Bishop George Desmond Tambala of Zomba Diocese and the Bishop-Chairperson for Religious men and women in Malawi has challenged religious sisters to adapt to the social, economic and political changes that the world and Malawi, in particular, is experiencing.
Bishop Tambala was speaking when he officially opened the 57th Plenary Session of the Association of Women Religious in Malawi (AWRIM) taking place for four days in the capital, Lilongwe.
The Bishop said the current society of Malawi is undergoing profound changes that religious women need to be aware of and adapt to.
“These are social changes that are affecting the way we think about God and our moral values. These Changes are founded on the denial of God from public life, stress on personal rights and freedom, over-emphasis on pleasure and cult of the body, democracy and loss of a sense of history and the future,” said Bishop Tambala.
The Bishop of Zomba who is also a religious, belonging to the Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCD) said the commercialisation of politics on the part of politicians and parties is also a crucial matter. Instead, politics should be taken as a positive driving force for change in society.
AWRIM Secretary General Sister Mary Magdalen Ndawala said the plenary which was held under the theme; ‘Impact of the changing world on religious life,’ was crucial because it was attended by 28 Superiors from different congregations of religious women serving the Lord in various dioceses of Malawi.
“Basically, the objective was to empower the Sisters with what is happening in the world. Superiors as leaders have to know the changes in the world so that they (can) exercise their duties as leaders of Congregations,” said Sister Ndawala.
She said as Sisters who are found in the social setting of society; they are equally affected by the economic, social and political changes happening hence the need for a shared approach on how to address these.
“We expect the Superiors to share this with Sisters in their respective congregations. On economic change, we want them to advance resource mobilisation drive and be independent. Again, on social change, let them embrace the modern technologies, but that should be done responsibly so as to advance evangelisation. Finally, we are non-partisan, but we are mandated to advise politicians where necessary hence our engagement with politics,” Sister Ndawala said.
Among the facilitators during the plenary was Fr. Andrew Kaufa, from the Society of Montfort Missionaries (SMM) and Director of Luntha Television and Fr. Emmanuel Chikaya of the Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCD).
(Prince Henderson in Malawi)