Chairperson of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) His Grace Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa of Blantyre Archdiocese has commended the Catholic laity in Malawi for supporting the church through various initiatives.
Archbishop Msusa said this last Friday at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) during a fundraising dinner and dance for Kachebere Major Seminary, which celebrates platinum jubilee (75 years) this year.
“On behalf of my fellow bishops and indeed on my own behalf, I would like to thank you all for supporting the church in various ways. I would like to particularly thank the laity, especially those from Lilongwe [Diocese] for the fundraising initiatives you have been conducting and proved successful at the end of the day,” said Msusa.
He said Malawi hosted a successful and an historical Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (Amecea) Plenary last year because there was proper collaboration between all stakeholders, including the laity, hence a challenge for a continued support to the church, particularly during this year’s Platinum Jubilee for Kachebere Major Seminary.
He said the seminary was built in 1939 by missionaries who used to assist the local church all along, but time has come that the church in Malawi should take full responsibility in supporting its only college that offers philosophy in the country.
Chairperson for seminaries, His Lordship Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese said Kachebere Major Seminary, whose patron is St. Anthony, is facing challenges ranging from ageing structures to dwindling welfare of the seminarians.
He, however, warned the seminarians against taking for granted assistance that the church’s laity renders to the seminary.
“It’s high time you became serious with your vocation. The laity out there would not want to have priests who are irresponsible when you complete your studies,” he said.
On his part, chairperson of the event’s organising committee Peter Kulemeka said the dinner and dance was a success. He hinted that proceeds from the event would surpass those of previous fundraisers.
Kulemeka commended individuals and companies such as Blantyre Newspapers Limited (BNL), Nation Publications Limited (NPL), Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS), Catholic media houses Radio Maria, Radio Tizgabane, Tuntufye Radio and Luntha Television for supporting the event with free space and air time for advertisements.
Vice-President Saulos Chilima attended the event as a fellow Catholic. Other notable faces that attended the event included all Catholic bishops in the country, Minister of Gender, Children, Social Welfare and Disability, Patricia Kaliati, Minister of Sports and Youth Development Grace Chiumia and Principal Secretary for Presidential Initiative on Safe Motherhood Chimwemwe Chipungu.
A Kalimba Band live performance and Kachebere Major Seminary’s choir spiced up the event.