BISHOP LAGHO ENCOURAGES NURTURING OF VOCATIONS IN HIS SECOND PASTORAL VISIT TO WITU-KIPINI PARISH

Lamu, Kenya

In his second pastoral visit to St. Joseph Freinademetz Parish Witu-Kipini this year, Rt. Rev. Willybard Lagho has encouraged parishioners to “grow the seed of faith planted by Mill Hill Missionaries in this area by sustaining vocations through nurturing and encouraging calls to priesthood and religious life.”

Bishop Lagho with parishioners of Soroko Mission Stations in Witu Zone of St. Joseph Freinademetz Parish Witu-Kipini

The Local Ordinary of Catholic Diocese of Malindi was responding to a rallying call made by parishioners in all the nine Outstations of Witu Zone he visited yesterday, 20th December 2021, on the second day of his second Pastoral Visit to Witu-Kipini Parish. The parishioners were asking the Prelate to send more priests to their Parish as the expansive Parish that spans two counties, borders Boni Forest and has 16 Mission Stations is only served by two Missionary Priests.

Parishioners of Kakathe Mission Station in Witu Zone present their pastoral success stories and challenges to Bishop Willybard Lagho

“We are losing some of us to other faiths and denominations because, with only two priests, Holy Masses are not celebrated in some Outstations on Sundays. Some parishioners elect to go to other denominations where the pastor is available every Sunday and is close to them throughout the week,” expressed the parishioners in their request to Bishop Lagho.

Rt. Rev. Willybard Lagho, Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Malindi

Bishop Lagho responded by informing them that he continues to receive similar calls from other parishes in the Diocese but “you should be giving me priests instead of asking me for them. Where do priests come from?”
The third Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Malindi, who was ordained early this year is the first Kenyan and non-missionary local ordinary of the Coastal Diocese that serves Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu Counties, encouraged the parishioners to nurture vocations to Priesthood and Religious Life.

“For a longtime our Diocese has been served by Missionary Priests and Religious brothers and sisters from without. Even today, most of our parishes are run by missionaries because we only have 17 Diocesan Priests. When I say that we need to be self-sustaining as a Diocese I mean doing so in all aspects including Vocations. For there are not many missionaries available anymore to serve in our parishes, the only way we can be assured of sufficient pastoral care is by having our priests, religious brothers and sisters,” said Bishop Lagho.

Witu-Kipini Parish, one of the most expansive parishes in the Diocese, comprises Witu and Kipini Zones with a total of 16 Mission Stations.

Bishop Lagho arrives at ‘Vatican’ Mission Station in Witu Zone for a meeting with parishioners of the Outstation situated in SendeMke village of Lamu County

Witu Zone, situated in Lamu County and bordering Boni Forest, has 9 Mission Stations (Witu Centre, Moa, Katsakakairo, Vatican, Kakathe, Tangeni, Soroko, Chakamba and Maisha Masha), while Kipini Zone which is in Tana River County has 7 Mission Stations (Jericho, Gatundu, Kaloleni, Chumvi, Kizuliani, Shauri Moyo and Kipini Centre).

In his first Pastoral Visit to Witu-Kipini Parish, undertaken in October 2021, Bishop Lagho visited the 7 Mission Stations of Kipini Zone and held meetings with parishioners regarding the pastoral situation of their area.
Yesterday, on his second pastoral visit, he similarly toured the 9 mission stations of Witu Zone.

Bishop Lagho’s 2nd Pastoral Visit to Witu-Kipini Parish started on Sunday, 19th December 2021, with celebration of Thanksgiving Mass for Security Officers serving in the terror-prone Boni Forest and its environs.

2nd Annual Thanksgiving Mass for Security Officers serving in the terror-prone Boni Forest and its environs at St. Joseph Freinademetz Church Witu, in Lamu County celebrated by Bishop Willybard Lagho of Catholic Diocese of Malindi

Witu-Kipini Parish was established in the 1990s through Primary Evangelization efforts of Very Rev. Fr. Albert Buijs, who is currently the Vicar General of Catholic Diocese of Malindi, and other Mill Hill Missionaries among them Rev. Fr. Adolf ‘Alleluia’ Poll.
The parish is still run by Mill Hill Missionaries, with Rev. Fr. Alex Kimbi as Parish Priest and Rev. Fr. Ananth Nayak as his assistant. Currently, there are 4 seminarians of St. Joseph’s Missionary Society of Mill Hill at the parish.
The Parish also has 3 Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph (Mill Hill Sisters) assisting in Education and HIV/AIDS rehabilitation programs in the parish.

Rev. Fr. Alex Kimbi MHM, Parish Priest of St. Joseph Freinademetz Witu-Kipini

Report by: Moses M. Mpuria

A DECREE BY BISHOP WILLYBARD LAGHO TO INAUGURATE THE SYNOD PROCESS IN THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF MALINDI

Dearest people of God in Malindi Diocese,

CHURCH MINISTERING TO OUTSIDERS

Greetings from St. Joseph Freinademetz (Witu-Kipini) Parish.

Today I am solemnly announcing the start of Malindi Diocese Synod process by this decree.

The Diocesan synod deliberations is part of the universal synod process that has already been opened with a solemn Mass on October 10, 2021 by Our Holy Father in Rome. All the faithful by this decree are called to become better at listening and discerning so that we move forward together in solidarity with the struggles and aspirations of all humanity.

The theme of the Synod is “Communion, Participation, and Mission” which entails walking together and listening to one another but above all to the Holy Spirit.



The upcoming synod is unlike any previous one. It starts with, and involves all the faithful at local Churches across the world.
The Holy Father invites the Churches to dedicate substantial resources to listen to the joys and sorrows of all especially to people who frequently remain in the church perifery like abused teenage girls and mothers, couples in unsolemnized marriages, polygamists, divorced, landless and street families, human trafficked and vulnerable migrants, abandoned babies and elders to mention but a few.
The Synod in the words of Pope Francis offers us the opportunity to discern and listen to fellow pilgrim including many others who worship differently including atheists.

My three-day pastoral visit to Witu-Kipini in Tana Delta from 15th to 17th October this year will remain a deliberate synodality emersion experience because it brought me face to face with a remnant of christian communities some
worshipping in seemingly neglected makeshift structures.
The people of Witu-Kipini who are suffering from prolonged drought, perennial floods, human, livestock, wild life conflict, securitization and sexual exploitation of vulnerable families desire a church that must become space for their voices.


I am therefore calling upon all pastoral leaders especially the parish priests to renew and redesign holistic
parish pastoral programs only after discerning divergent, legitimate and authentic voice of the people they serve including those considered as outsiders.



In fulfilment of my synodal obligation therefore I have today appointed Rev. Fr. James Kinoti as the chairperson of the Diocesan synodal team. This team will immediately ensure all group of people no matter their circumstances of life take active role in the synodal process.


The diocesan synodal process
will run from 17th October 2021 until April 2022.

Let us begin praying for this extraordinary moment of renewal of our universal and local Church through the intercession of the holy family who remained faithful to God will in the various societal challenges of their times.

I remain your humble servant,



Rt. Rev. Willybard Kitogho Lagho
Catholic Bishop of Malindi.

Given on this 17th day of October in the year of the Lord 2021 at St. Joseph Freinademetz (Witu-Kipini) Parish in central deanery of Malindi Diocese.

NDEU: GREAT LESSONS ON CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY LIFE FROM A SMALL CATHOLIC OUTSTATION IN KENYA

by Moses M. Mpuria

Elaborate Small Christian Community meetings and outreach efforts have enabled a small Catholic Outstation in a predominantly Muslim region of Kenya to grow tremendously in all aspects of pastoral life.

St. Paul’s Catholic Church NDEU, an Outstation of St. John the Evangelist HINDI Parish in the Northern Deanery of Catholic Diocese of Malindi, was started in 1997 when seven Catholic families congregated to worship at Ndeu Primary School. At the time, Malindi was not yet a Diocese; the Outstation fell under the jurisdiction of Catholic Diocese of Garissa.

The Northern Deanery of Catholic Diocese of Malindi covers the entire Lamu County of Coastal Kenya.
In Lamu County, there are five Catholic Parishes (Lamu, Hindi, Mpeketoni, Hongwe, Baharini) and the newly established Muhamarani Mission. Despite a growing Catholic population in the recent years, Catholics remain a minority in the predominantly Muslim region whose main town, Lamu, is classified as a UNESCO heritage site owing to its status of being the oldest and best-preserved Swahili Settlement in the world.

According to statistics obtained during last week’s (10th-12th September 2021) Pastoral Visit to Hindi Parish by Rt. Rev. Willybard Lagho, the Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Malindi, Ndeu Outstation has 33 Catholic families with all 55 members baptized and majority, of age, having received Sacrament of Confirmation. There are 16 commissioned Catholic Men Association (CMA) members (12 of them commissioned this year) and 28 commissioned Catholic Women Association (CWA) members.

Rev. Fr. Callistus Wabwire, the parish priest of St. John the Evangelist Hindi Parish, attributes the tremendous growth in faith and participation in sacramental life among the parishioners in Ndeu to the Outstation’s well-organized small Christian community (Jumuiya) efforts.
“For a very long time our parishioners in Ndeu have been reaching out to non-practicing Catholics in their Outstation, helping them to address challenges that resulted in their backsliding, and leading them back to the Church. They have achieved so much success that they are now reaching out to lapsed Catholics in other Outstations of our Parish, ” Fr. Wabwire said.

The Chairman of Ndeu Outstation Pastoral Council, Mr. Simon Omondi, in an interview with sautiyajimbo.wordpress.com shared the strategy they employ to reach out to non-practicing Catholics to bring them back to Church and also to strengthen the faith of practicing Catholics in their Outstation: “CMA and CWA have scheduled Jumuiya meetings every Sunday and Thursday respectively. A member is visited during the small Christian Community sessions, where they share Word of God and discuss various pastoral and social concerns, and help one another to address them. Through the visited member, they identify and reach out to lapsed Catholics in the visited neighborhood.”
Mr. Omondi also noted that on Saturdays, two catechists in Ndeu Outstation offer Catechism lessons to the parishioners.
” We have two Catechists who give lessons on our faith twice, at 2pm and 4pm, every Saturday. All parishioners, and not just Catechumens, are welcomed to, and do, attend,” he said.
Children in Ndeu Outstation are prepared for Pontifical Missionary Childhood (PMC) life by a PMC Animator.

Ndeu Outstation is not only making great strides in sacramental life and spiritual formation of its parishioners but also in self-reliance as concerns Church development.

In 2004, the Christians in Ndeu moved from worshipping at Ndeu Primary School to a makeshift mud structure that became St. Paul’s Catholic Church Ndeu where they congregated for 15 years.

The immediate former Parish Priest of St. John the Evangelist Hindi, Rev. Fr. Peter Kariuki, challenged the Catholic families in Ndeu to put up a permanent Church structure telling them “you are more than 30 families; if you sacrifice and commit yourselves through prayer and regular contributions, you can build a modern Church even without external support.”

In 2019, the Christians took up the challenge and by each family contributing Kshs. 2,000 a foundation stone was laid by Fr. Kariuki and the ongoing construction of a permanent Church began at the same spot where the old mud structure existed.
In the meantime, the parishioners put up another temporal structure adjacent the construction site where they now worship as they continue fundraising towards completion of the new church by their set deadline of May 2022.

Through bi-weekly family and Jumuiya contributions, and sale of goats from their goat rearing project, the parishioners of Ndeu have been able to establish the foundation and raise beams for the new Church whose masterplan, provided by one of their Church members, also includes Sacrist, Priest’s Office, Church Council’s Office, and ablution blocks.

Recently, Hindi Parish Pastoral Council resolved to help Ndeu Outstation in their efforts by including the construction of the new Church in Ndeu among projects to be supported by all parishioners of St. John the Evangelist Hindi in 2021.
All Outstations are set to take part in a fundraiser, Harambee, in support of Ndeu Outstation on 7th November 2021.

CARRY THE CROSS OF ADVOCACY WITH JOY, CLERGY RALLIES TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP ON BALLONING FOREIGN DEBT IN KENYA

Nairobi, Kenya ¦ Moses M. Mpuria

Catholic Justice and Peace Offficals in Kenya, meeting in Nairobi for the second Meeting of Technical Working Group on Balloning Foreign Debt in the country, have been urged by a Catholic priest to play their advocacy role with joy inasmuch the task is stepped with threats and intimidation.

In his reflection during the Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross on 14th September 2021, at Dimesse Sisters Karen where the Technical Working Group on Balloning Foreign Debt is meeting, Rev. Fr. Alphonse Mutua rallied the Justice and Peace delegates to advocate for responsible Public Debt Management, without being made timid by beneficiaries of the debt crisis.

“There is no Christian life without a challenge, without a cross. Christ wants us to advocate together with Him because there are forces behind (Balloning Foreign Debt in Kenya), forces for us to be overcomed. But there is joy in every cross; through the cross, we will always emerge victorious, ” reflected Fr. Mutua.

Rev. Fr. Alphonse Mutua is the Diocesan Executive Secretary of Justice and Peace in the Catholic Diocese of Machakos, and a member of the Technical Working Group on Balloning Foreign Debt in Kenya.

“We have to carry our responsibilities, roles and duties effectively, as we advocate for the management of our affairs, of what is happening in our country concerning public debts. In doing so, let us make a choice not to fear death, because in the Cross we see life. Each one of us has to realize we always have with us one who gave Himself up totally to rescue us.”

The Technical Working Group on Balloning Foreign Debt in Kenya is convened by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) through the Catholic Justice and Peace Department of her Commission for Promoting Integral Human Development, with the support of Diakonia, a faith-based Swedish development organization. It brings together Diocesan Justice and Peace Coordinators from 13 A/Dioceses (Nairobi, Murang’a, Embu, Meru, Marsabit, Machakos, Kitui, Maralal, Isiolo, Garissa, Malindi and Kisumu), Representatives of Catholic Men Association (CMA) , Catholic Women Association (CWA), Catholic Youth, Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya (AOSK), and Religious Superiors Conference of Kenya (RSCK).

The team of Justice and Peace officials is intended to offer technical support to Bishops leading diplomacy and high level lobbying for goodwill on Foreign Debt Management, and identifying key state institutions, non state actors and other relevant stakeholders to engage in the process to ensure Kenya’s debt in properly managed.
The technical working group on Balloning Foreign Debt in Kenya also intends to influence comprehensive legal and institutional framework on public borrowing and spending, through petitions and (social) media campaigns.

In its second meeting, following its inaugural meeting last month, the team is looking at laws and policy gaps in the area public borrowing, studying cases of countries in debt and what that means to their economies, and analysing the debt situation in Kenya’s counties.

RELIGIOUS LEADERS CHAMPION RENEWED COVID-19 SENSITIZATION EFFORTS IN COASTAL KENYA

Mombasa, 3rd September 2021

Religious leaders from different faiths in Mombasa County yesterday, 2nd September 2021, distributed masks and sanitizers, and sensitized traders and residents at Kongowea Market on Covid-19 containment measures, in the wake of reports from Ministry of Health that the lethal Delta variant of the novel Corona virus is now dominant in Kenya.

The distribution and sensitization exercise was organized by Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenical Commission of Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa led by Rev. Fr. Richard Airo, supported by Caritas and Health Commissions of the Archdiocese.

Senior religious leaders in Mombasa County, led by members of the Mombasa County Interfaith Council on Covid-19 addressed traders and residents as they distributed masks and sanitizers to them at Kongowea Market, one of the largest Open Air Markets in Eastern and Central Africa.

Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde of Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa, who is also the Chairman of Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and Sheikh Rishad Rajab, the Chairman of Mombasa County Interfaith Council on Covid-19 spearheaded the exercise, joined by other senior clerics drawn from the Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics (CICC) who included Sheikh Mwinyi and Sheikh Mahmoud, Bishop Muthama (Pentecostal Churches) and Bishop Tee (Mombasa Churches Forum).

Officials from Red Cross in Mombasa, led by Mr. Rajab, were in attendance.

Mr. Ndambuki, the superintendent of Kongowea Market, was at hand to receive the religious leaders and guide them through different sections of the expansive open air market.

Religious leaders in Coastal Kenya have noted with great concern increased laxity and complacency among citizens regarding Covid-19 containment measures and are calling on all persons to take utmost caution given the continued devastating toll of Covid-19 on lives and livelihoods.

“Humanity is at stake, if we do not care. Covid-19 is real, it kills and it is costing a lot to treat. Stay safe; adhere to all containment measures,” said Archbishop Kivuva in an interview with the Media at Kongowea Market.
The prelate advocated for take up of Covid-19 vaccine by Kenyans, and asked even those who have been vaccinated to continue adhering to the health and safety protocols issued by the Government through Ministry of Health.

Sheikh Rishad shared that religious leaders from different faiths and denominations remain determined and in the forefront to ensure all persons remain safe.
“All of us have a duty to preserve our lives and the lives of our loved ones and neighbours. All religions call us to do that, and we, the religious leaders, want all our people to understand that and take utmost precautions towards containing Covid-19,” noted the Chairman of Interfaith Council on Covid-19 in Mombasa County.

According to Fr. Richard Airo, the religious leaders choose Kongowea Market to start campaigning anew for adherance to Covid-19 containment measures due to its strategic location and critical presence.
“Kongowea Market serves nearly the entire coastal Kenya, and beyond. If an outbreak (of Covid-19) is experienced, no one among us is safe and if the market is thus closed, the impact on livelihoods and availability of food in all our counties will be devastating,” he said.

The Ministry of Health has noted the lethal Delta variant is now dominant in Kenya, accounting for 96.7% of all sequenced Coronavirus cases.
Delta is one of the four “variants of concern” listed by the World Health Organization. It is 50% more contagious than the original alpha variant.

The religious leaders highlighted, from their observation and information shared with them by worshippers, increased fatalities and rising cost of treating Covid-19 cases. They urged citizens to mask up and sanitize, keep safe physical distance and avoid congested places, as well as seek treatment when felling unwell. The clerics also championed take up of Covid-19 vaccines.

Report by Moses M. Mpuria

CATHOLIC WOMEN CALLED TO PLAY PIVOTAL ROLE IN ENCOURAGING AND SUPPORTING VOCATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD

Malindi, 30th August 2021 ¦ by Moses M. Mpuria

A great concern of any Catholic Diocese is her sustainability of the vocation to priesthood.
It is very critical for a diocese to have adequate priests because “the function of the clergy is essential and irreplaceable in announcing the Word and celebrating the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist.” (Pope Benedict XVI, 2009).

One of the youngest Catholic Dioceses in Kenya has been experiencing a steady growth in her laity population in the recent years resulting in creation of new parishes and missions.
Catholic Diocese of Malindi, erected in 2000, had 18 parishes and missions in 2015. Today, the Diocese in Coastal Kenya covering parts of Kilifi and Tana River Counties and the entire Lamu County, has 24 Parishes and Missions, with three missions (Shakadulo, Magarini and Muhamarani) established in the last 12 months.
However, these developments have not been replicated by increased vocations to the Priesthood in the Diocese.

It is as a result of these facts that the Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Malindi has called on Catholic Women, and all parishioners in general, to play a pivotal role in encouraging and supporting vocations to the Priesthood.
Rt. Rev. Willybard Lagho made this call yesterday, 29th August 2021, at Bishop Francis Baldacchino Primary School Grounds where he celebrated Holy Mass during which he commissioned 160 women from the Southern Deanery of the Diocese to the Catholic Women Association (CWA).

Statistics shared with SAUTI YA JIMBO by Rev. Fr. Elijah Kinyua, the Vocations Director of the Diocese, indicate that the Catholic Diocese of Malindi has 17 Diocesan Priests, 2 deacons and 12 seminarians. Only 10 of the 24 Parishes and Missions are administered by Diocesan priests. The rest are served by missionary priests from various congregations.

In his address to more than 400 Catholic Women who attended the commissioning of new CWA members, Bishop Willybard Lagho shared that the current lack of priests is affecting pastoral work in some parishes and missions, and also slowing down creation of new parishes.
“In some of our parishes and missions we only have one priest and that is not desirable since they are supposed to live as a community. Moreover, many of our Outstations miss Holy Mass on Sundays due to this situation. We are also faced with the challenge of creating new parishes where it is thus becoming pastoraly necessary because we are lacking priests.”

The prelate appealed to the Catholic Women to help in identifying and nurturing vocations to Priesthood among children and youth in their families.
“I call upon you to encourage and promote vocation to the Priesthood among your families. As caregivers, parents are best positioned to identify and nurture future priests,” he said.

Bishop Lagho noted that the Diocese is reviewing her strategies on reaching out to children and youth from an early age, in efforts to nurture vocations to the Priesthood.

St. John Paul II, in his letter about priestly formation says that “the family is truly a ‘domestic church’ which has always offered favorable conditions for the birth of vocations,” and that “families should be the first seminary in which children can acquire an awareness of piety and prayer and love for the Church.” (Pastores Dabo Vobis).
Accordingly, every Catholic family should encourage their sons to pray about serving the Church in the Priesthood; and if they are called and qualified, parents should gladly support them on their journey.

St. John Paul II also teaches that “all the members of the Church, without exception, have the grace and responsibility to look after vocations. The duty of fostering vocations falls on the whole Christian community.”

The vision of Catholic Women Association is seeking to bear witness to Christ and commitment to the holistic development of Catholic women and families. In this light, Catholic Women have a major role to play in fostering vocation to the Priesthood as they fulfill one of the component of their mission that is to evangelize to families and society at large.

Catholic Women Association (CWA) is an association of Catholic lay women mandated to empower Catholic Women spiritually, morally, socially and economically for the purposes of evangelizing families and society at large. The services provided by CWA help in promoting strong faith, commitment, teamwork, humility, respect, diligence, hard work, and accountability among members.

While commissioning the new members of CWA, Bishop Lagho advised them against disassociating themselves from other Catholic women who are not yet members of their association.
“In your interactions, do not despise or isolate your fellow Catholic women who are yet to be commissioned into your Association. Let CWA be an instrument of Evangelization, of true love of Christ; through your deeds and words, attracting other women to serve Christ and the Church the way you do,” counseled the prelate.

STOP VIOLENCE, STAND FOR JUSTICE: CATHOLIC CHURCH IN KENYA MARKS 21ST DEATH ANNIVERSARY OF FR. JOHN KAISER

24th August 2021, Nairobi-Kenya

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), through the Justice and Peace Department of her Commission for Promoting Integral Human Development, has organized celebration of the life of the Fr. John A. Kaiser to mark the 21st Anniversary of the death of late Missionary Priest widely regarded as a champion of Justice and Peace in Kenya.

The celebrations mark the 21st straight year the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops is commemorating the anniversary of the death of Fr. John Kaiser who died on 24th August 2000.
The theme of this year’s commemoration is STOP VIOLENCE: STAND FOR JUSTICE.

Twenty one (21) years after his death, family, relatives, Mill Hill Missionaries, Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, fellow Christians, members of Human Right groups, Civil Society and other people of goodwill continue to celebrate the life of Fr. Kaiser and remember him for the tireless efforts in advocating for justice for the poor, oppressed and vulnerable, and preaching peaceful coexistence.

According to Mrs. Beatrice Odera, the Head of KCCB’s Justice and Peace Department, “Fr. Kaiser Memorial is not only a commemoration of his death but also a day to remember those suffering injustice in the society.”
Due to Covid-19 restrictions and in adherance to the Ministry of Health Protocols, this year’s commemoration is set to be marked from today, 24th August 2021, through week-long social media campaign on Catholic-owned platforms and like-minded media organizations.
This is being achieved through sharing of developed posters and e-prayer cards on social media.
In addition, the Obituary of Fr. Kaiser has today been published in the Nation Newspaper.

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops will be celebrating Mass in Dioceses and parishes on Sunday, 29th August 2021, in commemoration of Fr. John Kaiser and other persons who (have) lost their lives fighting for justice and advocating for peace.

In the Catholic Diocese of Malindi, the Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC Malindi) is marking Fr. Kaiser Memorial 2021 through a Charity Week running from 24th August 2021 to 31st August 2021, targeting the Elderly who are needy.
Through the Annual Fr. Kaiser Memorial Collections, CJPC Malindi targets to raise resources through parishes and missions in support of social justice for the elderly, specially in following up pensions and social protection provisions by the State for the senior citizens.

Rev. Fr. John Anthony Kaiser was born in Perham, Minnesota in the United States of America on 23rd November 1932. He was ordained in St. Louis for the Mill Hill Fathers in 1964, and was sent to their mission in Kenya the same year.

Fr. Kaiser ministered in the Diocese of Kisii for twenty years, and later in the Dioceses of Nakuru and Ngong.
As a missionary he served the poor, advocated for justice for the oppressed and respect for human rights. At the height of ethnic violence and land clashes in Kenya in 1993, Fr. Kaiser worked with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at Maela IDPs Camp within Nakuru Diocese. He later transfered to Lolgorian Parish, Ngong Diocese in Massai land.

On 24th August 2000, Fr. Kaiser’s body was found in Morendat-Naivasha, along the Nakuru-Nairobi Highway. The cause of his death could not be ascertained at the time but it later emerged that he was murdered by unknown assailants.

The Government of Kenya opened an inquest into Fr. Kaiser’s death at the request of Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops. The inquest ended on 12th June 2007 after hearing and gathering evidence from 111 witnesses.
On 1st August 2007, the presiding magistrate ruled that Fr. Kaiser had been murdered and that the ‘suicide theory’ was based on a pre-conceived notion. She further stated that she could not, on basis of evidence tabled before her in the inquest, point out with certainty who killed the priest.

The Catholic Church in Kenya is marking the 21st Anniversary of Fr. Kaiser at the time the country is grappling with cases of violence and killings especially of young people, abduction of children and rising political intolerance demonstrated in early campaigns towards the 2022 General Elections.
Thus, the Kenya Conference has published a prayer for Justice:

God our Father, we thank you for the gift of Fr. Kaiser who was a great missionary in our country. He inspired many people as he preached against injustice and violence. It is because of this firm stand that he suffered and was murdered.
Father as we commemorate Fr. Kaiser and other men and women who have died in the line of social justice, we humbly pray for the end of all forms of violence; abduction of children, kidnapping of people and hate speech.
We pray that, through your Divine Will, you shall correct all the wrongs that are taking place in our country and vindicate those who are being treated unjustly.
Father, as we beg for your mercy and forgiveness, we implore you to give peace and justice to all those who have experienced cruelty and unfair treatment.
We ask you this through Christ our Lord. AMEN.


Report by Moses M. Mpuria
Social Communications- Catholic Diocese of Malindi

127 CATHOLIC MEN COMMISSIONED AND SENT TO PROMOTE THE CHRISTIAN FAITH & SELF-RELIANCE

Malindi-Kenya

On Sunday, 4th July 2021, more than three hundred baptised Catholic men from the Southern Deanery of Catholic Diocese of Malindi gathered at St. Paul’s Catholic Parish House Grounds in Gongoni for Holy Mass celebrated by their Local Ordinary, during with 126 of the men were commissioned to be members of the Catholic Men Association.

Catholic Men Association, commonly known by its abbreviation CMA, is a lay non-profit making and non-political membership of baptised and devoted male Christians of Roman Catholic Church.

The main objectives of CMA include promotion of a cohesive Catholic family, living and propagating Catholic faith in fulfilling baptismal promises, evangelizing through role modeling, and contributing positively to social justice.

Bishop Willybard Lagho commissioned the 127 Catholic Men and sent them to champion promotion of Christian faith and self-reliance among the Catholic faithful in the Diocese starting from family and small Christian community (Jumuiya) levels.

The newly commissioned CMA members were drawn from 9 of the 14 parishes and missions of the Southern Deanery of the Diocese: Cathedral (36), Kisumu Ndogo (22), Watamu (21), Adu Mission (19), Mere Mission (5), Shakadulo Mission (3), Lango Baya (6), Msabaha (8), and Muyeye (7).

According to Rev. Fr. Peter Karanja, the Pastoral Coordinator of Catholic Diocese of Malindi, the commissioning of CMA members which is usually held at the Diocesan Level involving all three deaneries was scaled to Deanery level to allow for compliance with Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings.
“Commissioning of new CMA members for Central and Northern Deaneries with be held in Garsen and Hongwe parishes respectively later this year,” said Fr. Karanja.

Bishop Lagho, in his homily during the commissioning of the new CMA members, taught about the Sabbath, Christian faith and Self-reliance. The Prelate, who was concluding his three-day pastoral visit to St. Paul’s Parish, drew lessons from meetings with parishioners during his visits to all the 6 outstations of the Parish.

“When we choose to rest on Sabbath instead of considering it a day of worship and bringing our gifts and talents to the Lord and seeking to be strengthened to continue earning a living responsibly, we misunderstand the meaning of Sabbath,” said Bishop Lagho while decrying the emerging trend of adult catholic faithful sending their children to Church as they remain at home to ‘relax and rest.’

On Christian faith, Rt. Rev. Willybard Lagho urged all Catholic faithful in various groups and soldiarities, including priests, to continuously take up lessons on catechism because “the challenges we face in adult life and concerning emerging social trends cannot be fully addressed by the catechesis we received when we were young.”
He urged the congregants to not only have faith in God but let that faith be completed by the knowledge that God has faith in them.

Bishop Lagho continued to call for self-reliance, in what he has termed the greatest responsibility of his episcopal ministry in the Catholic Diocese of Malindi.
“I am here to transition you to self-reliance; to place the Diocese on a path to being able to sustain the pastoral and social ministry without overdependence on external support, that is dwindling by the day,” said the Prelate.

Previously, Bishop Lagho has shared that in calling for Self-reliance he is not only emphasising on the financial resources required to sustain the Ministries of the Diocese, parishes and institutions run by the Church but also on Vocations for the Diocese with 23 parishes and missions has just 16 diocesan priests.

“For a long time now we have over relied on foreign support to propagate our faith and to sustain our priests and religious, and we must wake up from this situation and learn to walk on our own feet,” said Bishop Lagho noting the decline in religious identity and practice especially among the youth in the Western World that hitherto supported many programs in the Diocese including support to pay priests stipends.
“I urge you to start sustaining our priests by paying stipends through Mass intentions, and our programs by paying tithes in addition to offerings because those we used to depend on before are no longer willing and able to meet all our needs.”

Bishops Lagho assured the parishioners that the resources they commmit to the Church will be responsibly used and accounted for, informing them that Diocesan and Parish Finance Councils will be reinvigorated and run effectively and effeciently as provided for in the Canon Law.

Report: Moses M. Mpuria

FIRST SEMINARIANS OF ONE OF KENYA’S YOUNGEST CATHOLIC DIOCESES CELEBRATE 12 YEARS IN PRIESTHOOD

Malindi, Kenya
 

Catholic Diocese of Malindi, in the Ecclesiastical Province of Mombasa in Kenya, was erected on 2nd June 2000. It is one of the three Catholic Dioceses so far erected in the East African Country in the 21st Century; the other two being Mararal (15th June 2001) and Nyahururu (5th December 2002).

The late Rt. Rev. Francis Baldacchino, first Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Malindi, sponsored the first five seminarians of the young Diocese for a Seminary’s program of Priestly Formation in 2001.

Twenty years later, the five young men who schooled together in all the three seminaries they attended are now an integral part of the Clergy serving in the Coastal Kenya Catholic Diocese that covers parts of Kilifi and Tana River Counties, and the entire Lamu County. 

Rev. Fr. Constantine Kimondo, Rev. Anthony Kitema, Rev. Fr. Bernard Malasi, Rev. Peter Karanja and Rev. Fr. Elijah Kinyua are today, 4th July 2021, celebrating 12 years of their Ordination to Priesthood. 

The five priests joined St. Mary’s Major Seminary Molo for the Spiritual Year in 2001 before being admitted to St. Augustine Senior Seminary Mabanga in Bungoma where they studied Philosophy between 2002 and 2005. From 2005 to May 2009, they studied Theology at St. Mathias Mulumba Senior Seminary Tindinyo in Kapsabet. 

Fr. Kimondo, Fr. Kitema, Fr. Malasi, Fr. Karanja and Fr. Kinyua were ordained Deacons at St. Anthony’s Cathedral in Malindi by the late Bishop Francis Baldacchino on 3rd January 2009; a school term to the end of their Theological studies in the Seminary. 

On 4th July 2009, they were ordained Priests at St. Anthony’s Cathedral in the presence of the Bishop Baldacchino. Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin, the then Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya who passed away last month (24th June 2021), was the Ordaining Minister. 

Currently, the five priests are all serving at the Diocesan Secretariat of Catholic Diocese of Malindi in different capacities.

Rev. Fr. Constantine Kimondo, who has done Islamic Studies, is in charge of Interfaith Council of the Diocese and serves as the Diocesan Director of Pontifical Missionary Societies (PMS). He is also the Principal of Motolese Professional School that is situated within the Catholic Institute in Malindi.
Fr. Kimondo is the Chairman of the Malindi Diocesan Priests Association (MADPA), and has served at Witu/Kipini parish, Watamu Parish and St. Anthony’s Cathedral which is his home parish.

Rev. Fr. Anthony Kitema, whose home parish is Kabaa in Machakos, is the long-serving Finance Administrator and Procurator of the Catholic Diocese of Malindi.
He has worked in Marafa Parish, and currently assists with pastoral work at St. Anthony’s Cathedral.

Rev. Fr. Bernard Malasi, a graduate of Pontifical Gregorian University’s Centre for Child Protection (CCP)-Rome, is the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator responsible for protection of minors. 
He has previously served at the Diocesan Secretariat as the Coordinator of Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC).
Fr. Malasi, who hails from St. Anne’s Mgange Nyika in Taita, is the Parish Priest of St. Anthony’s Cathedral and has previously served at Kisumu Ndogo, Gongoni and Watamu parishes.

Rev. Fr. Peter Karanja, who recently graduated from Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) with a Masters Degree in Spirituality and Religious Formation, is the Pastoral Coordinator of the Diocese. He also in charge of Liturgy, and coordinates activities of the Diocesan Gender Office.
Fr. Karanja, whose home parish is Christ the Sower Mpeketoni in Lamu County, has worked in Gongoni and Baharini Parishes.
Additionally, Fr. Karanja is the Youth Chaplain of the Diocese and curate at St. Anthony’s Cathedral. 
He is a member of College of Consultors of the Catholic Diocese of Malindi.

Rev. Fr. Elijah Kinyua is the Vocations Director of the Catholic Diocese of Malindi, and also serves as the father in charge of the newly created St. Andrew’s Catholic Mission in Shakadulo. 
He has previously served in Tarasaa, Cathedral and Baharini Parish and at the Diocesan Secretariat in the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission. 
Fr. Kinyua hails from Karumandi Catholic Parish in Murang’a. 

Catholic Diocese of Malindi, with 23 parishes and missions majority of which are still run by Missionary Priests, has 16 Diocesan Priests. 
The current Bishop of the Diocese is Rt. Rev. Willybard Lagho, a Diocesan Priest from Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa. He succeeded the late Bishop Emanuel Barbara, second Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Malindi, who hailed from Malta in Europe which is also the home country of the late Bishop Francis Baldacchino. 
The first and second Bishops of the Diocese were Missionaries from the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. 

The other Diocesan Priests in Malindi are Rev. Fr. Joseph Ngala, Rev. Fr. Ambrose Muli, Rev. Fr. Michael Babu, Rev. Fr. Nicholas Kileo, Rev. Fr. Martin Karigu, Rev. Fr. David Munge, Rev. Fr. Joseph Wesonga, Rev. Fr. Jackson Khataka, Rev. Fr. Samuel Kenga, Rev. Fr. Alex Kiseli and Rev. Fr. Boniface Mbilo. 

Rev. Fr. James Kinoti, a Diocesan Priest from Catholic Diocese of Meru, works as a Fidei Donum Priest in Tarasaa Parish of Catholic Diocese of Malindi. 

Congratulations Fr. Kimondo, Fr. Kitema, Fr. Malasi, Fr. Karanja and Fr. Kinyua on the 12th Anniversary of your Ordination to the Priesthood. May the Lord’s holy presence fill your heart with joy, and may His grace and peace be with you. 

Hongereni. 

Report: Moses M. Mpuria

CATHOLIC BISHOP CALLS FOR PROTECTION OF ALL CHILDREN AT ALL TIMES


Malindi-Kenya ¦ 21st June 2021

Rt. Rev. Willybard Lagho, the Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Malindi, has called on all Christians and people of goodwill to prioritize and champion safeguarding of minors.

In his homily on Sunday 20th June 2021, during Family Day Celebrations at St. Joseph the Worker Outstation of St. Anthony’s Cathedral Parish in Malindi, the prelate reflected on the life of St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus.
Bishop Lagho, while wishing all men present a happy Father’s Day, urged them and all adults in general to follow in the footsteps of St. Joseph and ensure children are protected from all forms of abuses and exploitation.

The prelate shared about St. Joseph being a compassionate and caring man, obedient to the will of God.
“When he discovered Mary was pregnant after they had been betrothed, he knew the child was not his but was as yet unaware that she was carrying the Son of God. He resolved to send her away quietly to not expose her to shame or cruelty, because he was a virtuous man.”
Bishop Lagho highlighted instances where St. Joseph was a protective spouse and foster father, particularly being obedient when asked by the angel of God to take Mary to be his wife for she had conceived through the Holy Spirit and taking Mary and baby Jesus to safety in Egypt as guided by angel of God.

We know Joseph loved Jesus. His one concern was for the safety of this child entrusted to him. Not only did he leave his home to protect Jesus, but upon his return settled in the obscure town of Nazareth out of fear for his life. When Jesus stayed in the Temple we are told Joseph (along with Mary) searched with great anxiety for three days for him (Luke 2:48). We also know that Joseph treated Jesus as his own son for over and over the people of Nazareth say of Jesus, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” (Luke 4:22).


“Our greatest role as parents, adults and members of the community is safeguarding minors; ensuring the well being and protection of children,” said Bishop Lagho adding “in the footsteps of St. Joseph, let us all protect all children at all times.”

The Catholic Diocese of Malindi has taken major steps in the recent years towards ensuring children in Coastal region, which has one of the highest rates of child sexual abuse cases and teenage pregnancies in Kenya, are safeguarded from abuse and exploitation, and where abuse takes place the children are rescued, provided with safe spaces and counselled together with their families before they are reintegrated back to the community.



In partnership with Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa (MSOLA), the Catholic Diocese of Malindi runs Pope Francis Rescue Home (PFRH), a rescue Centre for child victims of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, which has handled more than 500 cases since inception in 2015 with tens of perpetrators in those cases being convicted to long jail sentences.
In addition to providing psychosocial support to child victims of sexual abuse and their caregivers, and helping in prosecution of child abuse cases, PFRH partners with other child protection stakeholders in Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu Counties through community sensitization forums on rights of children and safeguarding of minors.

Catholic Diocese of Malindi is also one of the two Catholic Dioceses in Kenya where the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has piloted WATOTO WATUNZWE (Safeguard Children) program. In Kilifi County, the program is implemented in collaboration with 10 schools in Magarini and Malindi Sub Counties.
Through this Initiative, the Catholic Diocese of Malindi has improved on its Child Protection Policy and requires all staff members and persons working with children in any of the Church programs in the area to sign a Child Protection Commitment Form.

Report: Moses M. Mpuria

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