BALAKA, Malawi - On 16th July 2021, two confreres, namely Bro. Horrice Mkandawire, SMM and Bro. Laurent James Juma, SMM from Africa Anglophone made their Perpetual Profession at St. Louis Catholic Church - Balaka Parish in Balaka district. Bishop Emeritus Alessandro Pagani, SMM who is also the only priest at Kankao Parish presided over the very solemn Eucharistic celebration. Archbishop Thomas Msusa, SMM of Blantyre Archdiocese concelebrated as the confreres, the clergy, the Daughters of Wisdom, the Brothers of St. Gabriel, and the congregants witnessed the profession.
The Superior Delegate, Fr. Lonely Paul Mashonga, SMM in his homily, quoting Isaiah chapter 6, the reading of the day, emphasized that they should always depend on God Alone and be led by the Holy Spirit.
“Always depend on God Alone and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. As you come closer to God, you become aware that you are sinners, men of unclean lips, dwelling amidst people with unclean lips to liberate yourselves and others in the footsteps of St. Louis de Montfort, our founder,” he preached.
Meanwhile, on 17th July 2021, the two confreres were ordained deacons in a solemn Eucharistic celebration as Archbishop Thomas Msusa, SMM, Fathers Blaise Jailos Zuze, SMM and Louis Nkukumila, SMM celebrated their silver jubilee anniversary. Archbishop Thomas and Fr. Blaise celebrated silver jubilee of priestly ordination and Fr. Louis celebrated silver jubilee of religious life in the Company of Mary. Bishop Montfort Stima of Mangochi Diocese presided over the solemn Holy Mass.
In an interview with the media houses present during the day, Archbishop Thomas expressed his gratitude to God for the vocations and encouraged the populace to be vaccinated and to follow religiously the Covid-19 preventive measures.
“Today is a big day for us. It is difficult to express what I feel in my heart on reflecting the love of God in these 25 years of my priesthood. In this Covid-19 pandemic, God serves those who obey the rules and Malawians should not expect the Covid-19 virus to vanish miraculously. As we continue to pray, do not forget to strictly adhere to Covid-19 preventive measures,” said Archbishop Thomas, SMM.
Speaking on behalf of Deacon Laurent, Deacon Horrice said that he was happy that his dream of serving God as a religious and deacon is being realized.
“I am so happy that our dream of serving the Lord in his vineyard is being realized. I am grateful to God, our parents, formators, confreres, friends and relatives who have helped us to reach this far. My parent and many of my relatives are not Catholics. As a boy, I was inspired by Fr. Mario Pacific, SMM who was then the parish priest of Balaka parish,” he said with a smile.
Deacon Laurent James Juma, SMM was born on 12th April 1993 at Nkuna Traditional Authority (TA) Liwonde in Machinga District. Deacon Horrice Mkandawire, SMM hails from Chamara, Rumphi district. Both deacons did their secondary school education at St. Paul Minor Seminary, philosophy at Inter-Congregation Institute (ICI) in Malawi and made their First Profession on 1st August 2017 in the Philippines. They did Theology at Hekima Jesuit College in Kenya. Deacon Horrice is at Luntha Television as an Administrator while Deacon Laurent is at Stima Parish, Zomba Diocese.
Amidst COVID-19 pandemic and strict preventive measures enforced by the government following the rise of COVID-19 cases, St. Louis de Montfort Church in Balaka was occupied with few congregants observing social distancing, sanitizing and wearing of masks.
Luntha TV broadcasted all events live and Radio Maria Malawi broadcasted live the Silver Jubilee and diaconate celebrations. Montfort Media, Times Group and Zodiac media houses covered for news.
Fr. Jailos Mpina, SMM
Deputy Director, Luntha TV