St Thomas Parish Triumph in the 2023 Sunday School Competition

The St Thomas parish Sunday school children have emerged victorious in this year’s Mzuzu Diocese Sunday school quiz competition after beating Utatu Utuba and St Albert parish.

The champions bagged 11 points in a competition where 6 parishes participated.

The Finals were held on Saturday 2nd December 2023 at St Albert the Great Parish in Mzuzu with several children witnessing the colorful ceremony.

6 Sunday school teams from St Cecilia Parish – Mpherembe, St Thomas the Apostle-Mzuzu, Utatu Utuwa – Mzimba, St Theresa – Katete, St Johns Mzambazi, and St Albert the Great Katoto were battling for the title.

Both St Albert the Great and Utatu Utuwa were runners-up with 10 points each.

Mzuzu Diocese Sunday School Project Coordinator Noel Mtonga is pleased with the performance saying this signifies how important the sessions are for the diocese.

” The main aim of these competitions is to assess the effectiveness of the Sunday school lessons in enhancing children’s comprehension of Catechism and Biblical knowledge,” said Mtonga.

One of the Sunday school children from St Thomas Parish Kestina Shaba expressed happiness for winning the competition for the second time.

I am encouraging my colleagues to continue attending Sunday school lessons and parents should also inspire their children to take part in these competitions.

Utilize Locally Available Resources – Mzuzu Diocese

Auxiliary Bishop for Mzuzu diocese Yohane Nyirenda says Malawi remains one of the poorest countries in the world due to failure by leaders to utilize locally available resources to increase imports and reduce reliance on debt.

The Auxiliary Bishop said this at ST Paul’s Parish in Mzimba today as the Diocese marked the World day of the poor with a distribution of food items to ultra poor families.

He said laziness among Malawians and habitual beer drinking are also factors contributing to high poverty levels in the country.

One of the beneficiaries Monica Moyo who is widowed hailed the Diocese for the support saying the food items which included a bag of maize flour will help in feeding her family of four.

This year’s World Day of the poor is being commemorated under the theme ‘Do not turn your face away from anyone is poor’.

Mzuzu Diocese has New Two Priests

The Mzuzu Diocese on Saturday celebrated a momentous occasion as new Auxiliary Bishop, Right Reverend Father Yohane Nyirenda, ordained two new priests.

The ordination ceremony was held at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Mzuzu and was attended by hundreds of faithful Catholics from across the diocese.

The two newly ordained priests, Father Tobias Mkwewu and Father Paul Mthali, were both born and raised in the Mzuzu Diocese. They have both dedicated their lives to serving God and the Catholic Church, and their ordination was a culmination of years of hard work and preparation.

During the ceremony, Auxiliary Bishop Nyirenda reminded the new priests of the importance of their role in the Church and urged them to always put the needs of their parishioners first. He also reminded them that their ordination was not just a personal achievement but a call to serve others and to spread the love and teachings of Jesus Christ.

The ordination ceremony was a joyful and emotional occasion for all those involved. It was a testament to the strength and growth of the Catholic Church in Malawi and a reminder of the important role that priests play in the spiritual lives of their communities.

As Father Tobias Mkwewu and Father Paul Mthali begin their new roles as priests, they will undoubtedly face many challenges and obstacles. However, they can take comfort in knowing that they have the support and prayers of their fellow Catholics in the Mzuzu Diocese and beyond.

Pope calls for eradication of ‘poisonous weed’ of violence against women

On the International Day for Ending Violence Against Women and Girls, Pope Francis says this plague must be rooted out from society, and calls for educational action that places the dignity of every person at the centre.

By Lisa Zengarini

As the world marks the UN International Day for Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), on 25 November, Pope Francis reiterated his urgent call for tangible action to eradicate this scourge, especially through education.

A poisonous weed

“Violence against women is a poisonous weed that plagues our society and must be pulled up from its roots,” the Pope wrote in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday.

“These roots grow in the soil of prejudice and of injustice; they must be countered with educational action that places the person, with his or her dignity, at the center,”

Calls for global action to prevent violence

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women has been observed annually since 1981. The observance, which marks the start of 16 days of global activism, calls for global action to increase awareness, promote advocacy, and create opportunities for discussion on challenges and solutions.

Violence against women and girls remains one of the most prevalent and pervasive human rights violations in the world. It is often perpetrated within the family; estimates say that a woman is murdered by a partner or family member every 11 minutes.

According to the most recent UN data, globally, over 700 million women—almost one in three—have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both, at least once in their life.

The phenomenon has intensified in various settings, including the workplace and online spaces, and has been exacerbated by post-pandemic effects, conflicts, and climate change.

Women and girls are particularly vulnerable in armed conflicts where sexual violence is used as a weapon of war and is also rife in refugee camps.

Pastoral responsibility of the Church

In a statement released on Saturday, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, reiterated the Catholic Church’s commitment to combating and preventing gender violence and offering support to victims.

“The Church has the task of remaining close to women who are victims of violence and exploitation,” he said, “and such closeness can be expressed in many ways: from providing safe housing for victims of violence, to psychological and spiritual support so as to help the victims themselves to overcome the trauma and report the abuse.”

Educating to affectivity and respect

Echoing Pope Francis’ words, Cardinal Farrell noted that a key aspect is also education towards respect for women, “which begins with recognizing the problem within families and Christian communities as well.

“Educating people about affectivity, love, respect for others, and first of all for their own lives, which is so necessary in preventing violence against women, is strongly and deeply rooted in the gospel,” he said.

Cardinal Farrell, therefore, urged all Churches around the world to take action “to provide families, youth, engaged couples, and communities with educational pathways aimed at preventing violence against women.”

“This is a pastoral responsibility,” the Cardinal concluded, “in which the Church’s vocation to be an instrument of peace is manifested.”

Auxiliary Bishop Nyirenda Consecrated where President Chakwera Talked Development

President Lazarus Chakwera has asked Malawians to embrace the culture of hard work if the country is to develop.

Chakwera said in Mzuzu during the consecration ceremony for Auxiliary Bishop of Mzuzu Diocese Yohane Suzgo Nyirenda where he reiterated that this is in line with the development blueprint, Malawi  2063.

“We should stop just complaining about anything and start working hard. If we start working hard, we will be able to generate more resources for our benefit as a country” said Chakwera.

Catholic Church followers, friends, relatives, well-wishers, and government officials including President Lazarus Chakwera and his Vice Saulos Chilima graced the colorful ceremony which earlier was threatened by rainfall experienced in the city and surrounding areas.

In his thanksgiving speech, Auxiliary Bishop Nyirenda asked for everyone to pray for him and the Bishop of the diocese John Ryan for the growth of the Catholic Church.

Said Father Yohane Suzgo Nyirenda: “This journey is so long. And we will all get there as a church if we join hands and pray for Bishop Bishop John Ryan, myself and the church”.

Bishop Bishop John Ryan of the Mzuzu Diocese tipped Bishop Nyirenda when he consecrated him to remain vigilant and be prayerful, always saying he has carried a heavy load.

“You should always be strong and prayerful at all times”, urged Bishop John Ryan.

As an Auxiliary Bishop, Rev. Fr. Yohane Suzgo Nyirenda will serve as an assistant to the Ordinary of the Diocese Bishop John Ryan in giving pastoral care to the people of God and meeting the administrative needs of Mzuzu Diocese.

Born on 20th June 1976, Rev. Fr. Yohane Nyirenda who hails from Mzimba was ordained a priest of Mzuzu Diocese on 19th July 2008 and Pope Francis, on 5th May 2023 appointed Fr. Nyirenda Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Mzuzu.

 

Journalist
Steve Zimba
Malawi
+265999776776
stezimba@gmail.com

 Consecration of Auxiliary Bishop Nyirenda to Attract Over 6 Thousand People

More than 6 thousand people from within and abroad are expected to witness the consecration ceremony of Father Yohane Suzgo Nyirenda as an Auxiliary bishop of the Diocese.

Organising Chairperson of the event Father Raymond Mwale says President Lazarus Chakwera will be the guest of honor at the event scheduled to take place in Mzuzu tomorrow Saturday.

“More and more people have confirmed their attendance this Saturday. We are likely to experience some rainfall but we have plans to erect tents in the stadium so that the event does not face any hiccups.

But who is Rev. Fr. Yohane Suzgo Nyirenda?

Born on 20th June 1976, Rev. Fr. Yohane Nyirenda hails from Wozi in Mzimba District and was ordained as a priest of Mzuzu Diocese on 19th July 2008.

Rev. Fr Nyirenda has served in various positions at national and diocesan levels including Director of Kasina Formation Centre from 2019 to  2023; Director and Formator at Christ the King Formation Centre in Rumphi; Parish Priest of Saint Augustine Parish and Vocations Directors in Mzuzu Diocese.

Pope Francis on Friday, May 5, 2023, appointed Fr. Yohane Suzgo Nyirenda Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Mzuzu in Malawi.

As Auxiliary Bishop, Rev. Fr. Yohane Suzgo Nyirenda will serve as an assistant to the Ordinary of the Diocese Bishop John Alphonsus Ryan in giving pastoral care to the people of God and meeting the administrative needs of Mzuzu Diocese.

Apart from the priestly studies which he did from the year 2000 to 2008, the Bishop-elect is a holder of a Diploma in Ecclesiastical (Canon Law from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa as well as a Diploma in Religious Formation and Spirituality.

“This profile of the Auxiliary Bishop, Rev. Fr. Yohane Suzgo Nyirenda tells it all how capable he is,” said Father Raymond Mwale.

Father Yohane Suzgo Nyirenda will be the first Auxiliary Bishop of the Mzuzu Diocese which was created in 1961.

Journalist
Steve Zimba
Malawi
+265999776776
stezimba@gmail.com

CCJP Mzuzu Diocese for Review of the Witchcraft Law

The Catholic Commission for Justice and  Peace (CCJP) under the Mzuzu Diocese has called for an immediate review of the Witchcraft law that can deal with atrocities perpetrated on people accused of practicing witchcraft where most of them are elderly.

CCJP Coordinator of the diocese, Felix Manda suggested this at a press conference in Mzuzu on Tuesday where he commented on the gruesome Mzimba witchcraft incident where two elderly women were verbally and physically harassed on allegations that one of them killed her daughter-in-law through magic.

“The Witchcraft Act must be reviewed to protect people, people are being victimized on hearsay. And as the CCJP who are implementing various programs in Mzimba, have not done enough in popularising the current law and as result, people are ignorant about the law,” says Manda.

The Commission is planning to meet all senior traditional leaders in Mzimba to bring them into dialogue as a measure of reducing these incidents in the district.

Recommended  Manda: “We are calling on all traditional leaders across the diocese to comply with the Witchcraft Act. All chiefs in the diocese should stop granting permission to witchdoctors from performing extortions in their areas, and all chiefs where the incident occurred, should be picked up by police for questioning for failing to contain the situation of that day.”

A Mzuzu University-based social commentator Dr. Chrispin Mphande suggests traditional leaders should lead the process of banning witchdoctors from performing rituals in their communities.

“There is need for various stakeholders like the CCJP to sensitize people about the issue of Witchcraft. Most people who believe in this issue have low levels of education and their understanding is too limited,” noted Dr. Mphande.

Police in Mzimba have since arrested 20 people in the area of traditional authority Kampingo Sibande on allegations that they harassed two elderly women one of them was accused of killing her daughter-in-law. Last weekend a video clip of suspects harassing the two elderly women went viral on social media that attracted anger from most people in the country.

Journalist
Steve Zimba
Malawi
+265999776776
stezimba@gmail.com