Tears flowed freely on Wednesday at Limbe Cathedral Cemetery in Blantyre Archdiocese as the remains of Rev. Fr. Clement Chimwala were laid to rest.
Fr Chimwala, aged 51, who was attacked by High Blood Pressure, was pronounced dead at Mtengo Umodzi Clinic in Blantyre where he was referred to.
Archbishop Thomas Msusa of the Catholic Archdiocese of Blantyre was the chief celebrant at the mass. He was assisted by bishops and reverend fathers.
In his sermon, while consoling the bereaved family, Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa implored them to take solace in the fact that all humans would someday return to their creator.
He urged all Christians to live in peace and love their neighbors adding that the race for heaven could not be won by those who engage in evil in total negation of the dictates of the word of God.
As Christians, we must learn to live in peace and love, knowing fully well that we shall someday go back to our creator with an account of how we lived our lives on earth, the Archbishop counseled.
He advised Malawians to emulate the courage and selfless service of the late Chimwala.
His life from birth to death combined courage, compassion, determination, generosity, discipline as he discharged his duties in the church and for the nation, he said.
The archbishop described the late cleric as a committed priest, an exemplary soldier, a good leader, an inspiration and a competent worker. He said the late Chimwala dedicated his long life to selfless service to mankind.
It is difficult to put into words his role to the church and the country; he was an embodiment of discipline, principle and morals; he built bridges across parallel lines, Archbishop Msusa said.
Rev. Fr Thomas Makuluni, who also spoke during the funeral mass described the late cleric as a patriarch of Catholic priesthood in Malawi.
Clement Chimwala, the fearless soldier and scout, urged Malawians and fellow priests to work for peace without counting the cost or looking for rewards, he said.
Fr. Makuluni said late Chimwala, who was nick named ‘Atate’ for his mature advice, made a distinctive mark.
Patrick Matrauza, who spoke on behalf of the bereaved family noted that the memories of Fr Chimwala service to humanity will remain unforgettable in the minds of many who encountered him, describing his death as a blow not just to Blantyre Archdiocese but also to his biological family.
He was our pillar and he helped many people in our family, especially paying school fees for children, he said.
Other Catholic clerics who participated at the mass included Archbishop Tarcisius Gervazio Ziyaye of Lilongwe Archdiocese, Bishop Monfort Stima of Mangochi Diocese, Bishop George Desmond Tambala of Zomba Diocese, Bishop Emmanuel Kanyama of Dedza Diocese, Bishop Peter Musikuwa of Chikwawa Diocese and Emeritus Bishop Allan Changwera.
Other dignitaries at the event included Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi, who represented the Head of State, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, Member of Parliament for the area, Saluli Masangwi, former politicians Mark Katsonga, John Bande and Patrick Mbewe. Also in attendance was former Blantyre City Mayor, Noel Chalamanda, who is a devote catholic.
Birth – 23rd May, 1966 at Lundu village, T/A Mabuka, Mulanje
Education: 1984 – 1989 – Pius XII Minor Seminary in Nguludi
1989 – 1992 – Philosophy at Kachebere Major Seminary, Mchinji
1992 – 1996 – Theology at St. Peters Major Seminary, Zomba
Priesthood: He was ordained on 13th July, 1996 at Limbe Cathedral by late Archbishop James Chiona.
1. Mthawira Parish (1996 � 1998)
2. Pius XII Minor Seminary (1998 � 2001)
3. Rome (2001 � 2005) – he studied Church History (MA)
4. St Peter’s Major Seminary (2005 � 2014) � lecturer and then Acting Rector
5. Archbishop’s Offices (Archbishop’s Secretary & Financial Administrator) � (2012 � 2014)
6. Chilomoni Parish (Bambo Mfumu) � (2017 � his death)
He was also serving as consultor of the Archbishop
Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA