coat of arms

Lesotho Province

coat of arms

Roma Valley

Roma valley is also situated in the district of Maseru and in the lowlands. Here, the Roman Catholic faith is truly embedded, that is, there is no way one can talk about the Roman Catholic Church in Lesotho without touching Roma. Actually, the real name for this place is Tlou-tle! at chief Maama’s place. Then, it came automatically to be called Tlou-tle Ha-Maama or simply, Ha-Maama.

The name “Roma” came as a mockery from other church denominations to the Roman Catholic Church in Lesotho. Even though the first missionaries to Lesotho were from France, they were there in the name of the Roman Catholic Church which its head is Roman (in Rome—Italy). Other local denominations knew this and were kind of mocking the Catholic Church saying that it is a Roman thing, they then went to an extend of calling this place—where the Catholic Missionaries were staying—Rome, and because of the accent, /~e/ was changed to /~a/ and we had ROMA as it is know today.

Roma is such a valley at this chief Maama’s place. There are lots of stories behind the Catholic Church being given this site in the valley and some other places like Christ the King Mission at Sekake’s in Qacha’s Nek (this place, even today, is known as Letlapeng). Those are faith politics, what could we do!

Now, Roman Catholic evangelization of Lesotho kicked-off from this valley, Roma—where the first Roman Catholic Church was built in those old ages around 1870s. And of course in those days all Roman Catholic missionaries were to this valley to meet their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

In this very valley, the Catholic Church also built a number of schools for Basotho children. To mention few, there was St. Theresa minor seminary (which is now closed), St. Mary’s Girls High, Christ the King Boys High (which was known as Roma College), Roma Primary, the National University of Lesotho (which is now handed out to Lesotho government), Roma Nursing College, and for the formation of priest the Church built St. Augustine’s Major Seminary. Apart from this, the Church also built a hospital in this valley, St. Joseph’s Hospital. And of course, there is the mother Catholic Church in this place, Mater Jesu or Roma Parish—as it is known today. This church is the Pro-Cathedral in the Arch-diocese of Maseru.

All you can see here. As I said earlier that the whole Catholic Church history in Lesotho is embedded here, all the activities or happenings, miracles and wonders of those missionaries could be traced from here. One can see the tomb of Blessed Joseph Gerard in the Church of Roma Parish. One can also walk of the footsteps of this zealous Oblate of Mary Immaculate who left his home country that long in 1850s and never went back. With interviews to really willing and open local peoples in this valley, one can learn how Fr. Gerard loved Basotho and Lesotho, and how they loved him back too.

Pilgrims are flocking into this valley, more especially to the tomb of this servant of God to pay homage, to pray and to take some soil there which they say it works wonders in their lives.

Don’t Let this opportunity by-pass you!

Join them!!

Copyright © 2007 OMI Lesotho Province