2016-03-15 20:03:00

Kenyans celebrate Pope Francis

As the universal Church celebrates the third anniversary of the pontificate of Pope Francis,  Kenyans have been remembering the Holy Father’s messages during his Apostolic visit to the country, in November last year.

This week, at his residence, the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya Archbishop Charles Balvo encouraged the Kenyan Government to show genuine concern for the needs of the poor, consider the aspirations of the young and strive to create a just distribution of natural and human resources with which Kenya is blessed.

“The many brothers and sisters of the Gospel whom he (Pope Francis) met for the first time, to us the Catholic community, Bishops, priests, religious men and women, catechists and lay faithful especially the young people; he left words of inspiration and guidance,” said Archbishop Balvo.

At the same time, the Nuncio appreciated the intensive papal preparations and the cooperation that exists between the Catholic Church in Kenya with the government. The Nuncio recalled the joy and sense of unity that Pope Francis’ visit elicited among Kenyans.

“The two days of the Holy Father and his entourage’s visit were full of excitement and enthusiasm which even the rain could not stop,” The Nuncio recalled.

Speaking at the same time, Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Chairman, Bishop Philip Anyolo, on behalf of Kenyans, wished the Holy Father long life and assured him of the prayers of Kenyans.

“We want to take this opportunity to assure the Holy Father that we shall continue praying for him so that the good Lord, who has begun the good work in him bring it to completion on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Anyolo of the Catholic Diocese of Homabay.

Kiminini Member of Parliament, Chris Wamalwa who was the guest of honour at the event said he was elated that Kenya and the Holy See had come a long way in building a bond that is expected to continue to strengthen further in the future.

“Our shared vision of actively engaging in improving the lives of Kenyans are only two important landmarks in the long list of issues that bring us together and make us true companions on a journey of mutual cooperation for the benefit of our people,” he said.

Wamalwa is also the Vice Chair of the Catholic Parliamentarians Association in Kenya.

The celebration was also attended by Nairobi Archbishop, John Cardinal Njue, several Kenyan Bishops, priests, religious men and women, laity, diplomats accredited to Kenya and several government officials.  .

Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, a papal conclave elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as Pope on 13 March of that year. Bergoglio took the pontifical name of Francis.

 (Sources: CISA/Rose Achiego in Nairobi)


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