Cleric in Malawi Emphasizes Need
“to rejuvenate culture of reading word of God”
A Priest in Malawi over the weekend expressed concern about reduced interest, on the part of a section of Catholics in the Southeastern African nation, in the “culture of reading the word of God” and called for a rejuvenation.
“It is becoming a great concern as most of us have lost the interest in reading the Bible; we need to rejuvenate our culture of reading the word of God so that we strengthen our spiritual lives," Fr. Henry Chinkanda has been quoted as saying.
Making reference to the translator of the Old Testament and New Testament to Latin from Hebrew and Greek respectively, St. Jerome whose Feast day was September 30, Fr. Henry said the translations facilitated understanding, which reading the Bible fosters.
“Catholic Christians could fully understand and appreciate the teachings of the Bible and Sacramental teachings if they read the Bible,” Fr. Henry who was addressing the faithful at St. Peter’s Cathedral of the Diocese of Mzuzu Sunday, October 4 said.
He added, “Reading the word of God helps Christians to fully understand the scriptures which can guide their actions and above all transform their lives.”
“Christians should understand and always be aware that they are in the Lord’s Vineyard hence the need for them to nourish their spiritual lives with God’s words found in the Bible,” Fr. Henry who is the Pastoral Coordinator of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) further said.
The member of the Clergy of Malawi’s Dedza Diocese who doubles as ECM Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Officer underscored the value of reading the word of God as a source of life and solace saying, “When you read the word of God, it comforts, consoles, it gives encouragement when in trouble.”
“The Bible says come to me all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest,” Fr Henry said, noting that the purpose for St. Jerome to translate the Bible into Latin was to ensure that the Bible is read and understood by all.
Also speaking at St. Peter’s Cathedral October 4, Bishop John Lyan of Malawi’s Mzuzu Diocese advised Christians to have the word of God in their hearts and share it with others so that God is known, loved, and worship widely.
The Church leaders distributed copies of the Holy Bible to the faithful in attendance.
Saint Jerome, the priest, monk and Doctor of the Church renowned for his extraordinary depth of learning and translations of the Bible into Latin was commemorated in Malawi under the theme, “The word of God is a Light to My Feet.”
Besides his contributions as a Church Father and patronage of subsequent Catholic scholarship, St. Jerome is also regarded as a patron of people with difficult personalities—owing to the sometimes-extreme approach, which he took in articulating his scholarly opinions and the teaching of the Church.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa