By Brian Kachitete and Innocent Nazombe
There was a double celebration at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral on Saturday, 28th July when Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of led priests and faithful of Karonga in celebrating God’s gift of ministerial priesthood.
During the Eucharistic celebration which took place at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral in Karonga District, Bishop Mtumbuka ordained Deacon Edward Kamanga to priesthood and Father Joachim Mwale celebrated 25 years in priesthood.
In his homily, which focused on the centrality of the Eucharist in the life of a priest in particular and the faithful in general, the Bishop urged the newly ordained priest to be a humble and obedient of the Lord after the heart of Jesus.
The Bishop emphasised that priestly vocation is a call to holiness. He further said that much as priests lead in economic and development work, their ultimate call is a call to lead the people entrusted to their care to meet the Lord. The Bishop observed that Christians look for nothing other than holiness from their priests.
While stressing that the Sacrament of Holy Orders (ministerial priesthood) is necessary for the celebration of the Eucharist, the Bishop said the priest is not its centre. He urged priests to realise in humility that they work in the name of Jesus.
During the same Mass, Father Joachim Mwale renewed him commitment to continue serving the Lord and the Church as a priest. Father Mwale is currently the Vocations Director of the Diocese of Karonga, Curate at St Mary’s Parish and a member of the College of Consultors.
The Bishop thanked Father Mwale for serving God’s people with dedication and humility. The Bishop singled out Father Mwale’s humility and simplicity as worthy commending and emulating.
In his speech before the final blessing, the Bishop exhorted the faithful to guard their faith jealously.
“Do not let anyone take you away from Christ. You will hear many things about your faith, about your Church, that are negative, don’t listen to this. Be strong in your faith. Enemies of your Church, are enemies of your faith. Enemies of your faith are enemies of your salvation. Enemies of your salvation are forces of the devil.” The Bishop said.
The ceremony was attended by people from all walks of life ranging from priests, religious sisters and brothers, and faithful from across the Diocese and beyond. Notable were priests and religious from the Diocese of Njombe, Fathers Singini and Sakala from Zambia, Former Vice President of Malawi, Khumbo Kachali, and the District Commissioner of Karonga District, Richard Hara.
Father Edward Kamanga comes from Katete Parish in Mzimba District. He did his priestly studies at St Augustine’s Peramiho Major Seminary in Tanzania. He has since been appointed Curate of St Michael’s Parish in Chitipa.