The Catholic Diocese of Karonga says it is profoundly indebted to parishioners and all Catholic institutions in its confines for the generous support they gave to the Diocese during the Thanksgiving Mass of 2018.
Karonga Diocese was officially inaugurated on November 20 2010 and covers the civil districts of Chitipa, Karonga and some parts of Rumphi.
In a statement, the Diocese’s chief shepherd Bishop Martin Mtumbuka said the contributions from the faithful have been quite overwhelming.
“Considering that the Diocese of Karonga has only 73 000 Catholics, 28 000 of whom are between 6 and 14 of age, and 8 000 are between the age of 15 and 21 years of age, these contributions display a deep spirit of generosity among Christ’s faithful entrusted to our pastoral care,” said Mtumbuka.
According to the statement, which was also aired on the Diocese’s Tuntufye Radio FM, Karonga Diocese requires about $150 000 to fund routine operations of the Diocese for one year which excludes Mass stipends for priests.
Added the statement: “Rome gives us about $18 000 per year. That we were given about $14 000 on 24 November 2018 during the Thanksgiving Mass is very providential. Nevertheless, we still have a shortfall of $118 000 to have all the funds we need for routine operations of the Diocese for the 2018/19 Financial Year.”
Mtumbuka then stressed on the need for the Diocese to establish sustainable and meaningful income generating activities (IGAs).
“The faithful are generous as we can see, but some of these are the same people [who] will from this month up to around April need relief in terms of basic food requirements which are involved in every year.
“As the first Bishop of the Diocese, I consider it one of my unavoidable burdens not just to leave behind a Diocese that has many schools, hospitals, parishes and priests, but also sustainable means of supporting such resources. Time for establishing a diocese without considering giving it a solid financial base is gone and gone forever,” said Mtumbuka.