By Arkangel Tembo
Archbishop Thomas Msusa, Catholic faithful, priests, nuns and former politicians joined pilgrims and prelates at Limbe Cathedral on Thursday to bid an emotional farewell to Reverend Father Dasiano Muhime at a funeral that drew thousands to Limbe.
An applause rang out in the wind-whipped square as Fr. Muhime’s brown coffin, adorned with a cross and an “M” for the Virgin Mary, was placed in front of the altar. The book of the Gospel was placed on the coffin and the breeze fluttered its pages.
After the Mass ended, bells tolled and fellow priests carried the coffin outside the Cathedral to the hearse for burial behind the Cathedral where there is a cemetery for priests— again to sustained applause from the hundreds of thousands in the square.
Chants of “Akalowe ku Paradise!” as thousands of people led by Archbishop Thomas Msusa were moving slowly to the cemetery.
At exactly, 2:14pm, the brown coffin of Rev. Fr. Muhime was then lowered into the ground as the somber mood engulfed the cemetery with Limbe Cathedral Choir singing, “Amayi ayitana kumwamba”.
Archbishop Thomas Msusa, presided at the Mass and referred to him as our “late beloved priest” in a homily that was well patronized.
“We can be sure that our beloved priest is standing today at the window of the father’s house, that he sees us and blesses us,” he said to applause, as he pointed up to the ceiling of the Cathedral.
“Today we bury his remains in the earth as a seed of immortality — our hearts are full of sadness, yet at the same time of joyful hope and profound gratitude. He died at the time he was about to celebrate his Golden Jubilee on 24 August, unfortunately God has called his son to celebrate his Jubilee in heaven,” said Archbishop Msusa.
He said Fr. Muhime was a “priest to the last” and said he had offered his life for God and his flock “especially amid the sufferings of his final months.”
Father Elizeo Mtharika in his eulogy paid glowing tribute to him for his pastoral zeal during the priestly ministry in various Parishes.
He then thanked the congregation for turning up in large numbers to mourn and called upon Christians to be prepared in their Christian life for any eventuality.
“Christians must be prepared for death at all times. The death of Fr. Muhime calls for every Christian to be prepared in their earthly lives as anything can happen any time,” said the priest. “Always remember God and thank Him every time, especially before sleeping and upon waking up in the morning.
Fr. Mtharika also said it was sad for them to have lost one of their priests.
“Death has robbed us of one of our sons. As an Archdiocese, we feel the weight of this loss and are in a state of shock. God alone knows why he has decided to take him away from us.”
The Mass ended with everyone standing and singing together: “May the angels accompany you into heaven, may the martyrs welcome you when you arrive, and lead you to Holy Jerusalem.”
Fr. Muhime’s remains were buried at the historical Limbe Cathedral Cemetery, where priests in the Blantyre Archdiocese are buried. He was buried next to late Fr. Felix Mangwiyo, who also died this year in a road accident.
Archbishop Thomas Msusa concluded his last prayer at the cemetery after burial with the words: “Lord, grant him eternal rest, and may perpetual light shine upon him.”
Fr. Muhime who passed away on Tuesday at Adventist Hospital in Blantyre was ordained priest in 1969.
He was born on 28th August 1938 in Phalombe District. He did his studies at Lihaka Primary, Phalombe Primary and Secondary School.
He also did his secondary education at Likulezi Minor Seminary and Nankhunda Seminary. He also went to Kachebere Major Seminary. Until his death, he was serving at Limbe Cathedral