Ziyaye urges seminarians to be open to priestly formation

Archbishop Tarcisius  Ziyaye of the Lilongwe Archdiocese of the Catholic Church  has urged seminarians to be open enough to the priestly formation.

The Archbishop said this during Cassock’s Day Celebration of forty seminarians from all the  eight Catholic Dioceses in Malawi that was held at Kachebere Major Seminary in Mchinji on Saturday, 15th March 2014.

“ The Formators are here not to play with you but to mould you into responsible priests in the near future as such then be responsive to priestly formation especially by prioritizing the ‘three Ds,’ doctrine of the church, devotion and discipline in whatever you are doing,” said Ziyaye.

Archbishop Ziyaye during the ceremony...Photo by Fr Steven Likhutcha
Archbishop Ziyaye during the ceremony…Photo by Fr Steven Likhutcha

He called upon parents not to force their children to become the priests but to respect their decisions and at the same time he also asked the parents to respect the will of their children if at all they want to become priests or the Religious in the Catholic Church.

“ It’s a pity that some parents force their children to become the priests when they actually do not want. This is not good. Respect the will of you children and at the same time do not at all refuse them when they express interest to serve as ministers of the Lord,” Ziyaye said.

Formators were asked to be exemplary in whatever they do since learners learn a lot from their teachers.

The Archbishop then called upon all the Seminarians and Clergy to be proud of their Cassocks or gowns by putting them on especially on this particular day so that non-clerics should come to a better understanding and distinguish who the clerics and non-clerics are.

In a separate discussion, concerning the putting on of cassocks for all seminarians, with Fr. Frank Chingale, Dean of Students and Lecturer in Philosophy of Knowledge, said that  it was designed that the newly cassock recipients should be the only group to put on the cassocks in order to be easily recognized and noticed from the others.

Addressing the congregation, the Rector of Kachebere Major Seminary, Fr. Raphael Mbendera, asked the newly cassock recipients to realize that that they have started a serious journey to priesthood that will make them become so responsible in life.

He then called upon them to be serious in whatever they would be doing in life.

Speaking on behalf of cassock recipients, Felix Chiwaya of Zomba Diocese, urged fellow classmates to follow the rule of life in order to reach to the expected goal of priesthood.

Kachebere Major Seminary opened its doors in 1939 with the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) when students from Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania were learning together philosophy and theology at the institution to become priests until in 1971 when seminarians from the other countries started going to their own native philosophical and theological institutions. This time it is under the Episcopal Conference of Malawi and all the formators or lecturers are of indigenous origin.

Currently the institution has 121 seminarians and 40 of them are  first year students, the cassocks recipients, with 4 each from Zomba and Karonga Dioceses, 5 each from Blantyre, Dedza and Mzuzu Dioceses, 7 each from Lilongwe and Chikwawa Dioceses and 3 from Mangochi Diocese. Since its inception, Sisters of Charity of Ottawa have been providing support in the secretariat, finance and culinary departments.

It only takes nine years to become a diocesan priest. With 25 points or below  obtained at Malawi School of Certificate of Education one is permitted to start the journey via Spiritual Formation House for a year, three years of philosophy and social science at Kachebere Major Seminary and four years of theology at St. Peter’s Major Seminary in Zomba and a year of probation or attachment.

Group photo outisde the Kachebere Major Seminary...Photo courtesy of Fr Steven Likhutcha.
Group photo outisde the Kachebere Major Seminary…Photo courtesy of Fr Steven Likhutcha.
Part of the ceremony...Photo courtesyof Fr Steven Likhutcha
Part of the ceremony…Photo courtesyof Fr Steven Likhutcha

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