New Diocese for Malawi

KARONGA, Malawi, JULY 21, 2010 ( Benedict XVI established a new diocese for the southeastern African nation of Malawi, bringing the total number of dioceses in the country to eight.

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The new Diocese of Karonga takes territory from the Diocese of Mzuzu and is suffragan to the metropolitan see of Blantyre.

Its first bishop is Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Mzuzu clergy.

Bishop Mtumbuka, 52, was working as vice chancellor of the Catholic University of Malawi.

Martin Anwel Mtumbuka was born in 1957 in Majimbula Village. He was ordained a priest on July 31, 1988. In addition to work as a vicar at the cathedral, he has also served in diocesan minor seminaries.

The new diocese covers a surface of 14,000 square kilometers (5,400 square miles), with a population of some 400,000, including 61,000 Catholics. The nation of Malawi is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
The Karonga Diocese has five parishes and the faithful are served by nine diocesan priests, six religious priests, five religious brothers, 40 women religious and 38 catechists.
Malawi has a total population of some 15.4 million, 80% of whom are Christians.

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