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11.07.2017 16:58:10 881x read.
MALAWI
News from Malawi Province, FIC Brothers.

Dear Brothers I send you some information of our province.

 

1. Happy Easter.

April is special year in our Liturgical Calendar as it is the time we concentrated our life in relation to the mystery of redemption of Jesus Christ. The mystery of Christ’s resurrection is a real event, with manifestations that were historically verified as the New Testament bears witness. The resurrection of Christ is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian Community. This celebration reached the peak on the Holy Week that started with the Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. In the past, there was join celebration between the Catholics and other Christian denomination such as CCAP on The Way of the Cross of Good Friday. This year we saw a special event in which the CCAP Church of St. Columbia in Blantyre celebrated Palm Sunday the same way as the Catholics. They passed through Mahatma Gandhi road at CI. It sound more entertaining as they followed a lorry of people with loud speaker, accompanied by the congregations who raised up palm leaves with dancing along the way.

2. Religious Course of Bro. Mc Joe Mnthemwe.

MY EXPERIENCES DURING APOSTOLIC YEAR OF NOVITIATE By Mac-Joe Mnthemwe

During my reflection throughout the year, I have come to notice that Apostolic Year of Novitiate complements in its own unique way the Canonical Year of Novitiate. It was a time when I, as a second year novice, needed to accelerate my efforts to meet the grace of God. During this time, everything was done with one purpose in mind; to be close to God. Proper usage of this time has made me become aware of the basic principles of religious life and hence iron out all the scruples in my decision making. Truly, the time has been quite challenging and testing. However, it is through the same that I have discovered my human frailty. The realization of these vulnerabilities has led me to seek and depend more and more on God. After all, Jesus Christ never minced words nor missed a point when he said, `whoever stands firm till the end the same shall be saved,' (Mt. 24:13).

I must extend my heartfelt appreciation to the authority and all people involved in helping me discern the truth about my vocation in the entire period of my formation. I do not assume here to have experienced all about this life. Yet, I claim that the little insights and knowledge I got is sufficient enough for me to tell the basics of religious life. This, for me, is quite important for it has led me to increase my power of decision-making on my vocation.

I should admit that many people have really helped me to develop spiritually, mentally, biologically, cognitively and physically. A lot was involved and spent to achieve all that. There is no way I should take all that for granted. I remain grateful for tireless efforts that my Formators have demonstrated throughout the entire time of this formation program.

Similarly, I also extend my gratitude to all people who sacrificed time and energy to organize and produce materials good enough for my benefit. All sisters in all communities to which I went to have classes, sessions and workshops. They demonstrated unequaled care and love to me. Their human heart got me to know and believe that all religious have Jesus Christ as their one master. I should equally appreciate all brothers in all communities who in one way or another helped me to make it to this far. Sometimes it was just out of casual conversations yet it meant a lot for me. I make no doubt that these brothers have equally made a considerable contribution to my formation.

A good part of my Apostolic Year has been spent at ICI (Inter-Congregational Institute). My time at ICI was quite eventful. A period of nine months just elapsed like a single night. First days had its own challenges namely heat, assimilation of Carmelites' way of life, adjusting to college/seminary life just to mention a few. I will not dwell at all on any of these challenges in this paper because the benefits I reaped from ICI outweighed all these challenges.

On the part of my experience with Carmelite Community, at all cost, I should be grateful to the Carmelite Order. It is the only community that opened its hands and welcomed me. We stayed together for about nine months. Nine months is such a long time and in between mistakes and little disagreements were inevitable. Sometimes the weather was too hot and people became too hot too but all was handled with virtue, vigor and passion.

On my part, I feel tried to live the best of myself. I did whatever was within my capacity to never intentionally disrupt their routine. I tried to reason with everyone where that was required. I tried to listen to them and to get myself listened to. I still reserve `big thanks' to both Frs. Bafuta and Mpokwe. Their daily efforts to help me in all things will remain unmatched.

On the part of academics, at ICI I went through one of the most challengingly exciting times. Still I really appreciated the whole program and hence encourage its continuity with the forthcoming brothers. My personal conviction is that ICI program should be a part inclusive to our Formation. A little Philosophy complements the development of intellect. Our formation is good enough and personally I appreciate it.

However, the development of the intellect is not much attended to. Never forget; the strength of the intellect will also determine the strength of the body. In short, the body is the servant of the mind. If

the intellect knows what is good and bad, what is happiness, what is life for, and then the body will be well governed. So it is just a matter of logical priority; which one of the two should be trained first, the mind or the body??

Finally, there are some small suggestions on areas to work on concerning the ICI program. First, ICI is a heavily an academic area. Nobody is there just to get partial knowledge in any course. Doing just part 1 of anything and not its part 2 is just under utility of resources. Courses are connected so let our brothers go there and do full program if we really mean serious business.

Second, sending our novices to stay with postulants is equally a source of confusion to the formators in a host community. Formators do have tough time to execute fully their duties. Apparently, formators cannot treat novices as postulants and vice versa. In this case, formators are put in a fix and consequently formation process is compromised on their part. So if we need to send our candidates to ICI, then time has come to think of electing our own structures for accommodation. Otherwise, I should once again thank all who saw it fit and good to introduce this program. It is not a waste of time and resources. It is just a worthy ingredient to our formation.

3. Master Degree for Bro. Lawrence Sitima.


After studying for two years at Gonzaga University in Spokane, USA, he completed the study and awarded with: Master of Arts in English. The result was very good that he was given scholarship to pursue Ph D. However he accepted our decision to come back home and offers his knowledge to students in Malawi. Bro. Lawrence Sitima, Congratulations ! It was a hard work for two years !!!! When he left Malawi he was registered as Headmaster of St. Patrick’s Secondary School. Upon completion of his study the Provincial Council gives him a new assignment: Lecturing at Montfort SNE College. As such he was transferred from Mzedi Community to Maryview Community. He has to finalize the assignment in order to get approval and posting instruction from the Government.

4. Contact days session for FIC candidates

It was a contact day for young people who are interested to answer the call for religious life.

Venue; Mzedi Formation House, Date: 25-27 May 2017. We are grateful to vocation Promotion Team led by Bro. Stanslao Finye. He writes:

Six young men were invited for contact days at Mzedi formation house from 25`" to 27`h May 2017. During this period these young men had an opportunity to interact with their friends in formation house, the novices. The programme on the 26th of May was such that three brothers met the group of aspirants differently. As the coordinator of the aspirancy programme Br Stanslao Finye was the first to meet the group at eight o'clock in the morning. Br Finye talked to them on the conditions of following Christ based on some scriptures like Luke 9: 23-25, Luke 14: 26-33, Luke 18:18-30. In this talk it was made clear to these young men that they need to make some sacrifices in order to follow the footsteps Christ genuinely. After the session with Br Finye the young men were privileged to interact with the provincial superior Br Martin Dario. This was also an exciting moment for the aspirants because, according to them they never expected that as candidates they could interact with the provincial the way they did. After lunch and a little siesta Br Thomas Edison had his turn to meet the candidates.

These candidates came from different parts of Malawi with different educational backgrounds. Moses Daniel Kanyada came from Lilongwe District and he is 24 years of age. Moses has a Malawi School Certificate of Education with an aggregate of 27 points. The other candidate from the central region is Francis Amidewo from Mchinji District, he was born on 11/10/1991. Francis has a Malawi school Certificate plus a Grade two Trade test Certificate in Bricklaying, currently he is pursuing his Grade One at Namitete Technical College. We also had Gasper Kalisto among them. He is a Grade two certificate holder in electrical installation from Mitengo Technical College. Gasper is 22 years and he is from Phalombe district. Another young man who attended this session and is a product of our own Mitengo Technical College is Samuel Brighton Zuze. Samuel is a Holder of Grade Two trade test certificate in electrical installation. He was born on 28/07/1992 and he comes from Thyolo district, Nchilamwera Village.

The other aspirant was Andrew Alekadala also from Nchilamwera Village, Thyolo district. Andrew is twenty two years old and holds a Malawi School Certificate with an aggregate of 21 points. Lastly but not the least was toe Muliya who comes from Chiradzulu district, Traditional Authority Kadewere. Joe is a proud holder of an Advanced Diploma in Community Development from the Malawi Polytechnic Institute for Continuing Studies. He was born on 22/ 02/ 1992. At the end of the session they all expressed their happiness to have attended this session, they particularly pointed out the good interaction they had with the brothers and the Novices.

To prove this they all applied for the initial formation. I hiope they will all be accepted to start formation come October this year. It was so wonderful to have this group of aspirants who looked enthusiastic to join FIC Brotherhood. We express our gratitude to the vocation promotion team who have been trying their best to contact yang people interested in religious life.

6. Five day session on Formation in Nyungwe.

On 29th May up to 2nd June Bro. Stanslao Finye attended session in Nyungwe Cetreat Centre on “The Arts of Receiving and Giving Spiritual Direction” presented by Rev. Fr. Philbert Namphande OCD. However the programme was changed, including the resource person. He writes:

SESSION ON A JOURNEY TOWARDS MATURITY OF LOVE

From 29th of May to 2nd of June I went to Nyungwe retreat centre for a session on the art of Giving and receiving Spiritual direction. When I got there I found that the programme had changed and instead we were to attend a session on A Journey towards Maturity of Love. At first I was a little bit upset because I had not come for this session. I thought of coming back to Mzedi but after a second thought I advised myself to stay since I had already planned to be in Nyungwe for this week. The session was facilitated by Reverend Fr. Ephraim Kufankumodzi, OCD.

Immediately when I started attending the session I realised that A journey towards maturity of love was equally important and beneficial for me and my way of relating with people, both in the community and outside the community. In this session I got to learn that mature personality means integrated person, and is therefore synonymous of a person who has responded faithfully to all the

values of life. We learnt that evolution of growth is determined by diverse factors and some of them are; a serious pain, a great temptation and a clear decisive perception of the ultimate goal of existence.

Among other issues that were tackled are: Spiritual maturity which is the total development of all the potentialities of grace in us, thus; faith, hope and charity. Characteristics and signs of spiritual maturity and characteristics of human maturity were also dealt with. I learnt that a normal and balanced person is always full of faith and hope in life and this leads to charity. The person has the capacity to adapt to certain conditions, certain modifications and responsibilities in the social context in which the individual can be found.

All in all the session was very enriching for my personal growth and my interactions with others. It helped me to understand how other people behave the way they do. It also helped to understand myself and realise that sometimes I behave immaturely. In other words we all have to strive to grow towards maturity; otherwise it is a lifelong process for individuals to grow to real maturity.

7. Operation: Bro. Andrew Makocho.

Recently he has problem with his health and he went to Mwaiwathu Hospital. He has a problem in urinating. The doctor advised him to undergo operation. The operation was done on Tuesday 27th

June, that lasted for two and half hours. Thanks be to God, it was a successful operation done by a Malawian doctor. Four days after operation, he was discharged from the hospital.

9. Participation of Bro. Pascal on Child Protection Seminar in Rome, 17-23 June 2017.

Bro Pascal Mtuwana took part in the Seminar on Child protection in Rome.

Bro. Pascal Mtuwana writes:

In June every year, there is a conference organised in Rome about child protection for people working in Safeguarding children from Episcopal Conferences of English speaking countries. From Malawi Bro Pascal attended this year's conference together with Archbishop of Archdiocese of Blantyrer, Mgr. Thomas Luke Msusa and Rev Fr Henry Saindi, the ECM Secretary General.

The 2017 Anglophone Safeguarding Conference was held at the Pontifical Gregorian University and attended by 110 people including Major Superiors of religious orders and 12 Bishops. The main topics

for discussion centred on Giving Hope to Survivors of Child Abuse and also Perpetrators. During the Conference participants had an opportunity to attend workshops on different themes such as "The effects of child abuse on Non-offending Priests". Key-note speakers came from USA, Australia, and The United Kingdom. This year the Conference was organised by the Scottish Bishops Conference and the Centre for Child Protection of the Pontifical Gregorian University.

10. Provincial Recollection at Bethel House.

On 14th June, we gathered for a Provincial Recollection. Theme: Identity and Mission of Religious Brother in the Church. It was an effort to deepen the content of Circular Letter General Council FIC, April 2017 with the theme: Brotherhood, being brother, the gift we received. The aim of the recollection was to explore briefly, the content of the latest Encyclical document published by Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Rome October 4, 2015.

Title: IDENTITY AND MISSION OF RELIGIOUS BROTHER IN THE CHURCH. This document delves into the particular role of religious brothers in the Church. The document was drafted under Pope Benedict XVI in 2008, to identify and promote the importance of the vocation of lay brothers. There are reasons for issuing a new encyclical document. One of them is, “A renewed project” of the Church.

“A renewed project: Over the centuries, the goal of consecrated life, (seeking to imitate Christ in his way of living: chaste, poor and obedient.cf VC 16;31) has run the risk of taking second place in male religious life, in favour of priestly functions. In order to restore it to its own proper place, throughout history the Spirit has raised up founders who placed emphasis on the lay character of their foundations. It happened in the monastic life of St. Benedict, whose brother monks were the evangelizers of Europe; also in the way of life proposed by St. Francis, whose Friars Minor were born as a mixed Order, formed by lay people and priests. In both these cases, the tendency to priesthood was subsequently imposed on the initial foundational project. # 9.b.

During this gathering Bro. Martinus Dariyo presented the summary of the document and distributed the document. Brothers were given opportunity to give comments, or feedback. This gathering also attended by a Spiritant priest, Fr. Noel Gama and Bro. Mayamkosi of Oblate of the Holy Family. The recollection closed with Eucharistic Celebration presided by Fr. Noel Gama, and continued with Lunch.

12. Graduation Ceremony at St. Louis CDSS

Year 2017 is the third cohort to write MSCE examination. On Graduation Ceremony held one 17th

June the school invited a guest of honour, Mrs Mercy Simbi. She is a chairperson of USAID organization that promotes the participation of women in society and in politics This organization also promotes girls education in Malawi. She came to CDSS twice to assist female students. She pleased that form four of St. Louis has almost fulfill the target of 50 % girls and 50% boys in every class. There are 43 students of form 4 who are writing final examination, 21 girls, 23 boys. She was happy that at school level, there are more girls than boys.

On this graduation all parents of students of form four attended the ceremony. It was an atmosphere of “family feast” in which the parents, students and guests shared meal, eating together in one big room. It was a happy moment for all especially for the parents from villages around the school. For them, it was a blessing to have a chance to send their children to learn up to Secondary School level.

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Bethel House, 30th June 2017

Bro. Martinus Dariyo.








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