Serve, Follow “path of the Beatitudes”: Apostolic Nuncio to New Catholic Bishop in Malawi

Bishop Vincent Frederick Mwakhwawa, Auxiliary Bishop of Lilongwe Archdiocese in Malawi. Credit: Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM)

The representative of the Holy Father in Malawi has called upon the newly Consecrated Bishop in the Southern African nation to ground his Episcopal Ministry in the Beatitudes, being close to “those who suffer” in his life of service.

In his January 20 speech during the Episcopal Ordination of Mons. Vincent Frederick Mwakhwawa, who is to serve as the Auxiliary Bishop of Lilongwe Archdiocese, Archbishop Gian Luca Perici encouraged the newly Consecrated Bishop to minister “with determination”. 

“Bishop Vincent, today the Lord invites you to work with determination on the path of the Beatitudes. He asks you to follow Him on the path of poverty, sharing on the path of those who cry by becoming close to those who suffer,” Archbishop Perici said. 

The Italian-born Vatican diplomat told the newly Ordained Bishop who was appointed on 15 November 2023, “Blessed is the Bishop who makes poverty and shares his lifestyle because his testimony is building the kingdom of God.”

“Blessed is the Bishop who is not afraid to strike his face with tears so that the pain of the people and the effort of the Priest can be reflected in them and they find the consolation of God in embracing those who suffer,” he added.


To underscore the need to ground his Episcopal Ministry in service, the Vatican diplomat, who also represents the Holy Father in Zambia said, “Blessed is the Bishop who considers his ministry as a service.”

“Blessed is the Bishop who has a heart for the misery of the world, and who is not afraid to dirty his hands with the dirt of the human soul to find the gold of God, who is not scandalized by the sin and fragility of others because he is part of this misery, because the gains of the crucified and the risen will be for him a seal of infinite forgiveness,” he further said.

Archbishop Perici urged the new Malawian Catholic Bishop to work toward peace, reconciliation, and communion in his Episcopal Ministry, saying, “Blessed is the Bishop who works for peace, who accompanies the path of reconciliation, who sows the seed of communion in the heart of the presbytery, who accompanies a divided society on the path of reconciliation, who takes every man and every woman of goodwill to build brotherhood. God will recognize him as His son.”

The Apostolic Nuncio in Zambia and Malawi since June 2023 encouraged Bishop Mwakhwawa to be firm in the teachings of the Gospel, cautioning him against social media trends.

“Blessed is the Bishop who for the sake of the Gospel is not afraid to go against the current, who makes his face hard like that of Christ heading to Jerusalem without letting himself be held by misunderstandings and obstacles because he knows that the kingdom of God advances in the contradiction of the world,” he told the new Bishop, who was assigned the Titular See of Aquae Thibilitanae.

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The 59-year-old Apostolic Nuncio, who joined the Holy See Diplomatic Service on 1 July 2001 and has served in the Apostolic Nunciatures of Mexico, Haiti, Malta, Angola, Brazil, Sweden, Spain, and Portugal cautioned Bishop Mwakhwawa against ambiguity.

He said, “Blessed is the Bishop who drives away the doubleness of the heart; who avoids every ambiguous dynamic; who dreams of good even amid evil because he will be able to rejoice in the face of God finding his perfection in every part of the city of men.”

Bishop Mwakhwawa was born in November 1975 and ordained a Priest for Malawi’s Lilongwe Archdiocese in July 2003 after completing his philosophical and theological studies at St. Anthony’s Seminary in Kachebere and St. Peter’s Major Seminary in Zomba, respectively.

He is the immediate former National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Malawi. 

As Auxiliary Bishop in Lilongwe Archdiocese, he will assist Archbishop George Desmond Tambala who has been at the helm of the Malawian Metropolitan See since November 2021.


In his message during the celebration, Malawi's Vice President urged the newly Ordained Catholic Bishop to trust in God and remain strong in his Christian faith.

“As you embark on your new role, we are aware of the challenges that lie ahead but it has always been our belief that those who trust in the Lord succeed in whatever they do,” Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima said, and added, “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid and terrified because of them for the Lord your God will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

The Malawian Vice President continued, “The same God who has started this journey with you is the same God who started this journey with you back in the days; (He) continues with you today; and be rest assured that the good Lord will be with you to the finish line.”

“Be fortified in your faith by the inspiration we should get from Mother Mary when she responded to Angel Gabriel by only asking one question before she submitted to the will of God the Father,” Dr. Chilima further said.

He also urged the new Catholic Bishop “to use the wisdom from Mother Theresa, that when serving people, it is important to see Jesus in every Human being.”

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“I do not doubt that today, God is again promising you Bishop Vincent Mwakhwawa, his constant presence and support,” the Vice President went on to say.

He lauded the Catholic Church in Malawi for promoting development projects and expressed the government’s readiness to continue the “existing cordial partnership”. 

“The government appreciates and acknowledges the role that the Catholic Church plays in fostering national development through various sectors including education and health,” the Vice President said during the January 20 Consecration event. 

He added, “We assure you that we will continue working with the Church to further foster the existing cordial partnership and if as we go forward there is need for additional sweeteners, yes we should get them.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.