MRA Catholic Community on Sunday, 4th June, 2017 visited emeritus bishop of Zomba, Alan Paul Chamgwera at his retirement home, Thondwe in Zomba to honour him for his contribution to both the Church and country.
According to chairperson of MRA Catholic Community, Donasius Pathera who led the group, Bishop Chamgwera –who is from Neno District — was the founder of St. Pius Catholic Parish and is the one who invited choir specialists to train the choir of St. Pius. Currently, St Pius Choir is one of the best choirs in Malawi.
“Bishop Chamwera also is the one who established Catholic Women Organisation and currently the organisation has spread to many countries across Africa. He also established ‘Mpingo wozidalira’ (Christians to depend on themselves in supporting the church).
“While in Zomba, he managed to develop Zomba Diocese by sending many priests for further studies. Zomba Diocese is one of the Dioceses that has more learned priests. He managed to source funds to build hospitals and bring electricity in rural areas.”
Pathera said they felt to visit the retired bishop to see how he is fairing and they broight warm clothings for him as it is getting cold each day.
“We realised that he is one of the Bishops that have done the church and nation proud. He is developmental conscious and many can testify. We are happy he is in good health and still as intelligent,” Pathera said.
Bishop Chamgwera was born 1928 in Neno under Blantyre Archdiocese. He was ordained priest in 1958 and Pope John Paul the second appointed him to become the Bishop of Zomba Diocese in 1980.
Speaking to the group, Bishop Chamgwera said he was honoured with the visit.
“God has called you to work for his people, do not abuse your work, remember the nation is waiting for your efforts to ensure we have enough resources.” Chamgwera advised the tax officials.
The MRA staff formed the unity grouping in December last year to be meeting every month for prayers and in one of the meeting they decided to be assisting the community in charity work.
On May 1 (Labour Day), the group visited Mlambe Hospital in Lunzu, Blantyre where they donated bags of maize, bags of maize flour, rice, tablets of soap, bales of sugar among others worth MK1 million.
The Community’s agenda is to ensure that Catholics working for MRA are united and pray together; helping the Catholic Church in the projects the group may feel can assist and to visit other -dioceses for solidarity.
“Another mission is to help the nation in supporting the immediate needs when resources are available,” Pathera said “We chose Mlambe Hospital because we wanted to support the institution which belongs to the Church and at the same time, we were supporting the nation some of the people who are admitted at Mlambe are not Catholics only.
“So we felt that we need to cheer them. We are all one regardless of creed. MRA officers and beneficiaries also go to Mlambe when they are sick, so we were as well helping our own hospital,” he said.
He also said they specifically chose May 1 because as Catholics they were also commemorating the patron saint of theirbcommunity, St. Joseph The Worker — patron of all people who work.
“The saint is commemorated on 1st May each year on Labour Day. St. Joseph the Worker was a carpenter, foster father of Jesus and husband to Mary.”
During the presentation of thè items Pathera said: “What can make our nation to develop is not the ability to see problems we are encountering but the ability to find solutions to save mankind. We are at Mlambe Hospital not because we have a lot of money but because we want to show our deep love for the sick.”
MRA Catholic Community is nationwide and has 144 members according to WhatsApp statistics and this is their first project.
“We shall be going to the Central and Northern regions to make more donations in the near future. We want to change the nation,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :