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Bishop Martin Mtumbuka with priests of the Diocese of Karonga
New Appointments of Diocesan and Religious Priests
Bishop Martin Mtumbuka with priests of the Diocese of Karonga
Bishop Martin Mtumbuka with priests of the Diocese of Karonga

Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has made the following appointments of Diocesan and Religious priests:

  1. Parishes

Reverend Father Simon Mwenefumbo (newly ordained) is Curate at St Matthias Mulumba (Misuku) Parish

Reverend Father Regis Kamela is Acting Parish Priest of St Michael’s Parish and Dean of Chitipa Deanery

Reverend Father Edward Kamanga is Curate at St Mary’s Parish and Social Communication Secretary

Reverend Father Charles P. Chinula is Curate at St Steven’s Parish

Reverend Father Thomas Gondwe is Curate at St John Paul II Parish

Reverend Father Nazario is Parish Priest at St Apollonia Parish. He arrives from Philippines on 16 October, 2020.  

Reverend Father Peter Koh is Curate at St Apollonia Parish. He arrives from Singapore on 16 October, 2020.

Reverend Father Aubrey is Parish Priest of Immaculate Heart of Mary (Chisankhwa) Parish. He arrives from Zambia on 16 October, 2020.

2. Directorates, Chaplaincies and Boards

Reverend Father Alick Sikwese is Director of Finance, Investments and Administration and will be operating from the Curia Offices

Reverend Father Edward Kamanga is Social Communication Secretary

Reverend Father Joseph Mkinga is Chaplain of Chaminade Mission

Reverend Father Edward Kamanga is Chaplain of St Mary’s Secondary School Mission

Reverend Father Thomas Gondwe is Vocations Director and Family Apostolate Coordinator

Reverend Father Kondwani Mwenegamba is Acting Chaplain of Kaseye Mission

Reverend Father Aubrey is Board Member for Tuntufye FM Radio Station

Reverend Father Doctor Steven Bulambo is Chaplain of St Anne’s CDSS and St Anne’s Hospital

Reverend Father Peter Koh is Board Member for Lusubilo Community Care and Chaplain of Ngala CDSS

Priests on transfer are expected to arrive at their new places by 1 October, 2020.

Bishop Martin Mtumbuka distributing relief items
Bishop Mtumbuka Launches COVID-19 Relief Distribution

By Richard Mwafulirwa

On Wednesday, Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga responded to the hunger situation of the people around the Bishop’s House at Mwenelondo by distributing relief food assistance and hand washing facilities for COVID-19 prevention.

Bishop Martin Mtumbuka distributing relief items
Bishop Martin Mtumbuka distributing relief items

Speaking during the launch of relief distribution, which took place at Mwenelondo in the area of GVH Melele in Karonga District, where about 35 households received food items and hand washing buckets, the Bishop said he decided to share with them the items to alleviate the challenges they community members are facing.

Bishop Mtumbuka addressing His neighbours
Bishop Mtumbuka addressing His neighbours

“As I stay in the same village with you, I see that most of you are poor. I wish you well in these hard times of COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Bishop.

The Bishop further condemned the act of burning houses and killing people just because of being accused witchcrafts. He said he will continue to condemn such acts as it is done to people who are poor and less privileged.

“What has happened to GVH Mwandwanga is very discouraging. But we will continue to condemn such acts because the one to suffer is the less privileged and it is counterproductive,” said Bishop Mtumbuka.

Relief items
Relief items

Acknowledging the donation, GVH Melele expressed his happiness as the donation will help his people. He has pledged to see to it that facilities for COVID-19 prevention are used accordingly.

“I am very happy and thankfully to the Diocese and the Bishop of Karonga Diocese as the donation will help my people as they struggle to source for themselves,” GVH Melele.

During the ceremony, the Bishop launched the relief distribution exercise. The donated items are part of COVID-19 response initiative which is being facilitated by the Development Desk of the Diocese of Karonga. The relief items have been donated by the Episcopal Conference of Malawi.

St Martin (Fulirwa) Christians Have a New Prayer House

By Benedict Kauteka

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has commended the efforts made, by the faithful of St Martin’s (Fulirwa) Catholic Church under St Anne’s Parish, towards the construction of a magnificent, strong and long lasting church building.

The Bishop expressed his word of gratitude when he consecrated and officially opened a newly constructed church building on 28th July, 2019. The Bishop’s visit was in itself a source of joy for the Christians and a source of encouragement and strength.  

In his homily, the Bishop admonished the faithful to desist from polygamous unions as they contradict the teaching of Christ, our Saviour, on marriage which is the life time union of one woman and one man.

The Bishop further advised the Catholic faithful of this area to refrain from the tendency of accusing the elderly of practicing witchcraft as such accusations are merely based on ignorance, poverty and jealousy.

He went on to say that such accusations are done mainly in Africa, particularly in the sub-Saharan Africa, where most people are living in abject poverty and ignorance. 

Reflecting on the Lord’s Prayer, the Bishop said Jesus did not only give us the words for us to use, but also taught us how to pray.

The Bishop then expounded the five themes contained in the Lord’s Prayer, which are; relating to God in an intimate way as Our Father; praying for the will of God to be done always; praying for our needs as represented by “our daily bread”; asking for forgiveness of our sins and finally asking God to deliver us from evil.

The construction of a new church at Fulirwa Sub Station was a response of the Christians to the call the Bishop made in 2012 when he visited them. He advised the faithful to build a better prayer centre as the old one did not suit to be called a Catholic Church.

Following this call, the faithful started mobilizing resources to embark of the construction project. The actual work began in 2014 with moulding of bricks. It has taken five years to complete the building.

According to the chairperson of the Local Pastoral Council, the faithful built the new church mainly with contributions from their own pockets.

The statistics indicate that there are more than two hundred (200) Christians with close to eighty (80) junior Sunday school children at this prayer center. St Anne’s Parish, currently under the leadership of Father Cosmas Mwanjabala as Parish Priest, has fifty prayer centres in total.

The Bishop planting his tree at the school during the Launch
“Make Electricity Reliable and Easily Accessible to Save Trees,” Bishop Mtumbuka

By Elijah Banda

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has urged authorities to revisit energy policies to make electricity reliable and easily accessible, to reduce the demand on charcoal in urban areas, if the battle against deforestation is to be won.

The Bishop planting his tree at the school during the Launch
The Bishop planting his tree at the school during the Launch

The Bishop made these remarks on Wednesday when he presided over the launch of tree planting season for communities in the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Karonga at Nandanga Primary School in Chitipa, where a total of 1600 trees were planted.

Speaking to the hundreds of learners and communities members at the function, the Bishop acknowledged the reality of climate change and its effects, such as dry spells, flooding, pollution of water sources and pests such as fall army worms.

Early grade learner at Nandanga primary school planting a tree during the launch
Early grade learner at Nandanga primary school planting a tree during the launch

In his speech, the Bishop observed that efforts to curb deforestation, as a mitigation measure for climate change, cannot be addressed by one intervention such as tree planting alone.

Bishop Mtumbuka further asserted that if demand for charcoal is killed in urban centres there will be reduced need for cutting down of trees as charcoal production accounts for 20% of annual tree loss.

“If electricity continues to be a problem to town dwellers, who use charcoal, then the fight against deforestation cannot be won as number of planted trees and those that survive does not match with the energy demand by households, rendering tree planting efforts in vain,” Said the Bishop.

Part of the crowd during the tree planting launch
Part of the crowd during the tree planting launch

Speaking earlier at the function, Senior GVH Mgalure thanked Karonga Diocese for the initiative in his area also hit by effects of climate change such as flush floods in Songwe River, dry spells and increasing temperatures.

On his part, District commissioner for Chitipa District urged communities to keep on planting trees and taking care of them to improve the national tree survival rate, which is low.

The tree planting launch was graced by participants from Chitipa District council, Karonga Diocese technical staff, the media, non-governmental organizations working in Chitipa learners and community members.

As one way of complementing government’s afforestation efforts, Karonga Diocese through “Karonga and Chitipa Integrated Rural Development Project” is working with villages and schools in creating tree nurseries, and planting trees as well as conserving already existing through the use of energy efficient Changu-changu stoves.

Through the project, the Development Desk is planting 139,000 in Karonga and Chitipa districts over a period of three years (2017-2010). The project is being implemented with financial support from Misereor Germany.

Bishop Mtumbuka flanked by the Vicar General, the Nyondo Family and other priests after the opening Masswith the Nyondo Family and pr
Karonga Diocese Holds First Ever Conference for Families

By Ignatius Mvula & Benjamin Msowoya

From 9-11 November 2018, the Pastoral Commission, through the Association of Catholic Families, held a Diocesan Conference for Families at St Mary’s Parish Centre.  87 families of which 84 were couples attended the conference where they received lessons and interacted as families from various corners of the Diocese. This Conference was the first of its kind since the Association of Catholic Families was established in the Diocese in 2015.

Bishop Mtumbuka flanked by the Vicar General, the Nyondo Family and other priests after the opening Mass
Bishop Mtumbuka flanked by the Vicar General, the Nyondo Family and other priests after the opening Mass

The aim of the Conference was to deepen the faith of the families that gathered through the prepared presentations and discussions on the future of the Association of Catholic Families in the Diocese by looking at the draft Constitution of the Association and the Action Plan for the following year.

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga presided over the opening mass of the Conference on Saturday, 10 November.  During the opening mass, one couple, the family of Mr Benedict and Martha Nyondo, renewed their nuptial vows as they celebrated 25 years in marriage.

In his homily, the Bishop emphasized the significance of family to both the Church and society. “We need stable families in order to have a stable Church and society”, he said.

He cautioned the gathered families that: “The vocation to marriage, noble as it is, is not cheap as seen from what it demands of the couples – more so in today’s world where selfishness is rampant”.

He encouraged the congregation to root their families on selfless love, learning from Christ’s unselfish love. He also asked all pastoral agents in the Diocese to put special attention to the pastoral care of families.

Also present during the opening Mass were the Vicar General (Monsignor Denis Chitete), the Pastoral Secretary (Fr Joseph Sikwese), the Chaplain for the Association of Catholic Families (Fr Joachim Mwale), several other priests, religious sisters and catechists.

The families that gathered for the Conference also went through several presentations on Peacebuilding in Families, Handing on the Faith in the Home/Family Today, How to Fruitfully Contribute to the 2019 Tripartite Elections and the Constitution of the Association of Catholic Families.

During the Conference, it was encouraging to hear many couples openly sharing the benefits of actively being involved or being part of the Association of Catholic Families. Many of them testified that the lessons on Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning which were done in their parishes have awakened them on how to be better parents.

Many others also said that being chosen as Lead Couples in their Small Christian Communities has assisted them to re-examine their behaviour in many areas and has improved their families; they try to live up to the title of “Lead Couple” in their area.

It was not surprising to hear requests from the couples that such gatherings and lessons should continue at all levels (Diocese, Parish and Zone levels) in order to allow more families to know that the Association of Catholic Families has come to stay and to allow more families get involved and benefit from the presentations during such gatherings.

The Conference closed on Sunday, 11 November, with mass presided over by the Diocesan Chaplain of the Association of Catholic Families, Fr Joachim Mwale.  During the closing mass, the couples that attended the Conference renewed their marital vows.

Participants fully contributed financial and materials resources towards the conference in terms of transport, food, stationery, refreshments and facilitators’ upkeep.

The Diocesan Executive Committee of the Association of Catholic Families was the main organising committee of this Conference.  Although less families attended the Conference than expected (87 families of the expected 120 families, representing 73%).

The Bishop walking to the venue of the Mass
Bishop Mtumbuka Visits Tcharo in the “We Shall Go To Them” Spirit

By Paul Malata and Ignatius Mvula

13 October, 2018 will go into the annals of the people of Tcharo, in the newly created Livingstonia Parish, when they welcomed Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga in the area.

This was the first time for a Catholic Bishop to visit the area, since the coming of the Catholic Church in Malawi, on an evangelization mission to the area, which is yet to embrace Catholicism. The Bishop and his entourage had to endure three hours of sailing on Lake Malawi to reach the otherwise, until then, forgotten area “the periphery”. This is also because the area is hard to reach.

The Bishop walking to the venue of the Mass
The Bishop walking to the venue of the Mass

 

The Bishop’s visit to Tcharo is in line with the motto of the Diocese of Karonga, “We shall go to them” which reflects the missionary nature of the Church; a Church that “goes out”.  Like the first missionaries, Bishop Mtumbuka and the Diocesan team received a cordial welcome and well taken care of by well-wishers; non-Catholics.

Upon arrival, he was welcomed by traditional leaders and Catholic Christians and people of goodwill of Tcharo. During the visit, the Bishop engaged with traditional leaders including Sub Traditional Authority Chapinduka, Area Development Committee members, Catholic Christians and other groups on developmental and spiritual issues affecting the area.

Getting ready for the three-hour on lake

 

The tour reached its climax on Sunday when Bishop Martin Mtumbuka led the Christians in Solemn Eucharistic celebration, which was also attended by followers of other denominations like Church of Central African Presbyterian and Emmanuel Church.

In his homily, Bishop Mtumbuka reminded the gathering that all people are called to love and witness to Jesus.

“Jesus was incarnated to save us. He died on the cross out of love. It is this love that we must take to others as well,” said Bishop Mtumbuka.

“Those who have received the faith are obliged by the same faith to share it with others. There is no Christianity without love and service,” added the Bishop.

Taking his turn, Fr. Steven Bulambo, the Parish Moderator thanked the Bishop for the gesture of love and commitment to serving the people of Tcharo.

“My Lord Bishop, on behalf of Christians of Livingstonia Parish and all people of goodwill within this jurisdiction. I thank you very much that you counted it worthy to come here to pray with us and experience the spiritual, social and economic life that we experience here at Tcharo. It is evidently clear that you have walked the talk ‘we shall go to them’, the motto of this diocese,” Said Fr. Bulambo.

“We hope that in your pastoral plans you will consider to come to Tcharo again and many other places in our parish. It is always a joy to see you within the frontiers of this parish, which has just being newly established,” he added.

The Bishop made a number of commitments in response to the issues raised. He assured the people of Tcharo that they are dear to the diocese, just like all other Christians and people of goodwill in this diocese. The pastoral and socio-economic interventions that the diocese engages in must reach all frontiers of this diocese amidst various challenges that each parish has.

On the pastoral front, the Bishop assured the community of Tcharo that the diocese will build a church there on a plot that the community has given to the diocese. The diocese will also, in liaison with Lusubiro, put up a community based childcare center.

The Bishop has since appointed Mr. Mwale, a Catholic school teacher, to be the caretaker of Sunday school affairs. Mr. Mwale will work together with the Catechetical Methodology Advisor of Livingstonia Parish. The Bishop also indicated that the place needs a full time catechist. The Bishop further instructed the Pastoral Commission to consider introducing the Likuni Phala (a feeding program tailored by the Sunday school apostolate) program immediately.

Regarding interventions championed by the Caritas Commission, the Bishop said the diocese will do everything within its mandate and capacity to help the people of Tcharo. For Instance, he asked the Caritas Secretary, Mr Mwawi Shaba present at the meeting, to design a way of selecting the youth of Tcharo to Catholic schools although they are non-Catholics. The Bishop also declared that Tcharo area should be prioritized in this year’s food relief project being implemented by the Development Desk.

To effectively respond to developmental issues, the Bishop advised the Caritas Commission to find ways of deploying a fuul time Development officer to be based in Tchalo. Furthermore, the diocese will open a Vocational Skills Training Center to equip school leavers with skills in trades such as carpentry, brick laying, Tailoring and home economics.

Bishop Mtumbuka was accompanied by several officers from the Curia, to have a holistic perspective of the place. Some of them were: Mr. Mwai Shawa, Diocesan Caritas Secretary; Franklin Msiska, Desk Officer for Development and Livelihood; Vitumbiko Ngwira, Deputy Director of Lusubiro Orphan Care Organization; Ignatius Mvula the Catechetical Material Production Coordinator and staff from Tuntufye FM Radio Station, Matthews Moyo and Paul Malata.

The function was attended by many people including Sub-Traditional Authority Chapinduka and many local traditional leaders, the ward councilor for the area, Catechists of Mlowe Zone and other well-wishers. The month of October is Missionary Month in the Catholic Church.

Bishop Mtumbuka Urges Junior Sunday School Children to be Instruments of Peace

By Phillip Chisi

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has urged Junior Sunday School children to be instruments of peace in their homes and communities.

Bishop Mtumbuka interacting with Sunday school children
Bishop Mtumbuka interacting with Sunday school children

Bishop Mtumbuka said this on Sunday at St Mary’s Karonga Girls Secondary School when he interacted with over 260 children from all corners of the Diocese at this year’s Diocesan Junior Sunday School Rally.

The Bishop stressed that children have a bigger role to play in the promotion of peace. He further assured the children that the Church will continue to teach to be instruments of peace and on ways of resolving conflicts among themselves among themselves or among those they know.

In the same vein, the Bishop has declared, effective 26th August, 2018, children should be singing or reciting Franciscan Prayer of Peace in their Mass between communion and thanksgiving hymn across the Diocese. The Bishop further asked the children to emulate St Francis’ desire for peace.

The rally was held under the theme, “Children the Instruments of Peace”. The aim of the rally was to give children a platform to share their experiences including their challenges from spiritual and social aspects. Both the Pastoral and Caritas commissions were involved in facilitating the discussion.

Bishop Mtumbuka further assured the young ones that he will attend to the issues they raised during the meeting. Some of the issues presented ranges from inadequate schools and teachers, gender based violence in their families and communities which affect their wellbeing, and many more.

The children also expressed experience with the work of the different arms of the Diocese, most especially, the Justice and Peace Desk and Tuntufye FM Radio.

The Bishop further thanked all the Sunday school instructors for taking care of the children and urged them to work with humility and persistence.

The Vicar General of the Diocese of Karonga Monsignor Denis Chitete led the opening Mass of Saturday the 25th of August. The Bishop presided over the closing Mass on Sunday evening.

In Karonga Diocese Junior Sunday school consist of children aged between six and fourteen.

Some of the pieces of medical equipment
Medical Missionaries Donate Assorted Pieces of Medical Equipment to Karonga Diocese

By Vincent Shaba

The Diocese of Karonga recently received a timely donation of assorted medical equipment from a US based Catholic Charity Medical Missionaries.

Some of the pieces of medical equipment
Some of the pieces of medical equipment

A container carrying the medical equipment arrived in the country in March this year. Among the many pieces of medical equipment were oxygen concentrators, nebulizers, and bed pans. In addition the container carried single use materials like syringes, gloves and catheters of various sizes.

The Medical Missionaries donated the items at the request of the Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga when he visited United States of America last year. The shipping cost was paid for by the Mathile Family Foundation, who also paid for the construction of St Mary’s Girls Secondary School.

These items have been distributed among Catholic health institutions in the Dioceses of Karonga and Mzuzu. Among the beneficiary health facilities in Karonga Diocese are Kaseye, St. Anne’s, Chisenga, Atupele and Hope Clinic.

Most of these facilities are situated in remote area where people in catchment area have low household income hence services are at times rendered on credit or for free due as most people cannot afford the services.

Thus donation has come at the right time as these facilities have a huge demand of such equipment.

Picture of “Jesus Paid a Heavy Price for Our Salvation” Bishop Mtumbuka
“Jesus Paid a Heavy Price for Our Salvation,” Bishop Mtumbuka

By Paul Mwandira and Maureen Soko

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese has urged Christians to be mindful of the heavy price Jesus paid for the salvation of the world, saying his suffering is incomparable to any debt in the world.

Picture of “Jesus Paid a Heavy Price for Our Salvation” Bishop Mtumbuka
“Jesus Paid a Heavy Price for Our Salvation,” Bishop Mtumbuka

Bishop Mtumbuka said this in on Good Friday in Chitipa when he led over thousands of Christians of St Michael’s Parish in a 4 kilometer long Way of the Cross from St Kizito Conference Centre to the parish centre.

During the Way of the Cross, Christians relive the passion of Jesus Christ from his condemnation to death by Roman Governor of Palestine, Pontius Pilate, to his crucifixion, death on the cross and burial.

In his sermon, Bishop Mtumbuka exhorted Christians to guard themselves against greed for money. He called on people who get rich through corrupt means to learn from Judas Iscariot that there is no better end. For love of money, Judas Iscariot who sold Jesus Christ and later killed himself.

Furthermore, the Bishop reminded the Christians that there is no one who could have done what Jesus did. To be a Christian one needs to have a strong faith in Christ.

“Christians should know that they are not mere people; Jesus bought them by His blood.” said the Bishop.

“I want to assure you that Jesus gave his life to save us. When you receive the sacrament of Baptism, or partake His body in the Eucharist, always remember that we were bought at a very high price. This is why the saints sacrificed their lives. They did not wish to deny Him because they knew that Jesus bought them by His blood,” said Bishop Mtumbuka.

However, the Bishop said it is impossible for people to do what Jesus did for us but the least Christians can do is to fill their hearts with gratitude to Jesus and try to imitate his life.

Good Friday is the day Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross and died for the sins of the world. During the Way of the Cross, the youth of St Michael’s Parish dramatized the passion of Christ on each of the fourteen stations. The Bishop thanked the youth for their commitment to Church activities.