LILONGWE NOVEMBER 8, 2016 (CISA) – Fernando Cardinal Filoni, Vatican’s Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples has concluded his visit to Malawi and is heading to Zambia.
Cardinal Filoni arrived in Malawi on November 3 and was in Karonga Diocese as a special envoy of Pope Francis during which period he consecrated the Cathedral of St. Joseph the worker, on November 5.
In his homily during Eucharistic celebration of the consecration of the new Cathedral, Cardinal Filoni spoke of his joy at the growth of the Church in the new diocese, reported Vatican Radio.
“Today we conclude the initial phase in the development of this young Diocese, which started just six years ago with its creation and the naming of its first Diocesan Bishop, all in response to the steady growth of the Church in this part of Malawi…” he said.
“I am happy to see that, since then, growth has continued, particularly in the number of baptisms and seminarians. This is the result of your dedication to the work of evangelization and your care for the youth and the poor,” added the Cardinal.
The newly built St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral, whose construction began in November 2012, will replace St. Mary’s Parish Cathedral which was damaged by a series of earthquakes in 2009 and early 2010.
On November 7, in Lilongwe, before his departure to visit the Church in Zambia, Cardinal Filoni celebrated Mass at the Poor Clare’s Monastery in Lilongwe and took the opportunity to thank the cloistered nuns for their dedication and self-giving.
“My dear sisters… I once again thank you using the very words of our Holy Father (Pope Francis), for ‘without you what would the Church be like’… The Church greatly esteems your life of complete self-giving. The Church counts on your prayers and on your self-sacrifice to bring today’s men and women to the good news of the Gospel” he said.
During his visit to Zambia Cardinal Filoni is expected to address the Zambian Catholic Bishops who are gathered in the capital Lusaka for their November Plenary meeting.