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24.05.2021 22:41:22 5468x read.
Malawi Provincial Newsletter, February,2021 (Late Post)

Malawi Provincial Newsletter.

Dear brothers and friends,


New Year greetings from Malawi and especially from your fellow brothers and friends. The Malawi that has seen surging numbers of the corona virus positive cases since January 2021, and her hospitals are overwhelmed by the covid-19 positive patients


We started the year on a good note and with high expectations. We had three young men in the formation House, two pre-novices and one pre-novice.
A forty-bed room capacity hostel for The Catholic University students ready for occupation by mid-February,2020. Our plans to purchase a piece of land in the Archdiocese of Lilongwe, were at an advanced stage awaiting the General Council’s decision.

By the end of February 2020, it became evident that Bro. Martinus Dariyo was feeling unwell. His condition needed further external medical attention and unfortunately, he could not leave for India for further treatment as recommended by his doctor. International airports were closed due to the covid-19 pandemic. He continued to receive treatment at Mwayiwathu, but unfortunately, we lost him to death.

Late Bro. Martinus was the pre-novice master of the three young men, and his death negatively impacted the formation program. Things had fallen apart. The provincial superior tried to handle the situation by appealing and pleading with those who could take up the assignment, however, all efforts could not yield any fruits.

Sadly, it became clear that the three young men lacked guidance and that they had lost their initial desire of coming to the formation house. After several interventions by the Provincial Superior, the PCM had no option but to ask the young men to go home and re-think about their vocation to the FIC if any.

Then in March, 2020, the government of Malawi took a decision to close educational institutions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some institutions, like The Catholic University and

many others, started offering online classes. This only benefitted learners from rich parents for they could provide their wards with gadgets and airtime for the online teaching and learning. My class had 25 students who could not participate in the online classes and unfortunately, I could not help it!

The closure of schools negatively affected the FIC Brothers means of sourcing monies locally. No income from the students’ hostels for almost the whole year. The Province’s budget was heavily affected. Unfortunately, that was how we began 2020.

Purchase of a piece of Land in Lilongwe

The current Provincial Council bought a piece of land in Lilongwe district after the General Council had approved our request to do so. It is situated in Traditional Authority (TA) Mbwatalika, Group village Head Mzonde, in the Archdiocese of Lilongwe. The late archbishop of Lilongwe archdiocese, His Grace, Gervasio Tarcisius Ziyaye gave full consent to the idea and he looked forward to seeing the establishment of an FIC community in Lilongwe and at a later date, the construction of a Private Special Needs secondary school. Unfortunately, the good lord called him before the plans came to fruition.

Bro. Mark Adamah’s Repatriation

After 21 years of dedicated missionary work in Malawi, Bro.Mark finally bid farewell to his fellow brothers and friends.
Our province remains ever grateful for the many years of dedicated missionary work Bro. Mark carried out in Malawi especially for the thirteen years he was principal of Mitengo Technical College. Bro.Mark also served in the Provincial Council of Malawi. Until his repatriation, he was bursar of St. Patrick’s secondary School. We wish you success in your new apostolate in Ghana. Thank you and God’s blessings on your future apostolate in Ghana.

First Profession of Religious Vows

The province held a three-fold celebration on 21st November,2020 in Mzedi. On the day, the Province celebrated the first religious profession of three young men namely; Bros. Gasper Kalisto, Daniel Kanyada and George Muliya, the launching of the new FIC congregational logo and the Foundation Day of the FIC congregation.

The celebration started with a Holy mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Blantyre, His Grace, Thomas Luke Msusa. In his homily, he shared with the brothers and Mzedi Parish congregation, his ever gratefulness for the presence of the FIC Brothers in his diocese and the apostolic works the FIC brothers do in the diocese and in the country.

Appointment - Newly Professed Brothers

The Provincial Council has appointed Bro. George Muliya to Bethel Provincial House. Bro. Muliya will be working with Bro. Ivo, the Provincial Bursar. His main area of apostolate is to help in the collection, banking of the IGA proceeds and reporting of the IGA activities to the PCM. The Provincial Council has since allocated him office space at the FIC workshop in Maryview.

Bro. Gasper Kalisto joins Mitengo Technical College as Instructor. He is a member of our Mitengo Community.

Bro. Daniel Kanyada is appointed to Mzedi and once schools re-open, he will be working at St. Patrick’s Secondary School as Librarian.

We congratulate the newly professed brothers for making this bold step and we wish them every success in their respectively apostolic areas in Mitengo, Mzedi and Blantyre.

Come and See session 28-30 December,2020

Our vocation team held Come and See session in Mzedi from 28-30 December,2020. Four young men attended this session out of the six (6) that were invited. They are Stephen Gift Ntambo from Kasungu but currently residing in Zomba, Sacred Heart Parish, Frazer Maida from Chiradzulu, Nguludi Parish, Gerald Nyakulama, Chiradzulu district, Nguludi parish and Victor Dikamdima, Masanjala Parish, Chiradzulu district. They are yet to apply for the Preparatory period.

Pre-Novitiate and Canonical Novitiate Years in Ghana

Towards the last quarter of 2020, the PCM requested the Ghana Provincial Council to allow Malawian Pre-Novices to be doing their pre-novitiate and canonical novitiate with the Ghanaian candidates in Ghana since Malawi has no formators now.

We are grateful to the Provincial Council of Ghana for their willingness to take up this challenge on our behalf. I am happy to inform you that on 5th February,2021, two Malawian pre-novices left the country for Ghana. The third young man fell ill on the eve of departure and the following morning he was too weak to fly. Once he recuperates, we shall re-book his flight to join his mates. We are left with the enormous task of identifying a brother to be trained as formator considering our small numbers.

Studies- Bro. Lawrence Nkonde

Bro. Lawrence Nkonde left the country for Ghana on 8th January,2021. He pursues a four-year degree program in Building Technology at Wa University College in the North of Ghana. Upon arrival at Kotoka International Airport, he was found covid-19 positive and was kept at an isolation Centre for one week. News from Ghana is that he has moved to Wa and has since started his studies. We thank Ghana Provincial Council, through Bro. Lambert, for the timely support given to Nkonde during the period of the isolation.

Meanwhile here at home, Bro. Chancy Mfune, joins Bros. Mike Mbato and Moses Mgunda at The Catholic University of Malawi as a weekend student. He reads a two-year Diploma program majoring in Special Needs and Life Skills as a minor. We wish Chancy and the other two brothers a successful year of study. Brother Trustful prepares for his second year at Chancellor college as he pursues educational psychology studies.

Meeting Between PCM and the Vicar General –Blantyre Archdiocese

Of late, there has been a move by the Archdiocese of Blantyre and some Catholic dioceses in Malawi to take over schools from religious congregations. For example, at St. Patrick’s secondary school, the diocese of Blantyre started carrying out changes without consulting the Brothers FIC.

As brothers FIC in Malawi, through the Provincial council, we learnt this development with dismay and we therefore met the Vicar general, Fr. Boniface Tamani to get clarification and more information about this sad development.

For three years now, we have observed with concern that the archdiocese of Blantyre has not been adhering to some clauses of the contract agreed upon by the General Superior of the Brothers FIC and the archbishop of Blantyre in 1960/1, regarding the working relationship between the two parties. Representatives of other religious orders in the archdiocese share the same concerns.

We are happy to inform you that the meeting was held on 5th February,2021 between the PCM and Fr. Tamani and the newly instituted Social Development committee of the archdiocese of Blantyre. We are assured that such mistakes will not be repeated and that both parties shall promote dialogue in all matters concerning the administration of the schools where we work in the diocese.

Care of the Environment -Laudato Si

Reforestation work is underway in the depleted areas around our communities and schools. The PCM through the Income Generating Activities(IGA) committee, purchased and distributed around two thousand tree seedlings to our Likulezi house farm, Mzedi and Mitengo communities. This is in response to proposal 28B to the 2018 General Chapter from our brothers in the Netherlands.

In Malawi, places that had once beautiful sceneries, now look degraded and depleted. The first time I came to Mzedi Formation House to start the residential aspirancy, Mzedi and Bangwe hills had beautiful sceneries and trees, but now all the beauty is gone due to destructive human activities that has led to gully erosion. The once shortest road to Speedys, and then into Limbe township, has become impassable.

We are happy that our brothers in Mzedi and the teachers and students from our sister schools, St. Patrick’s and St. Louis planted most of the tree seedlings that were bought for Mzedi. We ask the brothers, teachers and the students to look after the trees and report any theft and vandalism to either the management of the schools or the brothers. Care of the environment, our second home, is in the spirit of Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si.

New pickup for MITEC

Mitengo Technical college has now a new car. The vehicle is to strictly be used for the institution’s day to day business and not anything else. The provincial council had planned to purchase a car for this purpose last year, however, the plan could not be realized due to financial constraints the province experienced and still does caused by covid-19 pandemic. We ask the management of the college and the brothers in Mitengo to see to it that this means of transport is properly handled for school business only.

Provincial Conference 2021
The Provincial chapter 2018 resolution 6B (revised) proposed to the next provincial council that, the term of office for the members of the current Provincial council be six (6) years with a provincial conference in 2021. The Provincial Council has started working towards this exercise by appointment of the Provincial Conference steering committee. The committee members are Bros. Andrew Makocho, Thomas Chikoti and Mike Mbato.

The Provincial Superior will brief the committee on their responsibility towards the conference. Allow me to also inform the brothers that all the 2018 Provincial Chapter delegates will be delegates to this year’s conference. Through a secret ballot, we will replace our two late brothers, Stanslao Finye and Martinus Dariyo. Bro. Mark Adamah repatriated last year, we also must replace him. Finally, Bro.Lawrence Nkonde, currently studying in Ghana and Peter Nthulula, who left the congregation in 2019, will also be replaced. We tentatively plan to conduct the conference towards the end of the year. Once we have finalized our planning, we will communicate the definite dates of the conference.

That’s all we had to communicate to you, dear brothers and Friends! Brotherly Greetings from,

Bro. Lawrence Sitima fic
(On behalf of the Malawi FIC Province)

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