By Demetria Banda, ECM
The Marist Brothers of the Catholic Church have reaffirmed their commitment towards complementing the government’s efforts in uplifting and improving education standards and evangelization of the gospel in Malawi.
The Religious made the remarks at Marist Secondary School in Dedza on Saturday the 9th of October where they celebrated 75 years of their missionary presence in Malawi.
The Platinum Jubilee coincided with the Golden Jubilee for Brother Denis Ntacycia and Silver Jubilee for Brothers Boniface Chirambo and Frank Mwambucha.
The Marist Brothers have helped in the formation of young people through secondary school education since they settled in Malawi.
Speaking during the event, National Provincial Councilor Brother Francis Jumbe thanked God for taking them through the 75 of service to mankind; saying most of their early missionaries suffered seriously from tropical diseases, but with God’s grace, they never gave up and this has rewarded them with 34 local brothers, who have joined to serve the Lord as missionaries.
Jumbe, who is also the acting headmaster for Marist Secondary School, thanked government for giving them the platform to help in the development of the country through the education sector.
“Our target now is focusing on improving girls’ education after noting that most girls drop out of schools due to reasons that can easily be solved by, for instance constructing boarding schools” he said.
Marist Secondary school in Dedza, Likuni Boys Secondary School in Lilongwe, St Charles Lwanga in Balaka and Zomba Catholic School in Zomba are the four schools Marist Brothers are running in Malawi.
Br. Jumbe disclosed that the Marist Brothers are interested in extending their presence to other places. He indicated that Mzuzu is their next destination.
Member of Parliament for Dedza South West Constituency, Clement Mlombwa, said mission schools have helped significantly in the delivery of quality education in the district.
Mlombwa disclosed that Marist Secondary School has produced many public figures including State President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, State Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Eisenhower Mkaka and many more.
The Marist Congregation was founded by St Marcellin Champagnat and the first missionaries came to Malawi in 1946.
The Marist Brothers are also present in 79 other countries, bringing the total number of countries to 80 where they are doing various educational work.
The newly consecrated Bishop of Dedza Diocese, His Lordship Bishop Adrian Chifukwa was the main celebrant at the mass at Marist Secondary School where the Marist Brothers held their platinum jubilee on Saturday.