At exactly 2:15 pm, His Eminence Fernando Cardinal Filoni arrived at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) ahead of the consecration of St Joseph the Worker Cathedral of the Catholic Church in Karonga Diocese on Saturday this week.
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,His Lordship Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese and Secretary General for the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM),Fr. Henry Saindi.
Clad in black suit and a clerical shirt, His Eminence 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.
During his five day stay in Malawi, Cardinal Filoni among others lead in the Eucharistic celebration in the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Lilongwe on Wednesday at 5 pm.
“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.
According to the program,the Cardinal will on Sunday will lead in a Eucharistic celebration at St. Patrick’s Parish in the Archdiocese of Lilongwe at 5pm and on Mondaye morning hours he will lead in the Eucharistic Celebration at the Monastery of the Poor Clares before visiting Children at Missionary Sisters of Charity (Sisters of St. Tereza of Calcutta) in Kawale.From Malawi, he will proceed to Zambia through Kamuzu International Airport.
The Holy Father Pope Francis has named the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Filoni, as his special envoy at the consecration of Karonga’s Cathedral.
The Diocese of Karonga is one of the eight dioceses in Malawi which was created on 21 July 2010 and officially inaugurated on 20 November 2010. On the same day, Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka was ordained as the diocese’s first Bishop.
Karonga Diocese is divided into two deaneries which are subdivided into six parishes. The diocese 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. It is territory that 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.
Vice President Saulosi Chilima will represent President Arthur Peter Mutharika at the consecration celemony.