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Archives December 2018

File photo: Bishop Mtumbuka appoints two new catechists
Bishop Mtumbuka Appoints Two New Catechists

By Phillip Chisi (CMA St Mary’s Parish)

Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has appointed Elifa Chiona and Gabriel Ng’ambi of St Michael’s and Ignatius parishes, respectively, as Catechists effective 28 December. 2018.

File photo: Bishop Mtumbuka appoints two new catechists
File photo: Bishop Mtumbuka appoints two new catechists

The appointment comes as a token of appreciation from the diocese for their dedication in discharging their duties as Sunday school instructors.

In his appraisal, the Bishop indicated that the two have been elevated to the level of Catechist because of their remarkable role and consistent dedication in giving catechetical instruction to the youth.

The Bishop further gave the two newly appointed catechists a bicycle each to ease their pastoral work. He also requests all other teachers in the diocese to play a role in evangelization by taking part in instructing catechumens and the youth.

Most youth in the diocese lack instructors who can understand them and professionally handle them. Many parents claim that the youth are hard to associate with hence no one shows up to assist them on matters of faith and help them answer many questions they get outside the church.

Mr Gabriel felt joy up on the appointment, while Mrs Elifa Chiona was reported to have travelled to Tanzania with Sunday school children of the Karonga Diocese on pastoral visit.

The Bishop made the announcement of the appointment of the two new catechists on Saturday 28th December during the Catholic Teachers Association Annual General Meeting where over 200 teachers from all parishes of the diocese have assembled.

The assembly gives the teachers the chance to discuss spiritual matters plus challenges and success they encounter as individuals and as Catholic schools.

Bishop Mtumbuka urges Catholic to live their faith
Bishop Mtumbuka Exhorts Christians to Practice their Faith

By Philip Chisi

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has exhorted Catholic faithful to live their faith.  In his homily on 25th December at Ntchowo Prayer Center under St Mary’s Parish, the Bishop asked Christians to demonstrate publicly what they do in private.

Bishop Mtumbuka urges Catholic to live their faith
Bishop Mtumbuka urges Catholic to live their faith

“A Christian must be stable and must show consistency in all they do. You don’t have to be a Christian in public and a devil’s follower in private. We do not have to be like the Jews, who in public were always looking for, and waiting for, the Messiah. But when Mary and Joseph knocked on the door they individually denied them accommodation to the extent that the long awaited king was born in a manger,” said the Bishop.

The Bishop further encouraged Christian not to take for granted the grace of God that has made us see and witness this year’s Christmas.

“Many friends and relatives of ours wanted to see this day but have not seen it. They wanted to celebrate this Mass with us but have not made it to this day. It’s not that we are cleverer than them, but rather it is because God himself with His grace has willed that we see this day,” said the Bishop.

He also thanked the congregation for their support to the church and appreciated all the gifts that they gave to him.

“I really appreciate from deep down my heart for all the assorted gifts you have brought be for me. I want you to know that I do not take them for granted, but I rather receive them with joy and appreciation,” said the Bishop.

In his speech, Parish Priest for St Mary’s Parish, Fr. Joseph Sikwese thanked the bishop for choosing to celebrate Christmas Mass at Ntchowo. He also thanked the faithful for their unique community cooperation, a thing that has made the zone one of the remarkable zones in the diocese.

He further encouraged them to remain united and faithful to the call of the church. He also appealed to them to continue supporting one another in times of need.

Ntchowo Zone is one of the three zones (others are St Mary’s and Lughali) that make up St Mary’s Parish. It has a population of over 5000 Catholic faithful.

The zone is well known for its dedication to the Catholic values and came into the limelight when St Bartholomew Choir from the zone emerged champions of the 2017-2018 Diocesan Choral Competition under the theme “Our Small Christian Community”.

Bishop Mtumbuka exhorts Catholic faithful to live their faith
Bishop Mtumbuka Donates Assorted Books and Iron Sheets to Ntchowo Primary School

By Philip Chisi

The Bishop of the Diocese of Karonga Right Reverend Martin Anwel Mtumbuka has donated assorted books to Ntchowo Primary School. He has also assured the Catholic faithful that the diocese will provide iron sheets to help in the construction of three teachers’ houses.

Bishop Mtumbuka donates to Ntchowo Primary School
Bishop Mtumbuka donates to Ntchowo Primary School

The Bishop congratulated the headmaster and the school itself for merging as one of the best schools during the 2017-2018 Primary School Leaving Certificate Examinations (PSLCE) in St Mary’s Parish.

The Bishop further thanked the members of staff for their hardworking spirit and asked them to continue taking good care of all the learners.

The Bishop said this during the Christmas luncheon organized by Catholic faithful of Nthowo Prayer Center.

In appreciation the headmaster of Ntchowo Primary School thanked the Bishop for the donation and has assured the diocese that together with all other members of staff they will work extra hard so that many standard 8 students get to secondary school this year.

Ntchowo is one of the schools under the proprietorship of Karonga Diocese and has during the 2017-2018 sent over 25 students to secondary school under MANEB and 12 students to Catholic schools under the ECM Catholic schools entrance examinations.

File photo: Bishop Mtumbuka at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral
Bishop Mtumbuka Urges Catholics to be Ambassadors of Peace and Light

By Wezi Mwangonde

As the Catholic Church joins all Christians over the world in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of the Catholic Diocese of Karonga has urged Catholics to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ by bringing light and peace in other people’s hearts.

File photo: Bishop Mtumbuka at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral
File photo: Bishop Mtumbuka at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral

During his homily for Christmas Vigil at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral in Karonga, Bishop Mtumbuka said Catholics and all people of goodwill have the responsibility of restoring peace in their families and areas, and that the birth of Jesus Christ is a very important gift to everyone.

He stressed on the importance and need of bringing light because light is associated with truth and that Christians have to appreciate that  the birth of Jesus  Christ has brought light to the whole world and happiness among all the people.

Bishop Mtumbuka said Christians have to understand that peace and light is only found in Jesus Christ who is the Messiah and people who live in a peaceful country are meant to be corrupt free.

‘To all Catholics, Christians and non-Christians, peace be with you as you celebrate this festival season and it is good to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ by being the ambassadors of light and peace. Let me tell everyone that peace and light is only found in Jesus Christ who is born in our hearts today’’, said Bishop Mtumbuka.

Furthermore, he requested all people to follow the example of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, by being witnesses.

“As Christians apart from celebrating the birth of Jesus with delicious food you need know the importance of his birth individually, families and in areas that hunger for peace,” said the Bishop.

During the same Eucharistic celebration 16 infants from different outstations in St Joseph the Worker Cathedral Parish were baptized.

Harnet Msukwa facilitating during the seminar
Tuntufye FM Radio Staff Drilled in Radio Production

By Chimwemwe Chisi

As one way of enhancing production and presentation of high quality programmes, Tuntufye FM Radio of the Diocese of Karonga held a staff annual seminar aimed at drilling presenters and producers with skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for effective delivery.

Harnet Msukwa facilitating during the seminar
Harnet Msukwa facilitating during the seminar

The development has come following this year’s annual seminar the religious media institution held on 22 December with its team members within its premises which was facilitated by Malawi Broadcast Corporation (MBC) Journalist Mr. Harnet Msukwa.

This year’s seminar which was hinged on radio production and tackled topics such as how a journalist can develop a good script, becoming an excellent producer, how to research and generate good topics for programs among others.

Speaking in an interview after a daylong meeting, Msukwa described the workshop as of great importance to the institution saying it will help TFM presenters and producers to elevate performance of duties and hailed the commitment of participants.

“I am delighted with the way Tuntufye FM members have patronized this function and I believe that they have grasped one or two things having attended the seminar. This has been such a great opportunity for them and am happy for their warm hearted hospitality,” said Msukwa.

He went on to say that it is his great belief that journalists from this religious institution will live to perform tremendously with ideas drawn from this intervention.

One of the participants Angela Mtambo said the seminar will really assist her in the discharge of her daily duties as a radio presenter since she has learnt new things from the lessons she just attended.

“I have learnt a lot from today’s seminar and I have come to realize how crucial the script is for the radio presenter and how it is supposed to be written. I would recommend that such kind of initiatives should be happening regularly,” said Mtambo.

Meanwhile, this year’s seminar was patronized by 16 participants.

TFM Staff members with Father Silungwe after the recollection
“No Work Place Is Transitory,” Father Silungwe Says

By Wezi Mwangonde

Father Bernard Silungwe has asked Tuntufye FM Radio staff members to be dedicated in their work as it is God’s desire for them to be found at the radio.

TFM Staff members with Father Silungwe after the recollection
TFM Staff members with Father Silungwe after the recollection

Father Silungwe said this during a day-long Advent staff recollection organized by TFM to reflect on the theme “My Work Place, Gods Desire” to renew their commitment to the serve the Lord and those who listen to the Radio.

Father Silungwe further said as workers, they need not to consider their presence at Tuntufye FM as transitory, a spirit that could work against their own personal growth and professional development and the growth of the institution as a whole.

Father Silungwe further urged the staff members to be dedicated in their work and to do their very best in all their tasks.

“It is necessary for Christians to have a recollection in order to renew their commitment to the Lord. This is very helpful in your daily activities as employees, interns, and volunteers. You have to realize that your presence at the radio is God’s desire. Many would have loved to serve the radio in the positions you are holding, but they do not have that opportunity,” explained Father Silungwe.

During the retreat, Father Silungwe shared with the employees on a number of topics such as my broken self, my work place, the desire of God and unity of purpose.

In his remarks, TFM Director Innocent Nazombe, said the recollection is one way of helping staff members to recognize that they are a family and foster unity of purpose.

“We have decided to have a one day recollection for us to renew our commitment to the Lord first of all as Christians and secondly as employees at a Christian Radio Station. We need to continually rekindle our spiritual energy can we have the joy of sharing the Good news with our listeners,” said Nazombe.

One of the interns Aness Phiri, described the recollection day as portraying the spirit of togetherness as an institution without considering the position of a person because members of staff spent the day praying together.

The day long recollection took place on 21st December, which also marked four years since the radio started sending its signal.

Group discussion
Youth Urged to Utilize Exchange Visits As Learning and Evangelization Tool

By Phillip H Chisi

Youths from St Mary’s and St Denis (Chilulu Outstation in Mzuzu Diocese) parishes have been called upon to utilize exchange visits as learning and evangelization tool.

Group discussion
Group discussion

The Catechetical Methodology Advisor (CMA) for St Mary’s Parish made this call at St Mary’s Parish over the weekend when the Parish hosted Catholic youths from Chilulu Outstation St Denis Parish.

In his speech, Catechetical Methodology Advisor (CMA) for St Mary’s Parish said exchange visits have the capacity to create common understanding, forging relationships and sharing experiences.

He further said through such visits youths renew their commitments to  relevant approaches or make commitments to new approaches, and create friendships as friendships as foundation for future networking and evangelization.

He added that visits benefit both the travelers and hosts as they both learn from each other’s experiences, and approaches to living their faith.

Catechist for St Mary’s Zone, Catechist Mwamughunda urged both the visitors and the host to share whatever they have received with their friends back home.

In appreciation the Youth Animator for St Denis Parish Mr. Mwandila, thanked the pastoral team of St Mary’s Parish for accepting their request to visit St Mary’s Parish.

“We felt at home and above all you gave us the privilege to visit Tanzania side, a thing we never expected. We will be glad to welcome you at Chilulu Outstation,” said Mwandila.

Over 51 youth from Chilulu Outstation were part of the three day visit. They arrived on 14 and departed on 16 December. The visit was meant to strengthen relationships and networking among youths from the two parishes.

Farm input distribution in Chitipa District
Lusubilo Distributes Farm inputs to 3100 Vulnerable Households

By Tilekeni Kaunda

Smallholder farmers, especially vulnerable householders, face risks to their agricultural production mainly due to effects of declined soil fertility which reduces their household food and income security.

Farm input distribution in Chitipa District
Farm input distribution in Chitipa District

Because smallholder farmers typically depend directly on agriculture for their livelihoods and have limited resources and limited access to loans to buy farm inputs, any reduction to agricultural productivity has significant impact on their food, income and general well-being.

To enhance food security and strengthen resilience of poor and vulnerable households, Lusubilo is encouraging these households to adopt new technologies such as the use of improved maize seed varieties and fertilizer to increase production. The use of new technology holds greatest potential for reducing their vulnerability.

Yield of hybrid maize could reach its potential levels when grown under optimum management practices. Use of improved hybrid maize varieties and optimal fertilizer application practices are very important to achieve yielding potential of hybrid maize. Access to improved seeds and fertilizer is an integral factor for stimulating technology uptake and increasing agricultural productivity in smallholder agriculture.

Access of such inputs by poor and vulnerable households is constrained by their low income levels. In view of this, Lusubilo Community Based Program through Sustainable Options Recommended for Testing (SORT) Project is supporting vulnerable households in Karonga Diocese (Karonga, Chitipa and part of Rumphi district) with fertilizer (basal and top dressing) and improved seed for maize and legumes.

The project is supporting 3100 farmers with 50kg bag of basal dressing fertilizer and 50 kg bag of top dressing fertilizer for each farmer, the package also includes 10 kg of maize seed and other legumes seed. The whole package is for one acre of land. Distribution of these farm inputs is underway in Chitipa, Karonga and Rumphi.

Lusubilo is implementing SORT Project with financial support from the Coppel Family of Mexico.

Female aspirants who were part of the workshop
Female Aspirants Grilled in Good Manifesto Writing Skills

By Jordan Simeon-Phiri (MEC Stringer)

Female aspirants in Chitipa District have expressed concern over the council’s failure to produce District Development Plan (DDP) nine years after the expiry of the last document.

Female aspirants who were part of the workshop
Female aspirants who were part of the workshop

This was revealed when female aspirants in the district wanted the document to help them in the crafting of their manifestos for the 2019 Tripartite Election campaign trail.

UTM aspiring Member of Parliament for Chitipa North Constituency, Jane Mbale said this after a two day capacity building for all female aspirants in the district which the Justice and Peace Desk of Karonga Diocese organized with the aim of equipping them with campaign winning strategies and good manifesto writing skills as the 2019 Tripartite Elections are fast approaching.

“We are fired up, this capacity building workshop has provided us with skills that have changed our approach towards our campaign strategy,” said Mbale.

 “However, we are saddened that for the past nine years the council has failed to produce the DDP for the district. How do elected leaders know more about projects in their areas without such an important document?” wondered Mbale.

However, the district’s Director of Planning and Development (DPD) Tamanya Harawa while acknowledging the anomaly, blamed lack of funds to facilitate the formulation of the DDP as a contributing factor.

“It is true that we have been operating without DDP for a number of years. This was due to financial constraints. However, I am glad to say that we are almost done with it and this month it will be out,” he said.

Project Coordinator for Justice and Peace Desk in Chitipa District Abel Malumbira  said his office is glad that their efforts of drumming up support for 50:50 representation are bearing fruits.

The Justice and Peace Desk of the Diocese of Karonga is implementing the 50:50 Campaign in Chitipa District with funding from Norwegian Church Aid through 50:50 Management Agency under Action Aid Malawi. So far 21 female aspirants in the district have expressed interest to contest in the May 2019 Tripartite Elections.