Fr. Philbert was born 20 May 1968 in the Zomba district of Malawi. He made his First Profession 31 July 1991 and was Solemnly Professed 4 August 1996. He studied Philosophy at the Intercongregational Seminary in Balaka, Malawi, and at the Apostles of Jesus Seminary in Kenya. He also studied Theology in Kenya at Tangaza. He was ordained Deacon 17 November 1997 and Priest 6 June 1998, both in Malawi. He obtained a Licence in Spiritual Theology at the Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA), Kenya.
During his years as a Carmelite, Fr. Philbert was entrusted with many and varied roles of responsibility in the Order and elsewhere:
Vice Parish Priest; Master of Theology students (Kenya); Master of Postulants; Academic Dean and, later, Rector of the Major Seminary of Philosophy (ICS) in Balaka, Malawi; Professor, Formation and Spiritual Director at the National Seminary of Theology for Diocesan Priests (Zomba); Director of the Spirituality Centre in Nyungwe; Master of Novices; Provincial Delegate of Malawi; President of the Conference of Superiors for the OCD Anglophone areas of Africa; Religious Assistant of the Federation of Anglophone Carmelite Nuns in Africa; Member and Moderator of the College of Consultants in the Archdiocese of Lilongwe; Parish Priest in the Parish of Our Lady of Hope, Chiphaso, Kasungu.