St. Augustine’s Catholic Parish, Nguutani

St. Augustine’s Catholic Parish was opened in 1986 after being curved from Migwani and Muthale parishes.  It has 24 outstations which are about 10kms to 15kms apart. The furthest outstation is Thaana Nzau which lies on the banks of Tana River 38kms from the parish centre. The parish has a population of 13,000 served by two priests, one deacon and 10 catechists. Rev. Fr. Robert Kalima is the Father in charge.

Mass is celebrated once per month on Sundays at each outstation church. Mass is also celebrated to ach station once or twice through small Christian communities. During the other Sundays, the catechists and lay people organize services without a priest. There are three mercy sisters working in the parish. One in charge of the mercy commercial college, the second in charge of the girls polytechnic and the third is teaching at a local public school.

Over the last five years, the parish has gone through a tremendous growth where increment of church goers is noticeable. Secondly, validation of marriages has become the order of the day with many adults participating in the sacramental life of the church.  Thirdly, the Christians have come to understand their role in the church as pertains parish and out-station leadership and self reliance/sustainability.

However, this rapid growth of faith poses as a challenge of sustainability. The priests need to support the Christians more but owing to the number of station between two priests, it’s not possible. There is need to sub-divide the parish to shorten the distances covered to reach the Christian Communities.

The parish has a parish centre which accommodates about 50 people for seminars and workshops. The centre is used to empower church groups. Its also used for income generation. The parish also has a posho mill and a dispensary which not only enable the parish to offer service to its people but also help to generate some income for parish support.