Our Lady of the Rosary, a new Parish is born

Bishop Chama establishes the new Parish

The former Chilonga Sub-Parishes of Kalimba and Nabwalya, in the Rift-Valley, were made into a new parish Nabwalya, Our Lady of the Rosary. The event started on Friday 7 October, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. On that day, all the new buildings were blessed by our Bishop Ignatius Chama.

The official opening of the parish took place on Saturday. What a colorfull celebration. Representatives from all parishes of the diocese made it to Nabwalya. Not an easy task. The

Our Lady of the Rosary Church

Mass starts

The Stella Girls listen

escarpment is steep and the road is very bad, bumpy and tiresome. Yet who wanted to miss this opportunity in a lifetime?  Some started as early as 4 o’clock in the morning to reach Nabwalya just in time for Holy Mass at 10 o’clock. Sisters from Chilonga, Tazara, Mulanga and from the HQ made their way to the valley, to witness the event.  An old friend of Nabwalya, Prof. Stewart Marks, who had made research in the valley as far back as 1966, came all the way from North Carolina, USA.

Sisters at Mass

Bishop Lungu (l) & Bishop Chama (r)

The priests present

Mass started at 10 hrs. A long procession brought us to the altar outside the new church. Our bishop was accompanied by the Bishop of Chipata, George Lungu, coming all the way from Chipata. Our Vicar General, Fr. Charles Mwila was there, so was the parish priest of Chilonga, Fr. Tom Mantini. Fr. Sakala from Chipata and Fr. Pawel from Lumimba Mission on the other side of the Luangwa River. Our Vocation Director, Fr. Peter Bwalya was spotting new “talents”. And last but not least, Fr. Waldemar Potrapeluk, who was properly installed as Parish Priest of the new parish Nabwalya. In his sermon, Bishop Chama thanked Fr. Waldemar for his tireless work since 2008, when he first established a tented-city at Nabwalya. Later follwed the parish house, two visitors houses, a sitting and dining hall, a house for the two newly ordained priests, Frs. Jeff Bwalya and Morgan Chikwale, who have been posted to Nabwalya;  several store rooms and the kitchen. All these buildings are straw-roofed. A master piece is the new church, designed by our former volunteer Andreas Münch, altered and built by Fr. Waldemar and his team. Its almost ready and will soon be consecrated. Bishop Chama challenged all priests to emulate the zeal, determination and pastoral efforts of  Fr. Waldemar for the people of Nabwalya.

Many people attended

Fr. Waldemar installed as Parish Priest

The sermon and the heat to blame...

While others are listening attentively

Holy Mass was long and colorfull, the Nabwalya choir singing beautifully, supported by a group of  Babuomba from Kitwe; the catering was excellent. Chief Nabwalya was proud that day, a dream of his had finally come true. He provided most of the “munani”. Thank you Chief!

Chief Nabwalya and his wife

Fr. Waldemar pronouncing the Creed

Speeches rounded up the day. Bishop Lungu proposing a Vicariate in the valley for the faithfull on both sides of the river. The parish chairlady thanking the people and father Waldemar for the work done.  The Chief speaking words of thanks and joy;  Fr. Waldemar thanking in his speech Our Lady for the continous help and protection; and at the end, our bishop encouraging the newly appointed priests to Nabwalya and wishng the new parish God’s blessings.

A reception prepared by the new parish for all invited guests and all faithfull present ended the feast. Many drove home after that, and the mission became quiet again. The youth went for football and fisela. The bakalamba for a well deserved Siesta.