Sam Kalimba – Lilongwe, Malawi.
The commendation to the women came during the opening ceremony of the 2022 National Conference that took place recently at Likuni Girls Secondary School in the Archdiocese of Lilongwe, during which the CWO also lit a Jubilee candle marking the launch of a one-year celebration.
Women as pillars of the Church
Both the President of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Archbishop George Desmond Tambala who is the Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Lilongwe and the Bishop Chairman for the Pastoral Commission of the Conference, Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Catholic Diocese of Karonga recognised the role the Catholic women play in the country.
Archbishop Tambala said that women in their individual capacity as well as through their mother body CWO have stood strong as pillars of the Church in Malawi.
“When we meet with my fellow Bishops as a Conference, we speak of how you women support and protect the Church. Continue, for we are always proud of you!” he said.
Women called to holiness
Archbishop Tambala made the remarks when he preached to the theme, ‘Women are called to be holy in a synodal Church.’
“The model of Mary mother of God should be your standard all the time. When Eve brought sin, it took another woman to bring Salvation. Be that woman that brings Salvation to all. Desist from being used by other forces to destroy the Kingdom of God,” said Archbishop Tambala.
The Holy Family as a model
For his part, Bishop Mtumbuka also thanked the women. He said women participate in all Church activities in large numbers despite the fact that the many of them run demanding small-scale farming or business ventures. The women also give and donate generously to the needs of the Church. For this reason, he pledged continued support from the Bishops’ Conference.
He encouraged the women’s organisation to ensure that its members regularise their marital status if they are outside the Sacraments. He observed that Bishops and priests are at pains when they see devoted Catholics not in good standing with the Church.
Climax of golden jubilee in 2023
National Chairperson of the Catholic Women’s Organisation Mrs. Doreen Banda Zimba paid tribute to the first cohort of 1972 for their visionary leadership in establishing the organisation. She also thanked the clergy in Malawi that provided support for its establishment through Archbishop James Chiona and then parish priest for St. Pius Parish, Blantyre, who is now Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Zomba, Bishop Allan Chamgwera.
The climax of the 50th Anniversary will be celebrated in December 2023 in the Diocese of Mzuzu.