BALAKA, Malawi - Singing, dancing and ululating filled St. Louis Montfort Catholic Parish (Balaka Parish) on 4th August 2018, as the multitude of people from all walks of life mustered to witness the ever-splendid celebration in which three deacons were raised to the order of priesthood and two brothers were made deacons.
This exceptional celebration was led by Bishop Montfort Stima of Mangochi Diocese and it was graced by the presence of Emeritus Bishop Allesandro Pagani, SMM. In his homily, Bishop Montfort emphasized on the responsibility of deacons and priests. He exhorted the then deacons-to-be and priests-to-be to be of one mind and heart with Jesus Christ. He challenged them to take the example and missionary spirit of the very first Montfort missionaries who came to Malawi.
During the celebration, the Superior Delegate, Fr. Felix Phiri, SMM, announced that Deacon Petro Chilumpha, SMM, will serve at Balaka Parish and Deacon Fortune Gondwe, SMM, will serve at Stima Parish. Fr. Joseph Kudzala, SMM, will serve as the curate at Stima Parish, Fr. Paul Kumwenda, SMM, will serve at Inter-Congregation Institute as one of the formators in postulancy. Fr. Steve Mukusa, SMM, will serve at Kabuyanda Parish as the curate.
Talking to Luntha Television after the celebration, Fr. Felix, SMM expressed his joy.
“I am filled with great joy because it is rare to ordain two deacons and three priests on a single celebration in one congregation. For us, this is an indication that the congregation is growing and taking roots.” He said.
When interviewed by Luntha TV, Fr. Joseph, SMM summarised his happiness in this way, “I am filled with indescribable joy for the great things that God has done for us. I am excited that my dream of becoming a priest has been fulfilled. What has helped me throughout this journey is humility and patience. I advise all those who would like to become priests to take a step forward by enquiring from those that are already priests.”
Fr. Steve, SMM expressed his joy in this way, “I am very happy, this is a day that comes once in a life time. But I think the greatest thing in life is to get united with Jesus Christ and for me this is the goal of priesthood.”
Lastly, Deacon Fortune, SMM said, “I am very happy that one thing that I have been searching for has been fulfilled and this is a motivation for the great things awaiting me ahead. I thank God and ask him to continue helping me on my journey. I am very happy to go back to Stima Parish and serve because I consider Stima Parish as my home since it’s where I started my journey of religious life.”
We wish these young and energetic deacons and priests all the best as they tirelessly and yet joyfully work in the vineyard of the Lord following in the footsteps of the Louis of Montfort and the poor Apostles drawing their help from our Mother Mary, the seat of Wisdom.
-Bro. Bernard Maganga, SMM