“Never tire of reminding people that Christ is alive”: New Catholic Bishop in Malawi Told

Bishop Yohane Suzgo Nyirenda, Auxiliary Bishop of Mzuzu Diocese in Malawi. Credit: PMS Malawi

The Catholic Bishop of Karonga Diocese in Malawi has invited the Auxiliary Bishop of Mzuzu Diocese not to get tired of “reminding people that Christ is alive.”

“Don't only care for Christians who gather at Church, think also of the lapsed ones and don’t forget children, youth, women and those marginalized, never tire of reminding people that Christ is alive,” Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka told Mons. Yohane Suzgo Nyirenda ahead of his episcopal ordination August 5.

In his homily during Holy Mass at Mzuzu stadium where thousands of Catholic Christians gathered, Bishop Mtumbuka added, “Today you have no time and will of your own but that of Christ.”

“The cross must remind you that Christ was wounded because of our sins. Likewise pour out your spirit for the sake of Jesus and his Church,” the Malawian Catholic Bishop who presided over the Eucharistic celebration and Episcopal Ordination said.

He continued, “The cross must be a sign of your compassion for the afflicted, the voiceless and the suffering.”


“Dear Yohane, in your ministry, at times you may be misunderstood. At times the media will hide behind your name to say thin things which you haven’t, don't lose hope keep siding with the poor.,” Bishop Mtumbuka  said.

He reminded the new Bishop that his ring was a sign of his submission to the Church. 

“Don't leave behind the priests and the religious who will be your immediate collaborators. Always remember to watch and pray,” he said, urging the new Bishop to work in consultation with Bishop John Alphonsus Ryan as he “is the Chief Shepherd in the Diocese.”

“We give thanks to God because you said Yes in your priesthood and today you are about to say yes to the Episcopal ordination. Remember apart from the Lord you are nothing,” he said.

Addressing the members of the Clergy of Mzuzu Diocese, Bishop Mtumbuka said, “Some of you are elders in age than him, don’t underrate him because of his age, advise him constructively and don’t dare to create enmity between the two Bishops.”

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Pope Francis appointed Bishop Nyirenda the Auxiliary Bishop for Mzuzu Diocese on May 5.

Born in June 1976 in Mzuzu Diocese, the Malawian Bishop-elect was ordained a Priest for the same Diocese in July 2008 after completing his priestly formation at St. Anthony Major Seminary in Kachebere and St. Peter Major Seminary in Zomba.

The alumnus of the Nairobi-based Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) where he obtained a Diploma in Canon Law has been serving as the Rector of Kasina Spiritual Formation Center.

The holder of a diploma in Religious Formation and Spirituality from Lumen Christi Institute, Arusha, Tanzania has also previously served as the parochial vicar of Katete and Mzambazi; diocesan vocation Director; and Rector of Christ the King Formation Centre.

He is expected to assist the 71-year-old Bishop Ryan to shepherd the  Malawian  Diocese, which has an estimated population of 710,150 Catholics representing 39.9 percent of the total population served by the Diocese,  according to 2021 statistics.


The 21,500 square-kilometer Diocese that was erected in May 1947 is part of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lilongwe.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.