The Bishop of Homa Bay, Rt. Rev. Philip Anyolo has called on the Catholic faithful to love their Church with passion and courage. ‚ The bishop called on the faithful not to be shy about the Universal Catholic Church but to stand firm in its teachings.
Bishop Anyolo noted that the Church is an important unit of the family. He said the Church as a Family of God is on a pilgrimage to Him. This pilgrimage, he said, is not easy as there are many challenges on the way that threaten to destroy the family.
Do not be shy about your church and its teachings,‚ said the Bishop. ‚ Have faith in Christ and his Church. Stand firm in its teachings. The Catholic Church is at war in the world and there is need for you to remain deeply rooted in your faith. Time has now come for you to have faith not just to move the mountain but to stand above it. Stand up for your Church wherever you are working. Love your Church with passion and courage.‚
The Bishop, who is also the Chairman of the KEC Commission for Pastoral, Lay Apostolate and Family Life was speaking when he presided over mass to mark the official closing of the Natural Family Planning Training and graduation of instructors at the Little Daughters of St. Joseph Retreat Centre in Karen on 3rd November 2011. The training was organized by the Family Life National Office of the Kenya Episcopal Conference Catholic Secretariat, led by the National Coordinator Mrs. Theresa Mera Abuya.
Bishop Anyolo urged the graduands to be militant in their faith and work. ‚ As Christ said, be strong and courageous on the way. You are assured of victory because, by qualifying to graduate today, you are already triumphant.
The Bishop emphasized the importance of upholding what he called the Family Instinct.‚ Quoting from the Gospel of John, he urged the graduands to stay together in Christ: ‚ Jesus said to the Apostles‚ Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me (John 15:4)‚ This is the instinct of the family which is today threatened with extinction said the bishop. If God returned today, He would save the family. God has a strong instinct for the family. To remain militant in the pilgrimage to God, one needs the instinct of the family. Even animals depend on the instinct of the family. As human beings, we must also go back to this instinct. In the face of challenge, call on the instinct. The family is the mother of all aspects of evangelization and this is what the Catholic Church emphasizes.
Bishop Anyolo encouraged the graduands to promote family life programmes at the Parish Level as this is the only way to save the family and make it strong.
In her address, Mrs. Abuya thanked the Kenyan Bishops for their continued support to the National Office, especially by providing funds and facilities for monitoring the implementation of its programmes in the country.
The graduation mass was concelebrated by the AMECEA Secretary General Very Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Lugonzo. During the ceremony, 17 graduands took their vows to support natural family planning and were awarded with certificates.