ZOMBA, Malawi - On 22nd August, 2020, all roads led up to Sitima Parish where Fr. Owen O’Donnell, SMM was celebrating his 40 years of priestly life. The anniversary was marked by a colorful Eucharistic celebration which was graced by Rt. Rev. George Tambala, OCD, the Bishop of Zomba Diocese, Most Rev. Thomas Msusa, SMM, the Archbishop of Blantyre Archdiocese, Fr. Paul Lonely Mashonga, SMM, the Superior Delegate of the General Anglophone Delegation and Sr. Mary Chimalizeni, the Provincial Superior of the Daughters of Wisdom in Malawi. Among other people who attended the Mass were confreres of the Montfort Missionaries, priests from Zomba Diocese, Daughters of Wisdom and parishioners from Sitima Parish.
As a way of following government restrictions in conducting public religious gatherings due to COVID-19 pandemic, only few people were invited to attend the celebration. The Holy Mass started at 10:00 am, and was presided by Bishop George Tambala. In his homily, Fr. Paul Mashonga, SMM expressed his gratitude to God for the gift of Fr. Owen whose humility, perseverance and commitment over the past 40 years called us all to celebrate with him the gift of priesthood which he received from God. He then exalted him to remain humble, faithful and committed in his priestly ministry by following the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary and that of St. Louis-Marie de Montfort.
Fr. Owen was ordained priest in 1980. Three years later, he was asked to come to Malawi where he has been serving since 1983 up to date. He is currently serving as the Parish Priest of Sitima Parish, Zomba Diocese. Describing his 40 years of priesthood, he said: “It doesn’t feel like 40 years. It has gone quickly. I have been motivated everyday meeting with different people and situations. These years have been very enriching and rewarding, and I have enjoyed doing what I do.”
We wish Fr. Owen a continual grace-filled priestly life and pray for him that he remains zealous in serving the Lord and tending His flock with love.
Bro. Laurent Juma, SMM