REMEMBERING PRIESTLY VOCATIONS ON THANKSGIVING DAY
For more than five years, Diocese of Mangochi has been celebrating the feast of St. Augustine of Hippo who is patron saint of the diocese as “Diocesan Thanksgiving Day”. Even though the feast falls on 28th of August each year, the day has been celebrated on opted days close to the official day on the liturgical calendar.
In an interview on Tuesday, August 27th, Fundraising Committee Chairperson for Diocese of Mangochi, Mr. Elias Kamwendo, told our correspondent that Thanksgiving Day has remained an occasion where the unity of the local church of Mangochi is preached and lived.
“Over the years, Catholics from the 25 parishes have been converging for prayers. Such an event promotes unity and inculcates collegiality between the faithful and the clergy. Through the intercession of St. Augustine, we have received God’s graces yearly. Therefore, Thanksgiving Day remains a historic day for the Catholic community in the Diocese of Mangochi”. Kamwendo said.
Earlier in the day, His Lordship Bishop Montfort Stima presided over a High Mass. In his short but precise homily, Bishop Stima commented on St. Jerome’s remark to the famous story of “blessed John the evangelist” in his extreme old age at Ephesus, when he used to be carried into the congregation in the arms of his disciples and was unable to say anything except, “…little children, love one- another….that is the Lord’s command, and if this only is done, it is enough.”
Bishop Stima reminded his congregation that Thanksgiving Day is an expression of gratitude for the love and care receipt from God through the intercession of St. Augustine of Hippo. He however implored families and communities to exercise love as St. John taught his disciple.
“Let love reign in our hearts, in our families and in our communities”, He said
Later in the day, the gathering was invited to a series of activities held leading to the actual fundraising in response to the cause such as auctioning of items from parishes and institutions, adoption of seminarians in four different categories, dining and winning.
In response to the needs of the local church of Mangochi, this year’s Thanksgiving Day was particularly called Support A Seminarian Initiative (SASI). Apart from meeting the usual intents for celebration, the initiative was planned to raise MK 35m for the formation of 31 seminarians in the country’s (Kachebere in Mchinji and St. Peters in Zomba) major seminaries.
The celebration that took place at St. Augustine Cathedral in Mangochi.