ZOMBA, Malawi – The SMM Africa-Anglophone Delegation had Priestly and Diaconate ordinations of two deacons and three brothers respectively on July 13, 2019 in Zomba Diocese, eastern region of Malawi. The two newly ordained priests are Fr. Fortune Gondwe, SMM and Fr. Petro Chilumpha, SMM, and the newly ordained deacons are Damiano Abraham, Bernard Maganga and Innocent Mwanoka.
This memorable celebration of ordinations commenced with the Final Profession of the three brothers on the 12th of July 2019 at St. Joseph the Worker, Sitima Parish, run by the Montfort Missionaries in Zomba Diocese. The celebration was presided by Bishop Emeritus Alessandro Pagani, SMM. In his homily, Bishop Pagani emphasized on cultivating the virtue of humility which is an excellent virtue that characterizes the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. As the Church will be celebrating 100 years of missionary life, explaining the Maximum Illud, the Bishop said that we must follow the footsteps of the Blessed Mother who, “with haste”, set out to evangelize.
During the celebration, the Superior Delegate, Fr. Lonely Paul Mashonga, SMM, received the vows on behalf of the Superior General, Fr. Luiz Augusto Stefani, SMM. He also appreciated the solidarity and collaboration manifested by the three congregations (the Montfort Missionaries, the Daughters of Wisdom and the Brothers of St. Gabriel) on this important occasion of welcoming the newly professed members.
The newly professed members did not hide their joy. Brother Damiano, SMM expressed his joy by saying, “I feel so excited, blessed and grateful to God for all the blessings and graces I have received throughout my journey and for reaching this far. Many thanks to all the people who have helped me a lot to reach this juncture. May the Good Lord continue bestowing His graces upon them.”
On the following day, ordinations took place at Zomba Cathedral, Sacred Heart Parish, Zomba Diocese. The celebration was led by Bishop George Desmond Tambala, OCD of Zomba Diocese and it was graced by the presence of Bishop Emeritus Alessandro Pagani, SMM. In his homily, Bishop George Tambala admonished the newly ordained priests and deacons that they should avoid taking the sacrament of Holy Orders as a social prestige which can easily breed the ‘chief mentality’ wherein a priest can feel automatically being a ruler in front of the laity. The Bishop added, “A priest is a servant of the people. A priest should smell his own sheep. Smell your sheep, brothers.”
During the celebration, the Superior Delegate, Fr. Paul Lonely Mashonga, SMM, also advised the newly ordained priests and deacons, “Do not trust your own wisdom, trust God entirely, and in all your endeavors, God Alone”. Then, he announced that Deacon Damiano Abraham, SMM, will serve at St. Louis Montfort Parish, Balaka, Mangochi Diocese. Deacon Bernard Maganga will be assisting at Luntha TV and will also serve at St. Louis Montfort Parish whereas Deacon Innocent Mwanoka will serve at Bvumbwe Parish, run by the Montfort Missionaries in Blantyre Archdiocese. Fr. Fortune Gondwe, SMM, and Fr. Petro Chilumpha, SMM, will both serve as curates at Martyrs of Uganda Parish, Bvumbwe and St. Louis Montfort Parish respectively.
We wish these newly ordained priests and deacons all the best as they walk as “pilgrims without borders”.
P. Joseph Gabriel Kudzala, SMM