BY PRINCE HENDERSON
Seminarians at St. Peter’s Major Seminary, a Theological College of the Catholic Church in Malawi have been urged to build the Church and at the same time respond with urgency and passion to the call for universal mission within Seminary, pastoral experiences and in future as priests.
Director of Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Fr. Vincent Mwakhwawa made the call during a five- day workshop for the Seminarians in Zomba.
Fr. Mwakhwawa said St. Peters Seminary is the Centre for missionary formation and theological reflection of the Catholic Church in Malawi hence need to equip Seminarians who are agents of evangelization which is crucial for the growth of the Church.
“Basically, we organized this workshop to remind Seminarians on universal mission of the Catholic Church hence increase their understanding on what PMS is. We also wanted to arouse a spirit of urgency and passion for the missionary work in Seminarians,” said Fr. Mwakhwawa.
According to Fr. Mwakhwawa, PMS is committed to cultivating a special passion in Seminarians for early missionary or Christian formation of children and at the same time increase the capacity of Seminarians in missionary animation children.
One of the facilitators to the workshop, Fr. Henry Chinkanda said the seminarians and the entire people of God have to understand that Church’s main mission is proclamation of the gospel and this mission is universal.
He reminded seminarians that mission is the identity of the Catholic Church and therefore, the seminarians as future priests have to be identified with the universal mission of the Church through their daily Christian living.
Fr. Chinkanda encouraged seminarians to priorities relationship with Jesus Christ, the Master of Mission, through a mature prayer life; being docile to the Holy Spirit; and loving the church and humanity as Jesus Christ does.
He emphasised that these activities are essential elements of a true missionary spirituality which sustains missionary urgency and passion among the people of God.
Dean of Students, Deacon Paul Kunkumbira said the workshop was an eye opener for the Seminarians who are the future priests hence adapt to best applicable methods of evangelization.
He said the evangelization approach by the Second Vatican Council II calls on them and everybody to read the signs of the times and be a missionary to the world.
“We as Seminarians appreciate much what PMS is doing hence would like to challenge the Church to intensify the raising of missionary consciousness and the Catechesis of Children so that they grow with zeal for mission,” said Deacon Kunkumbira.
He said everybody in the Church including Seminarians, the Clergy and laity must support actively the mission character of the Church and should demonstrate through their readiness to serve Christ.
Other facilitators at the workshop included; Sister Agnes Jonas who tackled on the role of Seminarians and Priests in early Christianity and missionary formation of children and their protection from abuse (child protection).
National Secretary for Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM), Martin Mazinga also facilitated on project management bearing in mind that Seminarians will once be Priests and manage projects in their respective parishes as part of evangelization.
Another facilitator was Fr. Bernard Silungwe who stressed on the need for resource mobilization for the missionary work focusing on project proposal and report writing.