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Ode to peacemaker, Father Chilinda

VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka
NEARLY every one that interacted and knew him has described the late Catholic priest Charles Muchinshi Chilinda, who was based at St Ignatius in Lusaka, as a peacemaker and unifier.
This was a man who wore many hats – priest, teacher, journalist, film and television producer – whose life came to an end on Thursday in Lusaka’s Maina Soko Medical Centre after losing his battle with COVID-19.
He was not the parish priest of St Ignatius where he had lived and worked for about 17 years, but many perceived him as such because people of all walks of life always found a friend, companion and priest in him.
This is according to Father Patrick Mulemi, director of Loyola TV, a part of an organisation (Loyola Production) the deceased Jesuit priest founded after obtaining a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television Production from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, USA.
“During his stay at St Ignatius, he was often mistaken for the parish priest. Although he was never officially assigned to work in the parish, he was always available to attend to the needs of all kinds of people in the parish. People who did not know the set-up at St Ignatius Parish, would often think he was the parish priest, when in fact not,” Fr Mulemi told the Daily Mail.
To Fr Mulemi and devout Catholics, Fr Chilinda, who belonged to the Society of Jesus (official name of the Jesuits), was larger than life.
“He was a generous people. Everybody and anybody was attended to by him, and he was always courteous to everyone,” he adds.
To many Zambians, Fr Chilinda, 55, was cherished as an autonomous voice that endeavoured to untie any form of hate, rivalry and revulsion that seemed to exist between political leaders and CLICK TO READ MORE




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