Newly Consecrated Bishop pleased with Valdameri Community in Zambia

CHIPATA, Zambia – Valdameri Community is in Chipata diocese in the Eastern part of Zambia bordering Malawi. The diocese covers a large landmark from the north of Chama district down to the valley of Luangwa, this gives so much work for such a big diocese to be managed by one bishop.

On 10th December 2022, the Holy Father, Pope Francis appointed Rev. Fr. Gabriel Msipu Phiri as auxiliary bishop of the Catholic diocese of Chipata. As it is written in the scriptures; “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least …” Montfort Missionaries, Valdameri Community is by no means least for it was recommended as a place for the Auxiliary Bishop elect to have his retreat. On February 11, 2023, Fr. Gabriel was consecrated, an event that saw people from all corners of the country including Malawi, Uganda, South Africa, and Italy flocking to St. Anne’s Cathedral to witness the ceremony.

Exactly five (5) days after his consecration ceremony, the Auxiliary bishop was back at Fr. Valdemeri Community on the 16th February, 2023 for a thanksgiving Mass and in attendance were Fr. Felix Mabvuto PHIRI SMM, the General counsellor responsible for Africa and Madagascar, Fr. Peter MAKINA, SMM, the superior of Valdameri Community, Fr. Peter KWELANI, the Parish priest for St. Atanazio Parish, Deacon Wilson TEMBO, SMM, Br. Elasto as well as English choir members of St. Atanazio Parish.

In his homily the bishop said that as Christians we need to create a personal relationship with Christ and know Christ whom He is as our saviour (Mark 8:27-33). Adding on Fr. Felix in his speech said the gospel reflected the exact words of Louis Montfort saying to know Jesus Christ incarnate wisdom, is to know all we need.

After Mass the auxiliary bishop had dinner with the community of Montfort missionaries and those who came for Mass.

Valdameri Community is named after Fr. Francesco VALDAMERI, SMM, an Italian Montfortian missionary who worked in both Malawi and Zambia for 62 years. He returned to Italy in January 2020 for medical checks. He died on 23rd March 2020 at the age of 88.