Saturday, January 17, 2015

Biography of Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza

Catholic faithful in Malawi are mourning the death of His Lordship
Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza, 59 of the Diocese of Mzuzu, who died in a
car accident on Thursday.

Rt. Rev Bishop Zuza was driving to his base, Mzuzu, from visiting his
home village, Mhlafuta in Embangeni Mzimba. The Bishop's car
registration number,MZ 6022 rear tyre burst causing the vehicle to
swerve and get out of his control. His Lordship was in the process
forced out of the car. This took place at Nthungwa, in the Chikangawa
forest Reserve.

Bishop Zuza was born on October 2, 1955 at Malembo Village,Chief
Mbelwa,Mzimba District , and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of
Mzuzu on July 25, 1982.On  March 9,1995,Saint. John Paul II appointed
him Bishop of Mzuzu and consecrated on May 6, 1995.

In 2010 Bishop Zuza's diocese was split, partly out of a desire to
ease transportation problems in the area.

When the Diocese of Karonga was erected that year from territory of
the Mzuzu diocese, Bishop Zuza said the split was "necessary, because
it is quite taxing to travel to some places from headquarters." He
described difficult travel on poor roads in all-terrain vehicles to
parishes as far as 250 miles away.

In addition to having been Bishop of Mzuzu, in Malawi's north, Bishop
Zuza was, until his death, president of the Episcopal Conference of
Malawi, since 2011.

Steering the Malawi Bishop's conference, Bishop Zuza spoke out for
justice and upliftment of the marginalized, slamming the roots of the
socio-economic problems of Malawi, which had attracted criticism from
political corners.

Bishop Zuza participated in the extraordinary Synod on Family that
concluded last October, where he spoke up for Catholic teaching on
family sought to uphold the sanctity of the Sacrament of marriage.

A conservative and promoter of culture and traditions, the African
prelate had expressed concerns over Western influence affecting
African culture, particularly on the issues of homosexuality and
same-sex marriage.

During the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Mzuzu Diocese,
Archbishop Nicola Girasoli, then Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia and
Malawi, lauded Bishop Zuza's pastoral initiatives for the faithful,
saying that "during these years of visiting Mzuzu, the diocese has
been very well managed and very well organized."

The Prefecture Apostolic of Northern Malawi was erected in 1947, and
was elevated to the status of the Diocese of Mzuzu in 1961. It
currently holds a Catholic population of 400,000.
Meanwhile, Episcopal Conference of Malawi's Acting Secretary General,
Fr. Emmanuel Chimombo says late Bishop Zuza will be laid to rest on
Monday (19th January, 2015). Apostolic Nuncio for Malawi and Zambia,
His Excellency Julio Murrat is expected to grace burial ceremony.

May the Soul of Bishop Zuza Rest in Peace

Source: Prince Henderson, ECM Communications Officer

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