Thousands of Roman Catholic faithfuls and other denominations gathered at Mzimu Woyera Seminary Cemetery in Chikhwawa district on Wednesday to pay their last respect to the late Emeritus Bishop Felix Mkhori of the Archdiocese of Lilongwe, who was laid to rest on Wednesday.
At exactly, 1:55 Pm the body of Bishop Mkhori, who died at the age of 81 was lowered into the grave.
A cross section of people that included former official hostess, Cecilia Kadzamila, Right Reverend Professor Silas Ncozana of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP) Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo,Speaker of National Assxembly, Henry Chimunthu Banda, former first lady Calista Mutharika, opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Peter Mutharika.
President Banda said in her eulogy asked Malawians to emulate the life and stewardship that the Late Reverend Bishop lived when serving the church and the country in various portfolios.
“I was inspired with the way he dedicated his life to God. You could see him that he was well conversant with the bible,”said Banda.
She also saluted the late Bishop for his courageous when speaking the truth for the sake of the nation.
“This is a man who dedicated his life to serving God as evidenced by the life that the Bishop lived,” expressed Banda.
The Late Emeritus Bishop was the Chairperson of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) during the time the Catholic clergy wrote a pastoral letter during the Kamuzu Banda era that helped bring about political change in the country.
In view of this, the President said she was reminded of what Bishop Zuza said during Late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s era that ECM would not stop criticizing government and other stakeholders where there is need to collect or shower praise where it is due.
“As Malawians, there is need to accept criticisms leveled against us when we are in the wrong and to celebrate if we are moving in the right direction together as a nation with hope and faith,” she explained.
Bishop Ste-Marie of Lilongwe Arch Diocese described the death of Mkhori as a big blow to the church having in mind that a few weeks a go the church was also mourning the death of another Emeritus Bishop Frank Kalilombe.
” We have lost a pillar in our church.He was a well dedicated Bishop in serving God and the Church,”he said.
Earlier on, Chairperson for ECM Joseph Zuza in his eulogy described the Late Bishop as an initiator of development activities.
A nephew to the late Bishop, who spoke on behalf of his brother Charles Mkhori described the death as back yard step to the family because he was their pillar.
“This is a sad moment to us because Felix was a pillar, who we all relied,” he said.
The late Bishop Mkhori was born on 24th August, 1931, and ordained priest on 8th September, 1961. He was consecrated Bishop on 8th January, 1978 and served as Bishop of Chikwawa until 23rd January, 2001 when he became Bishop of the Diocese of Lilongwe.
He retired from the pastoral office of Bishop of Lilongwe on 4th July, in 2007 and lived at St. Montfort, Nchalo until the time of his departure.
In his speech, the Bishop of Chikhwawa, Peter Misikuwa expressed gratitude to government for the financial support it had provided in paying for the hospital bills that were incurred at Mwaiwathu Private Hospital.
He also expressed gratitude to the Lilongwe Diocese for accepting that Late Bishop Mkhori be buried in Chikhwawa where he had chosen as his resting place.—(Additional reporting by Malawi News Agency)
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