Vice-President Saulos Chilima on Saturday challenged the Catholic faithful in Mangochi to be self-reliant, own and support development initiatives in the church without banking on outside help.
Chilima, himself a devout Catholic, made the appeal at St. Augustine Cathedral in Mangochi Diocese during a fundraising event in commemoration of St. Augustine after whom the cathedral was named by the diocese’s founding bishop, the late Alessandro Assolari.
The Vice-President urged the Catholic faithful to continue giving, saying it was through giving that one gets blessings.
He said: “Do not hold on to what you have. Like Maria Theresa said; ‘Give, give, and give until it hurts’. Don’t ask yourself as to when the church will stop raising funds through its members because church work is ongoing.”
Chilima stressed that it was the responsibility of the flock to take care of the priests and any developments put up by the church such as construction of schools, church buildings, hospitals and staff houses.
He described financial independence as one of the most important thing in every sector of life and challenged all the Catholic faithful under the Mangochi Diocese to own and support it in any way they could.
According to Bishop Montfort Sitima of the diocese, the fundraising target is K21 million to cater for the church priests’ pension and medical scheme, among other things.
The event began with mass earlier in the day which the Vice-President also attended.
In his sermon, Sitima described St. Augustine as a person who, in his life time, was humble and loving and the Bishop urged the faithful to emulate St. Augustine’s life and begin to love one another.
Mangochi Diocese covers three districts of Mangochi, Machinga and Balaka.