Permanent Deacon Davie is originally from Malawi. Last year he was appointed as Diocesan Director for Missio in Salford Diocese. Here he shares his journey of faith and his calling to share the Good News of Christ through his work for Missio.

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.

Scriptures to live by

Deacon Davie shares some of the scriptures which most inspire him:

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.’ – Psalm 91

Psalm 91 provides a sense of God always being there. It takes away fear to put out to the deep and trust God – it’s a consolation.

‘Before I was born the Lord called me;
    from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.’ – Isaiah 49

When God speaks about knowing us before we were born. Every time in our moments of self-doubt, God knows me so well. He’s known me before time. He will still be there, and I will do well in accordance with His will.

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.


You are spreading the Good News of the Kingdom

Between Ascension and Pentecost, we’ll be sharing the amazing work of the missionaries we partner with through the Red Box. These inspiring missionaries dedicate their lives to following in the Apostles’ footsteps: proclaiming the Good News and serving our sisters and brothers who are most in need of God’s love.

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‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation'

*With thanks to the Diocese of Salford for their permission to use sections of their original article:  Introducing the Permanent Diaconate: Deacon Davie Nalikata