Parents and guardians in the Catholic Church have been encouraged to help their children to respond to and pursue various vocations in the church.
The call was made by Bishop Emmanuel Kanyama of Dedza Diocese last week Saturday at St Martin Deporress Parish during the celebrations to mark his Silver Jubilee in priesthood alongside Fathers Gerald Bwemba and Gracian Kalimmawa.
During the thanksgiving mass, the bishop also ordained deacons Abraham Paul, Juliano Absalom and Kondwani Pinji to priesthood.
Kanyama said parents have a moral obligation to guide and help their children to listen and heed various callings in the church, saying: ‘The Lord’s work is huge with very few workers available to do it.”
He also encouraged the youth to develop interest in various religious congregations of the church and work hard in school to fulfil their aspirations.
“Parents and guardians have a big responsibility to help their children to develop interest in vocations available in the church so that the work of evangelisation continues thereby drawing more people closer to God,” said the bishop.
He bemoaned the dwindling numbers of people entering the seminary for priesthood and convents for sisterhood, saying it was necessary to nurture young ones from tender age to aspire for such tasks in the church.
The bishop commended parents of the newly ordained priests for remaining visionary in directing their children on the journey to priesthood, noting that it was important to emulate such an example.
Kanyama also appealed to priests in the diocese to lead exemplary lives.
“Do not expect to live comfortable lives in priesthood. Your role is to preach the word of God and to save the people. Desist from demanding good things from Christians,” he advised the priests.
He commended his fellow bishops and priests for being with him and supporting him in his calling.
“I thank God Almighty for enabling me to achieve this and giving me the strength,” he said.
Bishops that attended the ceremony included Archbishop of Lilongwe Tarcisius Ziyaye.
Bishop Kanyama was born on December 25, 1962 and hails from Kanyama Village T/A Kasumbu in Dedza District.
He completed his philosophy studies at Kachebere Major Seminary in Mchinji In 1986 before going to study Theology at St Peter’s Major Seminary in the same year.
In 1992, he went to further his studies in philosophy in Rome and returned with a doctorate in philosophy.
He was consecrated bishop on October 6 2007 at Bembeke Cathedral.
At the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), bishop Kanyama is responsible for interfaith dialogue and he is also substitute delegate of the synod of bishops.