Oldest priest in Malawi laid to rest: Pictorial exclusive

Thousands of mourners gathered at Limbe Cathedral cemetery in Blantyre Archdiocese on Tuesday to pay their last respect to the late Monsignor Stephen Saulosi Nkata, who was laid to rest after battling with cancer since August, 2010.

At exactly 2:24pm, the body of the late Nkata, who was the oldest Catholic priest in Malawi, was lowered into the grave.

He was born in 1922 and consecrated as a priest on a 15 August 1956 from Neno parish where he hailed from.

A cross section of people that include politicians like Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Publicity Secretary Nicholous Dausi, Peoples Party Movement  (PPM) President Mark Katsonga, Minister John Bande, United Democratic Front (UDF) patron Patrick Mbewe were also in attendant.

The whole funeral ceremony started with a requiem mass at 10:00pm which was led by Archbishop Tarsizio Ziyaye along other Bishops like Bishop Thomas Msusa, Bishop Peter Musukuwa, Bishop Pagan, Bishop Zuza, Auxiliary Bishop Montfort Sitima, and Bishop Emeritus Allan Changwera.

Bishops in wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb...Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Bishops in wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb…Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Bishop Ziyaye in his eulogy hailed the late Nkata for his stewardship when serving the church in various portfolios.

“He dedicated his life to God. He was always inspiring young and upcoming priests to serve God no matter what problems they are going through,” said Ziyaye.

His Grace also noted that at the time he was sick, the late Nkata was not concerned at all as he always reminded them God had a purpose for him.

Ziyaye also stressed that the church had lost a pillar, who was a role model to all the priests basing on the fact that he was also the first local priest at Limbe Cathedral.

He also described Nkata as a humble person, who was willing to work even during odd hours.

“He was a humble man, and he knew what he was doing that is why in 2009 we asked the Pope to promote him to a monsignor,” said Ziyaye.

Ziyaye also hailed the staff from the following hospitals for trying their best when the late Nkata was sick, Malamulo Hospital, Nguludi Hospital and more specifically Doctor Chipendo, who was his special doctor.

A nephew to the late monsignor described the death as a blow to the family because he was their pillar.

He was, however quick to express gratitude to Limbe Cathedral members, all priests and Bishops for the financial support they provided in paying the hospital bills that were incurred at Malamulo, Nguludi and South Africa hospitals where he received treatment.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Publicity Seceretary Nicolas Dausi receivng eucharist....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Publicity Seceretary Nicolas Dausi receivng eucharist….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Bishop Zuza  blessing the casket with holy water....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Bishop Zuza blessing the casket with holy water….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

The breaved family being comforted....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

The breaved family being comforted….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

The casket arriving at the mass ceremony....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

The casket arriving at the mass ceremony….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

His Grace Archbishop Ziyaye making his eulogy....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

His Grace Archbishop Ziyaye making his eulogy….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

At the cemetary....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

At the cemetary….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Serving the Requiem Mass

Serving the Requiem Mass

Choir members singing solemn songs...Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Choir members singing solemn songs…Photo Jeromy Kadewere

On the road to the cemetary....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

On the road to the cemetary….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Nuns were also present at the cemetary....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Nuns were also present at the cemetary….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Burrying in process....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Burrying in process….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Laid to Rest in Peace.....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Laid to Rest in Peace…..Photo Jeromy Kadewere

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