• The newly ordained priest blesses His Grace, Archbishop elect, Most Rev. Antony Muheria
  • New ordained priests happily greeting their parents immediately after their ordination at St. Michael's School for the deaf
  • Some of the faithful present during the ordination cant hide their smile when the priest and the deacons were officially ordained.
  • Delegates from the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis keenly following the ordination
  • Chief Guest Dr. Patrick Njoroge, presenting a trophy to St. Charles Lwanga during the diocesan Education day
  • His Grace presenting trophy to Our Lady of Mercy, Mutomo Girls as the most disciplined and clean school during the diocesan Education day celebrations.
  • Very Rev. Fr. Joseph Mwongela, Vicar General congratulates the principal Syomunyu Girls during the Diocesan Education day for their great improvement in last years KCSE performance
  • Some of the principals pose for a group photo with the Chief guest during the diocesan Education day celebrations
  • Celebrating Diocesan PMC day
  • Some of the delegates from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis pose for a group photo during orientation meeting
  • Diocesan Youth walk for Christ
  • Bishop Muheria flagging off the diocesan Youth walk for christ. more than 3000 youths turned up for the walk
  • Primary Premium Program workshop
  • Pupils actively listening the facilitator during primary premium program workshop
  • Some of the students present during the Diocesan YCS mass responding to the bishops question by raising up their hands
  • Baloons released during the launching of the year of the Youth during the diocesan YCS Mass fly up in the sky.
  • The new face of Kitui Pastoral Centre cottages
  • PMC children pose for a group photo after reception to the movement
  • I stand strong in faith through praying the rosary
Special appreciation to you all for your generous contribution during our Fundraising dinner in aid of construction for Maria Goretti Centre. God bless you>>>Archbishop Muheri receives pallium from Pope Francis. >>> Bishop Muheria officially installed  as the archbishop of Nyeri>>>Congratulations to the newly ordained priest, Rev. Fr. John Kivosyo and deacons, Rev. Deacon Charles Maingi and Rev. Deacon Boniface Mutisya>>>  Click here to read bishops letter to the Christians>>>

Bishops message to all the Christians

From Bishop’s Desk

To all Christians of Kitui
Thro’
The Parish Priests

My dear Christians,

"How great are the wonders the Lord has done for us indeed we are glad!!"

We are still overjoyed and filled with wonder, after the most moving visit of Pope Francis. Most of you were able to see him and hear him through TV and radio, but a good number of us were able to see him with our own eyes, and listen to his voice from nearby. This is an experience we can never forget, a moment of graces and blessings for our families, for our Catholic Church in Kenya, for our Country and for each one of us.

With Mary our mother we sing, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; because he has looked upon the lowliness of his servant..." (Luke 1, 46-48)

 

Truly the Lord has worked great things for us... "the Almighty has done great things for me (for us). Holy is his name, and his faithful love extends age after age to those who fear him..." (Luke 1, 49)

 

The message of Papa Francis has been very clear and powerful. He spoke to our hearts: to the hearts of the priests and religious, to the hearts of the youth, to the hearts of men and women in our families, to the hearts of our leaders, and with special love, to the hearts of the poor and marginalized. To all he told us, "Stand strong in faith, do not be afraid!!"

My dear Christians, it is now up to us to use the graces we received, and to put into action the advice of our Father, Papa Francis, in order to transform our society. I wish just to highlight the main issues he spoke to us, which we will have time to reflect on slowly:

1. We need to pray more, in order to change the ills that we see in society.
2. We need to love and defend the family, and the love of children that is in
Africa.
3. We need to show our love in action, by being close and assisting the poor 
the elderly and marginalized. 
4. We must commit to reject tribalism as it is worm that eats us from within. 
5. We must fight and decide not to get the disease of Corruption which
destroys our hearts and destroys our country. I must start now in my life. 
6. Where we did not experience Love, let us put love, where we found
loneliness let us become the catalysts of good friendships.
7. To combat radicalization, we need to offer work and education to all. 
Education in values.
8. Let us work together to protect nature, and admire Gods presence in
creation and the natural heritage of Kenya. We must act to change the 
climate for better.

The message is a renewed call by God to us all to begin again, to rededicate ourselves to serve God with our whole heart. There cannot be room for selfishness, hatred, greed, jealousy, or discrimination. Following the example of Papa Francis, we too can be happy, serving simply and humbly our fellow men. We can witness to Christ without any fear or without being ashamed.

Today we begin the time of Advent, which is meant to prepare us to receive Jesus Christ who is coming to be born in Christmas. After listening to the Holy Father, Papa Francis, we see we have so many things we must change, because there are so many things we have betrayed Jesus in. Advent is a time to clean our hearts sweep our lives, so that Jesus can find a good place in our hearts. "straighten the paths of the Lord".

Pope Francis has also declared a Year of Mercy which begins on 8th December 2015, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. This is a year of seeking God’s mercy, for our failures and sins, for our unfaithfulness, for atrocities committed in the world by our brothers, and for us to come back to him as the "prodigal son". Papa Francis has already given us a hint on what we must change, now we need to go before our Lord to ask him for pardon, and for his graces so that we can truly change.

In this year I invite you all to seek the Sacrament of Confession as many times as you can. I urge the priests to be especially available for this Sacrament, and to set out specific times every day when they will be available for the wonderful Sacrament of Reconciliation. I too will try to be available in some moments.

In this year we are been asked to come back to the Lord, no matter how far we have fallen. There is no sin that is so big, that cannot be forgiven. Jesus is waiting for us to come back and ask for his pardon and mercy. He wants us to change and try to live according to his commandments. He understands we are weak and that we may fall again, but he want us to hold his hand and he will walk with us.

In this year of Mercy, the Holy father has allowed all priests to absolve the sin of abortion, which weighs on the hearts of many women, and also of many men who have participated, encouraged even forced their relatives and friends to end the life of an unborn child. Let our tears for our sins, wash the hearts in the fount of mercy.

"Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Is 1, 18)

Finally in this year of mercy we will organize several activities at the parish and diocese level. I invite you to start planning some activities at your parish level and suggest some for our diocese. These should include, time to visit the poor in our villages, visits to the prisoners, inviting the very poor for Christmas in our homes, pilgrimages to places of prayers, days of fasting and prayers in the parishes, days of adorations praying for those still imprisoned by sin, penitential services in all our schools and even in other schools, both primary and secondary, days of prayer and reconciliation for Men, for women, for teachers, for health workers, for County government and Central government workers, for MCAs, for businessmen and traders, for boda boda operators, for catechists etc.

This is the moment of grace, let us not lose it. As the Jesus is born in Nazareth, let us make a resolution to be faithful to him, and not to betray him in any way, as we make a new beginning in our country, after Papa Francis' visit.

I wish you all a very blessed Christmas, and a good journey in this Year of Mercy. Our Mother Mary, virgin most merciful, will invite us to come to her Son as she holds him, so that we may experience his smile and forgiveness.

I impart on all of you, God’s blessings.

Your loving shepherd,

Anthony Muheria
Bishop of Kitui
29th November 2015
First Sunday of Advent.

Opening of Holy door of Mercy, Our Lady of Africa Cathedral Kitui on 13th December 2015.

As we enter the Holy door of Mercy, we enter through Jesus Christ who is the door of salvation. We come to him to draw the "waters of salvation". And in this year, as we pose at the Holy door, we seek to touch spiritually the open side of Jesus, to listen to his heart, and to speak to him... "Jesus Master, have mercy on me...".

Let us experience the mystical contact with the Merciful Heart of Jesus, that will lead us to the sacrament of Confession, and will lead us to forgiveness and reconciliation.

As we entered, I prayed for all the christians in Kitui diocese, and for many who are still far away from God..."have mercy on us and on the whole world".

It is a time to forgive: to forgive our brothers, to forgive our sisters, to forgive our parents, to forgive our children, to forgive our neighbours, to forgive our classmates... If we have still some anger or there is someone we still haven't forgiven, this is the year to forgive them. Tell them, i am sorry and start afresh.

"Be merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful"

I wish you a fruitful Year of Mercy accompanied by our Blessed mother.

Bishop Anthony Muheria

Jubilee year of mercy

Papa Francis declared the Jubilee year of Mercy from 8th December 2015 to 20th November 2016. This is a time of grace, and a time to experience Gods inexhaustible Mercy. It is a year for us to learn from Gods mercy, so that we "can be merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful".

 



Come therefore to the open side of Jesus, to draw waters of salvation, waters of mercy, he awaits you... Listen to his heart, and experience his Love. 

 



The beginning is marked by the opening of the Holy Door of Mercy in the Cathedral. 
Look at the eyes of Jesus... This year of Mercy. Discover his face in the needy...

 

 

 

Kenya can change after Pope's visit

Kitui Diocese Bishop, Anthony Muheria says he is optimistic that Pope Francis’ visit will inspire Kenyans to be better people.

 

In an interview with Kenyan Catholic ‘Waumini News Today,’ after celebrating Holy Mass at the weekend National Eucharistic Congress that was held at the Shrine of Mary in Subukia, Nakuru, Bishop Muheria, who is also the Apostolic Administrator of Machakos Diocese said Pope Francis’ address to the nation will have far-reaching impact in a country ravaged by corruption, negative ethnicity and divisive politics.

 

‘’We are waiting to hear what the Holy Father will say, but excited that the Pope is the voice of Christ and he will speak to the youth, the poor whom he has a soft spot for, the leaders and the whole nation, surely that is a flood of grace that will make our country change and will give us the impulse we need to really change because we need to change as country.

 

 Describing the Holy Father as an inspiring personification of humility, love, prayer and care for creation, Bishop Muheria said this visit will bring more Kenyans back to the Church.

 “Pope Francis is coming to Africa for the first time and starting his visit with Kenya.  It is a privilege we do not deserve, God has been very kind to us,” He said

 

He called on political leaders and the faithful to open their hearts and listen to the Holy Father’s message and to be able to live up to the Christian faith. He invited them also to come in large numbers, to pray and to see the Pope.

 

Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Chairman, Bishop Philip Anyolo together with the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan, Archbishop Charlese Daniel Balvo encouraged the faithful in Kenya to prepare themselves spiritually to welcome and receive the Successor of Peter as he visits the country from 25th to 27th, November, 2015.

 

The National Eucharistic congress was attended by 18 Kenyan Bishops, hundreds of consecrated men and women and more than twenty thousand faithful from different Dioceses of the country.

 

(Rose Achiego in Nairobi, Kenya)

Story courtesy of http://en.radiovaticana.va/

Dicoesan Pastoral council kicks off at Kitui Pastoral centre

 

The Diocesan Pastoral council has kicked off at Kitui Pastoral Centre with a representation of over eighty faith from all the parishes.

 

Can 511 defines Pastoral Council as a body of faithful whose main role is mainly to study and weigh matters which concern pastoral work in the diocese and propose ways of bringing them to conclusion.

 

In his opening remarks, His Lordship Rt. Rev. Anthony Muheria has requested all the members to participate fully in the two day council in which issues affecting pastoral work in the will be discussed. This year’s Diocesan Pastoral Council will focus mainly on diocesan statistics (Sacraments), Our Lady of Protection shrine, museve, year of mercy 2016 and pastoral strategic plan.

 

 

Before the commencement of the meeting, members had an opportunity to reflect about the papal visit to Kenya. They expressed their joy and gratitude for witnessing his visit and attending the main events. Bishop Muheria gave out the rosaries he received from the pope to ten members through raffle draw. Each member received a photo of the photo.

 

“I was overwhelmed by the Pope’s simplicity of using a simple vehicle compared to fuel guzzlers used by big people. I learnt to be simple in my Priesthood/Christianity and take good care of the poor,” Said Fr. Nicodemus Muithi, Father in charge, Mutito Parish.

 

 

The Holy Father's speech during his Meeting with the youth at Kasarani Stadium-Nairobi on 27th, November, 2015


Mr President,
My Brother Bishops,
Dear Friends, 
 
I thank you for your warm welcome this morning.  It is wonderful to be with you, and to experience your vitality and joy, so beautifully expressed through song and dance.  I wish to thank Bishop Anthony Muheria for his words offered on your behalf, and the young people who have shared their testimonies with us.  It is not always easy to speak so openly about our lives and faith.  But when we do, when we speak honestly of who we are, we come to know one another better and we deepen our friendship.  We begin to see that we are not so different and that we are not alone.  We are walking the same journey of faith.  

As you know, this is my first visit to Africa, and you have made me feel at home.  I ask you, however, not only to receive me, Francis, with such enthusiasm, but to receive the one in whose name I come, Jesus Christ.  Because, that is why we are here together this morning, to stand strong in our faith, so that unafraid, we may live joyful and full lives according to God's will for each of us.  
 
This is the message I bring.  This is the testimony I offer to you.  I invite you, "at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ!" (Evangelii Gaudium, 3).  Tell the Lord that you love him and that you wish to be faithful to him.  I urge you, do not be Christians in name only, but in all your thoughts, words and deeds.  This may seem difficult at times.  We are often so busy and we leave little room for the things that matter most.  Certainly, we can be busy with many good things, such as work, studies and the responsibilities of family and friendship.  We think that God is always there, so he can wait, and when I find a little time, I will give it to him.  But we all know what happens when we think this way.  God loses first place in our lives, and life loses its flavour, its direction, its focus.
 
And so, we must fall in love with Jesus again every day, and give ourselves anew to him.  For when we have a relationship with Jesus, we can see those things which draw us to God, and those that lead us away from him.  Love changes us!  Here is what a very wise priest, Father Pedro Arrupe, once said about this:
"Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way.  What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.  It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.  Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything".  
 
 Let Jesus be your first love, the Love which brings joy to all the other loves which you encounter on the path of life!  May you find him in the Scriptures, and meet him in the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist and confession.
 
When we know and love Jesus, we become one with him and his Body, the Church.  We belong to him, and we belong to one another.  How important this relationship is, which begins with faith given to us by God.  It is a seed he plants and tends in order to bring forth a harvest worthy of heaven.   
 
Jesus cares for us in two essential ways, through the Church and through our families.  In the Church, we receive the gift of divine life through Baptism.  We are strengthened in that gift by the Holy Spirit in Confirmation.  We are nourished by the Eucharist and consoled by God's mercy and forgiveness in Confession.  And we can never forget the love and witness which come to us from our families, our priests and religious, our catechists and fellow parishioners, who daily grow, and frequently struggle, in their own lives of faith.  
 
In our families God teaches us to love him and how to live with one another in charity and peace.  Like parish communities and institutions, our families are not always perfect, and are often reminders of the need for conversion, forgiveness, patience and mutual encouragement.  Families are schools of prayer and mercy, where we learn how to live in the love which unites the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  There, children learn God's ways from their parents and grandparents, how to pray and, most importantly, how to forgive.  But children also teach their elders.  By their simplicity, humility and unconditional love, they remind all of us that Jesus calls us to become like children, "for to such belongs the kingdom of God" (Mt 19:14).  May you be good sons and daughters, loving parents to your children, attentive to the wisdom of your grandparents, and ever ready to reach out to the poor and those who do not have a family.
 
Our time together this morning will continue to be an encouragement for me throughout my visit to Africa.  I ask you to accompany me with your prayers, because I need them so much.  I would also like to ask you to do something: leave this place today with a new commitment to love Jesus, to rekindle that gift of faith which he has given you.  By that love, and by your fidelity to the Gospel, you will be beacons of hope in Kenyan society.  You will show that human dignity is worth more than possessions; that the family is the most essential cell of society; that chastity and marriage are gifts of God which not only fulfil the person, but enrich the community and strengthen relationships; that an honest society seeks not the profit or advantage of the few, but the good of all.  You will draw people to the love of God which gives meaning and direction to our lives.
 
My friends, Kenya is a country blessed with natural beauty, bountiful resources and a long history.  But its greatest treasure lies in its people, especially its elderly who preserve its wisdom, and its young who foretell its future.  May Almighty God bless you, your families, and all the Kenyan people, and may he grant you peace, prosperity and great joy!

Pope Francis message to Kenyans during the State House Meeting with the Public Authorities of Kenya and the Diplomatic Corps on 25th, November 2015

Mr President,
Honourable Government and Civil Leaders,
Distinguished Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
My Brother Bishops,
 
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am most grateful for your warm welcome on this, my first visit to Africa.  I thank you, Mr President, for your kind words in the name of the Kenyan people, and I look forward to my stay among you.  Kenya is a young and vibrant nation, a richly diverse society which plays a significant role in the region.  In many ways your experience of shaping a democracy is one shared by many other African nations.  Like Kenya, they too are working to build, on the solid foundations of mutual respect, dialogue and cooperation, a multiethnic society which is truly harmonious, just and inclusive.
 
Yours too is a nation of young people.  In these days, I look forward to meeting many of them, speaking with them, and encouraging their hopes and aspirations for the future.  The young are any nation's most valuable resource.  To protect them, to invest in them and to offer them a helping hand, is the best way we can ensure a future worthy of the wisdom and spiritual values dear to their elders, values which are the very heart and soul of a people.
 
 Kenya has been blessed not only with immense beauty, in its mountains, rivers and lakes, its forests, savannahs and semi-deserts, but also by an abundance of natural resources.  The Kenyan people have a strong appreciation of these God-given treasures and are known for a culture of conservation which does you honour.  The grave environmental crisis facing our world demands an ever greater sensitivity to the relationship between human beings and nature.  We have a responsibility to pass on the beauty of nature in its integrity to future generations, and an obligation to exercise a just stewardship of the gifts we have received.  These values are deeply rooted in the African soul.  In a world which continues to exploit rather than protect our common home, they must inspire the efforts of national leaders to promote responsible models of economic development.

In effect, there is a clear link between the protection of nature and the building of a just and equitable social order.  There can be no renewal of our relationship with nature, without a renewal of humanity itself (cf. Laudato Si', 118).  To the extent that our societies experience divisions, whether ethnic, religious or economic, all men and women of good will are called to work for reconciliation and peace, forgiveness and healing.  In the work of building a sound democratic order, strengthening cohesion and integration, tolerance and respect for others, the pursuit of the common good must be a primary goal.  Experience shows that violence, conflict and terrorism feed on fear, mistrust, and the despair born of poverty and frustration.  Ultimately, the struggle against these enemies of peace and prosperity must be carried on by men and women who fearlessly believe in, and bear honest witness to, the great spiritual and political values which inspired the birth of the nation
 
HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE     

 Ladies and Gentlemen, the advancement and preservation of these great values is entrusted in a special way to you, the leaders of your country's political, cultural and economic life.  This is a great responsibility, a true calling, in the service of the entire Kenyan people.  The Gospel tells us that from those to whom much has been given, much will be demanded (Lk 12:48).  In that spirit, I encourage you to work with integrity and transparency for the common good, and to foster a spirit of solidarity at every level of society.  I ask you in particular to show genuine concern for the needs of the poor, the aspirations of the young, and a just distribution of the natural and human resources with which the Creator has blessed your country.  I assure you of the continued efforts of the Catholic community, through its educational and charitable works, to offer its specific contribution in these areas.

Dear friends, I am told that here in Kenya it is a tradition for young schoolchildren to plant trees for posterity.  May this eloquent sign of hope in the future, and trust in the growth which God gives, sustain all of you in your efforts to cultivate a society of solidarity, justice and peace on the soil of this country and throughout the great African continent.  I thank you once more for your warm welcome, and upon you and your families, and all the beloved Kenyan people, I invoke the Lord's abundant blessings.

Mungu abariki Kenya!
God bless Kenya

Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis at the University of Nairobi on Thursday, 26 November 2015

God’s word speaks to us in the depths of our heart.  Today God tells us that we belong to him.  He made us, we are his family, and he will always be there for us.  “Fear not”, he says to us, “I have chosen you and I promise to give you my blessing” (cf. Is 44:2).

We hear this promise in today’s first reading.  The Lord tells us that in the desert he will pour forth water on the thirsty land; he will cause the children of his people to flourish like grass and luxuriant willows.  We know that this prophecy was fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  But we also see it fulfilled wherever the Gospel is preached and new peoples become members of God’s family, the Church.  Today we rejoice that it was fulfilled in this land.  Through the preaching of the Gospel, you too became part of the great Christian family.

Isaiah’s prophecy invites us to look to our own families, and to realize how important they are in God’s plan.  Kenyan society has long been blessed with strong family life, a deep respect for the wisdom of the elderly and love for children.  The health of any society depends on the health of its families.  For their sake, and for the good of society, our faith in God’s word calls us to support families in their mission in society, to accept children as a blessing for our world, and to defend the dignity of each man and woman, for all of us are brothers and sisters in the one human family.

In obedience to God’s word, we are also called to resist practices which foster arrogance in men, hurt or demean women, and threaten the life of the innocent unborn.  We are called to respect and encourage one another, and to reach out to all those in need.  Christian families have this special mission: to radiate God’s love, and to spread the life-giving waters of his Spirit.  This is especially important today, for we are seeing the growth of new deserts created by a culture of materialism and indifference to others.

The Lord makes us another promise in today’s readings.  As the Good Shepherd who guides us on the paths of life, he promises to make us dwell in his own house for days unending (cf. Ps 23:6).  Here too, we see his promise fulfilled in the life of the Church.  In Baptism, he leads us beside restful waters and revives our soul; in Confirmation he anoints us with the oil of spiritual joy and strength; and in the Eucharist, he prepares a table for us, the table of his own body and blood, for the salvation of the world.

We need these gifts of grace!  Our world needs these gifts!  Kenya needs these gifts!  They strengthen us in fidelity amid adversity, when we seem to be walking “in the valley of the shadow of death”.  But they also change our hearts.  They make us more faithful disciples of the divine Master, vessels of mercy and loving kindness in a world wounded by selfishness, sin and division.  These are the gifts which God, in his providence, enables you, as men and women of faith, to contribute to the building up of your country in civil concord and fraternal solidarity.  In a particular way, they are gifts which must be shared with the young, who here, as elsewhere on this great continent, are the future of society.

Here, in the heart of this University, where the minds and hearts of new generations are being shaped, I appeal in a special way to the young people of the nation.  Let the great values of Africa’s traditions, the wisdom and truth of God’s word, and the generous idealism of your youth guide you in working to shape a society which is ever more just, inclusive and respectful of human dignity.  May you always be concerned for the needs of the poor, and reject everything that leads to prejudice and discrimination, for these things, we know, are not of God.

All of us are familiar with Jesus’ parable about the man who built his house on sand, rather than rock.  When the winds came, it fell with a mighty crash (cf.Mt 7:24-27).  God is the rock on which we are called to build.  He tells us this in the first reading, and he asks us: “Is there a God besides me?” (cf. Is 44:8).
When the Risen Jesus says, in today’s Gospel, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Mt 28:18), he is telling us that he, the Son of God, is himself the rock.  There is none besides him.  As the one Saviour of mankind, he wishes to draw men and women of every time and place to himself, so that he can bring them to the Father.  He wants all of us to build our lives on the firm foundation of his word.

That is why, after his resurrection and at the moment of his return to the Father, Jesus gave his apostles the great missionary mandate which we heard in today’s Gospel: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”.

And that is the charge which the Lord gives to each of us.  He asks us to be missionary disciples, men and women who radiate the truth, beauty and life-changing power of the Gospel.  Men and women who are channels of God’s grace, who enable his mercy, kindness and truth to become the building blocks of a house that stands firm.  A house which is a home, where brothers and sisters at last live in harmony and mutual respect, in obedience to the will of the true God, who has shown us, in Jesus, the way to that freedom and peace for which all hearts long.

May Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the rock on whom we build our lives, guide you and your families in the way of goodness and mercy all the days of your lives.  May he bless all Kenyans with his peace.

“Stand strong in faith!  Do not be afraid!”  For you belong to the Lord.

Mungu awabariki!             (God bless you!)

Mungu abariki Kenya!         (God bless Kenya!)

Address of His Holiness Pope Francis during the Ecumenical and Interreligious Meeting at the Apostolic Nunciature, Nairobi on Thursday 26 November 2015

Dear Friends,

I am grateful for your presence this morning and for the opportunity to share these moments of reflection with you.  In a particular way, I wish to thank Archbishop Wabukala and Professor El-Busaidy for their words of welcome offered on your behalf, and on behalf of their communities.  It is always important to me that, when I come to visit the Catholic faithful of a local Church, I have an occasion to meet the leaders of other Christian communities and religious traditions.  It is my hope that our time together may be a sign of the Church’s esteem for the followers of all religions; may it strengthen the bonds of friendship which we already enjoy.

To be honest, this relationship is challenging; it makes demands of us.  Yet ecumenical and interreligious dialogue is not a luxury.  It is not something extra or optional, but essential, something which our world, wounded by conflict and division, increasingly needs.

Indeed, religious beliefs and practice condition who we are and how we understand the world around us.  They are for us a source of enlightenment, wisdom and solidarity, and thus enrich the societies in which we live.  By caring for the spiritual growth of our communities, by forming minds and hearts in the truths and values taught by our religious traditions, we become a blessing to the communities in which our people live.  In democratic and pluralistic societies like Kenya, cooperation between religious leaders and communities becomes an important service to the common good.

In this light, and in an increasingly interdependent world, we see ever more clearly the need for interreligious understanding, friendship and collaboration in defending the God-given dignity of individuals and peoples, and their right to live in freedom and happiness.  By upholding respect for that dignity and those rights, the religions play an essential role in forming consciences, instilling in the young the profound spiritual values of our respective traditions, and training good citizens, capable of infusing civil society with honesty, integrity and a world view which values the human person over power and material gain.

Here I think of the importance of our common conviction that the God whom we seek to serve is a God of peace.  His holy Name must never be used to justify hatred and violence.  I know that the barbarous attacks on Westgate Mall, Garissa University College and Mandera are fresh in your minds.  All too often, young people are being radicalized in the name of religion to sow discord and fear, and to tear at the very fabric of our societies.  How important it is that we be seen as prophets of peace, peacemakers who invite others to live in peace, harmony and mutual respect!  May the Almighty touch the hearts of those who engage in this violence, and grant his peace to our families and communities.

Dear friends, this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council, at which the Catholic Church committed herself to ecumenical and interreligious dialogue in the service of understanding and friendship.  I wish to reaffirm this commitment, which is born of our conviction of the universality of God’s love and the salvation which he offers to all.  The world rightly expects believers to work together with people of good will in facing the many problems affecting our human family.  As we look to the future, let us pray that all men and women will see themselves as brothers and sisters, peacefully united in and through our differences.  Let us pray for peace!

I thank you for your attention, and I ask Almighty God to grant to you and your communities his abundant blessings.

Bishop Muheria's encounter with Pope Francis

Simple, humane, warm, a heart of mercy, humorous with deep spiritual sense-this is how the Bishop of Kitui and Apostolic Administrator of Machakos, Rt. Rev Anthony Muheria describes Pope Francis.


Bishop Muheria says the Pontiff's concern goes beyond the Church-that he is concerned about the less fortunate and the marginalized in the whole world.

In the video below by Ekweli Video Production, Bishop Muheria recounts his encounter with Pope Francis during the Ad-Limina Visit to Rome by the Catholic Bishops in Kenya in April 2015 when the bishops first suggested that Pope Francis visits Kenya.

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