The Archbishop of Lilongwe in Malawi, His Grace Tarsizio Ziyaye is marking the 25th anniversary of his episcopal ordination on Saturday 15 July. The 68-year old former Chairman of the regional bishops’ conference AMECEA was first ordained an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese Dedza a quarter of a century ago. From there, he went on to serve as coadjutor and bishop of the then Diocese of Lilongwe and then as Archbishop of Blantyre. He was later appointed Archbishop of Lilongwe.
“Of course, there have been moments of joy, moments of celebration and also sad moments, including moments of heart breaking experiences but God is always good. He has kept me relatively in good health,” Archbishop Ziyaye told Prince Henderson, the Communications Officer of the bishops’ conference of Malawi in an interview ahead of the jubilee celebration. Please find the details below:
By Prince Henderson-ECM Communications Officer
The Archbishop of Lilongwe Most Rev. Tarsizio Ziyaye is expected to celebrates his 25 years of Episcopate on 15th July,2017 at Maula Cathedral in Lilongwe.
In an exclusive interview with Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Communications Commission ahead of the celebration, Archbishop Ziyaye described his journey which started in 1992 in Dedza Diocese as an Auxiliary Bishop as a moment of grace.
“My journey as a Bishop has been a moment of grace in the sense that even now I can’t believe that I have reached this far. God has given me a golden opportunity,” said Archbishop Ziyaye. From Dedza, Archbishop Ziyaye went to serve as Bishop for the Lilongwe Diocese, before he went to Blantyre Archdiocese and later back to Lilongwe Archdiocese.
Archbishop Ziyaye said, despite many challenges that he has encountered as a shepherd, God has given him a golden opportunity to have the general view and an idea of the Catholic Church in Malawi adding that his strength emanates from his Motto which is taken from Jon 8:29 and gets a lot of inspirations from psalm 123.
“Of course, there have been moments of joy, moments of celebration and also sad moments, including moments of heart breaking experiences but God is always good. He has kept me relatively in good health.” He said
Archbishop Ziyaye who is now 68 has in his Episcopate held various positions ranging from being Chairman of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) for ten years, Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), Public Affairs Committee (PAC), Christian Service Committee, Chancellor for Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) and Catholic University of Malawi (CUNIMA). He was also once Chairman for the mediation talks of political parties in Malawi.
“For me there are not necessarily achievements but I consider this as a golden opportunity that God gave me to serve and have interaction with people of great profile. I feel humbled,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chairman for the National Laity Council, Dr. Ernest Misomali said the occasion is crucial and as the lay faithful, they are thankful to God for the gift of Archbishop Ziyaye.
Dr. Misomali described Archbishop Ziyaye as a hardworking Bishop, a leader who preaches unity and also one who encourages development initiatives in the Archdiocese for self-sustainability.
He said that Archbishop Ziyaye is also taking a leading role in the construction of a 4000 capacity Cathedral at Maula in Lilongwe. “The Archbishop treats us all equally. He normally says, the Church is made up of us all,” said Dr. Misomali.
He added; “We wish the Archbishop, all the best as he celebrates his Silver Jubilee and at the same time ask the Almighty God to guide him and also give him more years so that he continues working for the betterment of the Church in Malawi”.
People from all walks of life including his personal friends, Archbishop Liborius Ndumbukuti Nasheda of Windhoek Archdiocese in Namibia and Bishop Mickael Bhasela of Masvingo Diocese in Zimbabwe and Deputy Head of the Diplomatic Mission of the Holy See, Apostolic Nunciature of Zambia and Malawi, Monsignor Andriy Yevchuk will grace the occasion. Malawi’s Vice President, Saulosi Chilima will also represent President Peter Mutharika.