Along Chikhwawa M1 road, some kilometers away from Blantyre town, there lies a salient building of old time’s blueprint. To some, it’s just any other prayer house, but for years, to hundreds ST Montfort parishioners, it has been a sanctuary of spiritual rebuild and conversion.
For now 100 years, ST Montfort Parish popularly known CI, has managed, not to only transform itself spiritually, but also attained independence in the affairs of the church, championed by the resilient and dedicated spirit of its members.
The parish’s success story cannot be overemphasized nor understated. It’s story is increasingly known far and wide, and it can’t be accentuated without a mention of its charitable work and not to miss the newly constructed church building to a cost of about K150 million.
Some meters adjacent to the old church, the parishioners have managed to elect a new church building of magnificent stature, signifying how dedicated and spiritually progressive they have become, while celebrating a Centenary of existence.
According to the Parish’s priest, father John Kuziona, the newly constructed church building, unveiled today (Saturday 31, 2013) by President Joyce Banda, has a seating capacity of 2,500, a manifestation how the congregation has grown over the years.
“It’s a greatest achievement by parishioners. Construction for the new church started in 2001, and the members contributed bigger part of it, which tells how committed the parishioners are. As church, we acknowledge everyone’s contribution,” father Kuziona explained.
As the parish celebrates its 100 years of existence, father Kuziona hailed the self-reliance spirit the parishioners have managed to attain over the years as now are able to run church affairs by themselves.
The new church has been constructed with partly-about K24 million contributed by Montfort fathers and other church organizations.
“The parish is very fortunate to have dedicated members. They are able to do things by themselves. Over the years, the church membership has up-surged, meaning now people are able to deeply embrace Christianity. And it remains as our core mission to deepen Christianity; people have to embrace it as way of life to reflect in whatever they do”.
Aside contributing towards the construction of the new church, the parish also runs various social welfare services to help the needy and destitute.
“Through home cells (Mphakati) members contribute various items to help the needy and sick people. Mphakati has helped a lot in reaching out to those who are destitute and the hunger. We also have feeding centres in some of our branches that provide food to orphans, and not to mention a parish’s committee on social welfare which offers shelter and help those in need”.
Centenary of New Strategy
While the St. Montfort Parish celebrates 100 years of existence, the festivity coincides with a launch of the church’s strategic plan, which defines its new direction and plans.
The strategic plan looks into spiritual life in families, youths, those divorced, bereaved, and physical challenged people. It also looks into church investments among other issues.
“We intend to construct a multipurpose hall, office complex, private secondary school as part of our investments to consolidate our self-reliance spirit. The strategic plan has incorporated a lot issues and will be unveiled during the centenary celebration,” father Kuziona disclosed.
Although it might seem like has been a sweet ride for the parish, the tale to the successful 100 years, has its dark spots, but through the thick thorny path of challenges, the church has managed to rise above expectation to attain success.
Father Kuziona conceded: “Financial challenge remained one of the obstacles that delayed the accomplishment of the new church and other projects. Fidelity to the gospel is another challenge; it has been a challenge for people to understand Christianity in depth. But on larger part, our Christians have been so dedicated.
“Despite the challenges, our membership is growing as people of other religions or churches are suddenly joining us. It our prayers that people will be true to who they are as Disciples of Christ”.
While St. Montfort celebrates its 100 years, father Kuziona urges the parishioners to deeply embrace the gospel of Christ.
“Let us desist being lured by earthly things and draw ourselves closer to God. If people are to have peace, Christ is the only answer and through him one has salvation,” he added.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :