Thousands of Catholic faithful from Blantyre Archdiocese and across other denominations gathered at Limbe Cathedral along the Blantyre-Zomba Road on Tuesday to pay their last respects to the late Fr. Felix Mangwiyo Jnr described as “much loved” priest.
Fr. Mangwiyo died on Saturday in a road accident after conducting a requiem mass of one of his parishioners in Chiradzulu where he was the main celebrant. He died alongside three other Catholic women after their minibus was run over by a lorry.
After the Mass ended, bells tolled and applause rang out in the wind-whipped square as the coffin carrying the remains of Fr. Mangwiyo adorned with a cross and an ‘M’ for the Virgin Mary, was brought out from Limbe Cathedral for burial.
The Mass ended with everyone standing and singing together: “May the angels accompany you into heaven, May the martyrs welcome you when you arrive and lead you to Holy Jerusalem.”
At exactly 3:10 pm, late Mangwiyo Jnr. who died at the age of 30 was lowered into the grave.
A number of priests, including Archbishop of Blantyre Archdiocese, Right Rev. Thomas Luke Msusa, Emeritus Bishop Allan Chamgwera, Bishops Peter Musikuwa of Chikwawa , George Tambala of Zomba, Montfort Stima of Mangochi and Monsignor Boniface Tamani of Blantyre Archdiocese, priests and hundreds of Catholics attended the burial ceremony.
Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Henry Mussa represented President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika at the ceremony.
Archbishop Msusa described Fr. Mangwiyo as a committed servant of God who was like a father to Masanjala Parish where he was serving until his death.
The prelate also described the late priest as an initiator of development, saying he had left a big gap in the Catholic Church.
“Fr. Mangwiyo, although youthful, was influential in his priestly service, dedicated and a determined shepherd who inspired many to love their religion,” said Msusa.
“We can be sure that our beloved priest is standing today at the window of the father’s house, that he sees us and blesses us. Today we bury his remains in the earth as a seed of immortality — our hearts are full of sadness, yet at the same time filled with joy of hope and profound gratitude,” added Msusa.
Msusa said Fr. Mangwiyo had offered his life to God and his flock.
Fr. Mangwiyo was ordained to priesthood on July 7, 2018 at Limbe Cathedral by Archbishop Msusa and has only served at Masanjala Parish for eight months before his fateful death.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :