Monday, April 17, 2023
Father Matthews Kutsaile, a Comboni missionary from Malawi, said yes to the Comboni vocation. Initially, the choice was not clear. But by listening to the whispering inner voice, the journey to be a missionary was unstoppable. [Comboni Missionaries]
I was born in Nchalo, Chikhwawa district in Malawi, on 16th January 1988. I am the fourth born of five children and the only male child. I grew up and spent most of my childhood in our ancestral home village in Mulanje district in the Southern Region of Malawi, close to the border with Mozambique. As a boy, the life lived in the village was difficult.
I remember moments of walking barefooted on a dusty eight-kilometre road causing blisters on my feet and suffering exhaustion before reaching school. As if this was not enough, studying at night using a paraffin lamp (chikoloboyi/Nyale) was a struggle.
Sometimes during the school holidays, I would cultivate other people’s farms in order to get money to support my education. My parents being ordinary farmers, taught me to work hard. They used to say, there is no sweetness without sweat, good things come with hard work. It is from them that I learned the basic values of life, especially working hard.
As time went by, the seed of faith that was planted in my soul, continued to grow amidst all the struggles. I started joining groups such as altar servers, choir, vocation and other groups at my parish. Joining these groups was a great experience of faith in my life. Time and again, in various experiences, I could hear a whispering voice knocking at the door of my soul.
Whenever a diocesan priest came to celebrate mass at our school, my attraction to a priestly life grew. I would admire the way he preached and blessed us. My soul would boil with a great desire of becoming like him. However, I could not attune myself well enough to pick the whispering voice and follow it. Up to this time, I did not realise that it was God’s voice whispering to my soul.
With time, I wondered with no certainty and vision in life. I had mixed feelings about choices. My life was at a crossroads, and I did not know what to embrace. In the midst of my wondering, the voice whispered again, this time around in a strong way, with a great push such that the door of my soul was opened. Now it had found a room to remain in forever. It came to renew my humble background, to transform it into a new life of grace. The journey of searching for the whispering voice in my soul was ignited.
The coming of a Comboni vocation promoter in, by then, my Parish, was a great inspiration to me. He talked about vocations in the church in line with the life of St Daniel Comboni. I listened closely to my soul, and how God transformed the humble background of Saint Daniel Comboni into a salvific life of Grace for the poor and most abandoned lives. It was at this point that I said yes to following God in the Congregation of the Comboni Missionaries.
I began my religious formation journey with a preparatory stage in 2011 for three months in Lunzu, Malawi. After that, I went on to pursue a degree programme in Philosophy and Religious Studies at the Inter-Congregation Institute (ICI) in Balaka Malawi from 2011 to 2016. I did my novitiate in Namugongo, Uganda from 2014-2016. This was a stage in my formation that deepened my relationship with God and others so much so that on 30th April 2016, I made my first religious vows before God and the church.
From 2016 to 2019, I was in South Africa to pursue a degree programme in Theology. In January 2020, I was assigned to South Sudan province, specifically in Old Fangak Parish, Malakal Diocese for one year of pastoral experience among the Nuer people. It was at this parish that I was ordained a deacon on 14th February 2021.
I returned to Malawi and was ordained a Priest on 30th October 2021 at Mtepuwa parish, in the Archdiocese of Blantyre. In January 2022, I was assigned back to South Sudan province for the mission. At present, I am doing the ministry of vocation promotion and animation. My focus is mainly to accompany young people by making them aware that God has created each one of us with gifts and talents oriented toward specific purposes and a certain way of life. The goal of this is to make them discover and accept freely the various callings lived in the Catholic Church.