The Diocese of Mzuzu was created on 17th January 1961, covering the whole area of the North Nyasa Vicariate and on the 3rd March of the same year, Fr Jean Louis Jobidon became the first bishop elect of the Diocese. He was consecrated on 22nd May 1961 and on the same day, he took canonical possession of the Episcopal See of the Diocese. He later on abdicated office due to ill health. Monsignor John Vincent Roche of the St Patricks Missionary Society was then appointed the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese by the Holy See. He became the head of the Diocese on 10th November, 1987.
On 6th May 1995, Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza took canonical possession of the Episcopal See of the Diocese until his untimely death on 15th January, 2015. Following the death of Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza. Monsignor Albert Michael Muwowo became the Diocesan Administrator. On the 21st July, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI erected the Diocese of Karonga with territory taken from the Diocese of Mzuzu and Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka took canonical possession of the Diocese of Karonga on 20th November, 2010. On 26th April, 2016, Pope Francis named Fr. John Alphonsus Ryan, member of the St Patrick s Society, Bishop elect of the Diocese of Mzuzu. On 27th August, 2017, he was consecrated 3rd Bishop of the Diocese. On the same day he took the canonical possession of the Vacant Episcopal See of the Diocese.
SOCIAL ECONOMIC CONTEXT
The Diocese of Mzuzu is located in the Northern region of Malawi and shares borders with Lilongwe Archdiocese to the South and with Karonga Diocese to the North. There is Lake Malawi on the east and Zambia on the west. The language predominantly spoken in the Diocese is Tumbuka and therefore is used in all liturgical celebrations. However, English is sometimes used on Sunday and weekday mass celebrations.
The Diocese is faced by cultural influence, traditional beliefs and practices common to the Northern Region, some of which negatively affect the operations of the church. For example polygamy and witchcraft is not uncommon in the northern region and the church may not be spared.
VISION MISSION VALUES AND MAIN GOAL HOLISTIC EVANGELIZATION APPROACH
As a church, our belief and work is Christocentric, that is, it centres on Christ and is modelled after his life and teaching. Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” This is a very profound summary of Christ s mission, upon which this strategic plan is based. Evangelization would not be complete if it did not take account of the unceasing interplay of the Gospel and of man’s concrete life, both personal and social. This is why evangelization involves an explicit message, adapted to the different situations constantly being realized, about the rights and duties of every human being, about family life without which personal growth and development is hardly possible, about life in society, about international life, peace, justice and development- a message especially energetic today about liberation.
The vision of the Diocese of Mzuzu is to be a family of God s Kingdom transformed by the Gospel of Christ.
The Diocese of Mzuzu is a united family of Christians whose mission is to proclaim the gospel through pastoral care and social economic development so that people s lives are transformed to be good disciples of Jesus Christ and stewards of God s creation.
To carry out its work, the Diocese will be guided by a set of six core values which are:
- Dignity of the human person The Diocese believes every human being is created in the image of God. That being the case, human beings have to be treated fairly, with respect and with a deep sense of upholding the God given worth. The dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for the society.
- Equity and inclusiveness We believe that the society s wellbeing depends on ensuring that all its members feel that they have a stake in it and do not feel excluded from the mainstream of society. The Diocese believes that all have to be involved in making sure that the work we are mandated to do as Diocese has the ownership of all concerned.
- Transparency and accountability The Diocese believes that the truth shall set all people free. We are accountable to God the almighty first, and we are open and honest in our actions with ourselves, the communities we serve, our partners, donors, governments and the public at large. This value will be hallmark of all our work including financial and business transactions
- Love and compassion with preferential option for the poor The Diocese believes that to be near to God means to be concerned about others. The Diocese will take deep interest in the circumstances of others and particularly for the poor.
- Stewardship of and for God s creation The Diocese believes that if human beings live in harmony with all of nature and creation, including the natural environment, doing God s work in His vineyard would be easier and attainment of the Kingdom of Heaven, a possible mission. We recognise that resources at our disposal are not our own, we are only stewards of God’s creation.
- Dignity of work and rights of workers Some of the work of the Diocese will be delegated to
People as employees. The Diocese believes in the sacred nature of work and those that do the work. Employees will have to take their work with great responsibility and in that regard the Diocese will also take its responsibility towards its workers with a great sense of respect, dignity and responsibility.
The main goal of the Diocese of Mzuzu is to ensure spiritual, social and economic transformation and development of individuals, families and communities in the Diocese.
MAIN AREAS OF FOCUS
Catholic Diocese has three main areas of focus as follows: – Pastoral care and Development Human and Social Development Institutional Development Under each of these focus areas; the Diocese is guided by strategic goals and objectives as follows:
- Pastoral Care and Development The strategic Goal under this focus area will be: To deepen the catholic faith, image and spiritual nurture among priests, religious and the laity in the Diocese of Mzuzu.
The strategic objectives under this focus area are as follows:
To Increase the understanding about the Catholic doctrines and values among priests, the religious and the laity including the youth.
To promote beliefs and practice of Catholicism as the universal and apostolic church of Jesus Christ among the laity, clergy and religious.
- Human & Social Development Under this focus area, the main strategic goal will be: To promote sustainable socioeconomic development among individuals, families and communities in the Diocese of Mzuzu The strategic objectives in this focus area will include
To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all commissions in the diocese 5.2.2 To improve Sustainable Livelihoods in the Diocese.
To promote human rights, justice and peace including child and women protection in the communities the church serves.
To improve the quality of health delivery services and accessibility in the Diocese
To improve access to and quality of education at all levels in the Diocese
- Institutional Development Under this focus area, the strategic goal will be:
To strengthen effectiveness of governance and management systems and structures in the Diocese of Mzuzu. The strategic objectives will be:
To promote good governance and effective structure of the Diocese
To improve financial and administrative management systems of the Diocese.
To Improve Human Resource Management System in the Diocese To improve resource acquisition and management in the Diocese.