The Diocese of Chikwawa is an arm of the holy Catholic Church, operating in the southern part of Malawi under the Episcopal Conference of Malawi. The Diocese has a coverage of Nsanje, Chikwawa and parts of Thyolo and Blantyre. It covers an area of 7,676 square kilometers. The diocese has 14 parishes which form 4 deaneries, namely Chikwawa, Nsanje, Molere and Fatima. It was raised as suffragan see of the archdiocese of Blantyre by pope Paul VI on 22nd March 1965. The Diocese’s patron saint is ‘Our Lady the cause of our Joy’ (Causa Nostrae Letitiae)
The first bishop for the diocese was Rt Rev Eugenius FJ Vroemen and was succeeded by Rt Rev Felix E Mkhori (May their souls rest in peace). Currently, the diocese is being headed by Bishop Right Rev Peter Musikuwa who is the 3rd and current bishop of the diocese. He was appointed on 16th April 2003 and consecrated on 28th June 2003. The vicar general for the diocese is Fr Cosmas Chasukwa while Fr Alfeo Boloma is the bishops’s secretary.
Diocesan Vision, Mission and Core Values
Family of God filled with the Holy Spirit living in love.
The Catholic Church the Diocese is committed to providing well-coordinated holistic Evangelization through teaching the Word of God, Sacraments and facilitating integral human development.
1.3 CORE VALUES
The implementation of this strategic framework is guided by the following core values and beliefs:
1.3.1 Love “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
Love is the core value of the Christian life. As missionary disciples of Jesus Christ, all Catholic members are invited to live the love of God in the family, Small Christian Community, Church and society.
1.3.2. The Dignity of the Human Person and Sanctity of
Life The dignity of the human person is a fundamental value. This is based on the fact that the human being is God’s creation. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). This dignity of every human being is what is at the foundation of human rights and corresponding responsibilities.
1.3.3. The Common Good
This is understood as a value coming from all necessary conditions of social living – economic, political, material, religious, cultural – which enable men and women to more readily and more fully realize their human dignity and achieve their full human potential. The promotion of the common good should be the concern of the Church.
The principle of solidarity comes from the very notion of society in its commitment to the common good. We belong to one human family and as such have mutual obligations to promote the development of all people across the world.
1.3.5. Principle of Subsidiarity
Social institutions must leave to the smaller groupings or individuals what they can do by their own power; on the other hand, they must assist the smaller groupings or individuals where they are unable to accomplish a necessary task. This means a higher level of the Church should not perform any function or duty that can be handled more effectively at a lower level by people who are closer to the problem and have a better understanding of the issue.
1.3.6. Preferential Option for the Poor
A preferential option for the poor is a commitment by Catholic members and the community at every level to engage actively in a struggle to overcome the social injustices which affect our world. “Poor” is understood to refer to the economically disadvantaged who, as a consequence of their status, suffer oppression and powerlessness. Such solidarity also means a commitment to working with structures, organizations and agencies that promote the interests of the less privileged in society i.e. the economically poor, the groups that are politically marginalized and people discriminated against. Therefore, in every economic, political and social decision, a weighted concern must be given to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.
1.3.7. Stewardship and integrity of creation
Our commitment to the common good requires responsible stewardship of the earth and its resources. True stewardship calls us to examine how we use and share the goods of the earth, what we pass on to future generations, and how we live in harmony with God’s creation. By our work, we are co-creators in the continuing development of the earth. This core value will be guided by Papal document on Care for Environment, Laudato Si.
1.3.8 Justice and Peace
Society ensures social justice by providing the conditions that allow associations and individuals to obtain their due. The equal dignity of human persons requires the effort to reduce excessive social and economic inequalities. To promote justice is to transform structures which block love. The concern for justice is not an option but a constitutive part of evangelization. Thus, action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel. Peace is the fruit of justice and is dependent upon right order among human beings and among nations.
1.3.9 Moral integrity and accountability
This is a commitment to being transparent, accountable, honest, trustworthy, and of moral integrity in all activities. This entails protecting the interests of our Church and to maintaining its integrity in carrying out pastoral duties and programs. This may demand carrying out our duties in an efficient, effective and non-discriminatory manner.