Chilima made the remarks in Mchinji on Saturday when he attended the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the St Anthony Kachebere Major seminary.
“I am aware that besides the priestly formation, the seminary also offers human formation in terms of education thereby contributing towards government’s efforts to improve the sector,” said Chilima.
The Vice President said throughout the 75 years, Kachebere Major Seminary has been an institution where young people have been formed and prepared for priestly ministry, thereby greatly contributing to the consolidation and expansion of the Catholic Church across the country.
He said government fully appreciates and commends the efforts made by various religious institutions in this country in complementing government’s efforts in the social economic development of the nation.
“It is my plea that both government and religious institutions should continue co-existing so that together we can develop the country for the generations to come. As a government, we will continue being a true partner to the Catholic Church and all faith communities in the country,” he added.
The Vice President then urged people in the country to find ways of reducing population growth and preventing environmental degradation which he said is negatively affecting the country’s resources.
“We cannot further the country when the population keeps growing at an alarming rate, the population growth will result into more people cutting trees hence affecting climate change resulting into dry rivers and pressure on the country’s resources,” he said.
He then called on traditional, religious and political leaders to spread awareness messages on the effects of rapid population growth and environmental degradation.
Speaking during the same function Archbishop Julio Murat, the Apostolic Nuncio to Malawi and Zambia commended the government for the support it renders to the church.
He called on the seminarians to showcase good behaviour saying being a priest is about showcasing the faith through good deeds.
The commemoration was attended by a cross section of people who included the Leader of opposition, Dr Lazarus Chakwera,
The Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya, Members of Parliament, government officials, traditional and other religious leaders.
President Mutharika donated K500,000 to Kachebere Major Seminary to assist in the operations of the institution.
The commemoration of the seminary was organised by the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) dubbed Kachebere Major Seminary 75 years Platinum Jubilee which the Catholic Church organised to among others sensitise the laity to take responsibility in supporting the Seminary.
Perched on the eastern foot of insignificant Kalulu Mountain in Mchinji District, 100 kilometres away from the Capital, Lilongwe and 25 kilometres away from Chipata town, Zambia, the gothic style architecture Kachebere Major Seminary opened its doors for future priests training on 10th October 1939.
The seminary is however facing financial crisis due to cutting of funds by 15 percent by Catholic Headquarters, Rome.
Today, the Seminary boasts of notable names of priests that went through the corridors of Kachebere.
They include Zambia’s late Cardinal Medardo Mazombwe, ex-Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, late Archbishop Mutare, late Bishop Potani, late Bishop Spaita, Malawi’s late Archbishop James Chiona, late Bishop Patrick Kalilombe of Missionaries of Africa, late Bishop Felix Mkhori, Archbishop Tarcizius Ziyaye, Archbishop Tomas Luka Msusa, Bishop Peter Musikuwa, Late Bishop Joseph Mucasa Zuza, Bishop Dr. Mtumbuka and Bishop Montfort Sitima.