Silver Jubilee in Malawi
Benediction and inauguration of the Centre in Lilongwe
The year 2019 will be remembered forever in the history of St. John of God Hospitaller Order in Malawi. This is the year that the service has clocked 25 year of its existence among the people of the country since its inception in 1994. The mission to Malawi is a fruit of a resolution at the General Chapter in 1988 that the most urgent call on Hospitality was from the developing areas of the world. With this call, the Brothers in Ireland responded positively to come and start the mission in Malawi, formally invited by the Apostolic Administrator of Mzuzu Diocese to respond to the great social need of the diocese, that is psychiatry. Indeed by early 1990’s Malawi had only one government mental health facility.
From the humble beginnings, the mission has grown massively. Currently, the Order of St. John of God is caring and treating people with mental illness on residential and domiciliary care basis, the elderly, children found in and on the street of Mzuzu, children with disabilities, and people with different addictions. Further, the Order is running the Institute for Vocational Training (IVT) to give a skill to clients recuperating from mental illness and the vulnerable youth and the college of health Sciences having 2 diplomas and 2 degrees.
The Hospitaller Order expanded its service to Lilongwe by first opening a community program treatment centre.
As we celebrate 25 Years of our existence in Malawi, 305 co-workers and many volunteers are involved in the hospitality mission on daily basis, we have more than 250 students in the college, 9 candidates for brotherhood, 3 postulants, 6 novices, 5 temporary professed brothers and 1 brother in final vows.
The event to mark the 25 years of existence has been celebrated in three days, with the blessing of the new facilities. The Archbishop T. Ziyaye together with the Prior General, Br. Jesús Etayo, lead the people in blessing the new buildings which include the Brothers community house, the chapel , the administration block, Centre for Living and the addiction and Recovery. There was a mental health conference entitled “No Health Without Mental Health” where the main presentations have been made on Maternal Health, Addiction and Recovery, and Suicide. To climax it all, there was the silver Jubilee thanksgiving Mass at the Cathedral in Mzuzu led by Bishop John Ryan followed by a reception at John Roche hall at St. John of God college of Health Sciences.