Deacon Davie, with his head bowed and dressed in white vestments, makes his way into the cathedral for his ordination

Deacon Davie: Mission through Missio

Wednesday 29th May 2024

Over the past months, we have been sharing updates from the permanent diaconate programme in our diocese as it continues to go from strength to strength.

Although new to our diocese – with our first four permanent deacons being ordained in 2022 – permanent deacons have been an integral part of our faith community since the earliest days of the Church, when the apostles appointed men to help care for the communities around them.

The work of deacons is based on three key areas: the Ministry of the Word, the Ministry of the Altar, and the Ministry of Charity.

This third Ministry of Charity is a beautiful aspect of the permanent diaconate, allowing our deacons to take our faith out beyond the pews to make a very practical impact on the world around us.

In response to this call, one of our permanent deacons, Deacon Davie Nalikata, recently took up the position of Diocesan Director for Missio in Salford Diocese.

To explain a little more about his vocation and this important aspect of ministerial life, Deacon Davie has written the following piece for the charity’s website, which we share below:

Deacon Davie: ‘Everything I do is about God working through me’

God quite purposefully gives us signposts to ensure we end up doing what God wants us to do. When I was approached about working for Missio, there were many signposts along the way.

Bishop John asked me to consider getting involved with Missio, saying ‘Your name has come up from different people… please think about it’. I asked multiple people their thoughts about this and came to the conclusion that while God was asking me serve as a permanent Deacon, he was also asking me to serve in particular way by promoting Mission through Missio.

Love in action

In my Diaconate ministry, I talk about being a missionary disciple and responding to our Baptismal calling to ‘make disciples of all people’. I see this as being key to the Ministry of the Deacon, for love in action entails the sharing of this greatest gift, the Good News of Christ; of all to all corners of the world.

From what I have experienced in the UK, I get the sense that people want to know how to become missionary but face a dilemma: They know that the missionary Church is ‘out there’, but struggle with the question of where the need is to proclaim the Good News? This I see as something I am able to do. To help people see where the need is and how responding to this need helps to build the One Catholic and Apostolic Church.

When you are supporting Missio, you are out in the real world as a missionary – enabling people to become formed and enabling the Sacraments to be celebrated. People in England and Wales are a link. A link that ensures the continuation of an encounter for others with our Lord.

Missio is not just another charity. It is key to everything we do in responding to our Baptismal call.

Early years

I was born in Malawi. Faith has always been part of my life, it’s something that’s been passed down – especially from my mum.

I had my formation at the Kasina Preparatory Seminary in Dedza Diocese. It is here that the seed for Missio and helping people in need (Diaconia) was first planted, as I later found out that this very Seminary benefited from the support of Missio internationally.

I’d always wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, but going into seminary, you have a different structure to the day, which consisted of waking up early in the morning, going to Mass, prayer, learning. In the afternoon, we would go to the farm to grow crops to share with everybody equally.

Finding the right path

After a few years of life in seminary, Davie decided that the Priesthood was not for him and finished his studies elsewhere with the view of reading Law at university. However, with only one university in Malawi that had just 1,300 places for over 40,000 applicants, Davie sought opportunities to build a career overseas.

I came to Manchester and got my undergraduate in marketing and went on to study international business management. At that point, I was quite excited by the idea of going to work in the corporate world, even if it wasn’t exactly what I started off with.

Around the same time, I got married and we had our first child. When he was born, he spent a lot of time in hospital, but that was quite a transformative moment because to see the support he was getting from the nurses and the staff was incredible. It was a changing point because the idea of working in the corporate world didn’t give me that spark anymore.

Salford Diocese

There has been an increase in permanent Deacons in the past couple of years. I was ordained in June 2022 and now there are four permanent Deacons ordained the Diocese with a further two having transferred from others. Part of my responsibility is to re-energise the Spirit which moves people. The Gospel preaches mission, but how do we interpret it?

I think mission is about forming hearts. Living out your mission will always require a sacrifice. Volunteers and donors make a sacrifice when they are making a choice to help promote and support faith.

Why me?

St Ignatius of Loyola wanted to be a knight and marry well, but his leg was blown off during battle. In convalescence, the only book available was a Bible. The book of the Saints changed him. He did what God was asking him to do – He doesn’t ask you to do something once, He will continue to ask.

There is sometimes a fear of ‘why me?’. Why is God asking me to do this and I find consolation in reflecting that maybe it’s God’s way of trying to keep me humble. Everything I do is about him working through me.

Find out more

To find out more about Missio, click here to visit their website.


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Tagged | Catholic Church | Charity | Diocese | permanent diaconate | vocations

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