Farewell to Archbishop James Mwewa Spaita, Kasama, Zambia

ARCHBISHOP JAMES MWEWA SPAITA burial siteBy Christopher Chileshe M.Afr
Archbishop James Mwewa Spaita, passed away at 15.14 hours on 4th November 2014 in the Kasama General Hospital at the age 80.
On Thursday 6th November 2014, a vigil Mass was held at St John’s Cathedral in Kasama. Many people attended this solemn Eucharistic celebration including all our novices and staff of Lualuo Spiritual Formation Center in Kasama. Bishop Aaron Chisha was the main celebrant at this Mass. The body viewing for the late continued through the night to 08.00hours the following day.
That Friday 7th November 2014, a Eucharistic Celebration for the late Archbishop James Mwewa Spaita was held. It was graced by all the Bishops of the Zambia Episcopal Conference (except Bishop of Livingstone who was not able to attend due to sickness). The colorful funeral procession begun at 09.00 hours from the Cathedral Church to the Jubilee Square where the Mass was held. Hundreds of people from all over the country came along to this celebration
Archbishop Ignatius Chama presided at this Eucharistic Celebration. In his homily he stated that the late Archbishop Spaita had fought a good fight and finished the race. In his lifetime, he was a man who saw a blessing in all his sufferings. He persevered in all his difficulties. As the Lord has promised, he will still guide him now that he has gone away from us. We have now been left with a lesson to follow in our own lives. We should remember that all the violence’s in our world today are in fact as a result of our lack of self-giving – a quality that the late Archbishop Spaita had.
In thanksgiving to God for the Eucharist broken and shared out, the choir led the congregation in a song that was sung at Archbishop Spaita’s 50th anniversary of priesthood. Some of the quotes from the song are;
“Thank God after I have run the race
Thank God for my life
Thank God for all my works
Now I wait for the gift God will give me”
In his final speech the Archbishop Chama also gave special gratitude to Fr. Martin Mulenga who cared for the late Archbishop during the last years before he died. The late himself would proudly say “Now that I am blind I have five legs, the two natural legs, the walking stick and the two legs of Fr. Mulenga”. Fr. Mulenga has also given us an example of how priests can look after each other.
The government of the Republic of Zambia (Which is also in mourning at the passing away of the republican president, the late Michael Chilufya Sata) was also well represented at the occasion. Hon Ngosa Simbyakula Minister of Home Affairs spoke on behalf of the large entourage. His speech was very sympathetic and lacked any political tone.
On behalf of the Zambia Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Telesphore George Mpundu gave thanks to all who had come to see off their brother Bishop. He also expressed thanks for the long life of the late Archbishop Spaita. He mentioned that this death was the sowing of a seed and the ushering in of yet another ancestor in the Zambian Church.
The Mother General of the Sisters of Mercy of Mansa read a very moving tribute to the late Archbishop James Mwewa Spaita their founding Father. Here are some extracts;
We mourn but believe you live on
You touch each one of us in single ways
A great man of prayer, humility
Your life speaks unconditional love
No matter what pain, you said ‘cikapita’
In sickness and pain you found a Joy which radiated to others.
Farewell, we know you will live on.
Archbishop Mwewa Spaita was finally put to rest just next to the Cathedral of St. John’s in Kasama.
His motto, “To Serve, Not To Be Served” has now been fulfilled.
He ordained the first six Missionaries of Africa from Kasama Archdiocese, we shall live to remember him.
May he now rest in eternal peace.
Life History of Archbishop James Spaita
Burial ceremony of Archbishop James Spaita, Kasama, Zambia

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10 thoughts on “Farewell to Archbishop James Mwewa Spaita, Kasama, Zambia

  1. Sharing Trentaprile

    Dear Fr Christopher,
    We never met, I am a MSOLA from Germany living in Rome at the generalate; I want to thank you for sending faithfully news. Especially this one, which I want to send on to Sr Hildegunde Schmidt who is sick in Germany. She was for some years the secretary of Mgr Spaita.
    I profit to mention another event that took place in July. I am not sure if my sister wrote to you. You might remember Hans Renner, the nephew of Brother Rainer, a MAfr who died in the 1970s in Kayambi. In 2007, you accompanied Hans to Kayambi. Hans died on 20th July 2014 of a heart attack. He was 66 years old. I appreciated my brother-in-law, on the same journey in 2007 he visited our mission in Arusha, Tanzania, and he was full of his experience in Zambia. May he intercede for us.
    Your sister Gisela Schreyer

  2. Canisius Bindaba

    It is not so that easy to lose such people. But what matters a lot is how we live out their profound and inspiring legacy. I remember how late Archbishop Spaita was so much moved when we paid him a visit at Chilubula in 2010. He expressed his joy and blessings to us. We were encouraged. Despite the challenges I meet today, I am now very much inspired by those people who conquered themselves and went beyond the challenges (Late Bishop Spaita, President Sata and others) in choosing the way of bringing positive change to this world.
    May they rest in peace and may God bless Zambia.
    United in prayer
    Canisius Bindaba


    We`ll never forget our Arch bishop. His visit 2007 in our little primary school in A-2564 Furth an der Triesting in Lower Austria presented us a unique and charming person who had a close relationship to children and teachers. Auferstehen – Wiedersehen – Gedenken (Augustinus)

  4. Pingback: Farewell to Archbishop James Mwewa Spaita, Kasama, Zambia | Site Title

  5. Sr. Theresa Mutale CPS

    “Bamutale pokeleleni ulupwa lutakatifu ku Mfumu. Lesa namipela abana, benikeni Emmanuel, Mary na Joseph.” ; words of then new Bishop of Mansa, late James Mwewa Spaita to my parents (a young couple with 4 girls, and 1 boy Emmanuel) in 1974. He came for Confirmation service at Mwense, outstation of Mansa, and my parents were honored to dine with him for lunch. Indeed the Bishop had come to serve and not to be served. When my brother was born he was named Joseph in 1980. We, children, received the Sacrament of Confirmation from the late Bishop Spaita, and ba spaita was always a friend to our parents.
    Thank you my Lord Bishop for initiating a heavenly home in my family, my family is blessed to date. Imfumu Lesa wa luse engalamisunga mu ceni cakwe.

  6. Pingback: Trauer um Erzbischof em. James Spaita | Freundeskreis Kasama

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