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Archives December 2023

A New Deacon and a New Priest: An Early New Year Gift to the Diocese Of Karonga

By Moses Raymond Kamanga

On Saturday, 30th of December, 2023 all roads led to St. Michaels Parish Chitipa for the ordination of Seminarian Raphael Simwera to Diaconate and Deacon Godwin Mwafongo to Priesthood. A multitude of Christians from Karonga, Misuku, Kamene and Nthalire braved the long distances and a scare of rains to travel and witness the young men saying “yes” to serve at the Lord’s Altar.

Newly ordained priest (in chasuble) and deacon (in dalmatic) immediately after their ordination
Newly ordained priest (in chasuble) and deacon (in dalmatic) immediately after their ordination

Instructing the two as they braced themselves to take up this noble responsibility, the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese of Karonga, Rt. Rev. Martin Anwel Mtumbuka advised them to persevere in their calling.

In his homily Bishop Mtumbuka asked the candidates to take after the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

“We have just celebrated Christmas and there is a close link, which I want to share with you, between the experience of the Holy Family and priesthood. Joseph was depressed when he found out that Mary was pregnant and wanted to secretly leave her. Mary was troubled when Jesus went missing and found in the Temple. In these experiences, they endured,” explained Bishop Mtumbuka.

To these experiences, Bishop Mtumbuka connected priestly life in which the two candidates need to endure also.

“You should not be priests who just complain in everything. Complaining from Monday to Sunday, January to December; when there is nsima you complain, beans you complain, vegetables you complain, complaining about everything. I don’t want this,” expressed Bishop Mtumbuka.

He went on to encourage the two to commit themselves to the life of prayer, saying that prayer is the fuel for their priestly life.

“When prayer is abandoned in the life of a priest, signs and symptoms are very clear. Just as signs are conspicuously clear in a family whose couples no longer love each other.

You shall know this by the way they talk to each other and look at each other. A priest whose life is devoid of prayer does things haphazardly, with no commitment at all. May it not be so with you,” concluded Bishop Mtumbuka.

Deacon Raphael Simwera comes from St. Mathias Mulumba Parish in Misuku – Chitipa District and Fr. Godwin Mwafongo comes from St. Thomas Moore Parish – Malimbalimba in Karonga District. They both studied at Peramiho Major Seminary in Songea – Tanzania.

Deacon Simwera is set to be ordained a priest in August next year (2024) at St. Mathias Mulumba Parish Center in Misuku. Fr. Godwin Mwafongo has since been appointed to serve at St. Ignatius Parish in Nthalire and his ordination to priesthood has brought the number of diocesan priests in the Karonga Diocese to 24.

Empowering Communities: Karonga Diocese Donates Farm Inputs to Local Households

Diocese of Karonga through Community Transformation programme  has lessened the worry of farmers in the area of Senior Traditional Authority Njikula in Rumphi by donating farm inputs to 99 households.

Vicar General Monsignor Lorent Dziko presenting the donation to some of the beneficiaries.

Speaking to Tuntufye FM, Karonga Diocese’s Vicar General Monsignor Laurent Dziko after the event on Friday 8th December 2023 said their aim is to see people from the area develop both physically and spiritually.

“As a a Catholic church just to be preaching the gospel to them is not enough we have also seen the need for us to help them to change in every area of their life as such providing these farm inputs was necessary so that when they plant and put into practice what our field officers teach them it will help them have bumper harvest “. He said.

He however, called on people to use the inputs accordingly so that the support rendered to them should yield positive results and change their lives for the better.

“Sometimes people think that just because they get something for free they can use the way they want which should not be the case because we have given these inputs with a purpose of changing their lives and if they put these inputs into good use it will surely change their lives”.

A beneficiary receiving a bag of fertilizer.

On his part is the Area Development Committee chairperson in the area Benson Matthews Maduna who asserts that he will make sure that the inputs given to the farmers are not misused and no one sells them through the aid of  selected leaders who are to monitor these farmers.

Part of the donations.

Meanwhile in a separate interview with one of the beneficiaries Elizabeth Mkandawire expressed gratitude to the diocese for changing her life through the  project as she will not worry about food now because she will harvest a lot with the farm inputs she has received.

Other consignments of similar, farm inputs will also be distributed to farmers in the areas of Kopakopa in Chitipa and Chankholombe in Karonga districts.

By Trifornia Mtawali