On the third day in the octave of Christmas, Christians celebrate the Feast of St. John, apostle and evangelist. However, Christians in the Diocese of Mangochi on the very Thursday, December 27, joined their bishop His Lordship Bishop Montfort Stima, Bishop to celebrate his 64th birthday.

…birthday cake

The celebration, that took place at the bishop’s residence, started with a Eucharistic celebration that brought together friends, the laity, nuns and men in collar.

Bishop Stima expressed his joy and gratitude for God’s love and care in the 64 years of his life.

“I was born barely two days after Christ’s birth. I find that to be a privilege,” said Bishop Stima.

The Bishop commended the good relationship that exists between him, the clergy and all Christians in the diocese.

…pastoral agents singing alongside ‘Pretty Boy

“I salute the support, understanding and willingness to work together that I have experienced in the years of service amongst the flock entrusted under my care as shepherd in this vineyard. I admit there have been challenges. Challenges will always be there; all the same life is extremely well,” he said.

Bishop Stima expressed optimism that the diocese is going into the right direction citing the 2017-2022 Diocese of Mangochi Strategic Plan as being the guiding tool.

“During my 2018 pastoral visits in the parishes, I had time to share and discuss with fellow pastoral agents, potential avenues of realistic goals to be achieved in the strategic plan. Above all, how we can propel the development of the local church,” said the Bishop.

Bishop Stima called on both the Christians and clergy within the diocese to be dedicated and committed to develop the diocese.