Consider “call to Priesthood, the vineyard is huge”: Catholic Bishops in Malawi to Youth

Bishop John Ryan speaking at the launch of the national preparations for Vocations Sunday that was spearheaded by the Pontifical Missionary Society (PMS) in Malawi. Credit: ECM

Catholic Bishops in Malawi are inviting the youth in the Southern African nation to consider devoting their life to God’s service as Priests.

In a Monday, March 21 report, Bishop John Ryan says the invitation, which comes from all the Catholic Bishops in the country, is based on the fact that there is need for Priests in Malawi.

“We, your Bishops in all the eight Dioceses in the country, are inviting you all our youths to reflect on your calling, especially the call to Priesthood because the vineyard is huge,” Bishop Ryan has been quoted as saying in the report.

The Bishop who was speaking at the launch of the national preparations for Vocations Sunday that was spearheaded by the Pontifical Missionary Society (PMS) in Malawi said, “There is still a shortage of servants” and urged young people to “respond positively to the call.”

In the March 21 report, the Catholic Bishop bemoans reluctance on the part of young men in Malawi to dedicate their lives to the service of God as Priests.


“It is unfortunate that many youths especially in his diocese are failing to respond to the vocation of Priesthood,” the Irish-born member of St. Patrick’s Society for the Foreign Missions (Kiltegan Fathers - SPS) is quoted saying. 

The reluctance on the part of young men to join the Priesthood, he added at the event that was held at St John's Parish of his Episcopal See of Mzuzu, “is compromising the spread of the Gospel.”

The Catholic Bishop who has been at the helm of Mzuzu Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in August 2016 says only three Priests have been ordained since his consecration as a Bishop, “a development which is worrisome,” he had added.

During the launch of the national preparations for Vocations Sunday in Malawi to be marked on May 8 this year, the 70-year-old Bishop “called upon all baptized Catholics to take up the baptismal mandate of sharing the word of God with others through prayer as well as offering monetary support for the work of evangelization.”

Also speaking at the event, the PMS National Director in Malawi, Fr. Vincent Mwakhwawa, is said to have urged parents to refrain from limiting their children only to marriage.

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“Children should be given a chance to respond to the vocation based on God’s direction,” Fr. Mwakhwawa has been quoted as saying, adding, “If this freedom is given to the young people, the Church will have enough clergy including Priests, Brothers, and Sisters.”

The Malawian Priest is said to have highlighted the tendency on the part of young people to search for greener pastures abroad at the expense of their education saying, “the tendency is a setback in creating vocations and to the national development of the country.”

This year's Vocations Sunday marks the 59th Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. It will be observed on May 8, also known as “Good Shepherd Sunday.”

In Malawi, the event is to be celebrated under the theme, “You will be my witnesses ... to the end of the world”, the March 21 report indicates.

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.