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Blog Detail

Blog Detail


  • 13 September 2023
by Sam Kalimba

It had been 8 years when the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins left the Archdiocese of Lilongwe only to return on 9th September 2023 through the newly commissioned St. Padre Pio Parish. The Capuchins came to the Archdiocese of Lilongwe in early 1990s with the opening of a new Parish which gave birth to St. Padre Pio as its outstation but in around 2015 they closed their mission remaining with only their Regional Custody near the St. Padre Pio Parish. The Outstation was being run by the former mother Parish which was under the Diocesans who took over.

His Grace Archbishop George Tambala cuts a ribbon symbolising the Inauguration of St Padre Pio Gulliver Parish

The prelate of the Archdiocese of Lilongwe, His Grace Archbishop George Tambala started opening new parishes in 2022 and this year he has opened the 47th Parish and commissioned Rev. Fr. Henderson Kumbasa, OFM Capuchin who is the Deputy Regional Superior as the new Parish Priest for the new Parish.

Speaking in few words, Archbishop Tambala urged both the old and new Parishes’ Christians to forget the past and only begin anew.

His Grace Archbishop George Tambala sharing his homily

Like in the Gospel that we have read today, all of us are urged to spread the word of God led by love. I don’t expect any one of you either from this new Parish or the old Kaggwa Parish to dig the past. Let bygones be bygones. As a new Parish focus on what’s good for you and the kingdom of God. The main role of a Parish is for Christians to come closer to Sacraments through the presence of a priest and pray for their needs. A parish is not an NGO and therefore preserve the nature of a Parish in accordance with the Church doctrine.

In his speech, Fr. Henderson Kumbasa said that it was gratifying to be considered a new Parish for their mission to evangelize Christ with ease.

Over the years we have been wondering about in our mission, but we now thank God for this grace of a settlement. We will now be able to plan and measure our contribution to the Archdiocese and the kingdom of God. We don’t take this for granted and we will fulfill God’s mission in us. We are grateful to God, we are grateful to His Grace, Archbishop Tambala, we thank the Andrea Kaggwa Parish priest, Monsignor Patrick Thawale and the parishioners of Kaggwa Parish for their support

The newly appointed Parish Priest, Fr. Henderson Kumbasa, OFM Capuchin

Fr. Kumbasa urged his newfound flock to be ready to support the work of evangelisation and focus on building the new parish.

Parish Laity Chairperson Mr. Alex Chitsanthi said that the Christians of the new Parish welcomed the parish warmly and promised to work with the new Parish Priest. He however invited Archbishop Tambala to keep visiting them whenever he would be free so that they get the fatherly support as they begin their independence.

The State Vice President Dr. Saulos Claus Chilima signing the visitors book

The State Vice President Dr. Saulos Claus Chilima was in attendance in his faithful capacity as he comes from a neighbouring parish.

St. Padre Pio Church started in 1990s. In early years, Christians were congregating under one small Christian community before more and more of them were established. On 6th June 1996, the St. Bernad SCC was promoted to become an outstation under the capuchins from Andrea Kaggwa Parish.  In 2001, the name was changed to become Padre Pio in readiness for canonization of the founder of the Order of Friars Minor, Franciscans (Capuchins).

The foundation stone for the church was unveiled by late Bishop Felix Mkhori on 8th May 2005. Construction of the church was completed in 2014 and was officially inaugurated by late His Grace Archbishop Tarsizio Gervazio Ziyaye on 5th October 2014. St. Padre Pio Church boasts of producing a Nun, Sr. Prisca Mulande of Teresian Sisters, and two Priests, Fr. John Mangwere of the Pallotines and Fr. Mayamiko Kachipapa of the Society of Jesus.