CROWNING 2017 GLORIOUSLY
Yes! Christmas is around the corner and of course it is just in two weeks that we are to bid farewell to year 2017. Advent Season we are in prepares us for that big bang day. On the other hand it is worth to start resolving for the yet to be born. The mood is already joyful. Everyone can`t wait for the twin delivery in anticipation. Our minds are pregnant of the birth of Christ rightly placed in a manger and again the birth of a brand new year 2018. People are budgeting for Christmas while some are making a list of new resolutions for themselves in the year to come. It is all right. Nevertheless if the two preparations are done reflectively, it may do someone some good. The year 2017 is aged and gone. It matters less how it was began but crowning it gloriously would again mean getting set for the year 2018. The local Catholic clergy from Diocese of Mangochi aren’t spared for this. Having worked so hard in their services for God and his people in distinct parishes, from 11th to 15th December, 2017. The diocesan priests led by Bishop Montfort Stima who is the their senior pastor, together followed their Master’s steps by leaving out time to pray and conclude the year reflectively.
Meditating on the theme “Challenges of Diocesan Priesthood in Malawi”, Fr. Dr. Joseph Kimu shared with his brothers in the field some three main factors that the majority of both young and old priests are facing today. He stipulated identity crisis, economic crisis and pastoral crisis are the monsters in the lives the local clergy. Identity crisis pops in when one forgets to answer or answers the basic questions connected to his call erroneously. “There are three keys questions that are to assist a priest to find out if he is faced with identity crisis or not. The questions are, Who am I? Why did I become a priest?; and what was it that I was looking for in priesthood? If responded to honestly from time to time identity can’t be a crisis,“Fr. Joseph said. He then underscored that the church is both human and divine and hence the economic factors the world faces today has not spared the church and and its pastors. Therefore failure to support oneself or the institution or parish under one’s care brings down the ministerial life of the church. As such he encouraged his brothers to work so very hard, managed what they realize from traditional ways of production and again seek modern means of sustainability. Hinged to the first two challenges is the pastoral crisis. If a priest forgets to serve
his people, he does not minister to them, if he takes his ministry lightly by way of not preparing for duties, if he is not with and for his flock and consequently leads them astray, all this an indicator that this particular priest is faced with pastoral crisis. Radical pastoral care and commitment brings joy and happiness to both the minister and the people. It is generosity to the last
The Retreat was fully backed by scriptural passages and spiced by several devotions. Following the life of a renown saint Padre Pio cemented talks together. Each day was concluded with a Holy Mass. Total silence was the mood. Yes, it was time to pray.