Former Bishops of Diocese of Dedza
- Bishop Cornelius Chitsulo 1957-1984 (27 years)
- Bishop Gervase Chisendera 1984-2000 (16 years)
- Auxiliary Bishop Tarsizius Gervazio Ziyaye
- Bishop Remi Ste-Marie 2000-2007 (7 years)
- Bishop Emmanuel Kanyama 2007-2018 (10 years)
Bishop Cornelius Chitsulo
Late Bishop Cornelius Chitsulo was in 1909 at Njolo (Chilanga), Mua Parish. He went to Kipalapala for his studies in Tanzania from 1922 to 1937. The first African Priest in the whole of Central Africa. He was ordained priest on 5th September, 1937 by His Lordship Mathurinus Guilleme. He was appointed Bishop of Dedza by His Holiness Pope Pius XII and his consecration took place on 11th May, 1957 as the first African Bishop of Malawi seconded by late Rt. Rev. James Chiona of Blantyre Archdiocese.
As a priest, Bishop Chitsulo served at the following parishes of Mtakataka, Kasina and Ludzi just to mention a few.
During his episcopate, Bishop Chitsulo built a number of schools and health centres for the Diocese. He founded the Congregation of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary Sisters whose Generalate is in Dedza.
Bishop Chitsulo died on 28th February 1984 and was buried on 29th February 1984 at Bembeke cemetery.
Bishop Gervase Chisendera
The late Rt. Rev. Gervase Moses Chisendera was born in 1928 at Buluzi Village, Msamba parish, T/A Kalumba, Lilongwe, Malawi. He was baptized in 1942 on 30th September, at Likuni Parish in Lilongwe Archdiocese. He entered Kasina Minor Seminary on 19th October 1943, and thereafter, he proceeded to Kachebere Major Seminary in October 1951. Bishop Chisendera was ordained a priest on 4th September 1960. He was Rector of St. Paul’s Seminary, in Lilongwe Archdiocese at one time, and Rector of St. Kizito Minor Seminary (Dedza) from 1978 to 1980. He was three times appointed Parish priest and served the following parishes: Guilleme, Maula and Likuni respectively. He also served as Vicar General of the Lilongwe Archdiocese. He was at one time the National Director of Pontifical Mission Societies for six years. He was a graduate of St. John’s Teachers Training College as a T3 Teacher. He had a Diploma in catechesis from Gaba Pastoral Institute, Uganda and acquired an STL in Moral Theology from Alfonsianum, Rome. He was appointed Bishop of Dedza in June 1984 and was consecrated Bishop of Dedza on 30th September 1984.
He died of hypertension, diabetes and stroke on 15 August 2004
Auxilliary Bishop Tarsicius Ziyaye
The then Bishop Tarsizius Gervazio Ziyaye was born on 19th May, 1949 at Khombe village, Ludzi Parish, in the area of Chief Zulu, Mchinji District, Lilongwe. He did his primary school at Ludzi and then Kasina Minor seminary and finished his secondary school education at St. Kizito Minor Seminary. He then went to Kachebere Major Seminary for philosophy and theology from 1972 – 1977.
He was ordained a priest on 14th August 1977 at Ludzi parish. As a priest he was appointed to Guilleme as a curate and later parish priest. In 1981, he was appointed Bishop’s Secretary and Parish Priest of Maula Cathedral. In 1985 he was sent to Rome, St. Thomas Aquinas, for studies where he earned a Licentiate in Spirituality. When he came back from Rome in1987 he was appointed Vicar General of Lilongwe Diocese and Parish priest of St. Patrick’s Parish. In 1989 he moved back to Maula.
It was on 21st January 1992 when it was announced by Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), that His Holiness John Paul II has appointed the Very Rev. Monsignor Tarsizius Gervazio Ziyaye of Lilongwe Diocese as Auxiliary Bishop of Dedza. He was consecrated Bishop on 23rd May1992 at Bembeke Cathedral. Unfortunately, due to the sickness of Bishop Mathias Chimole for Lilongwe Diocese who got stroke and had to retire on health grounds the Auxiliary of Dedza was appointed to Lilongwe Diocese 1992, first as Co-adjutor and later as Bishop of Lilongwe.
Bishop Rémi Sainte-Marie
Rt. Rev. Rem Joseph Gustave Ste-Marie was the third Bishop of the Diocese of Dedza. He succeeded Bishop Gervase Moses Chisendera. In 2000, Bishop Gervase Chisendera retired as ordinary of Dedza and passed away on 15th August 2004.
Rt. Rev. Rem J. G. Ste-Marie was born on 11th January 1938 in La Minerve, Co. Labelle in Canada from a family of Joseph Ste-Marie and Dolores Gregoire. He was baptized on 16th January 1938 and confirmed on 29th May 1945.
He made his classical studies in Mont-Laurier and Montreal, entered the noviciate of the society of missionaries of Africa in August 1958. From there, he went to Eastview, Ottawa for his Theological studies in1959 up to 1963. He made his Missionary oath on 23rd June 1963 in his home parish.
He took a Licence in Religious Education at Laval University and spent ten years teaching at St. Kizito Minor Seminary (Dedza). He served as Rector of this institution for five years. He was in charge of the Inter-Congregational Seminary at Ludzi and then took care of the First cycle of the students of the society of Missionaries of Africa.
He had pastoral experience in Mkanda and Nkhotakota parishes. He was elected Assistant Regional Superior of Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa in 1991; in 1994, when Southern Africa Region was established, he was elected District Superior for Malawi and served in that capacity until the end of his term of office in July 1997.
On 9th May 1998, he was consecrated Bishop and served as auxiliary bishop of Dedza till he became the Ordinary of the Diocese of Dedza on 13th October 2000. In 2007, he was transferred to Lilongwe Diocese and became the first Archbishop of Lilongwe Archdiocese.
Bishop Emmanuel Kanyama
Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Cosmas Kanyama was the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Dedza. He succeeded Rt. Rev Remi J. G. Ste-Marie who was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Lilongwe. Now he is the retired Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Lilongwe
Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Cosmas Kanyama was born on 25th December 1962.He was ordained a Priest on 4th August 1990 at Mtendere Parish in the Diocese of Dedza. After ordination to the Priesthood, he was appointed to teach at St. Kizito Minor Seminary where he worked until 1992. He was sent to Rome to study Philosophy at Pontifical University of Urban (Urbaniana) He obtained his Doctorate Degree in Philosophy (Majoring in Metaphysics) on 21st June 1996. He returned to Malawi towards the end of 1996 and was immediately appointed a Lecturer at St. Anthony’s Major Seminary (Kachebere) after which he was appointed Acting Rector. He was appointed Parish Priest of Ntcheu Parish in 2006. He was appointed a Bishop of the Diocese of Dedza on 4th July 2007 and was consecrated as Bishop of the Diocese of Dedza on 6th October 2007.
Bishop Emmanuel C. Kanyama died of hypertension on 17th February 2018 and was laid to rest on 21 February 2021 at Bembeke Bishop’s cemetery. He was a Bishop of Dedza for 10 years. His Motto was, “Lord you know everything, John 21:17”