On November, 10th 2018, Friends of the Martyrs of Uganda (FMU) from Malawi had a ‘thanksgiving Mass’ at St Augustine Cathedral Parish in Mangochi following a pilgrimage to Uganda on the occasion of feast of Ugandan Martyrs which falls in April each year.

In his introductory remarks during the Eucharistic Celebration of which he officiated, Bishop Monfort Stima called his congregation to be grateful to God Almighty for his love, for the concept to visit Namugongo as a Holy Land, for the safe pilgrimages to Uganda in 8 years, for the numerous graces attained over the years; and for the growth on the movement to a population of close to 400 registered members in the noted period. ‘We have had enough from Him to let come together for an occasion like this to praise and thank Him and pray for our deceased brothers and sisters for a peaceful repose in Internal bosom.’ Bishop Stima invoked.

At least 10 members from the team and 2 drivers from AXA Bus Company have been ferrying pilgrms to and from Uganda have died in a space of 8 years.

In his sermon, Bishop Stima however called all Friends of Martyrs of Uganda to live a much transformed life after their experience in the ‘Holy Land’. ‘Our pilgrimages have not just made us a bigger family but also served us with graces that call for transformation heart and growth of faith that should be evident in our daily tasks and style of life. With this, we can be like the martyrs.’ Said Bishop Stima.

After the Mass, Friends of Martyrs of Uganda had a general assembly at the bishop’s residence where they evaluated their pilgrimages to Uganda, planned for the forthcoming in April 2019 and elected new office bearers.

During the conference, Chaplain of Friends of Martyrs of Uganda, Fr. Tiyesi reminded all members that it is of vital importance to live by the Italian old odyssey that says “When you are in Rome, do what Romans do”. ‘Be Malawian in Uganda but do not take your culture with you. Live by their culture but remember you are Malawian.’ Fr. Tiyesi instructed.

In her inaugural address made on behalf all newly elected office bearers, Mrs Grace Kanduka thanked the outgoing leadership for its dynamism and dedication over the 8 years of duty. She henceforth called all members to hold hands and advance as a team. ‘There is no need for fear but let us make progress together. In our plans let us include more spiritual exercises. This way, we will realise the mission of lives and of our movement.’ Kanduka appealed.

Mrs. Grace Kanduka is the new chairperson of Friends of Martyrs of Uganda Malawi Chapter.

In concluding speech, Bishop Stima congratulated the new leadership and asked members to work in cooperation with the leadership. He however reminded all members to pay the team’s subscription fee, and consider include subscription fee as clause in the constitution that is being drafted.

Later in the day, members were served with a luncheon right at the bishop’s residence.

At least 80 members from Mangochi, Zomba, Dedza, Mzuzu dioceses, Lilongwe Archdiocese and Blantyre Archdiocese, reported for the occasion.