Let us Break The Chain of Corruption

Father in heaven, You always provide for all your creatures, so that they may live as you have always willed.  You have blessed our country Kenya with rich human and natural resources to be used in honour and glory and for the well being of every Kenyan.

We are deeply sorrowful for the wrong use of these your gifts and blessings through the act of corruption, as a result of which many of our people are hungry, sick, homeless and displaced, ignorant and defenceless.  Father, You alone can heal us of this sickness which leads to death.

We humbly beg you, touch our lives and those of our leaders so that we may realise the evil of corruption and work hard to eliminate it. For any citizen who has acquired anything through corrupt means, Lord, give him or her, the spirit of courage to make a restitution and come back to you.

Raise up for us God-fearing citizens and leaders who care for us and who will lead us in the path of peace, justice, prosperity, progress and above all, Love.

We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.

Lord graciously hear us.

Prepared by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops

CMM Brothers celebrates 175 years

By Rev. Fr. Joshua Mege – Homabay Diocese

The brothers of Our Lady Mother of Mercy (CMM) have marked their 175 years jubilee (August 1844 – August 2019) as a congregation.  

At the same time the CMM Provincial Superior, Bro Leo Van De Weijer from Netherlands, celebrated 60 Year as a religious brother while, Bro. James Ochwang’i from Kisii Diocese and Bro. Cyprian Mbashu from the Archdiocese of Mombasa, celebrated their Silver Jubilee in the Congregation. All the celebrations took place on 19th October 2019 at St. Peters Oyugis Parish.

From Left Bro. James Ochwang’i, Bro Leo Van De Weijer , and Bro. Cyprian Mbashu

In Kenya, the brothers have made tremendous contributions in offering medical and social support to the less fortunate especially those affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, educating the orphans and needy children and counselling those psychologically traumatized.

Currently in Oyugis where they celebrated their Jubilee, the Brothers work together with the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) – Kenya Aids Response Program (KARP) on care and treatment of HIV/AIDS clients.

In his Homily during Holy Mass, the Chairman of KCCB and Archbishop of Kisumu, Most Rev. Philip Anyolo commended the Brothers for constantly responding to their missionary mandate to ‘go’, ‘tell’, ‘teach’, and ‘do to the lowly and marginalised adding that, they have stood with the least of our society, as Jesus said to the disciples, whatever you do to the least of my brothers that you do unto me.

“The brothers have been at the centre of things doing the works of mercy. We are here to tell the brothers ‘go on!’ amidst the difficulties for there is the resurrection,” said Archbishop Anyolo.

Tabora Archbishop Paul Rozoka and Kisumu Archbishop Philip Anyolo

Archbishop Anyolo who is also the Apostolic Adminisrator of Homa Bay stressed on the call to become stewards according to the Prophet Isaiah and to be brave and proud in spreading the gospel.  

“Boast in the Lord without fear. You are chosen, baptised and sent hence we are called not to boast of ‘I’ ‘me’ and ‘myself’ but to reach out to the whole world, and to do exactly what Jesus wants by our words and deeds,” he said.

The Archbishop said vocation to Brotherhood is a gift for the Church, urging the faithful to pray for more vocations. He also called on the Brothers not to give up but to go to the peripheries, adding that the mission is very important and without it the Church would be stagnant.

 “I have learnt with age that mission is a journey from the head to the heart. The promises and vows are within your heart so find it within your heart to welcome Jesus.”

The Archbishop of Tabora, Tanzania, Most Rev. Paul Rozoka, also presided over the Eucharistic celebration.Other guests who graced the occasion included;  Mission Superior Sr. Melly Frondarina, (SFIC), Xaverian Brother Kennedy Mulongo, Fr. Jacob Ombija and Fr. Thomas Nicholas Mboya, among other guests.

About CMM

The Brothers of Our Lady of Mercy are an International Congregation founded in 1844 in The Netherlands by Archbishop Joannes Zwijsen.

It is a congregation of religious men following Jesus the Merciful One.

It was primarily founded to meet the needs of the poor youth of the time. Archbishop Joannes realised that the Good News of Jesus Christ demanded concrete action. He founded the CMM Brothers to serve in Mercy all those who might be ignored or abused by selfish people or materialistic power structures.

The mission of mercy was not to be another humanitarian deed. It was firmly anchored on God’s word; “…whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did it for me.” (Matt. 25.40) in this way they have the well-grounded source of answering God’s call.

CMM Brothers work in schools, pastoral centres and guide young people in parishes.

In Africa, the Brothers work in Namibia, Kenya, and Tanzania. In Kenya they work in Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisii and Homa Bay while in Tanzania they work in Tabora.

The strength, joy and inspiration they receive from Christ is to be shared with others, especially the needy through teaching, prison work, AIDS awareness initiatives, counselling, pastoral care, justice and peace mission and youth ministry.

Bishops make prophetic sign as they launch the National Anti-Corruption Campaign

By the Catholic Mirror Team

In a rare gesture of humility and reverence to God, Catholic Bishops in Kenya caught many by surprise when they approached the altar barefoot, each bearing the cross and donning a green and white ribbon on the lapel of their vestments. They then in unison knelt before the altar in silent prayer before reading aloud a personal commitment to work tirelessly to fight the evil of corruption in Kenya. They then each signed the commitment and personally handed the signed documents to the Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Most Rev. Philip Anyolo.

According to the Chairman of the KCCB – Commission for Pastoral & lay Apostolate, Most Rev. Antony Muheria, the bishops made the prophetic signs in Subukia as a commitment before God and humanity to fight and root out corruption in Kenya.

Removal of shoes

“The Bishops remove their shoes and humble themselves before God and before humanity to ask for God’s mercy,” said Archbishop Muheria at the launch of the Anti-Corruption Campaign during the National Prayer Day at the Marian Shrine in Subukia on Saturday October 5th, 2019. “The Bishops plead for themselves and all the people of God. Like Moses, we remove our shoes for the place where we are standing is holy. God is here. Like Moses, we plead with the people and for the people who have turned to the golden calf of corruption. The Bishops urge all of us to humble ourselves towards repentance and conversion of heart so we can live our baptismal promises fully. The bishops remove their shoes in mourning of our society for the loss of commitment to God’s laws and for the exploitation and abuse of the poor, sold for a penny. For the many deaths caused by corruption.”

“The Bishops in the Catholic Church show readiness in removing our shoes to put at stake appearances and human opinion. Many prophets were called mad for the extreme things they did. The Bishops show they are putting everything on the line with Jesus Christ at our head, who was stripped of his clothes on the cross and laughed at by men in that most powerful action that brought us redemption. We have been called to strip ourselves of our self-worth, our fears and especially our simplicity in corruption.”

The cross

Archbishop Muheria said the cross was a sign of a weapon to fight with the evil of corruption.

 “The Bishops carry a cross as a weapon in the fight against the devil in corruption because Christ by the cross already overcame the devil and death. We come against this evil with the cross of Jesus Christ and a true adherence to what the cross calls us in baptism – we are all sent to carry this cross in society and bring life and light to the darkness of corruption. Pope Francis on Kenyan soil urged young people and Kenyans: “Young people, corruption is not a path to life, it is a path to death.”

“The bishops have led the way in making the commitment like the good shepherd and now they are inviting all of us also to remove our shoes and walk the tough path of reawakening of the conscience. Simple signs but seemingly insurmountable obstacles, but we can break the chains of corruption. David killed Goliath with God and a sling. What does this sign say? Like the prophet, it signifies the poverty of our society that has become enslaved by the chains of corruption. Like the Egyptians, like the exiles of the people of Israel when they turned to idols, the prophet promised God’s blessings if they turned back. Let our hearts be broken, not our garments be torn (Prophet Joel).”

Call to action

Archbishop Muheria urged Kenyans to listen to the voice of God calling on them to change their ways.

“Listen to what God is telling us. What must each one of us do? How do we move forward after witnessing the Bishops commit themselves to break the chains of corruption? What we have done here, we will do in the dioceses, parishes, stations and public places – we look forward to the diocese and parish roll-out of this prophetic sign and campaign. The Christians will make this same commitment in our churches and other public places. A table shall be set on which commitment will be made and all are welcome – the Catholics, Christians, believers and all people of good will – each one following this sign of removing shoes as a symbolic sign of standing before God as Moses did on the mountain when he received the commandments as he makes his/her commitment. “

“After the commitment, each one must become the agent of change – to bring light and life back to our society, act against corruption, speak out against corruption in our churches, schools, institutions, in the society and in all sectors of our country. Wear the ribbon of commitment or the band to declare your stand: ‘I stand against corruption.’ Commit to pray the Anti-Corruption Prayer many times a day to ask God’s help to kill this monster. Look at the sign therefore and let God speak to you. Change with the sign, speak to our Kenya, speak to the world. With God, we can overcome this evil!”

Fifty years of marriage and still counting

By Sister Emily Biwot and Rose Achiego – Bungoma Diocese

Former National Family Life Coordinator at the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Mrs. Theresa Abuya and her Husband Peter Abuya celebrated their golden jubilee by renewing matrimonial vows.

In his homily during the Holy Mass at Abuya’s home in Funyula Bungoma Diocese on 12th October 2019, the Bishop of Meru Rt. Rev. Salesius Mugambi congratulated Mr. and Mrs. Abuya for remaining faithful to each other saying, a proper foundation in marriage is paramount for any family to stand.

“Long connubial bliss is a gift that God gives to those who are faithful to Him and to one another in their matrimonial journey,” he said.

Bishop Mugambi emphasized on the sanctity of the family, noting that, there is need to highlight positive messages about the family especially those shared by those who have successfully lived the vocation of marriage adding that this would counteract the negativity that the society is being fed with about the family.

Commending the good work that Mrs. Abuya did at the KCCB National Family Life Office, Bishop Mugabi urged older couples to mentor many young ones who will later pass on their family leadership to the coming generations.

“Young couples need to figure out early enough how they want their evening years to unfold,” he said

His Lordship challenged the children to take care of their parents especially in their twilight years quoting the commandment that exhorts the children to honour their parents for their days to be added here on earth.

His Lordship also addressed the need to prepare couples well for marriage so as to be able to endure any storms that may come their way.

He reiterated on the significance of good parenthood based on Christian virtues and Pope’s message that there is no perfect marriage, family, husband or wife. It is called upon the marriage partners to walk together the path towards perfection following Christ’s call to discipleship.

Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Abuya who got married in 1969 said their secrete to a stable family is prayers, a practice they both inherited from their Catholic parents.  “This is something I inherited from my father who ensured we said evening prayers and recited the rosary with him. My gentle and soft spoken mother reminded us to pray every day and she dedicated a rosary to individuals in the family each day,” Mrs. Abuya said.

They advice couples to love their families, communicate effectively, work hard, pray together and believe in God so as to be able to forgive one another and be open to life.

Guests who graced the occasion included relatives, friends, the faithful, the Clergy and Religious, representatives from KCCB, Director of Waumini Insurance AFLF, DREAMS, Diocesan Family Life Coordinators, KARP, Holy Trinity Buruburu Catholic Church, Welfare/Associations groups and people of good will.

Bishops Press Statement

Promoting The Justice Of God: A Campaign Against Corruption

We, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, united with all the Priests, Religious men and women, and the lay faithful, from all social status of our society at the National Prayer Day held at Subukia Shrine in the Diocese of Nakuru, categorically decry the tremendous Corruption that has imprisoned our hearts, families and indeed our entire society.

We take up the invitation of Pope Francis during his visit to Kenya in 2015. “We must root out Corruption”.

We come out in a prophetic gesture of mourning, to call to God for his mercy, to call to all people and especially all Kenyans, from the lowest to the highest, from the youngest to the oldest, to change our wayward ways, and decide to personally reject any act or form of Corruption.

We wish to lead the Country and every person of good will, to commit himself or herself before God, to fight Corruption from the grassroots, up to the highest offices.

We do so with humility by removing our shoes, in solidarity with those who have suffered and continue to suffer the dehumanizing effects of Corruption, especially those living in miserable conditions.

In Union with every Catholic Christian in Kenya and People of Goodwill, We, your spiritual leaders, ask every one of you, to make this real commitment and be ready to pay the price of integrity and uprightness.

We make this public commitment, personally and as shepherds of the Catholic Church with all its members, and call on each and every one who believes in God to take this deep and desired decision for the sake of our society and our children.

Like David in his fight against the giant Goliath, we although may appear small, can truly slay this monster of Corruption and return our country from the slavery and chains of corruption.

Today we also state some specific actions that we wish to take, so as to reinforce the culture of integrity and avoid corruption creeping into our Churches:

1. Contributions to Fundraisers in our Churches will be done by mobile money transfer or preferably by Cheque.  This will avoid the handling of large amounts of cash, and give a clear trail of the donors. We wish to move towards cashless donations.

2.  We will declare and keep open as we have tried to do so far, the lists and accounts of our projects and any fundraising initiatives in our Churches or institutions open for public scrutiny.

3. We shall keep a record of any gift to a religious leader exceeding Kshs 50,000. All gifts should be accompanied by a letter or acknowledged by a letter.

4. Our Churches will not be used as political platforms or for any other motive other than for the liturgy and worship of God. We shall therefore not allow any address within the Church of any non-liturgical character. All such addresses that may be opportune to make, will be made outside of the Church with due dignity.

5. Political speeches shall not be allowed at all within the liturgical celebrations. We particularly plead that the true nature of our funerals be restored, to condole and pray for the family and honor and pray for the deceased. Anything political or developmental should be specifically excluded for honour of God and respect of the deceased.

6. We will open a Corruption complaints desk, to keep record of reports of Corruption that the public may wish to make.

7. For the next six months, will renew our Baptismal promises in all our Churches on Sundays, using the specific formula that highlights the rejection of the evil of Corruption.

We invite you to put down your name and make your public commitment in our Churches and other public places where we will place our desks, and to do so without your shoes. We also urge you to wear the White ribbon with green edges in solidarity, to publicly declare and show those we meet of our commitment, so that they may already know our stand when corrupt situations arise. Let us wear it with courage.

We pray and hope that many others may decide to join this campaign and rid our Country once and for all of this great Sickness and Evil of Corruption. We invite all our Christians and people of good will, to come out and register their names, and carry the ribbon of fight against Corruption to declare their stand.

St.  Paul cautions us that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6: 10). At the root of Corruption is the ugly vice of Greed that has permeated all sectors of society, including believers. This anti-corruption campaign, like the clarion call of Prophet Amos to his people, challenges all of us, not to tire in stopping all forms of exploitation particularly against the weak and the poor.  Just as we learn in the beatitudes, we may be called to pay a price for restoring this Justice yet a reward awaits us: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven…” (Mathew 5:10).

As Catholic Bishops we officially launch a nationwide anti-corruption campaign that will run for the next six months.  We urge all Kenyans to join us in this campaign and Stand Against Corruption…Let Us Break the Chain of Corruption.

We commit to the fight against corruption and may God give us courage to overcome the challenge one and all. With God we can overcome this Monster and giant as David did!

Come, let us overcome and overturn Corruption!

The satement was signed by KCCB Chairman who is the Archbishop of Kisumu and Apostolic Administrator of Homa Bay Most Rev. Philip Anyolo on Friday 5th October 2019 and all the Bishops.

Santa Marta Group Recomendations

2nd AFRICA REGIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SANTA MARTA GROUP Sensitizing Local Communities on the Dangers of Human Trafficking in Africa Dates: 1st – 4th October 2019, Venue: Dimesse Sisters, Karen – Nairobi – Kenya

The Santa Marta Group (SMG) is an international alliance of leaders in law enforcement and the Church from around the world working together with civil society to counter human trafficking.

This is the second African Regional Conference of the Santa Marta hosted by the KCCB Commission for Refugees Migrants and Sea Fares on the theme, “Sensitizing the local communities and Government on dangers of Human Trafficking.” The 1st Conference was held in Abuja, Nigeria in November 2018.

The Nairobi conference brought together the Church, Law Enforcement Agencies, regional and international actors, and organizations that work in the areas of migration and control of human movements to reflect on our roles in addressing issues of human trafficking in Africa.

Human dignity is something that can’t be taken away from any individual. Catholic Social Teaching states that each and every person has value, are worthy of great respect and must be free from slavery, manipulation and exploitation. It stresses that human beings, created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27), have by their very existence an inherent value,


Pope Francis has stated, “This immense task, which requires courage, patience and perseverance, demands a joint and global effort on the part of the different actors that make up society.” At the end of the Nairobi conference the delegates proposed the following recommendations;

  • Each Bishops’ Conference and diocese to create a Desk dealing with Human Trafficking in the spirit of Santa Marta.
  • Bishops Conference to identify hot spots/ endemic to address three levels of human trafficking being origin, transit and destination that facilitate human trafficking
  • Governments should avail adequate infrastructure that is family oriented which is women and children focused.
  • Promote Safe migration In order to discourage the activities of human trafficking.
  • Each Bishops’ conference to create safe houses for victims of human trafficking
  • Develop programmes particular to their situations that will provide and establish means of livelihood such as agribusiness and entrepreneurship.
  • The bishops conferences to collaborate with the law enforcement authorities, judiciary, immigration department, police forces on addressing issues of human trafficking
  • The Catholic Bishops to involve other faiths in the fight against Human Trafficking
  • The Catholic Bishops should help in integrating the victims of Human Trafficking and those caught in the business of prostitution.
  • The Catholic Bishops to use the existing platforms such as Catechism classes, Small Christian Communities, religious retreats and gatherings to create and deepen awareness on human trafficking.
  • Training on human trafficking to be included in the curriculum of the religious houses of formation, seminaries and, catechetical centers and catholic schools.
  • All the commissions of the conference to create synergies and reach out to the grassroots.
  • Capitalize on the annual forum that brings all the catholic principals together and sensitize them on human trafficking. To target the annual meeting for primary school head teachers too.
  • Work with Embassies in addressing the issue.
  • Workshops to be conducted for the clergy to understand the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) (Ref. 8.7) and its importance to our work and why the church should network with the government.
  • Combine efforts with academia, civil society and state to curb Human Trafficking.
  • Catholic Bishops Conferences to initiate standard operating procedures to detect misuse of the institutions by traffickers
  • The Catholic Bishops Conferences to set up social desks and centers to support victims of human trafficking and open up legal referral pathways for victims.
  • Lobby the Government to support centers financially and in kind that support vulnerable groups and not just to leave the burden to the institutions to support the individuals that are also referred by the different government offices.
  • Create a rapport and use the systems to push the Government and other stakeholders to act.
  • The Church to escalate campaigns using drama, poetry and music
  • Translate the pastoral document (POHT) into local languages
  • Engage county commanders to unveil and bring to light cases of human trafficking
  • Engage National and regional governments to enact laws to curb human trafficking
  • Strengthen networks founded in the 2nd African Regional Conference of The Santa Marta
  • At the next Santa Marta Conference, each bishops conference to issue a progress report on their achievement in the fight against human trafficking.

We are stronger when we stand together. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

National: You do not pick gold in the streets of Europe, migrants warned

By Rose Achiego

Image result for human trafficking

Africans migrating from their countries of origin in search of greener pastures in European countries and other parts of the continent have been cautioned against human traffickers who promise them fortune abroad. 

Speaking ahead of the Second Santa Mart (SMG) African Conference at the Dimese Spiritual Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, on 1st, October 2019, SMG Africa Project Coordinator, Rev. Fr. Mark Odion said it is not all rosy in Europe as people are made to think. “You do not pick gold in the streets of Europe,” he said adding that many people from poor backgrounds are always loured by unsuspecting criminals who promise them heaven.

Fr Odion said it is only when the victims are being exploited that they realize the risk and regret their decisions saying that there are Europeans who are homeless and jobless too. 

Quoting Group President, Cardinal Vincent Nicholas, he said human trafficking is a global issue that requires global response hence the reason why the Catholic Church is coming out strongly to address the menace by sensitizing people and helping the youth to appreciate other options of creating wealth like farming. 

“Laziness, corruption poor governance and lack of proper infrastructures like schools and hospitals coupled with peer pressure and bad culture push people to look for greener pastures. If infrastructures are improved nobody will want to risk their lives by going abroad,” he said

The meeting in Kenya is a follow up of regional conference which first took place last year in Abuja Nigeria. More than 100 participants from Rome, Europe, African Countries that are mostly affected by issues of human trafficking like Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Swaziland, Angola, and Tanzania among others.

The Second Africa Santa Marta Group Conference has been organized by The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Commission for Refugees Migrants and Sea Fares in collaboration with Caritas Kenya, Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Commission for Social Communications, Awareness Against Human Trafficking (HAART) Kenya, Jesuit Refugee Services – East Africa Chapter, Religious against Human Trafficking – Kenya Chapter and AMECEA, among other actors and supported by SMG.