EDITORIAL BISHOPS CORNER
CHRISTMASS IS HERE ONCE AGAIN When we recall, better when we celebrate the mystery of the birth of our Lord. The mystery of the birth of Christ is the other side of the coin on the whole matrix of God’s salvation plan for mankind. By his birth, Christ became incarnated into human nature, elevating man to the level of Gods children. Christ could not have become man and man remained man. Ultimately is a matter of God’s love for us. (John 3:16)
This is my first Advent and Christmas Seasons as Bishop and shepherd of the flock of the catholic Diocese of Ngong. My apologies to all those who read the previous issue without receiving enough to chew at Bishop’s Corner, as would be expected. Be informed, however, that we made up for the thin coverage by resolving to send a more detailed one separately, especially on matters concerning this year of Faith. We take comfort in the hope that all the pastoral and spiritual events that are being and will be celebrated in our parishes, deaneries and at diocesan level be done in the light and spirit of the Year of Faith; a moment of conversion, grace and re-commitment through a conversation with Jesus in prayer, listening attentively to what the lord tells us in His Word and reaching out to those who need our help. We are already within the season of Advent, which marks the new church year, symbolizing new beginning each year. Advent is a period with much hope, as it talks to us about what can be, not merely what was. It is in that regard that much as it is a period for reflection on the Lord’s first coming in human flesh and his second coming in glory, we should not in idleness wait for Christmas occur but to prepare actively for the coming of Christ with a bang, with power. This is indeed the time to savor the desire in us to live in hope, to forgive, to share charitably what we are and have, to pray more ardently, to renew all the commitments we have made as Christians, be it in married life, religious life, priestly life, meaningful and holy relationships and so forth. By so doing, we lift our hearts to deeper life, truth and love that can find their place into our lives by God’s grace. Why does Christmas seem to be the most celebrated season with all the early preparations, admittedly by people of all faiths? Some people begin preparing as early as the month of September with decorations and heavy spending on food, clothes, household goods, entertainment and leisure. What do we really celebrate at Christmas? Fr. Krempa says “what we celebrate at Christmas is not the fact that God let himself be rediscovered by human race, but that he came in search of his people……. Finally God himself entered human history to heal it from within.” We, therefore, need to let God find us again. God in his loving mercy and compassion saw the human being whom he had created with great dignity in his own image disfigured by sin. He sent his only Son to become flesh- God with flesh on-to reverse the process by repairing and rebuilding what sin had destroyed. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life”. (John 3:16) Christmas tells us that our sadness can be turned into joy and that our past does not have to be our future. Our Lord Jesus is capable of transforming our lives with light, hope and peace. In this Year of Faith, we need to revive the power of our Baptism, renew our life in the church and restore our connection with God, others, creation and self. Have a fruitful Advent Season, a joyous Christmas and a blessed New Year, 2013. +Rt. Rev. John Oballa
CARITAS NEWS Caritas office has completed the construction of two dams one in Mashuuru with a capacity of 6000 cubic meters and the other in Lenkisem with a capacity of 11000 cubic metres,the office has gone further in supplying water tanks to this two areas of a capacity of 10000 liters. Mashuuru parish has opened a guest house which can be used for trainings and seminars with a Capacity of 45 people.
The jubilee candle was lighted to signify the start of a new journey of faith and the Bishop stressed to them on the need to ensure their candles are always lighting, the event could not end well without the sharing of the anniversary cake. NAROK MARKS WORLD EDUCATION DAY Narok deanery becomes the first deanery in the diocese to mark world education day. The event which took place on 13th October this year saw a number of schools and teachers being awarded for their contribution in Education.
YOUTH IN RWANDA A big number of youth group from the diocese joined other young people to a pilgrimage in Rwanda. They were able to visit one of the most visited shrines of our lady. They were also able to visit the place where bones of the people killed during the genocide are reserved. They were moved by what they saw and the danger of tribalism.
The event which was held at St Maryâ€™s Secondary School compound started with a mass presided over by the vicar general Fr. Ntiseiya, attracted students and teachers from both public and private institutions.
ST CHARLES LWANGA ROMBO 50TH ANNIVASARY Having been established in the year 1962 St Charles Lwanga in Rombo marked its 50th Anniversary on 4th of November this year. The celebrations which were colorfully presided over by our Bishop John Oballa attracted Christians from all the outstations.
ABOSI CWA COMMISSIONING The CWA from Ngong Parish on 28th of October travelled to Abosi to witness their fellow CWA from Abosi being commissioned. The event took place at the Holy Trinity Church grounds and was presided over by Bishop John O. Owaa assisted by the Parish Priest Fr. Francis Nganga. It was a day of joy for the whole parish.
The jubilee celebrations saw 300 getting confirmed. The event could not auger well without remembering the late Fr. George Mayalil MHM from India who really brought Rombo to where it is, perhaps the most numerous and active catholic Maasai community in the whole Diocese. Fr Mayalil initiated projects for the community with great love and worked for them in every way possible.
THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS. The secretariat staff had Mass and lunch during this great day of the Watakatifu Wote. It was also the day Mr. Charles Masangira bid farewell to the staff since he resigned from working in the Diocese. Charles has worked in the diocese for more than 15 years in various capacities. We wish Charles all the best in whatever he is going to do. 2
FOUR ORDAINED TO DIACONATE. On the 15th November Bishop John Oballa ordained Anthony Koikai, Gelison Lemaiyan, Amos Macharia and Fredrick Maina into the order of Deacons. The colorful ceremony took place at St. Joseph’s Pro Cathedral grounds. In his homily the Bishop emphasized the following to the deacons; They must be men of prayer; they must observe the Church’s discipline especially in regards to celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom. They must teach the Church’s doctrine at all time and must obey those in authority. They must be servants and not masters to the people of God. The Bishop told them that they should be role mode to others. The Bishop thanked all those who have helped them in one way or the other, e.g. the parents, catechists, and the teachers right from the nursery to the major Seminaries. He urged the Christians to continue helping the deacons to live according to their vocation, and to pray that many young men may respond to the voice of God to serve in the Church.
Bishop Oballa Congratulates the four newly ordained Deacons.
Many Priests from the Diocese and outside came with more than 800 faithful attending. MARRIAGE ENOUNTER GROUP GET TOGETHER. The Diocesan Marriage Encounter Group had their get together on the 17th November at St. Mary’s Ongata Rongai. The Holy Mass was celebrated by his Lordship Bishop John Oballa. The Bishop said that he was happy with the work being done by the group. 3
THE ROSMINIANS CELEBRATE 25 YEARS IN KENYA. The Institute of Charity commonly known as the Romanians celebrated their 25 years since they came to Kenya. Their first place was at Mukoma Road in Langata where they build the formation house. Then they moved to Ngong / Kibiko in 1998 where they build the new formation house. In 2004 they signed a contract with the Diocese to take care of Ewuaso Kedong Parish which has more than 5 outstations.
Fr. Filmati, Bishop Oballa, and Fr. Flynn during Jubilee Mass at Euwaso Kedong
The day chosen for the feast was the 18th November which was also the 15th anniversary of the Beatification of the founder, Antonio Rosmini. The feast was attended with Bishop John Oballa being the main celebrant at Mass. He praised the Rosminians for their great work in Kenya and more so in Ngong Diocese. In attendance too The Clergy attending the Jubilee Mass at Euwaso Kedong
were Frs. James Flynn the General of the Congregation and Fr.Firmati Tarimo the Provincial Superior, Priests Religious Sisters and Brothers and about 1000 laity.
Some of the Faithful attending the Jubilee Mass at Euwaso Kedong
GRADUATIONS. His Lordship Bishop John Oballa would like to congratulate Rev. Fr. Geoffrey Muhuri upon attaining a Doctorate in Theology. The graduation took place on the 5th October 2012. The thanks giving Mass was held on the 5th October 2012 at Kiserian and the Vicar General, Very Rev.Fr.John Ntiseiyia was the main celebrant. Four catechists from the Diocese graduated at Bikira Maria Catechetical Centre on the 22nd November 2012. They are; Weldon Njapit from Oloikirikirai, Christopher Keminta from Enosupukia, Denise Kamau from Ngong and and Stephen Musyoka from Ongata Rongai. CONGRATULATIONS OUR BROTHERS.
V. Rev. Fr. John Ntiseiya. VG, Rev. Dr. Fr Geoffrey Muhuri and Rev. Fr. F. Mwangi during the thanksgiving Mass
DIOCESAN RETREAT. This yearâ€™s Diocesan retreat was held at the Dimese Retreat Centre at Karen from 26th November to 30th. Bishop Anthony Muheria of Kitui Diocese facilitated. His teachings were so touching and the priests appreciated very much. The retreat was well attended.
Some of the Priests attending the Diocesan Retreat at Dimesse 5
DIOCESAN FAMILY DAY. The diocesan family day was celebrated on the 2nd December 2012 at the St. Josephâ€™s Pro cathedral Church compound. Bishop Emmanuel Okombo was the main celebrant during the Holy Mass. Bishop John Oballa, Emeritus Bishop Colin Davies together with a number of Priests concelebrated at the mass. Bishop Okombo gave a moving sermon about Advent season, and also spoke very well on self-reliance. After the Holy mass all the parishes presented their annual diocesan contributions. Mr. Mark Karbolo was the chief guest. Despite the heavy rain all went well. Many thanks to all who made this day a success. About 12,427,556 ksh was collected on that day and it is hoped that those parishes which never made it that day will send in their contributions soon to enable the diocese to run its activities. Bishop John Oballa has sent out a letter to all the parishes thanking them for the good work.
Bishops Oballa receiving donations from Mr. Mark Karbolo the chief Guest.
Bishops Oballa and Immanuel of Kericho during the Family day at Ngong
SILVER JUBILEE OF FRS. RICHARD AND FRANCIS. Frs. Richard Barabara and Francis Thumbi were ordained on the 7th December 1987. This year they are celebrating their silver jubilee. Since Fr.Francis Thumbi could not make it the Diocese postponed the celebration until 2013. However Fr. Richard celebrated two thanks giving Masses one at Oloikirikirai and another at Ngong. Our congratulations goes to all those who were ordained in the month in the December. AD MULTOS ANNOS DEAR BROTHERS!
BISHOP VISITS HIS HOME PARISH. The Bishop visited his home parish for thanksgiving masses on the weekend of 15th 16th December. On the 15th the mass was held at his father’s boma where Bishop Emmanuel Okombo and many priests joined him and on the 16th he celebrated the mass at the home parish of Holy Rosary, Nduru. Many people from the diocese attended the two occasions and the Bishop is very grateful.
Bishop Immanuel Okombo and Bishop Oballa during the home coming Mass at Mzee Owaa’s Boma.
Bishop Oballa receiving some gifts from well wishers
Some of the priests from Ngong Diocese who joined the Bishop at his home coming Masses
ORBITUARIES. Frs. Eddy Gibbons and Bernard Davenport passed on in England recently. Fr.Gibbons will be remembered for his good work at N/Enkare, Enosupukia and Narok. Fr. Davenport helped many children with school fees through Bishop Davies. He also raised money to help put up some small churches in Lolgorian and partly St. Monica in Ngong parish. Our condolences to their families, parishes and friends. May their souls rest in peace.
THE COMMUNICATION TEAM WOULD LIKE TO WISH THE BISHOP, PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS AND ALL THE READERS A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR 2013.