DEDZA 5 FEBRUARY, 2022: The Catholic Church in Malawi launched the celebrations of 2022 pontifical missionary societies’ 4anniveraries at a function that took place at Dedza Parish in the Diocese of Dedza on 5th February 2022.
According to the National Director for the Pontifical Mission Societies in Malawi Fr. Vincent Mwakhwawa, Pope Francis declared 2022 as the year that the Church should pray and thank God for the 400 years for the establishment of the Congregation for the Propaganda Fidei also known as Evangelisation of Peoples by Pope Gregory XV in 1622; 200 years of the foundation of the Missionary Society for the Propagation of faith by Pauline Marie Jaricot in 1822; 100 years of the establishment of Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) by Pope Pius XI in 1922 and 150 years of the birth of Blessed Paulo Manna, Born in 1872, founder of the Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU).
In a Mass that was presided over by the local ordinary, his Lordship Bishop Peter Adrian Chifukwa, Priests and the Religious working in the Diocese rekindled their consecrated life as one way of fulfilling the desire of Blessed Paulo Manna who according to Fr. Mwakhwawa perpetually prayed for the unity of priests and the religious all over the world even on his sick bed.
Bishop Chifukwa called on the religious and their superiors to translate the philosophy of the propaganda fidei initiated by Pope Gregory XV by opening the Church Catechesis to children and the youth as well as those willing to join the Church.
“To you Superiors of different congregations, I appeal to you to consider training some of the Sisters in Catechism so that apart from your Charisms and Traditions you also evangelize our youths before they look elsewhere for teachings. We have a lot of work in our parishes and we need your hand. This may be required only once in a week. I know you can manage to put to practice what we are being called to do this year as we celebrate the anniversaries,” said Chifukwa.
Fr. Mwakhwawa encouraged his counterparts in vine yard of the Lord to ensure taking the celebrations that will be at the climax on 23 October, 2022 when the Church will be commemorating the world mission Sunday to their parishes and small Christian communities.
“It is my humble appeal to you all fellow priests and the religious and including the laity to take these activities home. You are not expected to raise funds to celebrate these 4 anniversaries nor are you anticipated to organize specific functions for the same. All what you need to do is simply to offer thanksgiving prayers to the Lord, to teach and reflect on historical and missionary experiences over the past years and to do missionary awareness and pastoral plans for the future of the Church in Malawi and beyond for the coming 50 years, 100 years and 500 years,” Said Mwakhwawa.
The Church in Malawi shifted the initial plan of holding the event in Diocese of Chikwawa to Dedza due to poor road network caused by the cyclone Ana that affected the area.