A delegation of 10 people from the Catholic Diocese of Kitui visited the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on 26th September to 8th October 2018. The main aim of the visit was to strengthen the solidarity as well the relationship between the diocese of Kitui and the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis.
The delegation focused on building relationships with the people of the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis, learning about Americans faith lives and discerning on how the partnering dioceses can continue sharing resources. Delegates visited various places at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis sharing experiences, new ideas and the way forward on different matters like education, Faith formation, health care, catechesis among others.
Delegation members included Fr. Julius Muthamba, Diocesan Education Secretary, Fr. Joseph Kongo the pastoral coordinator, Rose Mbatha, Sr. Regina Gichina, Fr. George Marete, Lilian Muinde, Bendict Kinuva, Felistus Mutei and Fr. Joseph Mwongela, Vicar General who was the team leader.
To bide farewell to the delegates, a special mass was celebrated by Archbishop Hebda on 7th October at Church of St Joseph in Red Wing. The mass brought together Archbishop Hebda, Fr. Lachowitzer vicar General of the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis, Kitui delegation, St. Josephs faithful and partnership core team.
The partnership was started in 2004 and it provides opportunities for mutual sharing of faith and culture as delegations visit one another and lay out plans to work together on agreed upon projects.
For fourteen years, the partnership has been recommendable. This partnership was officially unveiled on 30th October 2005 at the Kitui Cathedral in the presence of hundreds of faithful from Kitui Diocese and the visiting delegation of 16 members from the Archdiocese of St. Paul.
An integral part of our partnership is the exchange of delegations between our peoples. In 2004, the then bishop of Kitui, Boniface Lele visited the archdiocese of St. Paul – Minneapolis and the partnership was initiated.
The five objectives of the partnership are;
- Develop closer relationships between the partners
- To help each other in strengthening our faith
- To share our resources
- To create more awareness of the partnership thus promoting it (intra/inter partners)
- Visit each other more often
Some of the notable achievements of the partnership include: Exchange visits whereby after visit from both sides, there is one year of implementation, Delegates extending their visits to assist in institutions. For example in 2014 Christine was left behind and she helped at Muthale Mission Hospital for one week, exchange of spiritual gifts for example in 2014, the archdiocese of St. Paul gave each parish in Kitui a chalice and Kitui gave the parishes of St. Paul a calabash for baptism. This was done during the 10th partnership anniversary in Kitui, Bishops from both sides being part of the partnership and supporting it, Famine intervention in Mutomo and Mutha Divisons, a supplementary feeding program implemented in combined conjunction with St. Paul and CRS Kenya, Water projects in Nuu parish where 5 dams were dug , 10,000 litre water tank projects in schools in Northern part of the Diocese, purchase of the backhoe loader which has been assisting in earth dams construction as well as road levelling, Personnel exchange program among others.