By Benjamin Msowoya
Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has said the family is crucial in nurturing vocations to priesthood, religious life and married life.
Bishop Mtumbuka said this on Sunday when he presided over the closing liturgy of the annual training workshop for Catechists at St Mary’s Parish in Karonga. The closing liturgy which coincided with Vocations Sunday which is falls on Fourth Sunday of Easter also known as Good Shepherd Sunday.
Addressing the whole congregation, the Bishop exhorted them to emulate the example Christ the Good Shepherd by helping others towards salvation saying this is a primary vocation of all Christians.
Addressing the catechists who have undergone a week-long training, Bishop Mtumbuka urged them to put into practice what they have learnt. He said the aim of the trainings is for their formation and capacity building and urged them to show that these trainings are helping them through improved delivery in their service.
During the same liturgy Father Joseph Sikwese, who is Pastoral Secretary of the Diocese of Karonga and Parish Priest of St Mary’s Parish, read Pope Francis’ message on Vocations Sunday 2018. To the Catechists he had this to say; “The more one is given, the more will be demanded from him/her”.
Catechist Timothy Mapunda, representing fellow catechists who had undergone the week long training, thanked the Bishop for always finding resources and organising a training for Catechists every year. He assured the Bishop that each time they go through such training they continue to be renewed in their work to serve the people in the Diocese.
The training took place at St Mary’s Parish Centre where 51 Catechists from all the 30 administrative zones of the Diocese attended from 16th April to 22nd April 2018. The training session started with a Recollection preached by Father John Benjamin Moyo of St Ignatius Parish in Nthalire.
From 18th April to 21st April, the Catechists were taken through the following topics: Catechists’ Terms of Reference, facilitated by Mrs Memory Chinkhuntha (the Human Resource Officer), Fr Joseph Sikwese and Mr Benjaminn Msowoya; Kasambizgani Mitundu Yose Catechism Book II by Mr Ignatius Mvula; Rites for Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), by Fr Cyprian Ngoma; The Funeral Rite, Fr Cyprian Ngoma; The Catholic Social Teaching, Mr Grego Lusale; The Creed; Articles of Faith, by Fr Joseph Sikwese; Pastoral Counselling, by Mr. Ignatius Mvula; Follow up on action plans on “The Year of Our Small Christian Community”, by Mr Benjamin Msowoya.
Such training workshops are an annual event organised by the Pastoral Commission for capacity building or formation of Catechists; they are organised in order to improve work standards for catechists in the Diocese.