Priestly Formation among Deliberations in Ongoing Plenary of Malawi’s Catholic Bishops

Members of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM). Credit: ECM

Catholic Bishops taking part in the Plenary Assembly of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) are to reflect on the initial formation of the Clergy in the Southern African nation. 

In a press release that ACI Africa obtained Tuesday, January 30, the Secretary General of ECM, Fr. Valeriano Mtseka, says, “The meeting will among other things, discuss matters pertaining to Priestly formation in Spiritual Formation Centres and Major Seminaries.”

During the five-day Plenary Assembly that kicked off on Monday, January 29, ECM members are also to weigh in on the progress and status reports from their various Commissions and departments as well as ecumenical entities. 

They are to reflect on the “progress and status reports from the Catholic Secretariat's Pastoral, Social Development, Finance, Investment, and Administration Directorates,” Fr. Mtseka says in the one-page press release dated January 29.

Reports are also expected from the Association of Diocesan Catholic Clergy in Malawi (ADCCOM); the Association of Women in Religious Institutes in Malawi (AWRIM); the Association of Men Religious in Malawi (AMRIM); the Catholic Men Association (CMA); and the Catholic Women Organization (CWO), among others, the ECM Secretary General statement indicates.


ECM members are also to reflect on governance and Malawi’s socioeconomic challenges, as well as the development projects for the Catholic Secretariat alongside other national institutions under the auspices of the Catholic Bishops.

The Apostolic Nuncio in Malawi, Archbishop Gianfranco Gallone, is expected to join ECM members in some of the Plenary Assembly sessions that are taking place at the Catholic Secretariat in Lilongwe.

Scheduled to conclude on Friday, February 2, the ongoing ECM Plenary Assembly also seeks to enhance the spirit of pastoral collaboration in view of realizing a three-nation sub-regional Conference, comprising the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB), and the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC).

In February 2020, Catholic Bishops in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe had their three-day maiden consultative meeting, and announced their short-term and long-term “project”. 

“The project envisions that in the short-term, Malawi and Zambia will continue to belong to the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (AMECEA) and Zimbabwe to the Inter-Regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA) respectively. However, in the long-term, the sub-region will be delinked from AMECEA and IMBISA respectively,” the Catholic Church leaders said in their 5 February 2020 statement.

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The three-nation Catholic Bishops added that they were “to inform AMECEA and IMBISA about the intention of the three Episcopal Conferences to form a sub-regional conference while continuing to belong to AMECEA and IMBISA respectively.”

Meanwhile, a planned meeting for 15-19 July 2024 is to “provide a platform for Bishops to come together, fostering unity among different regions and promoting collaboration on common issues.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.