Definition of Parish Goes Beyond Church Structures, Possessions: Archbishop in Malawi

Archbishop George Desmond Tambala installs the new Parish Priest of St. Francis de Sales-Manyani Parish of Lilongwe Archdiocese. Credit: ECM

The reality of a Catholic Parish goes beyond the various structures and institutions to include the communion of the people of God and their relationship with the person of Jesus Christ, the Local Ordinary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lilongwe in Malawi has said.

In his homily during the opening of a new Parish in his Metropolitan See, Archbishop George Desmond Tambala called for the fostering of faith, love and unity as the foundations of Christian communities.

“A parish is unity; a group of the faithful with Christ as the centre of their life, not church buildings, schools or hospitals. Unity in Christ is what makes a parish,” Archbishop Tambala has been quoted as saying in a Facebook report published August 27.

He added during the opening of St. Francis de Sales-Manyani Parish, “I wish this parish had such strong foundations built on faith, love and unity. And God says if you live in my love, you will obey laws.”

The new Parish, which brings the total number of Parishes in the Malawian Archdiocese to 44 is among five new Parishes that the Archbishop who has been at the helm of the Malawian Metropolitan See since November 2021 has established.


The Local Ordinary of Lilongwe Archdiocese who doubles as the Chairman of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) urged parishioners of the new Parish to strive to take part in the daily Eucharistic celebrations as a manifestation of their love for God.

Participating in daily Holy Mass and Adoration, the member of the Religious Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCD) said, facilitates in fostering the unity and oneness of the Parishioners.

In his August 27 homily, the Malawian Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in Malawi’s Zomba Diocese in January 2016 went on to urge parishioners of St. Francis de Sales-Manyani Parish to develop a sense of ownership by protecting the property and contributing generously to enable the new parish to grow.

He thanked the Parishioners for working “hard to meet the standards required for the establishment of the new parish.”

“The most delightful thing for a Priest and a Bishop is when the church is growing. I am thankful to the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales for accepting to take up this responsibility,” Archbishop Tambala said during his August 27 homily, and appointed Fr. Sebastian Robert Chinnappan of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (MSFS), as the first parish Priest of the new parish.

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In his remarks, a representative of Madisi Deanery under with the new Parish falls, Fr. Wales, said he was delighted about the development of the new Parish and urged all parishioners to unite to grow in faith, love of God and the salvation of souls.

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.