By Demetria Banda
The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) has commended first-year students at St Peter’s Major Seminary for researching on the birth of Pontifical Mission Societies in the Catholic Church.
National Pastoral Coordinator for ECM, Fr. Henry Chinkanda says the exercise has also underscored the importance of the participation of everyone in the Church, including the laity.
“We have heard about PMS for over 40 years here in Malawi but these were undetailed information passing on to us but these students have made very good research that further clarifies knowledge that people had especially on the reason for the formation of the society,” said Fr. Chinkanda.
Fr. Chinkanda said this on Thursday 16 September, 2021 at St Peter’s Major Seminary in Zomba when the seminarians made presentation of their academic research findings.
The National Pastoral Coordinator has since urged the seminarians to research on more other issues relating to the Catholic Church. Fr. Chinkanda further encouraged the seminarians to grow a culture of reading and writing as this will help them keep abreast with what’s going on in real life.
“There are so many things we can write about on the Church in Malawi, We fail to do so because a lot of Malawians lack the reading and writing culture,” he added, urging the seminarians to research in various other sectors of the Church as this shall help unveil the unknown about PMS.
Pontifical Mission Societies PMS Director for Blantyre Archdiocese, Fr. Matias Thawani, representing the PMS National Director, said he would publish the findings by the seminarians.
“The students put in a lot of effort to get relevant information about PMS activities, and the background and history of PMS in Malawi. And the universal CFhurch,” said Fr. Thawani thanking the students for commitment towards their studies and production of theological knowledge.
Speaking on behalf of all first-year seminarians at St. Peter’s Major Seminary, Davison Kambilonje, disclosed that they were motivated by the fact that next year the Catholic Church shall celebrate the centenary of three Pontifical Mission Societies yet a few people know about PMS.
“The celebration is vital to the life of the Church because we cannot talk of the Church without the contributions of these societies. This is why we saw it, not only necessary but also, fundamental to conduct this study. People need to know about these three societies,” explained Kambilonje as he invited people to make time to read the findings of the study to understand the PMS well.
The study highlights historicity, missiology, achievements and challenges faced by PMS.