On the twelfth of August, Chezi Parish had a great joy of celebrating 25 years of its existence. We were so happy on that day. We have been preparing for it for more than a year. Then when the day arrived we were really excited to celebrate it and to welcome all our guests who came to help us to live in that big event. We started with Mass which was presided by his lordship Archbishop Tharsicius G. Ziyaye.
During the celebration, just at the beginning of Mass, our Parish Priest Father Simeon Kalore welcomed everyone and wished them a good time at Chezi Parish. Then, we listened to the history of the jubilant parish which started in July 1992. Before its establishment, there were only centres which were really far from each other in other parishes. This made the work for the priests and Christians considerable. The distance was very long and the Christians could not receive sacraments frequently. That is why the Bishop of that time allowed the parish to start. Chezi Parish is called so because of its location, it is at the mountain of Chezi. Now The parish has more than 13,000 Christians.
Something that I did not mention yet here but so important is that we were also saying ‘’good bye’’ to Father Jean Arnaud who has been working in that parish for 18 years. He is leaving for good very soon for another apostolate in Lyon-France. We were also celebrating 25 years of service of one of our catechists who has been working in the Parish since 1992. At the beginning of Mass, we also had an opportunity of hearing their history of service in the parish. Moreover, in this mass more than 100 young boys and girls received the sacrament of confirmation as new witnesses of God.
When the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Lilongwe started Mass, he could not hide his joy. He said that this is a time of praise, a time of celebrating all the wonders of the Lord, all that the Lord has been doing in Chezi Parish. He thanked God for the gifts of Father Yohane and the catechist in the Parish. Even in his homily, he came back on that joy as he told us that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are really visible in the Parish. God gives to each one of us his own gifts, then on our turn, it is up to us to use them fruitfully. There is no gift or talent to be neglected, even the smallest one is so important if it is used well and with love. What we believe in has to be shown by our works, by our way of serving our brothers and sisters because all that is for the greater glory of our Lord.
Before we finished Mass, Father Jean Arnauld talked to us to express his great joy and how he was so grateful for the warm welcoming of Malawians for all the years he has been working here in this country. He still believes that though he is going far away from Malawi, one day we will meet again, here on earth or in heaven. He said: ‘’A moyo salekana’’. Father Simeon Kalore, the Parish Priest also thanked again everyone for the support, especially the Archbishop to have chosen to come to Chezi in spite of all the duties that he has. He said ‘’ Zikomo kwa mbiri’’. He thanked all the people of Chezi Parish, each one in his place for the responsibility taken so that the celebration goes well.
Our Provincial Father Felix Phiri was present and when time was given to him so that he says a word, he said that, he, too, was so grateful to the Bishop, to Father Jean Arnaud for his devotion to the mission in Malawi, for the years he worked in Malawi as Missionary of Africa. The Society will always be grateful. The Provincial also welcomed Father Christian Munyaneza, M.Afr who has just arrived in the country and will be working in Mua Parish. He ended his speech by calling all the Missionaries of Africa who were present and the MSOLA as well to come to the altar and sing our hymn ‘Sancta Maria’.
The Archbishop, his Lordship, Tharcisius G. Ziyaye, before he closed the Mass also said that he is so happy and was so impressed by the improvement of Chezi Parish. He did not forget to mention that it is Father Jean Arnaud who taught him how to ride a motorbike when he was a young priest. He said that all his words are to say thanks.
As we concluded our Mass, we were all invited for a meal which was shared to everyone with great joy.