On a chilly Saturday, Limbe Cathedral in Blantyre was home to long, winding rows as eleven deacons were ordained to priesthood.
His Grace Blantyre Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa led the mass.
“A priest is a servant of all. You are not untouchable in society, but rather a friend of everyone. I encourage you today to honor what you have chosen and be obedient to God,” preached Bishop Msusa.
The Archdiocese Supreme leader, bemoaned rampant tendency of catholic priests who are fond of adoring worldly activities citing watching televised football matches reaching extent of memorizing each team player and coach by name yet forgetting their fundamental call to save catholic souls who needs their services at all times.
Speaking in an interview after the ceremony, Communications Secretary for Blantyre Archdiocese Rev. Father Frank Mwinganyama said the ordination of the 11 priests is a milestone for the church.
“The ordination of 11 deacons into priesthood today, is a good development to the Catholic community considering that currently the church has a big shortage of priests,” Father Mwinganyama laments.
The church is growing every day with Blantyre Archdiocese having almost 1.7 million Christians against 65 priests some of whom are not active due to other commitments and old age.
In Blantyre Archdiocese, most of the parishes have only one priest, a situation which makes it difficult for one priest to manage all the churches within his parish.
He therefore asked Catholic parents to encourage their children in considering priesthood and sisterhood vocations so that the church should continue going forward.
Among the 11 deacons that were ordained, six are diocesan priests while the other five are missionaries.
The 11 Deacons ordained are Francisco Hau, Stanley Kagulo, Anthony Chikampana, Charles Danken, Felix Mambwiyo, Peter Phambana, Felix Mlauzi, Francis Nyirenda, Henderson David Kumphasa, Patric Magaleta and Stanley Muhekiwa.
Three priests have already been tasked with different responsibilities. Father Chidali will help nurture young seminarians at Mzimu Woyera Seminary, Father Malata will serve at Njale Parish while Father Mbalale will start his priesthood at Molere Parish in Thyolo.
Saulos Klaus Chilima – a devoted Catholic himself in company of his wife was also in attendance at the function.
The Malawi Vice President, in his congratulatory remarks, hailed the eleven newly ordained priests for the long journey they took to priesthood and encouraged them to remain vigilant in the church and serve for a greater purpose.