By Benedict Kauteka
Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has commended the efforts made, by the faithful of St Martin’s (Fulirwa) Catholic Church under St Anne’s Parish, towards the construction of a magnificent, strong and long lasting church building.
The Bishop expressed his word of gratitude when he consecrated and officially opened a newly constructed church building on 28th July, 2019. The Bishop’s visit was in itself a source of joy for the Christians and a source of encouragement and strength.
In his homily, the Bishop admonished the faithful to desist from polygamous unions as they contradict the teaching of Christ, our Saviour, on marriage which is the life time union of one woman and one man.
The Bishop further advised the Catholic faithful of this area to refrain from the tendency of accusing the elderly of practicing witchcraft as such accusations are merely based on ignorance, poverty and jealousy.
He went on to say that such accusations are done mainly in Africa, particularly in the sub-Saharan Africa, where most people are living in abject poverty and ignorance.
Reflecting on the Lord’s Prayer, the Bishop said Jesus did not only give us the words for us to use, but also taught us how to pray.
The Bishop then expounded the five themes contained in the Lord’s Prayer, which are; relating to God in an intimate way as Our Father; praying for the will of God to be done always; praying for our needs as represented by “our daily bread”; asking for forgiveness of our sins and finally asking God to deliver us from evil.
The construction of a new church at Fulirwa Sub Station was a response of the Christians to the call the Bishop made in 2012 when he visited them. He advised the faithful to build a better prayer centre as the old one did not suit to be called a Catholic Church.
Following this call, the faithful started mobilizing resources to embark of the construction project. The actual work began in 2014 with moulding of bricks. It has taken five years to complete the building.
According to the chairperson of the Local Pastoral Council, the faithful built the new church mainly with contributions from their own pockets.
The statistics indicate that there are more than two hundred (200) Christians with close to eighty (80) junior Sunday school children at this prayer center. St Anne’s Parish, currently under the leadership of Father Cosmas Mwanjabala as Parish Priest, has fifty prayer centres in total.