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“I come to work with you as a servant”: New Malawian Archbishop at Installation

Archbishop George Desmond Tambala. Credit: Catholic Diocese of Zomba/Facebook

On the occasion of his installation as the Local Ordinary of Malawi’s Lilongwe Archdiocese over the weekend, Archbishop George Desmond Tambala expressed his readiness to be a servant leader.

Archbishop Tambala who was appointed to the Metropolitan See that is headquartered in Malawi’s capital city, Lilongwe, on October 15 as the successor of the late Archbishop Tarcisius Gervazio Ziyaye addressed himself to the people of God who will be under his pastoral care.

“To all the institutions, hospitals, schools, universities and everyone in Lilongwe Archdiocese, I come to work with you as a servant,” the Malawian Archbishop said Saturday, November 27 during his installation at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.  

Addressing himself to the members of the Clergy ministering in the Malawian Archdiocese, he said, “I come to you as a servant, a helper, called to lead you my brother Priests to that Priesthood of Christ which our people need to tell.”

“We will need to remind each other of our vocation and the sanctity of life and Priesthood to which we are called. We will need to remind ourselves of our commitments and accountability before the Church and before Christ,” Archbishop Tambala told members of Clergy.

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The Archbishop who turned 53 on November 11 called on the youth in the Malawian Archdiocese “to become evangelizers of each other through the life and structures of our Archdiocese.”

“As the Archdiocese, we have offered you the youth many programs and types of human and spiritual formation. I offer my support to the schools, colleges and universities; my support to the youth and all those who are working with you,” the member of the Religious Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCD) who has been serving as the Bishop of Zomba Diocese since his Episcopal Ordinary in January 2016 said.

During the three-hour event that was attended by dignitaries including Malawi’s President, Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera and his deputy, Saulos Chilima, the Apostolic Nuncio in Zambia and Malawi called on Archbishop Tambala to fight for justice and rights of the “marginalized”. 

“May your ministry be carried out in justice, to give a voice to the marginalized and to listen to the cry of the poor so that their rights are defended and promoted,” Archbishop Gianfranco Gallone told the newly installed Archbishop. 

The Papal Representative in the Southern African nation noted that Local Ordinaries are expected to be witnesses of Christ who foster “solidarity, fraternity, generosity and unity.” 

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“The Bishop must carry out his apostolic office as a witness of Christ in the presence of all men,” Archbishop Gallone said.

He expressed the hope that Archbishop Tambala’s proclamation of the word of God would be characterized with clarity as to “help the new generations” embrace the Christian identity.

“May your preaching be solid and clear because the faith is handed down in its genuine efficacy and you can help the new generations to recover their cultural identities, free from the harmful deception generated by communication tools which are suffocating the true development of not only moral but also social, political and economic development,” Archbishop Gallone told the newly installed Archbishop.  

The Apostolic Nuncio further urged the new Archbishop to be courageous whenever he experiences challenges in his ministry, and added, “Great challenges await you but greater is the grace of God that accompanies you. Be brave, Christ is with you.”

Archbishop Tambala made his first Religious Profession in the OCD in 1991; and perpetual profession on 15 August 1995.

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The alumnus of Nairobi-based Tangaza University College was ordained a Priest on 13 April 1996 at Chiphaso Parish of Malawi’s Lilongwe Archdiocese. 

He is expected to administer the 24,025 square Kilometre Metropolitan See that was elevated to Archdiocese in February 2011.

According to ECM, the Archdiocese of Lilongwe has an estimated population of 1,830,750 Catholics constituting 30.6% of the total population.