Fr. Simon Nyirenda SVD - Obituary
(April 28, 1972 to 2 September 2012)
Fr. Simon Nyirenda SVD was born in Kabwe 28 April 1972 to Mr. Mark Sinda Nyirenda and Alice Zyambo (both late). He has three brothers and two sisters. After his schooling in his native village he joined the SVD in 1991 as the first Zambian to enter our society. He entered novitiate in 1994 and professed First Vows in 1995 in Sebina, Botswana. And after his philosophical and theological studies in Mpima Seminary, Kabwe and St. Victor’s Major Seminary Tamale Ghana respectively, he professed final vows in 1999, and was ordained priest in 2000 at St. Francis Catholic Church Dambwa, Livingstone by Rev. Bishop Frank Nubuasah SVD, bishop of Francistown, Botswana.
Fr. Simon Nyirenda was our first Zambian SVD. He was assigned to Holy Cross Catholic Church Mogoditsane in Botswana from 2000-03. In 2003 he stayed briefly at St. Francis Catholic Church Dambwa. In the same year he moved to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish, Mukobeko in Kabwe where he served until 2007 both as the parish priest and as the vocation promoter. In 2007 he left for Rome for higher studies. He completed his Licentiate at the Pontificia Universita Lateranense in Pastoral Theology with a magna cum laude in 2009. Since his return he served as the assistant director of the SVD administered Lumko Pastoral Institute in South Africa until his untimely death. He was planning to pursue a Ph.D in Missiology at Pontifical Gregorian University in 2013.
Fr. Simon Nyirenda died unexpectedly in the morning of 2 September 2012 at the Coptic Hospital in Lusaka at the age of 40. Both confreres and staff at Lumko were deeply shocked at his unexpected death. He was first admitted at Ndola Hospital on 23 August suffering from jaundice. Further tests proved he suffered from acute hepatitis. For further treatment he was shifted to Coptic Mission Hospital in Lusaka. On Sunday, 2nd morning Simon was given Holy Communion by Fr. Peter Madden and Jesus whom he followed faithfully took him to His Eternal Home at 11.45hrs! Fr. Simon endeared himself to everyone, to the young and old; to rich and poor, because he gave himself to others. He was actively involved in animating various laity empowerment curricula and leadership training programs in order to activate the spiritual lives, gifts and ministries of lay people in the local churches of Southern Africa and beyond. He found joy in doing whatever service he could to all who needed his help.
May his soul rest in peace!