Give witness to your vocations, calls Archbishop Muheria
By Daniel Kipng’etich
Archbishop Anthony Muheria of Nyeri Archdiocese has called on the young people to shun hatred and tribalism asking them to respond to love of Christ.
Archbishop Muheria was the main celebrant during the National Catholic Youth Convention held on 25th, November, 2017, in Machakos Stadium.
The concelebrants were Bishops’ John Oballa of Ngong Diocese and David Kamau the Auxiliary of the archdiocese of Nairobi.
Archbishop Muheria who is also the Apostolic Administrator of Machakos urged the young people to be hopeful amidst many challenges they may be facing in life, asking them to remain focused and not to be swayed by wallowing pressures.
“We must say no to hate messages, don’t be swallowed, be the crocodile of hatred. My young people, today we are being told to open our hearts, harden not your hearts, your hands are meant to be for blessings and not for violence,” said the Archbishop.
The theme of the day was, “Faith on fire: God’s call, my response.” It comes at a time when Pope Francis has dedicated the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to be held in Rome in October 2018 to address matters pertaining to the young people.
The convention had also been organized to celebrate Pope Francis’ visit to Kenya in November, 2015. During his visit Pope Francis met with the young people at Kasarani Stadium.
Under the theme ‘Young people, the faith and vocational discernment, the major aim of the synod is to journey with the young people in their process of discernment, shaping their future and bringing them to the encounter with God and with human beings and actively participating in Church’s life and the society.
Archbishop Muheria called on the young people to give witness to their vocation, by living their baptismal promise. He said “The church says today we are not going ahead until we call the youth here,’ stamping the fact of the church evangelizing the young people.” He lauded efforts of all those actively journeying with youths guided by the Diocesan Chaplains and Youth Coordinators, calling on the young people to always carry with them the Catholic prayer weapon; the Rosary and to remain firm in faith despite the torrents and storms of life.
On his part, Bishop Kamau asked the youth to stand firm in faith and to treasure their youthfulness.
Speaking at the same time, Bishop Oballa, termed the young people as the cream and hope of the church and the society.
He said, “The church will accompany you, will listen to you, it will tolerate any traditional initiatives that you will suggest, so long as they are in harmony with the doctrines of the Church and the will of God. You are in the church’s radar.” Said Bishop John Oballa.
He asked the young people to bring suggestions on how they wish to be accompanied more, to be engaged and involved more in the work of evangelization and in fulfillment of their lives in view of their life to come.
Others who attended the convention were; the General Secretary of KCCB, Rev. Fr. Daniel Rono, the Deputy General Secretary of KCCB, Rev. Fr. Lucan Ong’esa Manwa, the National Executive Secretary of the Pastoral and Lay Apostolate Commission, Rev. Fr. Josiah Muthee Mugera under which the docket for the youth fall, youth chaplains from across the country among other clergy, religious people and the laity.
The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Maurice Crowley of Kitale as the Apostolic Administrator of Eldoret Diocese following the passing on of the Bishop of Eldoret, Rt. Rev. Cornelius Korir on 30th October 2017.
The Official communication was made through a letter dated 22nd November 2017 and signed by the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan, Archbishop Charles D. Balvo.
Bishop Crowley, 71 was appointed Bishop of Kitale on 3rd April 1998.
On his speech during the funeral of Bishop Korir, Archbishop Balvo said that the late bishop had left him with something else to do, to look for his successor which he described not to be an easy task.
“Certainly in the next few days someone has to be appointed temporarily to guide and direct the diocese of Eldoret as we seek to find the person who will succeed Bishop Korir,” the Nuncio.
The late Bishop Korir was appointed Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret on 27th April, 1990 and had served the diocese for 27 years till his demise. He was laid to rest on 11th November 2017.
The Catholic Diocese of Eldoret is situated in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya on the western side of the Great Rift Valley. It was curved from Kisumu diocese as the Apostolic Prefecture over 50 years ago on the feast of St. Peter and Paul on June 29, 1953. The diocese was later subdivided three times giving rise to Nakuru, Kitale and Lodwar dioceses.
By The Catholic Mirror Team
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops has appointed Rev. Fr. Josiah Muthee Mugera the National Executive Secretary to the Commission for Pastoral and Lay Apostolate, which is chaired by Most. Rev. Anthony Muheria of the Archdiocese of Nyeri.
Fr. Muthee will also serve as the National Executive Secretary to the Commission for Liturgy, Ecumenism and the Youth Office, which is under the Pastoral Commission.
He takes over the Commission for Pastoral and Lay Apostolate from Rev. Fr. Charles Odira, who served in the same capacity for 6 years.
Before his appointment, Fr. Muthee had just completed his sabbatical year in England after serving as Rector of Christ the King Major Seminary in Nyeri for six years. Earlier, he had served as a visiting formator in the same seminary for 6 years.
In an interview with The Catholic Mirror, Fr. Muthee said he had accepted the appointment with an open heart and mind because pastoral work is translating what is theoretical in the Church to practical by evangelizing to every person.
“With that in mind, I am very open and I have accepted the appointment,” said Fr. Muthee. “It is a big task, it is a challenge, bearing in mind the many challenges Christians are facing from the secular world.”
Having been a priest for the last 27 years, and Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator in the Catholic Diocese of Murang’a for six year Fr. Muthee says he has acquired a lot of experience in pastoral work.
“I have been involved in pastoral work especially in a number of parishes, both as a Parish Priest and Assistant Parish Priest, and I bring my own experience especially when it comes to formation of Christians,” he says.
Fr. Muthee is convinced that his exposure as a formator in the seminary has helped him understand the mind of the Church and think in a more practical way and this will help him in coordinating various pastoral activities.
Top on his list, Fr. Muthee says he will follow recommendations by his predecessor on the projects he had initiated.
“I will ensure there is proper coordination of the lay apostolate and movements in terms of their goals and how they are supposed to function in the Church, especially in implementing what John Paul II gave as a guideline in the mission of the lay faithful in the Church.”
He says he will ensure harmony of Church associations, and if any one of them requires recognition, he will guide them through the due process of granting them space for acceptance.
“The other very important thing that I want to put in place that was handed to me is a national harmonious way of running the Church through the Parish Council and Small Christian Communities,” says Fr. Muthee.
He noted that Canon Law allows the lay faithful to become part of the day-to-day running of the Church.
“When we have a national harmonious way of running our parishes, and common principals and common policies, it will ease and facilitate the apostolate or the pastoral activities of the Church in Kenya,” he says.
Fr. Muthee says he intends to interact with young people more through forums where they can freely share their ideas, and in conjunction with their chaplains, deliberate on issues affecting them to understand what approaches to take, respecting and considering their opinions.
Fr. Muthee adds that he would like to have a Christ centred approach to the pastoral ministry. “When we talk about pastoral it is about shepherding. When Christ is at the centre of our apostolate we are bound to succeed as he is our master,” said Fr. Muthee.
On liturgy, Fr. Muthee says his appeal is to have a well-celebrated liturgy; the one that recognizes liturgy as a gift.
“All of us priests and the laity should realize that we are stewards of the liturgy because it is a gift given to us by Christ and the Church.”
He added that when liturgy is celebrated well, it becomes a source of evangelization. “It is not only about norms but it is a liturgy that touches lives and people are able to be inspired through a good way of celebrating the liturgy.”
Fr. Muthee holds a Licentiate in Sacred Liturgy from Santa Giustina University (Padua)- an affiliate college of St. Anselm University in Rome.