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Community Sensitization Campaigns by CCJP: A Stand Against Violence

In a world where ancient beliefs intersect with modern human rights, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Karonga Diocese has taken a bold step to address one of the most pressing issues which is violence against individuals accused of witchcraft. In line with this, CCJP Karonga Diocese conducted a community awareness meeting on 17th May 2024 at Ikwawo primary School in the area of Group Village Head Mwenengorongo.

CCJP Karonga Diocese’s Moses Mwakisalu addressing the community gathered at Ikwawo Primary School.

Speaking during the meeting at Ikwawo,CCJP officer Moses Mwakisalu stated that accusations of witchcraft, often targeting the most vulnerable members of society can lead to dire consequences. He also added that His Lordship Bishop Martin Mtumbuka is against all acts of violence against the elderly who usually are women hence the campaign and that Bishop considers such acts of violence as signs of illiteracy and effects of poverty. “We are setting a bad example for the coming generations, and it is very important that we stop these acts now in order to prevent them from happening to us when we get old” said Mwakisalu.

Karonga District Peace and Unity Committee vice-secretary Jane Mbowe.

The meeting was attended by different stakeholders such as GVH mwenengorongo, chiefs from the area, Songwe Police, Area Development Committee Members and a representative from the District Peace and Unity Committee. In a separate interview, Jane Mbowe who is the Vice Secretary for the District Peace and Unity Committee urged the community to actively participate in the peace building activities and advised the community against taking the law into their own hands when a person has been accused of practising witchcraft, rather they should report to the relevant authorities.

CCJP’s campaign focuses on educating communities about the dangers of such accusations and the importance of respecting human rights. Through the community meetings, and collaboration with local leaders, CCJP aims to dismantle the myths surrounding witchcraft and promote peace and justice. The campaign is an initiative by the Karonga Diocese CCJP with the aim of reducing acts of violence perpetrated against persons accused of witchcraft.

KARONGA DIOCESE DONATES MEDICAL EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES TO KARONGA DISTRICT HOSPITAL

In an effort to assist in healthcare services delivery in Karonga, the Karonga Diocese on 5th April 2024 made a donation of hospital beds, mattresses, syringes and face shields to Karonga District Hospital (KDH). The Health Desk Officer (HDO), Mr. Joseph Kimangila represented the Diocese in the handover ceremony where the items were received by the Director for Health and Social Services (DHSS), Mr. David Sibale.

Kimangira (R) handing over the medical equipment and supplies to DHSS Sibale.

Speaking on behalf of Karonga Diocese, Mr. Kimangila highlighted the continued commitment of the Diocese in assisting communities in the three districts of Rumphi Karonga and Chitipa in matters of healthcare. “The Bishop of the Karonga Diocese Martin Anwel Mtumbuka is committed to ensuring that the people in the Diocese are of good health. After receiving a donation of the medical equipment supplies from Cross Catholic Outreach (CCO) in the United States of America, the Bishop thought it wise to also share with others hence the donation to KDH,” Kimangila stated.

The DHSS expressed gratitude towards the Diocese for the donation stating that; “The institution is facing a problem of inadequacy of various medical equipment and supplies. The beds, masks, syringes and needles will assist in saving costs to buy such items for KDH”. He also added that the general public should know that  Karonga Diocese and the Ministry of Health are good partners and they work together in various ways citing the Covid-19 pandemic during which the Diocese also made a donation of various items. Mr. Sibale also assured the Diocese of continued collaboration from the Ministry of Health.

KDH has received ten adjustable hospital beds and mattresses, forty cartons of face shields, needles and syringes. Other equipment that Karonga Diocese received have been distributed among its health facilities including St. Cynthia Health Center, St. Clara Health Center and the recently constructed Health Center located in Zambwe area, all in Chitipa district.

By Noel Chatepa.

Bishop Mtumbuka laying hands on Deacon Erick Nyondo as part of the ordination rite
Karonga Diocese Has One New Priest

By Benjamin Msowoya

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga on Saturday ordained Deacon Erick Nyondo to priesthood during a solemn Eucharistic celebration which took place at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral.

The celebration attracted Catholic faithful and people of goodwill from within and outside the diocese. Following his ordination, Father Erick Nyondo brings the number of Diocesan Priests to twenty. Father Erick Nyondo will begin his priestly ministry as a Curate at St Ignatius Parish (Nthalire).

Bishop Mtumbuka laying hands on Deacon Erick Nyondo as part of the ordination rite
Bishop Mtumbuka laying hands on Deacon Erick Nyondo as part of the ordination rite

During the same celebration, the Bishop admitted Mr Benedict Nyondo, of Immaculate Heart of Mary (Chisankhwa) Parish, to the Ministry of Reader (Lector), on his journey to becoming a Permanent Deacon next year. This is the first of the two ministries one has to receive on the journey to receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Mr Nyondo completes this journey in July, 2022, and will become the first ever Permanent Deacon in Malawi.During the same event, Bishop Mtumbuka also blessed the cassock of Novice Jeremias Villalba of the Society of St Elijah (a Missionary Society that complements well the Diocese’s Ad Gentes missionary activities) and are working in Chisenga in the Diocese of Karonga.

Father Erick Nyondo: Newly ordained priest distributing Holy Communion
Father Erick Nyondo: Newly ordained priest distributing Holy Communion
Bishop Mtumbuka blessing Jeremias and his official religious attire as Fr Federico (standing) who is Father Superior of the Society of St Elijah in the Diocese looks on
Bishop Mtumbuka blessing Jeremias and his official religious attire as Fr Federico (standing) who is Father Superior of the Society of St Elijah in the Diocese looks on
Benedict Nyondo with his wife -Martha (his right), Bishop Mtumbuka (his left) and one of his sons – Pius (his far left)
Benedict Nyondo with his wife -Martha (his right), Bishop Mtumbuka (his left) and one of his sons – Pius (his far left)
Bishop Martin Mtumbuka (middle) and concelebrants during Mass
Bishop Leads Curia Officers in Commemorating All Souls Day

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has urged officers who work at the Diocesan Curia Offices to pray and do everything within their power to be found worth of paradise at the hour of their death.

The Bishop made this call on 2nd November, 2021, when he presided over Holy Mass commemorating All Souls Day at the Curia Offices which was a departure from the tradition of celebrating the day at Diocese level. This year, Christians celebrated this day in their respective parishes and not at Chaminade Chapel or nearby parishes of St Mary’s and St Joseph the Worker Cathedral.  

Bishop Martin Mtumbuka (middle) and concelebrants during Mass
Bishop Martin Mtumbuka (middle) and concelebrants during Mass

In his homily, the Bishop observed that the custom of praying for the dead is common in many religions. The Bishop said in the Catholic Church, there are two adjacent days which focus on the dead.

“On All Saints Day, celebrated on 1st November, the Church celebrates people who were triumphant in this life and are now with God as saints. On All Souls Say, the Church prays for the souls of all people who may have died without mortal sin but still in need purification before they are ushered into the presence of the All-Perfect and Holy God. 

Members of staff singing during the Eucharistic Celebration
Members of staff singing during the Eucharistic Celebration

The Bishop further said that according to what the Church teaches, there is nothing that we can do about those that died in mortal sin and are in hell saying “no number of prayers can redeem them.” He, therefore, urged all officers gathered to pray for their friends and relatives who died because they may need their prayers if they are in the purification process, in Purgatory. 

Bishop Martin Mtumbuka presided over the Mass, with Fr Joseph Sikwese (Bishop’s and Pastoral Secretary) and Fr Alick Sikwese (Director of Finance, Investment and Administration) as con-celebrants. 

About 50 members of staff, Catholics and non-Catholics, working in various departments at the Bishop’s Offices (Curia) and those from Tuntufye FM Radio attended this commemoration of the souls of the faithful departed. Various members of staff presented names of their departed friends and relatives to be prayed for during the Eucharistic Celebration.

Part of the congregation of members of staff during the celebration
Part of the congregation of members of staff during the celebration
Bishop Mtumbuka Catechises on the Lord’s Prayer

By Benedict Kauteka

Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has taken the opportunity of the blessing of St Martin’s (Fulirwa) Catholic Church to deliver catechesis on the Lord’s Prayer.

In his reflection on the prayer, which is commonly referred to as prayer to Our Father, the Bishop said Jesus that in the prayer, Jesus did not only give us the words to use when praying, but also taught us how to pray.

The Bishop then isolated 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.

According to the Bishop, the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer are about the establishment of our deep and intimate relationship with our God who is our Creator, and giving him the total respect he deserves as God, the source of our being.

In addition, he pointed out that when praying to God we need to ask for the will of God, and not our will, to be done. He said Jesus set a good example on this one as he asked his Father, in prayer, that his will be done; and God’s will was indeed done to Jesus, his Son. 

He also indicated that when we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we also pray for the food that we need to be taking as we move on towards our destiny as Christians. This food, according to the Bishop, is not limited to bread alone but extends to the Word of God, as it is our spiritual food, which we need to be taking as we journey towards God in heaven.

He also emphasized that in the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God to forgive us the sins that we commit in our everyday life as imperfect beings and at the same time we ask God to protect us from the evils of this world.

Finally, he said there are so many principles and ideologies in this world that contradict the values of the kingdom of God and so in this prayer we ask God to protect us from such evil ideologies and principles of this world.

Picture of Bishop Mtumbuka with the newly installed lectors after the Mass
Bishop Mtumbuka Institutes 45 Into The Ministry Of Lector

By Maureen Soko (Tfm)

Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese has instituted 45 men and women, of St Mary’s Parish in Karonga, into the ministry of lector with a call for them to live by example.

Picture of Bishop Mtumbuka with the newly installed lectors after the Mass
Bishop Mtumbuka with the newly installed lectors after the Mass

According to Ministeria Quaedam 5, the primary role of the lector (reader) is to proclaim the readings from the sacred scripture, except the gospel, in the Mass and other sacred celebrations. The lector also recites the psalm between the readings, presents intentions for intercessions, and directs the singing and participation of the faithful.

In his speech, Bishop Mtumbuka said although no one is righteous but they should always strive to do what is right. He urged them to ensure that their actions reflect the word of God they will be proclaiming to their fellow Christians.

“We know that you are not Angels but set a good example to your fellow Christians. Bear in your mind that you have been called to carry his mission in a special way,” said the Bishop.

Furthermore, the Bishop said everyone has a role to play in the church, saying it is not good to hinder anyone willing to offer a dedicated service to God.

Picture of Bishop Mtumbuka installing one of the candidates
Bishop Mtumbuka installing one of the candidates

Following the ceremony, St Mary’s Parish joins the few parishes in Malawi with instituted ministers of the readings. Most parishes have non-instituted lectors who are deputed to read the scriptures in the place of an instituted reader. Installed readers are usually found in seminary chapels where senior seminarians are installed lectors as preparation for ordained ministry.

On his part, the Parish Priest Fr. Joseph Moloka Sikwese said he is satisfied with the training the group has gone through.

Father Sikwese explained that this is not the first time for St Mary’s Parish to have this kind of grouping. It was there before but it died and now has decided to revive it.

According to him, preaching starts with those who read the scriptures, therefore it is important to impart reading skills to the selected people so that the message can be well understood by the congregation.

Picture of Bishop Mtumbuka (in front) and Archbishop Ziyaye (behind) file past the body of Bishop Kanyama
Bishop Mtumbuka Describes the Death of Bishop Kanyama as a Great Loss

By Ephraim Nyirenda

Catholics and people of goodwill from all walks of life gathered at Likuni Parish on Tuesday to pray for the repose of the soul of Bishop Emmanuel Kanyama of Dedza Diocese who passed on Friday, 16 February at his home; Kapiri in Mchinji District.

Picture of Bishop Mtumbuka (in front) and Archbishop Ziyaye (behind) file past the body of Bishop Kanyama
Bishop Mtumbuka (in front) and Archbishop Ziyaye (behind) file past the body of Bishop Kanyama

Speaking during the highly concelebrated requiem Mass, the main celebrant Right Reverent Martin Anwel Mtumbuka, Bishop of Karonga Diocese and Vice Chairperson of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, described the death of Bishop Kanyama as a great loss to the conference of bishops and the entire Malawi nation.

In his homily, Bishop Mtumbuka said the Late Bishop Kanyama was a gifted man, whose numerous gifts were put at the service of the Church and the nation in various areas.

“I remember Bishop Kanyama as a quiet man, but when he wanted to contribute, he could not mince words. He was always straight to the point which some of us cannot do,” said Bishop Mtumbuka.

He further urged the congregation to commend themselves into the hands of God during this Lenten season. He condemned the tendency of being preoccupied with daily cares and material things without sparing time to spend with God.

The Vice Chairperson of ECM emphasized the need for Christians to maintain a good relationship with Christ through the Sacrament of Penance and Eucharist during this time of Lent.

Notable figures at the Mass were Vice President of the Republic of Malawi Dr Saulos Claus Chilima, Minister of Information Nicholas Dausi, Leader of Opposition Dr Lazarus Chakwera and Former Vice President Khumbo Kachali among others.

Bishop Emmanuel Kanyama was born in 1962, ordained priest in 1990 and consecrated Bishop of Dedza on 6th October, 2007.

After the Mass, the body of the Late Bishop Kanyama was taken to Bembeke Cathedral in Dedza where it will be laid to rest on 21st February after requiem mass to be presided over by Archbishop Ziyaye of the Metropolitan See of Lilongwe to which Dedza is a suffragan diocese.

Pictures

Picture of Bishop Martin Mtumbuka delivering his homily
Bishop Martin Mtumbuka delivering his homily

Vice PresidentDr  Saulos Chilima and Madam Chilima

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture of Catholic Women Organisation members carrying flowers and wreaths
Catholic Women Organisation members carrying flowers and wreaths

(Second from right) Leader of Opposition, Dr Lazarus Chakwera

Casket carrying the body of Late Bishop Emmanuel Kanyama

 

 

 

Karonga Diocese Develops Consolidated Annual Programme for 2018

By Moses Raymond Kamanga

Walking the talk of embracing the centralised structure of running the Church in Malawi, Karonga Diocese takes a further stride by holding a joint planning meeting to come up with an annual consolidated programme for all the Commissions of the Diocese.

Opening the meeting, Bishop of the Diocese of Karonga, Rt. Rev. Martin Mtumbuka, stated the importance of the meeting and having an annual consolidated programme to make sure that each commission knows what other commissions intend to implement.

The meeting brought together all Parish Priests of the Diocese of Karonga,  desk officers of the three commissions of the Diocese namely; Pastoral, Caritas and Finance Investments and Administration.

Picture of Participants at the planning meeting
Participants at the planning meeting

Taking the opportunity of the gathering, Bishop Mtumbuka announced the opening of Chisenga Health Centre under the Diocesan Health Department which will be run by Lusubilo Orphan Care. Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, the Bishop explained that though the Health Centre will require patients paying something for treatment, the Chisenga community will also benefit more from Lusubilo Orphan Care services.

The Diocese of Karonga is privileged to have embraced the centralised way of running the Diocese to help the young diocese share resources and act as a unit in delivering spiritual and social development programmes to the Christians and all people within its area of jurisdiction.

Due to these strides, the Diocese has set a pace which other Dioceses in the Ecclesiastical territory of Malawi are emulating.

Bishop Mtumbuka Appoints Father Bulambo as Judicial Vicar

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka has appointed Reverend Father Doctor Steven Bulambo as Judicial Vicar of the Tribunal of the Diocese of Karonga.

Father Bulambo, who holds a Doctorate Degree in Canon Law, was until this appointment Judicial Vicar Designate of the Diocese. This appointment  follows a message from the Supreme Tribunal in the Vatican confirming Father Bulambo for the post.

Rev. Fr. Dr. Steven Bulambo, Judicial Vicar of the Diocesan Tribunal

In the appointment letter, Bishop Mtumbuka has said that as Judicial Vicar, Father Bulambo will lead, manage and coordinate [the Tribunal of  the Diocese of Karonga which is] an important pastoral tool of the Diocese by assisting the faithful who need their marriage cases attended to so that they can return to sacramental life.

“In carrying out this difficult but noble task, together with your colleagues in the Tribunal, you will assist many Christians to acquire a closer union with our risen Lord through his sacraments,” reads part of the letter.

The appointment is with immediate effect.

Picture of Bishop Mtumbuka hands over keys to the Mr Ngwira and a student representative
Bishop Mtumbuka Hands over Minibus to St Mary’s Girls; Bemoans Stereotype against Girls in Education

By Norbert Tambalamtuwa Mzembe

The leadership of the Diocese of Karonga has described as uncalled for, the tendency of underrating girls’ capacity for attaining higher education common among most Malawians.

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka said this on Monday at the newly established Saint Mary Girls’ Secondary School in Karonga District.

In a quest to break the record that girls can also excel in education like boys, given equal opportunities, Bishop Mtumbuka handed over a brand new Toyota Hiace minibus to the school to ease mobility challenges for both learners and staff at the institution. The minibus has been bought by the Diocese of Karonga with financial support from Team Lift.

Picture of Bishop Mtumbuka hands over keys to the Mr Ngwira and a student representative
Bishop Mtumbuka hands over keys to the Mr Ngwira and a student representative

“The church recognizes the new government policy that prohibits schools from ferrying pupils in open vehicles during their educational trips. That is why we thought of buying this minibus for the school. They have stayed for quite some time using a small vehicle and sometimes open ones,” explained the Bishop.

He further appealed to learners to take good care of the vehicle. He also urged them to work hard in school to make their parents and the whole nation proud.

The Bishop added that being at a Christian school, learners must strive for excellence both spiritually and physically. He discouraged learners from being selfish to their colleagues for them to become reliable citizens who could bring the nation to light as greedy characters derail national development.

The school’s Deputy Head Teacher, Farriot Ngwira commended the kind gesture shown by the diocese through the donation of the vehicle which in the long run will improve the standards of education.

“Our learners now have an opportunity to have exchange learning visits to their sister schools to learn what their colleagues do, to do well academically. We will also have no problems in ferrying them to hospital when they fall sick,” Ngwira said.

Furthermore, the deputy head assured the general public that they should expect good results from the school as they are currently already doing well.

In expressing her gratitude on behalf of her peers, one of the exceptional pupils, a 14 year old form two Clever Banda whose ambition is to become a Quantity Surveyor, said she is optimistic that the school will bring joy to the church, parents and the nation as a whole as they will now put more effort in their studies.

The seemingly brilliant girl further called upon the diocese to reconsider them with additional academic books and laboratory equipment to sharpen their knowledge.

Established in 2017 and situated at the lake view mountain at Mwenilondo, the school is currently accommodating about 200 learners in forms one and two but it is designed to host about 600 learners.