Lilongwe Catholic Graduates Association at Catholic Arch Diocese of Lilongwe, Lilongwe, LI n.a. MW - History of the CGA
|History of the CGA|
The Catholic Graduates Association of Lilongwe Diocese has a history dating from the year 2004 around the month of August.
It was formed by a small group of dedicated Catholics led by the late Stanley Hiwa. The idea of forming this association came to Mr. Hiwa while he was in South Africa awaiting an operation for his liver cancer. He was inspired after attending an evening mass at one of the local churches in Johannesburg. Mr. Hiwa had been a member of the Church of Central Africa Presbetry (CCAP) from a young age, and only converted to the Catholic faith in 2004 through a Catholic baptism conducted at his house in Lilongwe by his Parish Priest, Father Augustine Katundu. He had been attending daily mass both at his local Parish, St Patrick's Parish in Area 18, Lilongwe, and also at the Poor Clare Monastery within the Maula Cathedral compound for more than a year; where his dedication to prayer and Mass was spotted by Father Joseph Mpinganjira, the then Secretary to the Bishop and Chaplain to the Poor Clare Sisters.
Back home after successful liver surgery, Stanley Hiwa shared the idea of the CGA with Father Gabriel Jana, Mr. Peter Kulemeka, Mr. Felix Mkumba, Mr. Donald Mphande, his wife Grace, and a few others. Membership grew over the next six months, and an interim committee was elected to oversee the formal creation of the Association. The interim committee presented the idea to the Episcopal Conference of Malawi which encouraged the formation of the Association within the Lilongwe Diocese so that other Diocese could learn from the first group before forming their respective groups.
Sadly, before the Association was formally launched, Mr. Hiwa passed away (may his sould rest in peace) on 7 March, 2006 at a South African hospital after a relapse of the liver cancer. His funeral service was conducted in the Poor Clare monastery on 9 March, 2006 celebrated by the then Bishop of Lilongwe Diocese, Bishop Felix Eugene Mkhori. He was laid to rest on 10 March, 2006 at his home in Ntcheu where the service was led by his Parish Priest, Father Augustine Katundu.
It is in recognition of this effort, which the Bishops saw as a good sign of the growth of the church in involving its members, most of whom found it difficult to be relevant and active in most of the church's groups and organisations; that the remnants of the original organising group, together with a new crop of members, are currently organising themselves to make this group functional and active.