Vatican Cardinal Filoni Arrives in Malawi, to Proceed to Zambia Monday
CANAA || By Prince Henderson, Episcopal Conference of Malawi || 03 November 2016
Vatican’s Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Fernando Cardinal Filoni arrived in Malawi Thursday, November 3, ahead of the consecration of St Joseph the Worker Catholic Cathedral in Karonga Diocese on Saturday, November 5.
In September, Pope Francis named Cardinal Filoni as his special envoy at the consecration of Karonga’s Cathedral, situated in the Northern part of Malawi bordering Tanzania and Zambia.
Cardinal Filoni was welcomed in the warm heart of Africa by Archbishop Julio Murat, Apostolic Nuncio to Malawi and Zambia, Archbishops Tarcizious Ziyaye and Thomas Luke Msusa of Lilongwe and Blantyre Archdioceses respectively, Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese and Secretary General for the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Father Henry Saindi.
Clad in black suit and a clerical shirt, Cardinal Filoni looked excited to be in Malawi and was visibly seen smiling while thanking the Bishops for the warm welcome.
“Thank you for your warm welcome to Malawi,” said Cardinal Filoni when passing by ECM Communications team.
“On Friday, he will interact with the Laity (akhristu eni ake) including children at St. Mary’s Parish in the Diocese of Karonga whereas on Saturday he will consecrate on behalf of Pope Francis Saint Joseph the Worker Cathedral of the Diocese of Karonga,” reads part of the program available at the Episcopal Conference of Malawi.
Malawi’s Vice President, Saulosi Chilima, is expected to represent President Arthur Peter Mutharika at the consecration ceremony.
According to the program, the Cardinal is expected to preside over the Eucharistic celebration at St. Patrick’s Parish in the Archdiocese of Lilongwe on Sunday evening and on Monday morning, lead the clergy, religious and faithful in the Eucharistic Celebration at the Monastery of the Poor Clares before visiting Children at Missionary Sisters of Charity in Kawale.
The Cardinal is expected to proceed to Zambia that Monday, November 7, where he will be part of the celebrations marking 125 years of the Catholic Church there.
Created in July 2010 and officially inaugurated in November 2010 under the leadership of Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka, Karonga is one of the eight dioceses in Malawi.
The diocese is divided into two deaneries, which are subdivided into six parishes. It covers the geographical districts of Karonga and Chitipa including the northern part of Rumphi.
It has an area of 12 000 Square Kilometres with a population of 467,000 of whom about 65,000 are Catholics.
The area under the diocese is the remotest and poorest part of Malawi. The territory is mostly hilly and mountainous making the movement of both goods and people difficult. The region has been prone to a series of disasters such as earth tremors, floods and droughts.