ministry, and outreach to the local people.
Sister Anne Barat Corcoran with a young patient in Zimbabwe, 1988
All the ministries of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary in Africa give special attention to empowering woman and, in recent years, a number of African women have entered the congregation.