BISHOP STIMA CELEBRATES 62 YEARS OF AGE
Bishop of the diocese of Mangochi Right Reverend Bishop Montfort Stima celebrated his birthday to a colorful event that took place at his residence in the lakeshore district of Mangochi, Malawi on Saturday December 28th, 2019.
Born on Wednesday December 27th, 1957, Bishop Stima is now 62 yea
The place was already rosy as early as 5 o’clock in the morning, waiting for visitors to cover, and seats were filled to capacity by 9 o’clock when the unforgettable event started with the holy Eucharist mass celebration.
In his Eucharist opening remarks, Bishop Stima said he was delighted and humbled to be born two days after the birth of Jesus Christ the messiah on December 25th, the charismas day.
His homily at the mass service largely centered on the story of Herod the king who he said his (Herod’s) heart was full of darkness, saying he showed it when he ordered the killing of all male baby infants after hearing the majesty birth of Jesus Christ. He said, Herod was restless because of the fear of losing his might upon the birth of baby Jesus. The Bishop said though king Herod tried all means to terminate baby Jesus the light to replace it with darkness, the light defeated darkness when the angel of God ordered the holy family to flee with baby Jesus to Egypt.
He said this darkness still exists in the hearts of people today when hatred and lust for power continue booming in all aspects of life.
Said Rt Rev, Stima,” Jesus Christ was born to save us from darkness. He managed to defeat it when he subdued king Herod’s lust for earthly greatness.
Let Christmas be a celebration of meaning. Let’s love our neighbor because love will defeat the darkness that has engulfed us. Jesus defeated it at his birth on December 25thand again on his resurrection”.
He added that Herod lacked an inner peace in his heart that triggered him to be restless upon the birth of Jesus the light, who is the king of kings, just as it is today with us who always want to be on top of others.
Commenting on the situation Malawi is in now, he said false accusations such as witchcraft perpetrated on others including elder people continue rising, citing his own home district, Neno in southern Malawi as one such example where a number of people lost their lives over such accusations as people continue taking laws into their own hands because of lack of love.
“People are killing one another in this country just because of false issues such as witchcraft. An example is my own home district, Neno where a Number of people died in the hands of their neighbors due to unfounded issues such as witchcraft. This is lack of love for one another. Let’s change this mindset because if not checked our children will grow with such cruelty. The holy Family groomed baby Jesus by showing him love that in turn Jesus shared to the whole world during his time.
Bishop Stima also cited corruption as another darkness that continues absorbing Malawi and said something should be done to save future generations stressing that families are the best fields where children can be groomed to become responsible citizens.
Pull him down commonly known as PhD syndrome was also mentioned as rampant among the citizenry as nobody seems wishes good for another.
On this note the Bishop called on Christians to celebrate Christmas and new year 2020 with love for their neighbor as this is the message Jesus brought on Christmas day.
The birthday celebration also involved fundraising for priests medical scheme which is a new basket established to meet costs when a priest is in an emergency situation.
In his speech,chairperson of the fundraising committee Mr Elias Kamwendo aplauded Bishop Stima for accepting that his birthday party should be mixed with fundraising event.
“We thank you your lordship for allowing us to fundraise here at your birthday party.To us this means you really love your priests who are more than 60 in this diocese alone and of course your love for the mission of evangelization”, Kamwendo said.
During the event it was revealed that every priest pays 25 dollars monthly which translates to MK300,000 which is paid by the Bishop.
State president professor Arthur Peter Mutharika through chief of state residencies Peter Mukhitho who represented him donated MK5,000,000 towards the priests’ special medical basket. In an interview with this reporter Mukhitho said government appreciates the role played by the clergy for the development of this country hence the need to support them.
“Government appreciates the role clergy play in the country in different aspects of life and it impressed his Excellency professor Peter Mutharika to donate towards the priests’ medical fund to ease health care challenges the diocese experience when a priest is sick. The president has done this today to celebrate the birthday of our dear Bishop who we heard is also responsible to pay for them (priests) when they fall sick”, said Mukhitho.
Other wellwishers also joined the president by donating, with some adopting priests to meet their annual medical cover contributions.
Among notable guests at the Bishop’s big day were minister of Justice and constitutional affairs Bright Nsaka, minister of homeland security Nicholas Dausi, minister of transport Ralph Jooma, other members of parliament from Mangochi’s twelve constituencies, Mukhitho, who is also former police Inspector General (IG), friends, relatives of the Bishop, his immediate predecessor Rt. Reverend Bishop Allesandro Pagani and many more other dignitaries.
Coincidentally, in 2019, Christians around the world celebrated Christmas on Wednesday 25th December and Bishop Stima was also born on Wednesday 27th December 1957 at Khomera village in the area of traditional authority Dambe in Neno district, southern Malawi.
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of Blantyre on January 24th, 2010 and on 24th April the same year he was consecrated.
On December 6th, 2013 the Apostolic Nunciature (Vatican Embassy) in Malawi broke the good news that it has pleased His Holiness Pope Francisco to appoint him Bishop of the diocese of Mangochi and he was installed on 22nd February 2014.
Other former bishops of the diocese of Mangochi are Rt. Rev Allesandro Assolari (SMM), first Bishop who served from 1973 to 2004.
Rt.Rev Luciano Nervi (SMM) 2004_2005
Rev.From Luigi Gritti (SMM) 2005_2006
Rt Rev Thomas Luke Msusa (2006_2007)
Rt Rev Rev Allesandro Pagani (2007_2014),his immediate past predecessor.
Mangochi Apostolic Prefecture was erected into a diocese on 17th September,1973 and covers the areas of Mangochi,Balaka and part of Machinga districts.