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Youth Ministry, Brothers CMM, Nyabururu Parish

Brothers of Our Lady Mother of Mercy, Mosocho, P.O. Box 4064 KISII, +254724877666, 020 3582505

May 09, The Ambassador /09/08 WITNESSING BROTHERHOOD AND MERCY Brothers Gerard Mopel and Pascal Washington Pose for a Photo

After Profession (Story page 2)

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WITNESSING BROTHERHOOD AND MERCY Friday, may 1 2009 Martin Mwau Kasiva, Zaccheaus Odongo Atieno and Pascal Washington Ogolla who have been in the novitiate, for the past two years, were professed. While Dennis, robinson, Philemon and Cassian entered the novitiate. How does one become a brother? This is a question we are usually asked when we talk about religious brothers. Just like any other vocation to be a brother one must have a desire to serve God is a special way as a religious person. To be a brother is not a career but a calling. One must be a catholic, baptized and receive communion regularly and also be from a catholic background. One must have a minimum grade of C plain in The Kenya, Certificate of Secondary Education (KSCE).

Before he joins he is invited to visit the brothers for few days (refer to back page). For a young man to be a brother he must undergo the following formation stages. 2


1. Visiting stage takes for 2-3 weeks. Here the candidate stays with brothers in the postulate house. He is to observe and join their religious life. Sometimes they are asked to join postulants for pastoral work like PPI in schools, visiting the sick in hospitals etc. 2. Aspirant stage. After the visiting stage is over the candidate going home so that he can decide to come and live with the brothers. If he so wishes, he is asked to come with necessary documents like certificates and recommendations from parish priests or Small Christian Community (SCC) of their home parish. The stage takes 3-6 months. 3. Postulate stage is the next stage. Postulate takes 1 year. While there, young men take courses like bible study, church history, congregational history and basic computer skills. Like in the aspirant stage they visit the sick in hospitals, teach PPI in schools, join SCC services in the area, and work with youth in the parish or outstation. 4. Novitiate When postulants enter the novitiate, they are called brothers. Their stay in the novitiate takes two years. They undergo comprehensive religious formation, and they explore the Constitution. Also known as the Rule of Life. This is done daily. They do not go home unless it very urgent. It is here that they learn the inside of religious life. With the help of the novice master the new brother will discover if God is calling him to live religious life. The new brothers are always with a novice master in and out of the community. For instance, when going for mass, birthdays, brothers’ meetings or shopping. When working on their own they must be two. Just like the disciples who were sent in twos. In the second year of the novitiate the brothers are sent for pastoral experience to other brothers’ communities. In this new community the brother is under the community superior. The main aim is to experience working with people at the same time practicing mercy and brotherhood in their place of work. 5. Profession of the First Vows. When the young men have undergone all the mentioned stages, they are recommended by their novice master to take first vows. At this stage the brothers now become members of the Congregation. As a 3


tradition with the Brothers CMM in Kenya, May 1 is a day for profession. In the Eucharistic cerebration the brothers promise to live the three vows poverty, chastity and obedience. They do this to the Provincial Superior who accepts them on behalf of the General Superior. In the presence of all the brothers, parents and friends the newly professed brothers sign a document which acts as a confirmation of their vows. After this exercise there is eating and drinking.

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OUR DREAM HAS COME TRUE, D/P Tells YCSers Just before the closing week of the first term, the Young Christian Students (YCS) of Cardinal Otunga High school came together to evaluate their participation in the activities of the term. Soft drinks and snacks were available. They invited the D/Principal, Mr. Ochoi Philip, the 2 YCS patrons, Youth Minister, Br Richard and Sacristan Reuben. They were happy about the existence of the YCS club and its impact in Cardinal school community. The YCS students are role models to the whole school, they expressed. They lead others observing discipline, performing in academics and active in sports. “YCS movement is set to make a difference” The D/P said. “With the help of the Holy Spirit our dream has come true. We foresee a big number of students joining your club.” We are happy to say God has blessed us much. The YCS, I see now, is not the same I witnessed 3 years ago. God has plans for us. My dear YCSers, we have everything here, he challenged them. We have read in the newspapers, seen on TV on how people are starving without water and food. Others are in the hospitals. As young Christians we have to thank God for his gift of beautiful nature and pray for courage and protection.” Before he concluded his speech the D/P gave them a challenging assignment: “On Fridays in the morning we usually have school assembly. Will it be possible for you to lead the rest with a song and word of prayer? He finally told them to invest their energy in doing good works.

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WHY THE MOON WAXES AND WANES There was once an old woman who was very poor, who lived in a small mud hut thatched with mats made from the leaves of the elephant grass in the bush. She was often very hungry, as there was no one to look after her. In the olden days the moon used often to come down to the earth, although she lived most of the time in the sky. The moon was a fat woman with a skin of a sheep, and she was full of fat meat. She was quite round, and in the night used to give plenty of light. The moon was sorry for the poor starving old woman, so she came to her and said, "You may cut some of my meat away for your food." This the old woman did every evening, and the moon got smaller and smaller until you could scarcely see her at all. Of course this made her give very little light, and all the people began to grumble in consequence and to ask why it was that the moon was getting so thin. At last the people went to the old woman's house where there happened to be a little girl sleeping. She had been there for some little time, and had seen the moon come down every evening, and the old woman go out with her knife and carve her daily supply of meat out of the moon. As she was very frightened, she told the people all about it, so they determined to set a watch on the movements of the old woman. That very night the moon came down as usual, and the old woman went out with her knife and basket to get her food; but before she could carve any meat all the people rushed out shouting, and the moon was so frightened that she went back again into the sky, and never came down again to the earth. The old woman was left to starve in the bush. Ever since that time the moon has hidden herself most of the day, as she was so frightened, and she still gets very thin once a month, but later on she gets fat again, and when she is quite fat she gives plenty of light all the night;

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CARING FOR THE IS ENVIRONMENT IS GOD’S COMMAND, FR MATOKE Tells Youth The Brothers CMM held a youth seminar at Kebirigo parish for three days in April 2009. About two hundred young people turned up. It is the second time the brothers are having such a meeting. The other one was April 2008. During the closing mass Fr Matoke, the Parish priest stressed caring for the environment. This was one of the main topics of discussion. He said that the earth is like a gift from a friend that needs care and protection. The following is part of his message to youth. After mass he led the young people for a tree planting ceremony (see picture below). The earth is the Lord’s and all it holds, and those who live there (Ps24:1). God is king of all the earth (Ps 47:8). We live on earth, what we posses comes from the earth. It means that the earth is just a gift. How do we care for our gifts? We keep them in a save place, where they cannot be destroyed. As young people we are also asked to care for the earth. The Kenya Youth Policy, article 8.5 of 2002, encourages youth to be involved in cleaning campaigns, tree planting exercises, agro-forestry activities. Wangari Mathai once said that when you destroy nature, it will react and destroy you. Think of what has happened to the Mau forest. Logging and burning of charcoal has led to persistent drought in the country. In the beginning God put Adam and Eve in the garden and gave them responsibility of caring for it, be the stewards (Gen 1:27). The Earth and all what is in it, is God’s creation (Gen 1:1). We all know the importance of trees. Imagine a family, a country or a world without trees. Trees help us in many ways, medicine, nourishment, reduce flooding, building materials, absorb carbon dioxide. The list is endless. But many times we do not realize the importance 9


of trees simply because they are all around us, or we take them for granted. In short without trees no life. In the parable of the sower jesus speaks of a good soil produces a rich harvest. The soil that is polluted cannot produce a 100 fold. An African believes that a good harvest is God’s blessing. You can only have a good harvest if the soil good and is cared for and planting done at the right time. Tips on how to care for the environment in our school or home 1. Collect all the plastic bags and burn them 2. Do not leave the tap running when not using water 3. Plant one tree to mark special events like birthdays, sports day, school opening day, an achievement at the end of the year you will have a beautiful garden etc 4. Clean drainage channels regularly 5. Collect empty old containers.

TONGUE TWISTERS, Valentine Nyamwaro, Ibara-Kebirigo parish Susan shined shoes and socks; Socks and shoes shines Susan. When she ceased shining shoes and socks, the shoes and socks shocked Susan.

RIDDLES, Leonida Makori , Marani-Nyabururu Parish 10


What goes round the house and in the house but never touches the house? The sun What gets wet when drying? A towel What comes once in a minute, twice in a moment, but never in a thousand years? The letter M I have a little house in which I live all alone. It has no doors or windows, and if I want to go out I must break through the wall. A chick in an egg What belongs to you, but others use it more than you do? Your name

CARDINAL NJUE BANS (Charismatic Renewal) HOLY SPIRIT MOVEMENT – CISA The Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA, May 19, 2009) reported that thousands of Catholics in the Archdiocese of Nairobi are unhappy with a decision by Cardinal John Njue to suspend activities of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement in unclear circumstances. The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is a global movement within the Catholic Church that seeks to foster an awareness of the gift of God’s Spirit and to help believers develop a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Sources told CISA that Cardinal Njue announced his decision three months ago on February 20 during a meeting with some 200 officials of the movement from the archdiocese. The movement had spread to about half of the archdiocese’s 100 parishes. The immediate former archbishop of Nairobi, Raphael Ndingi mwana ‘a Nzeki, had assigned it a chaplain. Fr. John Muindi, the chaplain, told CISA that “His Eminence said they [members of the movement] should no longer have any public activities.” The priest said he did not know why the cardinal made that 11


decision. Fr Muindi said he did not want to discuss the issue further as “all movements have their own challenges". He would be seeing Cardinal Njue “one of these days to find out his final decision.” Cardinal Njue reportedly told officials of the Charismatic movement that he was suspending their activities for a short time to investigate the movement. When contacted on Tuesday afternoon, the cardinal’s office said only he could comment on the issue and that he was out of the office. A Catholic Charismatic Renewal official described the ban as “a sad situation,” adding that the cardinal did not consult the officials of the movement. “It was a one man decision.” He further said members of the movement did not want to disobey the cardinal but they had become impatient as the ban entered its fourth month. “Members have been calling me to find out the way forward,” he said. A long-time member of the movement described the ban as “present-day persecution of those who want to worship God differently.” She wondered why the cardinal did not talk to the movement’s chaplain or its officials before taking his decision. The Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement is thought to have been born out of a retreat at an American Catholic university run by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit in February 1967. Many of the students at the retreat claimed to have been “baptized in the Holy Spirit.” The movement began to spread out and by the 1990s counted a membership of over 100 million Catholics worldwide. The movement is based on the belief in certain charisms or gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit such as ability to speak in tongues, heal and cast out demons, which Christians believe existed in the early Church as described in the New Testament. Three popes have acknowledged the movement: Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI. John Paul II stated that the movement was integral to the renewal of the entire Catholic Church. 12


In March 1992, John Paul II stated: “At this moment in the Church's history, the Charismatic Renewal can play a significant role in promoting the much-needed defence of Christian life in societies where secularism and materialism have weakened many people's ability to respond to the Spirit and to discern God's loving call.� Early this month when some 20,000 members of the Italian chapter of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal gathered for their 32nd national assembly, Pope Benedict sent a letter to them expressing his hopes for "an abundant outpouring of the fruits of the Paraclete [Holy Spirit]� on the gathering. He also spoke of his desire that the meeting would "enkindle a renewed adherence to the crucified and risen Christ, a deep fraternal communion and a joyous evangelical witness."

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A GOOD SLEEP GIVES YOU LONGER AND HEALTHIER LIFE I have a friend called Leonidar. She is studying at Egerton University. One day we were travelling together from Mosocho to Suneka where were going to give a workshop to young people. When we started the journey Leonidar was telling me one story after another. I was just listening and driving. For about 15 minutes she kept quite and I thought she is thinking about another interesting story. No I was mistaken, Leonidar was taking a nap until we reached Suneka. I had to wake her up. It was not the first day I have seen her sleep during the day. Another time was, during ordination at the local parish. What amuses me is that she is not sleeping at the night. Leonidar is not alone with this problem. Many young people or even adults have problems with sleep for different reasons. They range form thinking about the future, interviews they are promised, examination, mid term-tests, family problems especially if parents are always fighting or about broken relationships. It is worth to remember that sleeping better helps one fight off illness. People who sleep less tend to have high blood pressure. Those who sleep 5 hours or less at night are more likely to suffer from hypertension than those who sleep 7 hrs or more. People who work night shifts for the first time may have high levels of stress, hormones than those who work during the day. They may also experience headache or stomach problems, signs of insomnia. Anything that disturbs the quality and quantity of sleep may have long-term consequences for both mind and body. For students lack of sleep contributes to poor concentration in class, poor memory and inability to communicate with each other or to their teachers. They as well forget to do assignment they were given few days ago. Those who are sleep deprived crave for sugary foods, you find them eating sweets, cakes, or sodas. Such students have appetite. Eating a lot of food lead to obesity. To improve your health make sure you get a good sleep. At least 7-8 hours a night. To have a good sleep follow your routine. Put it in your study room. Our bodies get used to the time we sleep and wake up. So stick to regular bedtime. Changing your sleep routine confuses your inbuilt body clock leading to insufficient rest. Do 14


exercises daily for 30 minutes. Strenuous exercise during the day can lift anxiety and help unwind your body. A brisk walk to the shop is ideal or walking around the field 5 times is also good. It is hygienic to take a bath before sleep. When you can manage to have warm bath it is the best. Sometimes bedrooms are organized. Try to keep the room or dormitory restful and clean. Collect the T-shirt or socks under your bed. Having a quite, dark and cool environment is most conducive to sound sleep in the night. Put off your phone or radio for peaceful sleep. Take a regular check on your mattress, blankets, bed sheets and pillow. Sometimes they need to be aired or replaced. Next time you find yourself sleeping in a matatu, in class or in church, evaluate how your past night night. Otherwise have a good night today!

PICTURES by Br Richard G. Page 1 Br Paskal (right) from oyugis newly professed with Gerard Mopel (left) from Lesotho second year novice. Page 2 Br Martin receives a gift fro his sister. Page 7 Fr Matoke, Parish priest Kebirigo, planted a tree to mark the closing of the youth workshop in April 2009. Page 12 Ambassadors (from right) Janet, Pricilla and Agatha help a young boy who came for the brothers profession may 1, 2009 at Sigona. The Ambassadors of a Worldwide Brotherhood share the brothers’ spirituality.

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