Bishop John A Ryan

  • Bishop John A Ryan welcomes you to the official website of Mzuzu Diocese.

I am an Irish Missionary Priest, (born in Thurles, Co Tipperary and grew up on an Irish farm) a member of St Patrick’s Missionary Society (SPS) and was sent to serve in Mzuzu Diocese immediately after my Ordination to Priesthood in 1978. I have been working in Mzuzu Diocese ever since. My first 15 years was full time parish work and in 1993 I was asked to teach at St Patrick’s Minor Seminary. In 1999 I joined Mzuzu University as a Lecturer in Mathematics as well as Catholic Chaplain while continuing with weekend ministry in St Augustine Parish. Just as I was contemplating retiring from Mzuzu University, unfortunately my predecessor tragically lost his life in a road accident. Possibly because of my long serving time in Mzuzu Diocese I was asked to lead the Diocese.

Mzuzu Diocese is large area-wise. Approximately 21,500 square kilometres = one quarter the area of Ireland. Catholic population is approximately 650,000 out of a total population of 1,900,000.

Using a multitude of volunteer leaders spread over 1,082 Prayer Centres (small churches) under the direction of approximately 50 dedicated and committed priests and religious brothers plus approximately 100 religious sisters, we carry out a holistic ministry covering the following areas:

Catholic Women Organisation during Chrism Mass

Wamama Wachitemwana – Women of Charity

1: Pastoral

Pastoral: conducting prayer services in all the 1,082 small (and big) churches as well as teaching catechism to children, youth, catechumens etc. All these 1,082 churches also have choir groups, womens’ groups, mens’ groups and some have Legion of Mary groups. The 1,082 churches are grouped into different levels. The smallest unit is called a substation which itself is made up of christian communities which again is made up of families. So we have:
family — christian community — substation — outstation — zone — parish — deanery — diocese

Sunday School Children

2: Education:

The diocese has 262 school institutions. This number includes a Technical College, an Institute of Health (training nurses), College of Health Science (training counsellors and mental health professionals), five secondary schools an a host of primary schools scattered across the whole diocese.

  • Foundation of a Classroom

Building a Classroom

  • Health: The Diocese has five major hospitals, all of which reach out to peoples in rural areas through out-clinics. At the Diocesan Central House we promote healthy lifestyles with daily physical exercise.Healthy living

Exercising Daily

  • Keep fit
    Healthy living
  • Healthy living
    Keeping Fit
  • Development: Through CADECOM, the Diocese promotes sustainable farming, forestry, water and sanitation issues etc.
  • Replanting

Nursery of Pines

  • Soya and Maize
    A Lady Farmer with Soya and Maize
  • Spot the different trees
    Nursery— spot the different trees
  • Justice and Peace: The Justice and Peace Department is promoting: gender equality, equal access to education, good governance, land rights for women, para-legals for justice in rural areas etc.
  • Communication: The Diocese has a radio which reaches all corners of the diocese. The radio promotes all of the above throughout the diocese.