CJ Executive members interracting with national office team

The executive board members of Malawi’s Association of Catholic Journalists (ACJ), on Thursday this week met with Catholic Bishops that were meeting at Catholic Secretariat in Lilongwe for their second plenary for 2017.

The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), which is the umbrella body of the Catholic Bishops from all the eight dioceses in Malawi, started their meeting on Monday, June 26 and ends today, Friday, June 30.

In a Press Release, signed by the Secretary-General of the conference, Fr. Henry Saindi, on the agenda among others, the Bishops reflected on Missio Agricultural Initiative for Africa, appraised the conference on preparations for the 15th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, discussed, and endorsed the Order of Prayers when there is no Mass.

Fr. Saindi said the Bishops also discussed matters pertaining to priestly formation in seminaries and received update reports from the Catholic University of Malawi (CUNIMA).

The Bishops also received progress and status reports from national bodies and organizations such as Association of Diocesan Catholic Clergy in Malawi (ADCCOM), Association of Women in Religious Institute in Malawi (AWRIM), Association of Men Religious in Malawi (AMRIM), and the Association of Catholic Journalists (ACJ),” reads part of the statement.

In an interview later after meeting the Bishops, ACJ President, Augustine Mulomole said he was excited to have met the Bishops, felt blessed, and motivated that they can now effectively contribute positively to their mother Church.

“We are very excited as ACJ. Meeting the Bishops, it’s a no mean achievement and we feel blessed. We have been motivated and encouraged such that we would like to move forward. We thank our Bishops for according us this opportunity,” said Mulomole.

Mulomole said the association highlighted its plans, opportunities and of course challenges before the Bishops.

The Bishops challenged Catholic Journalists to refrain from the bandwagon of misinforming the masses by deliberately distorting facts in their stories; they warned them against getting money or being manipulated by shrewd news sources so that they write stories in their favour.

Meanwhile, the Bishops have been recommended to orient Catholic journalists on the Catholic Social Teaching, link the association with international media bodies for training opportunities, and create a healthy working relationship between the association and the ECM Communications Commission.

“The ACJ executive was so tasked to carry out a capacity building needs assessment for members; this can feed into the curriculum for the Catholic University of Malawi (CUNIMA) where diploma and degree courses in journalism could be introduced for Catholic journalists to benefit,” said Mulomole.

The ACJ executive was represented by its president, Mulomole, Vice president Esther Nyanja, vice secretary-general, Martin Mlelemba, treasurer-general, Thomas Psyata and committee member.

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