Thousands of people from all walks of life including Vice President Saulos Chilima,former President,Bakili Muluzi,Presidential advisor on religious affairs,Apostle Timothy Khoviwa on Wednesday attended a farewell mass and later burial of later Fr. Andrew Nkhata of Mangochi Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church.
In his eulogy,Chilima took time to preach to all that came for the ceremony to emulate the good gesture that was demonstrated by Fr. Nkhata when he was alive on this earth.
“We should strive to love,care and protect others just like the way Fr. Nkhata did.Let’s make good use of our leadership positions by offering God’s glory,” said Chilima who also offered condolence message from President Peter Mutharika.
Bishop Montfort Stima of Mangochi diocese worried to have lost one of his strong pillars in the diocese.
He described late Fr. Nkhata as a humble, trustworthy and hardworking priest hence the reason he was the vicar general of the diocese.
The Vicar General in each diocese is the second in command and Counsellor to the Bishop .
“Kindly pray for me that I chose a right replacement of Fr. Andrew Nkhata who was my right hand man.He offered better advise to me and I will miss him,” said Bishop Stima.
Earlier,a representative for the Laity Council in Mangochi Diocese,Steven Lingamawa said the Church hlin Mangochi has lost a strong priest who was a role model to many.
“We already have limited number of priests in the diocese and losing him will increase the gap.There is no Catholic Christianity without a Priest.A priest offers among others sacraments and advise hence Fr. Nkhata was one of them,” Said Lingamawa.
Fr. Nkhata died on a road accident at Namiyasi in Mangochi on Monday night.He was laid to rest at St Paul Minor Seminary.
Fr. Nkhata was born on 22 September in 1970 and hailed from Chakachadza Village, Traditional Authority Pemba in Dedza district.
He pursued Philosophical Studies at Kachebere Major Seminary from 1991 to 1994 and Theological Studies at St. Peter’s Major Seminary in Zomba from 1994 to 1998 before going Italy to do Licentiate in Moral Theology.
Fr. Nkhata was ordained deacon on January 17, 1998 and ordained a priest on 7 July 1998 became the Vicar General in 2007.
Before his appointment as Vicar General, Fr. Nkhata served as priest in places like St John the Baptist Major Seminary and the Holy Cross Preparatory Seminary.
At the time of his death, he was serving as Parish Priest of Koche-Maldeco Parish since 2009.