By Violet Maluwa – TFM Reporter
The Bishop of Karonga Diocese Martin Anwel Mtumbuka has urged Catholic Christians to take the season of Advent as an opportunity to assess their encounter with Christ and render a helping hand to the needy.
Speaking at St Michael’s Parish in Chitipa during the First Sunday of Advent Mass, Bishop Mtumbuka urged Christians to use this season to realign and reconcile themselves with Christ.
“During this Advent season, we prepare for an encounter with Jesus Christ at Christmas; His second coming at the end of time and His coming in the Sacraments.” Said Bishop Mtumbuka.
The preparation for the triple encounter with Jesus focuses on three pillars of charity, prayer life and reconciliation with Jesus Christ, friends and relatives.
Bishop Mtumbuka further urged Christians to seriously reflect on their own death and their relationship with Christ, which is central to salvation. He said God can call us suddenly through road accident, hence the need to be prepared always to stand in his presence.
In Solidarity with St Cecilia Parish
At the same celebration, Christians made special offerings in aid of the newly established St Cecilia Parish in Mpherembe under Mzuzu Diocese. Bishop Mtumbuka said it was everyone’s responsibility to help those in need including the newly established parish. The St Cecilia Parish has numerous challenges such as lack of Rectory (Fathers House) and kitchen ware.
He added that although the Diocese of Karonga has few Christians but their generosity towards the Church in both urban and rural areas is so encouraging.
In his words, the Parish Priest of the newly founded St Cecilia Parish, Father Isaiah Nyirenda commended the generous contributions from Christians of St Michael’s Parish towards his parish.
“I thank you all for all the gifts you have offered to our new parish. What has happened today is a miracle.” Said Father Isaiah in appreciation for the numerous gifts.
In a similar event, Christians from St. Mary’s Parish in Karonga District, selflessly gave to assist St. Cecilia Parish during a Eucharistic Celebration presided over by the Curate of St. Cecilia Parish, Fr. Petros Mwale.
In his remarks, Fr. Petros Mwale expressed thanked Christians for their generosity saying that was what God expects of Christians “to be Brother’s keeper”.
Fr. Joseph Moloka Sikwese, Parish Priest of St Mary’s Parish and Pastoral Secretary of the Diocese of Karonga also commended the Christians for being other-oriented.
The Diocese will transfer all the offerings on 17th December to the newly established Parish of St Cecilia, Mpherembe in Mzimba.