In his message for the World Day of Social Communications 2019, Pope Francis urges responsible use of the internet, saying it should be used to liberate not to entrap.
The Project is coordinated by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Commission for Social Communications through the National Executive Secretary Dr Elias Mokua, SJ. Online News Editor is Rose Achiego.
By Rose Achiego and Janet Hinga, Nairobi, Thursday, 2nd, April 2020
The Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) – Commission for Social Communications and the Bishop of Kakamega Rt. Rev Joseph Obanyi on 1st, April 2020 launched Ukweli TV at Radio Waumini premises in Kasarani, Nairobi.
“In the prevailing circumstances, our intention is to proclaim the good news to all the ends of the earth as directed by Jesus Christ in Mathew 28;19,” he said. Bishop Obanyi encouraged the mainstream and social media and all channels of communication to give people hope. “Media should be the source of hope and preparedness and not despair. May they be factual, professional and ethical in their coverage and reporting,” he said.
On the rising cases of deaths and new infections COVID-19 pandemic, Bishop Obanyi who is also the Apostolic Administrator of Bungoma said, “I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to all those families who have lost their loved ones due to this pestilence of Coronavirus and to re-state the church stands in solidarity with all those individuals suffering and infected with the virus, especially those in quarantine and isolated in the hospitals and at home.”
He commended officials and professionals that are at the forefront in battling the disease especially the workers and caregivers saying, “May God protect and keep them safe in their line of duty, we pray that the doctors and scientist may soon develop a successful Coronavirus vaccine,” he said.
He also encourages the faithful to take the current situation as an opportunity to re-examine their conscience as human beings by amending their wayward ways so as to experience the mercy of God.
The Prelate said the Church is in solidarity with the Government and supports measures put across in combating the current pandemic, “The Catholic Church is fully behind and supportive of the Governments efforts and measures that have been taken so far to sensitize the public and the insistence on the precautions to be taken by all to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
He called on religious leaders and faith communities to fully cooperate with the Government in ensuring that the spread of COVID-19 is minimised.
“Let us all adhere strictly to the clarion call of social distancing and take the sanitary measures as prescribed by our public health officials. Religious leaders should be in the forefront to support these Government initiatives and never at all be seen as the so- called ‘’missing link’’, he said.
The launch of Ukweli TV came at a time when the country was in mourning Archbishop Emeritus Raphael Simon Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki. Bishop Obanyi expressed his deepest condolences and recalled the late Archbishop as a man who stood for justice and truth at a time when Kenya was struggling for a multiparty democracy.
“He was a simple pastor and most accessible to all. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.
Ukweli TV has developed from Ukweli Video Productions a Catholic Project founded on 18 May 1981 by a Maryknoll Missioner, the Late Rev. Fr. Richard J. Quinn, as one of the first Christian professional centres in Africa.
Ukweli Video Productions has filmed in several African countries, namely: Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi and Zimbabwe. Some of it programmes have been aired in various platforms including national and international televisions.
By Paschal Norbert, Nairobi, Thursday, 2nd, April 2020
Nyeri Archbishop Most Rev. Anthony Muheria has eulogized the Late Archbishop Emeritus Raphael Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki as a loving Bishop who instilled virtue of servant leadership among the clergy and the faithful through his service to God and humanity.
“He was an amazingly loving father to all of us: to the priests and Christians at large,” he said.
Archbishop Muheria recalls how the late Archbishop Emeritus Ndingi helped him to make a decision in becoming a priest at a time when his family had difficulties in accepting his choice of vocation. He was 30 years old then
“I went to seek him for advice. He spoke to me, encouraged and advised me that the calling that God gives you, defend it and nurture it, for it is not for you but the service of others,” Archbishop Muheria said.
His Grace Muheria explains that the Late Archbishop Emeritus’ simplicity of heart enabled him to be open and candid with everyone from all walks of life.
“He never tried to play games with people’s mind, he said exactly what he thought and what was in his mind,” he said.
The late Archbishop Ndingi was known to be a fearless human rights defender who never shied away from calling out those in authority. A battle that Archbishop Muheria asserts that he would never have handled had it not been for his steadfast love and faith in the almighty God.
“He was a brave soul because he had a lot of spiritual strength,” he said.
In addition, Archbishop Muheria remembers the late Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki as a man who was selfless and caring. A man who had the poor and the marginalized at heart.“He is known to have walked from many villages visiting the people’s houses and even meeting with the street hawkers in Nakuru,” Archbishop Muheria recalls.
However, he says that little is known about the late Archbishop’s prayer life, which was his most powerful strength amidst tribulations. Archbishop Muheria remembers that the late Ndingi advised him that prayer should be the bedrock of his mission when he became a bishop.
“As a bishop, prayer should be accompanied by an action of care, for the people of God and starting with the priests,” he said. Adding that, “He was a tremendous and exemplary Bishop who cared and prayed for his flock: who when his flock was in danger warned and went to look for those who were errand.”
He conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the late Archbishop’s family, friends and the Church in Kenya. He prays that God grants him the crown of saints and martyrs in heaven.
By Samuel Waweru, Nairobi, Wednesday, 1st, April 2020
The late Most Rev. Raphael Ndingi Mwana a‘Nzeki, Archbishop Emeritus of Nairobi, will forever remain in the minds and hearts of many Kenyans for his fearlessness in calling out the political class in the country to account for their misdeeds.
Outspoken and a household name, many will remember him for fighting injustices, especially in the lead up to the introduction of multi-party democracy in the country. The late Archbishop who celebrated his 50th episcopal anniversary in August 2019, is famous for standing up against the KANU regime during the 1980’s and early 1990’s when he was Bishop of Nakuru.
In 1992 for instance, Archbishop Ndingi distinguished his fearlessness by openly standing with the victims of tribal clashes in the Rift Valley, and laying the blame on the KANU Government. He is remembered for engaging the provincial administration and the police for their role in the ethnic clashes of 1992 in Molo where 2000 people are reported to have died. In those days, it was rare for people to openly oppose Government Officials, especially those from the dreaded Provincial Administration.
In the late 1980’s, Archbishop Ndingi opposed the KANU regime’s que voting system, famously known as ‘Mlolongo’ that forced voters to line up behind their preferred candidate. In his view, the ‘Mlolongo’ system denied citizens their freedom and demeaned their dignity while at the same time created an atmosphere of intimidation and fear.
Earlier in 1969, while he was Bishop of Machakos, Archbishop Ndingi stood up against local politicians who were coercing people to vote for them by forcefully administering oaths to them. He also had an altercation with former powerful cabinet minister Paul Ngei, demonstrating his calling in promoting democracy and good governance.
The other aspect that is little known by the people is his passion for education. Soon after his priestly ordination in 1961, he was appointed as Education Secretary of the Archdiocese of Nairobi where he excelled in his role. The Bishops’ Conference asked then Archbishop of Nairobi, Most Rev. J.J. McCarthy, to release him to serve them as the National Education Secretary. Among his notable achievements as Education Secretary is the elevation in the 1960s of some leading Catholic Secondary Schools such as Loreto High School Limuru and Mangu High School to offer ‘A’ Level classes by engaging with the Ministry of Education.
The late Archbishop was himself a self-educated man. After completing his priesthood studies in Tanzania and being ordained priest, he studied privately for his Cambridge School Certificate, posting excellent results. Thereafter, he was admitted to the University of Rochester in the US to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History. Waithaka Waihenya and Fr. Ndikaru wa Teresia narrate in their book ‘A Voice Unstilled: Archbishop Ndingi Mwana ‘a Nzeki’ that the late Archbishop began schooling because the local chief threatened to fine his father one cow if he failed to send one of his children to school. Due to his belief in life-long education, Archbishop Ndingi established a kitty to educate people from poor backgrounds with a view to empowering them.
During his entire episcopate in Machakos, Nakuru and Nairobi, he invested heavily in education, not only of his priests but he also sought resources and opportunities for many people to further their training in various professions.
Besides, Archbishop Ndingi may be described as unconventional in some of his actions as Bishop. While serving as Bishop of Nakuru, he ordained into priesthood, the late Rev. Fr. Joseph Mlengera, a catechist who had little formal education and who never went to the seminary. He also ordained Rev. Fr. Patrick Lang’at, a person living with disability to the consternation of many who though this was a breach of the Canon Law.
Archbishop Ndingi was a champion of ecumenism and once preached at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi at the invitation of his friend, the Late Archbishop David Gitari, receiving a standing ovation for his charismatic sermon.
His motto as bishop was MWAMINI MUNGU SI MTOVU, meaning One who believes in God lacks not. It probably captures best his fundamental option in life, what he stands and lives for.
Death has robbed the Church and Nation of a courageous, pastoral and visionary man of God who touched the lives of all the people he encountered.
May his soul rest in eternal peace at God’s heavenly abode.
By Rose Achiego, Nairobi, Wednesday, 1st, April 2020
The Archbishop of Mombasa, Most Rev. Martin Kivuva, has eulogised the Late Archbishop Emeritus Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki as a loving bishop who cultivated a good working relationship with the clergy and religious working under him and with him.
“He also loved his family. He would organise for annual Mass every January in Mwala Parish to celebrate with his family. He supported family unity,” Archbishop Kuvuva recalled.
Archbishop Kivuva said the late Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki valued education and supported needy children by setting up an education kitty to raise funds for their school fees and other needs.
“He empowered students from poor backgrounds,” he said
He added that being pro-poor, Archbishop Ndingi fought for the rights and justice of the poor, especially those who were affected by the 1992 tribal clashes in Nakuru Diocese.
“He purchased a piece of land to settle those displaced by the 1992 tribal clashes in the Rift Valley,” said Archbishop Kivuva.
He described him as a fearless man who constantly challenged the Moi regime.
“He never minced his words,” he said.
Archbishop Kivuva remembered the late Archbishop Ndingi as a happy shepherd who kept in good shape by leading a healthy life style and one who believed in championing a good working relationship with the clergy and religious who worked with him.
“When he led the Kenya Episcopal Conference (KEC) now Kenya Conference of the Catholic Bishops (KCCB), he supported collegiality. He was also consultative. I remember when I was working at Ukweli Video Productions, he would occasionally call me to ask questions on issues he needed to understand,” said Archbishop Kivuva.
He said the late Archbishop Emeritus was ordained Bishop by St Paul VI at a time when there were few African Bishops. He then picked the Pope’s advice when he urged Africans to be missionaries to themselves, hence he pushed for ordination of diocesan priests and ordained many during his time.
“Archbishop Ndingi co-consecrated me as Bishop of Machakos together with the late Archbishop Emeritus of Mombasa, John Njenga,” Archbishop Kivuva said.
He conveyed his sincere condolences to the late Archbishop Ndingi’s family and the Church in Kenya for losing a shepherd who cared for his flock.
By Rose Achiego, Nairobi, Tuesday, 31st, March 2020
Born in December 1931, Archbishop Emeritus Raphael S. Ndingi Mwana a‘Nzeki’s died on 31st, March, 2020 at Clergy House in Nairobi.
The announcement of his death was done by His Eminence John Cardinal Njue. A Facebook post by the Archdiocese of Nairobi read, “A sombre morning as His Eminence John Cardinal Njue has announced the passing on of His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Raphael Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki. Let us pray for the repose of his soul.”
The Late Archbishop Emeritus Raphael S. Ndingi Mwana a‘Nzeki was born on 25th, December 1931 in Mwala, Machakos Diocese. Archbishop Nding’i joined Kiserian Seminary after completing his primary school education. He was ordained as a priest of Nairobi on 31st, January 1961 where he served under then Archbishop JJ McCarthy of the Archdiocese of Nairobi.
After his ordination, he served in many places in various capacities: assistant parish priest in Tala, Machakos; a similar position at Makadara Catholic Parish, Nairobi; served at St. Peter Clavers Catholic Parish, Nairobi; served as the National Education Secretary of Catholic Bishops among others.
The late Archbishop studied Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History at Rochester College, New York, USA.
He was appointed Bishop of Machakos on 1st, August, 1969 by Pope Paul VI and ordained as Bishop by the Pontiff in Kololo, Terrace, Kampala, and Archdiocese of Kampala. He was later appointed as the Bishop of Nakuru on 30th, August 1971.
He was appointed Coadjutor of Archbishop of Nairobi, the Servant of God Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga on 14th, June, 1996. He succeeded Cardinal Otunga as the Archbishop of Nairobi on 21st, April 1997 and retired as Archbishop of Nairobi on 6th, October 2007 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age (75) of Bishops.
He was succeeded by the current John Cardinal Njue. Archbishop Emeritus Raphael S. Ndingi Mwana a‘Nzeki died on 31st March, 2020.
Psalm 46: 1 – God is our Refuge and Strength, Always ready to help in times of Trouble
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) –Justice and Peace Commission joins the Nation in prayers and is in solidarity with the people who are infected and affected by Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) globally and in our Nation, Kenya. We take this opportunity to thank our government for all the measures it has taken which include; timely information to the public on preventive measures, closing of our borders including non-entry of international flights, making available isolation centres and the latest being the enforcement of curfew from dusk to dawn. All these measures have been placed for our own good health and safety.
We however observed with disbelief, media reports of security officers’ brutality and harassment on members of the public in the enforcement of the Presidential directives. We witnessed with shock, as vulnerable members of the society such as women, children and also some critical actors such as journalists and food suppliers being equally harassed by security officers.
While we understand the concern that we should all obey these orders and directives, we at the same time wish to register the following:-
Appreciate Kenyans for their hardworking and resilient nature to ensure that their livelihoods and those of their families continue uninterrupted. All they need is an enabling environment.
The actions by law enforcement officers yesterday across the Country especially in Mombasa is unacceptable. The brutal acts only adds more injury to the people who are already vulnerable, this further exposes the vast majority to the risk of spreading and contracting the virus, including security forces.
Respect for Human Rights, Rule of Law and Access to Justice as provided in our Constitution are essential in combating this pandemic. We urge all law enforcement officers to abide by the law in enforcing the curfew.
Better organization from the government is critical. We thank Mombasa County for the measures being undertaken to observe and ensure order in the flow of vehicles and that of the public.
We urge the Police and other security personnel to also follow the directives by the Government on social distancing when controlling crowds and enforcing laws.
We are aware that majority of Kenyans, especially those living in low income areas rely on daily earnings and must continue with their activities. It is also our responsibility to pay attention to the requirement that we all must be home between 7.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m. This is for our own good and for the good of all those we live with and even encounter in the course of our activities.
All employers must also heed to the imposed curfew and ensure they work out plans to safeguard their employees by respecting curfew hours to avoid unfortunate events that we witnessed yesterday. We all MUST play our roles.
We need to look for options that accommodate every category of Kenyans during this critical period including creatively search for our own solutions.
We reiterate that Human dignity and sanctity of life is a value which must be upheld at all times. Let us be our Brothers’ and Sisters’ keeper and stand in solidarity with humanity as we strive to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Coronavirus spread will only be defeated through collaboration and adherence to the required measures. Let us avoid blame games and concentrate more on what can enable us return to our daily routine in the shortest time possible.
We continue praying that God may help us come out of this pandemic.
Rt. Rev. John Oballa Owaa
Chairman KCCB – Catholic Justice and Peace Commission
Catholic Media Houses have embarked on broadcasting live Holy Masses in substitute for regular Eucharistic Celebrations offered in Cathedrals, Parishes and Chapels.
The initiative to keep giving spiritual nourishment to the more than 11 million Kenyan faithful who are no longer able to congregate at their various places of worship, has been necessitated by the government’s suspension of all church, mosques, and other religious gatherings in a bid to combat the spread of COVID- 19.
The directive was issued on 22nd, March 2020 by the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe who said there was non-compliance of religious institutions to the social distance requirement issued on 20th, March 2020, after the number of people confirmed to have Coronavirus in the country increased from three to seven.
Kagwe said the instruction also included weddings, funerals and other social gatherings which are restricted to immediate family members only.
“These directives take effect immediately until further notice. Once again we are aware that these measures may be inconvenient at the moment, but I assure that they are necessary for meeting our indicated objective of keeping all Kenyans safe,” he said.
Following this, Director of Capuchin Television (TV) Rev. Fr. Peter Waweru announced that in response to the signs and needs of time, Capuchin TV will air recorded daily Holy Mass at 1.30pm am 8.30pm daily.
Fr. Waweru is yet to give update on when the station will start airing Sunday Masses.
Below are the Catholic Radio Stations broadcasting Holy Masses:
Radio and frequency
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB)
Radio Waumini 88.3 FM based in Nairobi
Monday – Friday Saturday Sunday
8.15 am and repeat at 3.00 pm 6.00 pm 7.00 am, 11.00 am and 6.00am
Archdiocese of Nairobi
Radio Maria Via Radio Maria Kenya App and 99.9 FM in Westlands
Archdiocese of Mombasa
Radio Tumaini 93.0 FM
Archdiocese of Nyeri
Radio Maria 90.0 FM and on Facebook
Diocese of Nakuru
Radio Amani and Radio Umoja broadcasting from Kabarnet
By National Communications Network News Team, Tuesday, 17/03/2020
The Holy Father Pope Francis has appointed Very Rev. Fr. Joseph Mwongela as the Fourth Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kitui.
The news of the appointment of Bishop-Elect Joseph Mwongela was officially made public in Rome on Tuesday 17th, March 2020 at Noon, Rome Time (2.00 p.m. Kenyan Time). The letter of his appointment was sent to the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) by the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, His Excellency Archbishop Hubertus van Megen.
Bishop-Elect Mwongela will replace Most Rev. Anthony Muheria who was transferred by the Pope to the Archdiocese of Nyeri on 23rd, April 2017. Archbishop Muheria has been serving as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Kitui since April 2017.
Bishop-Elect Joseph Mwongela is currently serving as the Vicar General of Kitui. He was first appointed as Second Vicar General on 6th, March 2015.
As Vicar General, Bishop-Elect Mwongela is in charge of priestly personnel and conduct, pastoral, education, health, development, diocesan communication and youth chaplaincy matters.
He is a member of the Boards of Caritas Kitui, Muthale Mission Hospital and St. Teresa’s Catechetical Training Centre, among others.
Bishop-Elect Joseph Mwongela was born on 7th April, 1968 in Kakumi, Diocese of Kitui. He attended the preparatory year at Saint Mary’s Senior Seminary, Molo, in the Diocese of Nakuru (1989). He carried out his studies in philosophy at Saint Augustine’s Senior Seminary Mabanga, in the Diocese of Bungoma (1990-1991) and in theology at St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary in Nairobi (1992-1995). He was ordained a priest on 7th September 1996 for the Diocese of Kitui.
He subsequently held the following roles: parish vicar of the Migwani parish (1996-1997); parish priest of the Nguni parish (1997-1998); formatter at the Saint Patrick Formation House (1999-2001); diocesan chancellor and, at the same time, director of the diocesan office for vocational pastoral care (2003-2008).
From 2003 to 2008 he studied in Rome where he was awarded a licentiate from the Pontifical Gregorian University (2003-2006) and a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Angelicum (2005-2008). He went on to serve as Chaplain of the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Kitui (2008); parish priest of Muthale parish (2008-2013); Director of the Saint John Paul II Institute of Professional Studies and parish priest of the Boma parish (Our Lady of Africa Cathedral); and Vicar general of the diocese of Kitui (since 2015).
The Catholic Diocese of Kitui was created on November 16, 1963 with Rt. Rev. William Dunne as the first Bishop. The second Bishop was the late Archbishop Boniface Lele who was appointed in February, 1996. Archbishop Anthony Muheria was appointed Bishop of Kitui in 2008 where he served until April 2017 when he was transferred to the Archdiocese of Nyeri.
Details of the Installation of Bishop-Elect Joseph Mwongela will be communicated in due course.
RE: PREPAREDNESS FOR CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC ___________
Receive Lenten greetings and best wishes from KCCB- General Secretariat.
We are all aware of the great threat of the Coronavirus (Covid 19) pandemic that has recently spread across the entire world. So far, this disease has caused 4,600 deaths the world over. With one case confirmed in Kenya, we ought to be in a state of preparedness, so that further spread of the infection may be easily contained.
Following the indications already given by the experts, this virus is mainly spread through contact of droplets of mucus, through the mouth, eyes and nose.
We, the Catholic Bishops, wish to give some guidance so that our Liturgical celebrations and other related gatherings do not facilitate any incidental spread of the Coronavirus as follows:
1. We strongly exhort the Priests to observe the highest level of hygiene in the Liturgical ceremonies. Specifically, we ask them to thoroughly wash their hands worth soap and water before any Liturgical celebration, and to use soap in the lavado rite of the Mass to ensure total cleanliness as they come in contact with the bread and wine.
2. In giving Holy Communion to the sick, the Priests should observe high level of hygiene, of washing of hands before and after the Holy Communion or Anointing of the Sick, to avoid any infection to the sick or from the sick.
3. Similar strict measures should be followed especially before carrying out any assistance on the Alter by the servers and any extraordinary minister who comes in contact with the Liturgical items or Eucharistic species.
4. For the time being, we may be constrained to remove temporarily the Holy Water from the water fonts. However, Christians may carry Holy Water for use in the homes, and even for personal use as they pray.
5. Although we recognize the importance of the hand greetings in our culture, in view of the risk posed by handshakes, we request that, while this threat is still real, we advise the Christians to wave to one another during the exchange of peace in the daily celebration of Mass.
6. We encourage any person who suffers from a cold to voluntarily abstain from the Holy Mass celebrations until they recover.
7. We recognize the desire of many Christians to receive the Eucharist with utmost piety, often on the mouth. In the current circumstances, and weighing the eventual risk, we request that the Faithful receive the Eucharist on the hand with due reverence. This will continue until the threat of the virus is abated.
8. We also urge the Christians to follow the indications of prevention of spread of the virus, as we have been given by the health authorities of the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization.
Firstly, we appeal to you to observe the highest level of hygiene, by washing your hands with soap as often as possible.
We encourage wherever possible to provide Sanitizers in strategic places, in our Church areas, our meeting halls and Parish offices, for use by our Faithful.
Secondly, we appeal to you to be open to reduce our shaking of hands, even though we know this could seem to mean a loss of warmth in our relations, but charity now dictates that we care more to prevent our sisters and brothers from any danger of infection.
Thirdly, we appeal to you to cover your mouths and nose when you cough or sneeze, even when alone, to avoid infecting surfaces or items we use.
9. Common good dictates that should anyone suffer a flu, that they go to the health facilities to monitor and to be able to catch any incidental infection on time.
10. As we recognize the imminent danger of this pandemic, we, however, request that we avoid any tendencies or attitudes of discrimination and stigmatization of the affected persons.
Our dear Christians, we know that some of these measures will interrupt our liturgy sensitivity, and our customs as Catholics, but it is necessary to take them, given the high risk our hesitation may expose us all.
Finally, we invite all Christians to pray for the end of this pandemic. We ask that we raise prayers to God through the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and through Novenas to the various patron Saints. We believe our Lord will hear our prayers and save our Nation and our world from this menace.
__________ Signed for and on behalf of the Chairman,
Very Rev. Fr. Daniel K. Rono General Secretary of KCCB