The consecration of the new Bishop for Dedza Diocese, Father Peter Adrian Chifukwa, will take place on Saturday, August 28, 2021
The diocese’s Communications Secretary, Father Joseph Billiat, confirmed to Malawi News Agency on Monday, saying all preparations for the ceremony are almost done.
He said the function will take place at Bembeke Demonstration School ground in Dedza and that all COVID-19 measures will be adhered to.
He said the Pope’s Envoy, Apostolic Nuncio for Malawi and Zambia Most Reverend Gianfranco Gallone, will be in attendance with His Lordship Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa of the Blantyre Archdiocese being the principal consecrator.
Billiat also said both, President Lazarus Chakwera and the Vice-President, Saulos Chilima, have confirmed to attend the function.
“I can confirm that the consecration ceremony is taking place this Saturday. We are very ready as a diocese to host the event because as I am speaking to you now, all the preparations are almost done.
“We have managed to raise all the money we intended to,” said Fr Billiat.
According to Billiat, the budget for the event was pegged at K13 million, however, he said the church has raised about K14 million.
“We are happy that a lot of people responded positively to our call and contributed generously towards finances and food stuffs.
“As a church, we are very thankful to government for its support and to all the people that supported us,” he said.
Head of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Francis, appointed Father Chifukwa as the new Bishop for Dedza Diocese on May 8, 2021, following the death of Bishop Emmanuel Kanyama in 2018.
The Very Reverend Monsignor John Chithonje, who is the Diocesan Administrator for Dedza, has been a care-taker for the diocese since the death of Bishop Kanyama.
The consecration ceremony was initially slated to take place on July 31, 2021 but was shifted to August 28 due to rising cases of COVID-19.
Born on August 27, 1973 in Msampha Village, Traditional Authority Kaphuka in Dedza, Fr Chifukwa was ordained priest on June 12, 2004. He has since served the diocese in several capacities including being parish priest, Bishop’s Secretary and Rector for St Kizito Minor Seminary.
The consecration function is expected to be attended by Catholic Bishops, government officials and the catholic faithful from across the country, among others.