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Archives May 2019

Grace Malera (the lawyer) giving a presentation on Abuse of Children and Vulnerable Adults
Karonga Diocese Trains Priests and Religious on Protection for Minors and Vulnerable Adults

By Benjamin Msowoya

On 14th and 15th May 2019, all priests and religious resident in the Diocese of Karonga went through a training on Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults.  The aim was to ensure that all priests, religious brothers and sisters are aware of the contents of the “Diocesan Policy on the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults for Clergy”.

List of participants included the Bishop, 18 priests, 14 religious sisters and 12 lay Christians some of whom are part of the Review Board on Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults in the Diocese of Karonga.

The participants were taken through presentations that included: Historical Context on Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults (by Monsignor Denis Chitete – the Vicar General); Understanding Abuse of Minors and Vulnerable Adults (by Grace T. Malera – a Lawyer); Understanding the National Laws and Policies on Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (by Grace T. Malera – a Lawyer);

The Diocesan Policy on Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults for Clergy (by Fr Steven Bulambo –the Judicial Vicar);   The Role of the Church in Protecting Children and Vulnerable Adults – Based On The Catholic Social Teaching (by Fr Cyprian Ngoma – Diocesan Focal Point Person among clergy on issues of Protecting Children and Vulnerable Adults).

At the end of the first day of the training, the Bishop swore in eight of the nine members of the Review Board on Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults in the Diocese of Karonga.  The members who were present and sworn in are Monsignor Denis Chitete, Fr Bernard Silungwe, Sr Ruth Ghambi, Mr Zachariah Kilembe, Mrs Martha Nyondo, Mrs Jane Mkumbwa, Mr John I. Mtambo, Mr Benjamin Msowoya.

At the end of the training, all the diocesan priests signed a form of declaration that they had read, understood and will abide by the Diocesan Policy on Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults for Clergy.

In his remarks to participants, Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga said that the Diocese has taken several bold steps by (i) having the two Diocesan Policies on Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults (one for lay personnel and the other for Clergy), (ii) establishing the Review Board on Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults, (iii) signing of declaration forms by both clergy and lay personnel that they had read, understood and will abide by the Diocesan Policy on Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults.

The Bishop indicated that, in order to fully implement the policies, the Diocese will move on to train all the other relevant people and popularize the policies among the people it seeks to protect.   The Bishop asked all priests and religious present to do their best on the quality of witnessing and care through their ministry.

The Bishop further declared that as Bishop of the Diocese, who has an overwhelming responsibility on Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults, he will act decisively on such issues as per policy guidelines.

Pictorial Focus

Grace Malera (the lawyer) giving a presentation on Abuse of Children and Vulnerable Adults
Grace Malera (the lawyer) giving a presentation on Abuse of Children and Vulnerable Adults
8 members of the Review Board on Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults (front row) during the swearing in ceremony
8 members of the Review Board on Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults (front row) during the swearing in ceremony








Mrs Martha Nyondo (one of lay members of the Review Board of the Diocese) being sworn in (with the Bishop and the Judicial Vicar on her sides)
Mrs Martha Nyondo (one of lay members of the Review Board of the Diocese) being sworn in (with the Bishop and the Judicial Vicar on her sides)
Participants have a group photo
Participants have a group photo
Some of the girls captured during training
St Mary’s Trains 36 Students in National Flag Management

By Reshas Nyondo

Thirty-six students selected from across classes have been trained in managing the national flag at St Mary’s Karonga Girls’ Secondary School as decreed by Karonga Diocese’s Chief Shepherd, Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka.

Last year in December, Bishop Mtumbuka said with the training, students would among others, cultivate an aura of respect for the protected flag which would, in turn, help them develop a spirit of patriotism.

One of the trainees, Shalom Chiwaya (Form 3), said managing the flag was not only elating but also helped her appreciate its significance.

“These days, after the training, I do not only appreciate the importance of the flag but also the prayer that is the national anthem when we are raising it,” said Shalom.

Wisdom Mawowa, the teacher who trained the students, said the training took three days.

“We identified 36 students who were further divided into four groups of nine. Each group has the task to parade and ask for permission from the head teacher to raise the national flag every Monday after assembly announcements, but before classes commence. The flag is raised whilst the national anthem is being sang,” emphasized Mawowa.

After the training, an historic raise of the flag was observed on a Monday; May 13, 2019.

Youth Hold Inter-Parish Vocations Sunday Celebrations

By Benjamin Msowoya

From 10-12 May 2019, the youth of St Joseph the Worker and St Mary’s Parish Centres held joint celebrations of Vocations’ Sunday at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral.

The main aim of this event was to gather large numbers of the youth from the two parish centres and give them some instructions in line with Vocations and Mission.

They gathered at the Cathedral on Friday evening, attended several presentations on Saturday and climaxed with Mass on Sunday.

412 youth from the two parish centres attended the Saturday presentations which included the following areas: Missio Ad Gentes, Peacebuilding by the Youth, Vocations, Youth Stage on Stages of Human Development.

On Sunday over 500 youths attended the Mass which was presided over by the Vicar General, Monsignor Denis Chitete; concelebrated with Fr. Mathews Simwera, the PMS Director.

In his homily, the Vicar General implored the youth to take up the example of Jesus the Good Shepherd and make it their habit to seriously get in touch with him on every serious decision in their lives.

He also challenged them to maintain commitment in their respective prayer centres rather than just showing commitment when they are called for bigger gatherings at Parish or Diocesan levels.

This year, the youth in the Diocese are expected to hold a Diocesan Rally from 28-31 August at Chaminade Secondary School within St Joseph the Worker Parish.

Health Desk Officer Vincent Shaba (in white golf shirt) receiving drugs on behalf of the Diocese
World Vision International Donates Assorted Drugs To Karonga Diocese Health Desk

By Vincent Shaba

World Vision International (WVI) has donated assorted Anti-Malaria drugs to the health facilities under the Health Desk of the Diocese of Karonga. The drugs include Lumafantrine Artemether (LA), Artesunate in different dosages and Quinine (tablets and concentrate).

World Vision International hatched the idea of supporting health facilities in the Diocese in February this year. This was welcomed bearing in mind the burden of malaria in the areas where the health facilities belonging to the Diocese are located. The Diocese has five health facilities in Karonga and Chitipa districts three of which are located in hard to reach areas.

The drugs will be distributed to all health facilities under the Diocese namely; Kaseye Community Hospital and St. Clara Health Centre (Chisenga) in Chitipa District which serve a population of 12,123 and 16,000 respectively. In Karonga District, the Health Desk owns Atupele Community Hospital in Kasantha area with a catchment area population of 12,199, Hope Clinic at the centre serving 5,000 people, and St. Anne’s in Chilumba with a catchment area population of 6,697.

The Diocese is very grateful to World Vision International for the timely support. Health facilities in the Diocese face a number of challenges including shortage of medical equipment and professional staff (Nurses and Clinical Officers) and infrastructure among others.  Common infection are Malaria, acute respiratory infection, diarrhea and malnutrition.

Bishop Mtumbuka with the team of Missionaries after the official handover
Bishop Mtumbuka Hands over St Francis De Sales Parish to the MSFS

By Ignatius Mvula

On the 5th of May, 2019 Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga officialy handed over St Francis De Sales Parish to Missionaries of St Francis De Sales (MSFS) who joined the Diocese last year.

The New Parish had been a sub-parish under St Anne’s Parish for almost three years before it was raised into a full parish with the prospects of the coming of the Missionaries of St Francis De Sales from India. The parish is at Livingstonia (Kondowe) to the eastern side of University of Livingstonia in Rumphi District.

In his sermon, Bishop Mtumbuka highlighted the significance of gazing at Christ in every dimension in life. He stressed that life without Jesus is empty and complete vanity.

“My dear friends here present, we are in the Easter Season, Jesus is risen, and he teaches us that we will also one day rise. But this is only for those who will die with Divine life, those who will die holding on to their faith in Jesus. Without the faith in Jesus, our death will lead to eternal damnation,”

“Most of the people in this area, I also happen to come from this area, do believe in charms. These cannot help any of you to come to Jesus and have fuller life. Belief in things that have been made by human power is absurd and a contradiction to the faith that we received from the apostles,” said the Bishop.

In the same celebration, Bishop Martin called upon everyone that the dream of establishing a parish at Livingstonia has been realized. He repeatedly invited all the faithful to continuously thank the Lord for this gift which in a way is in tandem with the Diocesan motto “We Shall Go to Them”.  On the other hand however, He reminded all the faith full that the dawn of the parish seeks their cooperation so that the parish develops to a fully fledged stance with respect to the faith and infrastructures.

As a way of reaching out fully to youth ministry, Bishop Mtumbuka appointed Fr. Cosmas Mwanjawala as a Diocesan Youth Chaplain and Father Nelson, MSFS as his deputy. The two assumed office with immediate effect. Fr. Nelson was particularly charged to take care of the students at the University of Livingstonia and technical college. The former Youth Chaplain, Father Matthews Simwela, remains PMS Director for the Diocese.

Taking his turn, the Superior General for the Missionaries of St Francis De Sales Father Abraham Vettuvali patted the Diocese on the back for inviting them to come in the Diocese and open a mission.

“My dear ones, let us always remember that Jesus the Son of God was the first Missionary. He left heaven and came on earth to be with us. He obeyed the will of his Father to come on mission. We as missionaries are doing the same thing, following the footsteps of our master,” said Father Abraham.

Father Abraham was accompanied by the General Councillor of Mission Father Johnson Kalludickal, the Provincial Father Ignacimuthu, Councillor Father Amirtharajan. Three other priests who will join the Malawi mission present at the function are Fathers Berin, Sathish and Arockiadoss. The three pioneer missionaries to Malawi who are running the parish are Fathers Susairaj, Anatharaj and Nelson.

The Mass marking the launch of the new Parish was concelebrated by sixteen priests among whom were the Pastoral Secretary Fr. Joseph Sikwese, the Judicial Vicar Fr. Steven Bulambo, the Director of Finance Investments and Administration Fr. Cecilio Silwamba and Father Matthews Simwela who until their coming was Acting Parish Priest for the Parish.

St Francis De Sales has about 2500 Christians and 75 Catechumens.

Bishop Ryan Cutting a Ribbon Marking the Official Opening of the Clinic
St. Clara Health Centre; New Hope for People of Chisenga

By Moses Raymond Kamanga

On Saturday, 4 May 2019 a new page in the health chapter of the history of Chisenga and surrounding areas was opened. The Diocese of Karonga wrote the first lines on this page by officially opening St. Clara Health Centre which has been constructed with the help of St. Jeanne Antide Foundation from Malta.

The Clinic, which is to serve a catchment area of about sixteen thousand locals, was officially opened by Rt. Rev. John Alphonsus Ryan, the Bishop of the Diocese of Mzuzu and the Bishop Chair of Health Commission in the Episcopal Conference of Malawi.

In his remarks, after the Eucharist he presided over after opening the clinic, Bishop Ryan implored the community to take care of the facility for it will benefit them a lot. He further advised the chiefs to see to it that expectant mothers are encouraged to have their deliveries at the facility to reduce maternal deaths.

Speaking on behalf of Traditional Authority Mwene Wenya of the area, Group Village Headman Kayilizi commended the Catholic Church for the initiative as it will help the community to access health services with ease.

District Commissioner of Chitipa District, Mr. Humphreys Gondwe, urged the community to take good care of the clinic as it is one of the structures that will attract the Government to consider Chisenga with more infrastructural developments.

He further advised the Area Development Committee to consider concentrating on Chisenga when contributing to the District Development Plan initiatives. He asked the Catholic Church to expedite the Service Level Agreement with the Government in order to help the clinic access government services.

Also present at the function was Mr. Darren Formsa, St. Jeanne Antide Foundation representative from the country of Malta who, in his sentiments, expressed joy to see the clinic which has brought smiles on the Chisenga Community.

Chisenga is at the foot of Mafinga Hills about 45km from Chitipa District Hospital.

The Ceremony in Pictures

Bishop Ryan Cutting a Ribbon Marking the Official Opening of the Clinic
Bishop Ryan Cutting a Ribbon Marking the Official Opening of the Clinic
Bishop Ryan Speaking at the Function ration
Bishop Ryan Speaking at the Function ration








Signpost of St Clara Health Centre
Signpost of St Clara Health Centre
Bishop Ryan Blessing the Health Centre
Bishop Ryan Blessing the Health Centre
Carpentry Students at Mwanjabala Centre
Vocation Skills Project Changing Lives of Young People

By Chimwemwe Chisi

Young people benefitting from the vocational skills development project under the Education Desk have commended the programme for transforming their lives.

This has been revealed during the monitoring visits to the project implementation sites of Mwenelondo, Mpata, Mwanjabala, Pusi in Karonga and Chiweta in Rumphi by the Education Desk Officer, Mr Remmie Kamanga.

Speaking at Mwenilondo, president for the youth, Philip Mwangolera said since they started learning, their lives have changed for the better as the training have kept them from indulging in violence and other malpractices. He said their areas are enjoying a greater deal of peace and calm as the youth are kept busy.

“The assurance that we will have something to do to earn a living is enough to keep us away from violent behavior. Since the commencement of the project, we have acquired various skills.” said Mwangolera.

On the other hand, the president for the trainers Lewis Malema said that the project is giving positive results on the ground and the youths are eager to learn.

“There is some life adjustment from the youths since we began and they are catching up so well which is encouraging us trainers to work hard,” explained the president.

It has since been revealed that there is more commitment and cooperation among the trainers and the trainees.

Commenting on the progress of the project, Mr Kamanga said the dedication of the youth to the training is very impressive as witnessed by the mastery of skills manifested in the things they are able to do.

Kamanga attributed the success of the project to the collaboration of various stakeholders who were drawn into the project as well as the commitment of the beneficiaries of the project who are taking the training as a springboard to push them towards self-reliance.

“Our project is progressing well since we used a better approach where we involved TEVETA (Technical Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education Authority) who guided on how to implement this project. The interface we had with the parties proved to be helpful to the group since we prepared them psychologically before the actual training,” said Kamanga.

The vocational skills project was hatched as one way of responding to violent conflicts in the selected areas perpetrated by young people also because of unemployment.

Catechists who were part of the workshop
“The Church Needs Catechists who Can Perform,” Father Silungwe

By Ignatius Mvula

The Coordinator of Catechists of the Diocese of Karonga Father Bernard Silungwe has assured Catechists that his office will do everything possible to ensure that they are equipped with the necessary skills to perform to the best possible standard.

The Church needs catechists who can perform - Father Silungwe
The Church needs catechists who can perform – Father Silungwe

Father Silungwe made this remarks at St Francis Shrine (Kaseye) Shrine in Chitipa District where the Diocese organized a weeklong refresher course for Catechists and their wives. Father Silungwe further thanked those who had made the conference through financial support.

 “I am happy to see this happening. It is a rare gift that we can have funds to arrange this conference. We need catechists who can perform to the standard and this can only happen if we equip them with necessary skills,” said Fr. Silungwe.

The workshop which run from 22nd to 27th April, 2019 commenced with a day of recollection directed by Father Edward Kamanga serving as a Curate at St Michael’s Parish. In his reflection, Father Kamanga dwelt on the love of God as it radiates to all people and that we are called to carry this same love to others.

Among other lessons, the catechists were oriented on the Canon Law with particular focus on marriage. The catechists were drilled on the best ways of preparing people for married life and challenges in married life with respect to Canon Law.

They were also oriented on the Child Protection Policy that the Episcopal Conference of Malawi published. Mr. Mwawi Shaba emphasized the significance of this policy to all those who work with children and the vulnerable. The catechists pledged their support to implement the policy.

 “I am grateful that we are here to get to know all these things, it’s really very rewarding. I like the policy because it will help us serve children in our prayer centres better,” Said Catechist Paul Mwakilama.

On their part, the wives were taught on skills of Home Economics and how to develop their life both in the spiritual and social aspects.

The Diocese of Karonga organizes refresher courses for the Catechist every year after Easter. These have helped the catechist to grow in their ministry.

Some of the beneficiaries of Lusubilo's SORT project interacting with Bishop Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese
Embracing Development and Spirituality: A Call for Development Workers

By Vitumbiko Ngwira*

The smoke curled its way up from the thatched house in Wiliro, as we went around the household admiring the fruit orchard that we had helped establish for Mr. Ipyana and his family (not a real name). I wondered whether the poverty of Mr. Ipyana was being taken away with the smoke.

Mr. Ipyana was our SORT (Sustainable Options Recommended for Testing) project beneficiary. We were a team of 5 field workers from Lusubilo Community Based Organization, supervising our interventions. The greatest achievement for any development worker is to find communities living self reliant lives while owning and finding sustainable solutions to their social-economic gaps. We were contended, feeling like accomplished development workers seeing Mr. Ipyana gradually graduate from poverty.

As we were about to get into our Toyota Land Cruiser to go the next household on our schedule, Mr. Ipyana came to me and said, ‘we thank God for your interventions, for without Him, no development is possible’. This reminded me of my social ministry lecturer who insisted that any development work without God is incomplete.

Before we delve deeper into our discussion, it is relevant to have an understanding of spirituality. Narrowly put, spirituality is the fire within; that which pushes us to be and do what we do in relation to the Supreme Being and the community. It shapes our values and convictions about who we are. So, where does spirituality and development meet?

Development work is a sacred work. This is not disregarding other professions. Development work begins with Jesus; everything he did was to empower the disadvantaged to live self sustaining lives. His mission becomes more vivid in Luke Chapter 4; 17-21.

The Spirit of the Lord is of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.

It is proper to keep in mind that development work is the ministry of reconciliation which entails moving people closer to glorifying God by living in right relationship with God, with self, with others and with the rest of creation (Corbert &Fiffert, 2009).  Once we understand this, we will never think ourselves as solutions to people’s poverty. How then can we help people to develop?  In Malawi more than 80 percent of people live barely to survive and almost every Malawian knows poverty very well. That is why it is crucial to understand development in its entirety.

Furthermore, as development workers we have to understand that our primary relationship should be with God. We have to clearly understand that we were created to serve and give praise to the creator through thoughts, words and actions. This should be clearly understood by all development workers. This will enable us to respond to the experience of those suffering and indeed of our own experience.

Sustainable development work constitutes a faith based response to social gaps. As a result of this all development workers are called to link faith and development. Perhaps, that is the reason why Peter Henriot repeatedly emphasizes the importance of theological reflection as part of development work.

It is, therefore, imperative to make sure that all development interventions do not disregard the faith component. It is for this reason that it is important to begin our work with prayer. Sustainable social-economic change involves a constant connection between theological reflection and all the stages in the process of development.

From the above brief reflection we have seen that development and spirituality are inseparable. We have also appreciated the sacredness of development work and understood that all work ought to be linked to faith. In the next article we will look at some of the challenges of linking spirituality to development work.


Corbert, S, &Fikkert, B. (2009). When helping hurts . Chicago; Moody publishers.

Wijsen, F, Henriot, p, &Mejia, R. The pastoral cycle revisited. Nairobi; Paulines Publications Africa.


*Vitumbiko Ngwira is the Deputy Director of Lusubilo Community Based Organisation

Bishop Mtumbuka sampling the dancing skills of some youths from St Joseph the Worker and St Marys Parishes
Bishop Mtumbuka Establishes Youth to Youth Dancing Missionaries

By Benjamin Msowoya

To allow young people to participate in the evangelization mission of the Church in ways that are appealing to fellow young people, Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has established the Youth to Youth Dancing Missionaries.

The Bishop announced the establishment of such a special group of missionaries among the youth during the Solemn Eucharistic Celebration commemorating the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, Patron Saint of the Diocese and the Cathedral, at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral.

The Youth to Youth Dancing Missionaries are a group of active youth from St Mary’s and St Joseph the Worker Parish Centres.  They will be hosting roadshows (activations) in selected public centres in order to attract and reach out to fellow youth with the Good news through Gospel music and dancing. The Bishop said that this is one special task for youth in the remaining months of the Year of Missio Ad Gentes.

The Bishop has appointed, Angella Mtambo, one of the volunteers working with Tuntufye FM Radio and a former student of Lusubilo Music School, as the trainer of the Youth to Youth Dancing Missionaries.

“In this Year of Missio Ad Gentes, I have received reports that the youth in the Diocese are already engaged in many missionaries activities including visiting fellow youths that stopped going to Church in order to bring them back to the fold; doing various works of charity to the needy and taking care of the Church surrounding and planting trees,” said the Bishop.

The Bishop has since encouraged the youth to continue being active in their Missio Ad Gentes tasks and to take seriously their new assignment to evangelize to fellow youths through the Youth to Youth Dancing Missionaries.

Bishop Mtumbuka with some of the youth to be involved as the YYDM
Bishop Mtumbuka with some of the youth to be involved as the YYDM
Bishop Mtumbuka announcing the formation of the Youth to Youth Dancing Missionaries during Mass
Bishop Mtumbuka announcing the formation of the Youth to Youth Dancing Missionaries during Mass

Bishop Mtumbuka sampling if some youths from Chaminade and St Mary's KA Girls SEc Schools can dance as YYDM
Bishop Mtumbuka sampling if some youths from Chaminade and St Mary’s KA Girls Sec Schools can dance as YYDM