Wednesday, December 21, 2011

AFRICA : KENYA : CATHOLIC CHURCH IN MERU TURNS 100

CISA REPORT: NKUBU, December 20, 2011 (CISA) –Hundreds of thousands of Catholic faithful and their friends turned up at St Pius seminary grounds to mark 100 years since the first missionaries brought the faith to Meru.
Two Consolata missionaries, Frs Giovanni Balbo and Luigi Olivero arrived in Meru on December 13, 1911 to begin their first mission.
His Eminence John Cardinal Njue presided over the celebrations. He thanked the early missionaries and especially from the Consolata for bringing not only Christianity to the people of Meru but also education and development. “We are the fruits of the missionaries; they identified us as human beings and proclaimed the Good News to us.”
He said that the missionaries were our light and they fully guided us. He asked the faithful to use the celebration not as a formality but as a time to examine their conscience on whether the Good News that has been preached to them is reflected in their lives.
“To plant the seed of faith is not hard, what is hard is to nourish the seed. You should be ‘living stones’, prepared and continuing to build the spiritual temple of the lord,” he added.
The Cardinal urged politicians and other leaders to desist from making inflammatory remarks and be in the forefront in fighting corruption.
President Mwai Kibaki attended the celebrations and challenged the church to provide leadership in the ongoing process of national transformation.
Asserting that the church should particularly participate in the creation of a friendly atmosphere for growth and prosperity, President Kibaki noted that the church must continue to play her irreplaceable role of guiding and counselling citizens and their leaders.
The Head of State said, “I am happy to be with you today for the centenary celebrations of the Meru Catholic Diocese. I salute the Bishop, clergy, and all the faithful of this diocese for this important milestone. We thank God for the growth of the Church through these years.”
“The Church remains an integral part of the social, economic and political development of our nation. The church should therefore continue playing the irreplaceable role of guidance and counselling to both citizens and leaders,” the President stated.
He noted the early missionaries not only left behind their homes and families, endured many hardships but even sacrificed their lives in the course of their assignments.
The President commended them, “We admire their courage and faithfulness and pay tribute to them.”
Several bishops among them Archbishop Peter Kairo of Nyeri, Bishop Anthony Mukobo, IMC, of Isiolo, Bishop Peter Kihara, IMC, of Marsabit, the host Bishop Salesius Mugambi, Bishop Anthony Muheria of Kitui and Bishop Virgilio Pante, IMC of Maralal and over a hundred priests attended the celebrations.
President Kibaki was accompanied by Minister of Energy Kiraitu Murugi, Assistant minister of Higher Education Kilemi Mwiria and Secretary to the cabinet Francis Muthaura all of whom are products of the Catholic Church in Meru.
It was also a special occasion for Bishop Peter Kariuki Kihara, IMC, of Marsabit Diocese who was marking his 28th anniversary since he was ordained a priest in December 17, 1983.
source CISA NEWS AFRICA

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