By Ignatius Mvula
On 26th October, 2018, Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga moved the parish centre for St Matthias Mulumba (Misuku) Parish from Mughese to Chiwanji.
Speaking during a solemn Eucharistic celebration, Bishop Mtumbuka highlighted that it is within the interest of the Diocese of Karonga that the clergy must be as close to the people as possible, hence the move.
“We decided to shift the parish centre from Mughese to Chiwanji so that the priests can be closer to the people in line with our motto, we shall go to them,” said the Bishop.
“As you will all agree, Chiwanji is the central point where most people who need to see priests can easily see them and have their burning pastoral needs addressed. This is the main reason we exist as a diocese,” the Bishop further said.
Before the Mass, Bishop Mtumbuka blessed the magnificent Presbytery (Fathers’ House), which has been built by the efforts of the faithful of St Matthias Mulumba Parish and partners like Church in Need.
During his Homily, Bishop Martin reminded the people to live the faith they have received from Christ.
“We must all live the faith that we have received from the apostles. This must be reflected in both words and actions. If our life contradicts out teaching, then we become no better than the hypocrites that Jesus condemns in his teaching,” exhorted the Bishop.
Commenting on social development issues, the Bishop strongly hinted that the spirit of believing in witchcraft is not only archaic, but it is baseless without any logical standpoints.
“My brothers and sisters gathered here and all listeners on our Radio, get this right, when people claim that one or two people has bewitched them and they begin chasing old people and even killing them, the only explanation to this is the huge abject poverty and ignorance that have engulfed the people,” the Bishop further said.
During the same visit, the Bishop consecrated newly built churches at Makeye and Chuwa outstations. These churches have been constructed from financial resources generated by the communities of the two outstations.
“We tried to empower the Christians of the two communities to begin the projects of construction from the moulding of bricks through to competition. Now that we can assemble in this church and praise God for this gift,” said Fr Bernard Silungwe the Parish Priest.
“I am very grateful to you my Lord for coming to bless these Churches and to all the faithful for embracing this project with unreserved dedication,” Said Fr Silungwe.
The function was graced by the presence of many traditional leaders from the area, government officials and political leaders.
During the visit to Misuku, the Bishop was impressed with the progress the parish is making in its evangelisation efforts and well as social development. The Bishop also commended the missionary approach to evangelisation employed by the Parish Priest also because it is bearing fruit by bringing many to the Church. In the same vein, the Bishop pledged to give one hundred thousand kwacha to two outstanding catechists in the parish, Catechists Kayange and Mbukwa during the Thanksgiving Mass.
Among the many achievements in the parish, the faithful have fully embraced the idea of self-supporting their church, the Sunday school children are well initiated in their Catholic faith.
The Bishop also applauded the work of the Justice and Peace Field Officer for the area Alick Gondwe, for going a long way in bringing to book those who promote victimisation of people on witchcraft allegation and leading the fight against child marriages.
Because of its difficult terrain, as it is a hilly area, coupled with poor road network, most of the areas in the St Matthias Mulumba Parish are hard to reach.