Catholics challenged to be steadfast in service of God as they celebrate Vocations Sunday

The Administrator of Dedza Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, Monsignor John Chithonje, has challenged the religious and lay Catholic faithful to remain steadfast in the service of God and mankind.

He decried sloth and unfaithfulness among priests, religious brothers and sisters and lay Christians, stressing that these tendencies are against their calling from God.

Chithonje made the sentiments at Mtendere Catholic Parish in Dedza in his homily during the Eucharistic Mass celebration.

Monsignor Chithonje delivering his homily at Mtendere Catholic Parish in Dedza—Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

The Pontifical Mission Societies of Malawi (PMS) organized the Eucharistic Mass as part of the activities to celebrate this year’s National Vocations Sunday.

The preparation and promotion of Vocation Sunday is entrusted to the Society of St. Peter the Apostle and its sole purpose is to teach people to understand the importance of vocations in the church.

The Holy Roman Catholic Church uses this society to promote missionary spirit and cooperation in proclamation of the gospel in the world.

Chithonje took advantage of the event to challenge the priests, Sisters, Brothers and lay Catholics to self-audit their spiritual lives and see whether their actions reflect God’s calling for them.

“If you were called to be a husband or wife, make sure your lifestyle should not discourage others from entering into marriage. Marriage should not symbolize misery and suffering, but a source of love and happiness,” he said.

Chithonje further asked those who were called to religious life such as priesthood, sisterhood or brotherhood that they must demonstrate good behaviour and be kind to the people they serve.

Girls dancing to spice up the Eucharistic Mass Celebration–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

He said it would be shameful to have priests, sisters and brothers whose behaviour brings insult to their calling and the church at large.

“There are some priests, sisters and brothers whose behaviour reflect badly on their calling. This discourages boys and girls from joining the vocation,” he narrated.

Commenting on Vocations Sunday, Chithonje said this is one of the most important days in the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church.

He emphasized that the church cannot sustain itself ministry without new people joining priesthood, sisterhood and brotherhood.

In his remarks, the PMS national director Father Vincent Mwakhwawa appealed to lay Christians, priests and the religious brothers and sisters to encourage young boys and girls to work in their education and make right choices as they grow into adulthood.

In his message for the World Day of Vocations, the global Head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, said the Lord’s call is not an intrusion of God in our freedom let alone a cage or a burden to be borne.

On the contrary, Francis said God’s all is the loving initiative whereby God encounters mankind and invites his own people to be part of a great undertaking.

“He opens before our eyes the horizon of a greater sea and an abundant catch,” reads part of the papal message.

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