20th October 2019 was a World Mission Sunday for the Catholic Church. It is a great day when all Catholics in the world pray for the mission of evangelisation of the Gospel and promotes the collection of funds used for different missionary activities in the Church. In addition this year the Pope called upon all Catholics to celebrate Mission Sunday under the theme of the Extraordinary Mission Month October 2019; Baptised and sent; The Church on the mission in the World. The Pope emphasized on the need for all the Christians to re-awaken their baptismal promises and burn with missionary zeal as we reflect on the message of Pope Benedict XV letter known as ‘Maximum Illud.’
In the diocese of Mzuzu this celebration was hosted by St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Zolozolo within Mzuzu city which is under the administration of the clergy of the Missionaries of Africa (M.Afr) also known as White Fathers. On the same day the Missionaries of Africa (Priests and Brothers) were celebrating 150 years of service in Africa. Bishop John Ryan of the diocese of Mzuzu who led the Eucharistic celebration, emphasised that it was fitting to celebrate Mission Sunday with the anniversally of the White fathers because they are the first missionaries who worked with determination and tirelessly established the faith with beautiful infrastructure they raised in the first Parishes of the local diocese of Mzuzu.
A brief history of the foundation of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa as well as its presence in Malawi-Mzuzu diocese in particular helped the assembly of over 1000 Christians who attended the event, to realise how importance of giving thanks to God for the missionary work. Fr. Jos Van Boxel, Provincial Delegate in Malawi for the M.Afr reminded us about the love , dedication and perseverance which are the pillars of the work of the White Fathers as laid down by their founder . through their love they were able to value the people, their language and their culture.
Concurrently, the Diocesan Director of the Diocese of Mzuzu also reminded the people on the need to pray for the mission of the church and fundraise for the propagation of Faith solidarity fund that support the missionary activities of the Catholic Church through the Roman Pontiff. Every Christian is baptised to participate in the priestly, kingly and prophetic work of Christ.
BY REV. FR. PHILIP NUKA SHABA-PMS DIRECTOR MZUZU DIOCESE