Passing the Baton

“I am glad that the Church as an institution is harmonious because it is where the entire process of election and handing over is peacefully done. people are satisfied with the result and happy with the person elected. This is proof that the Spirit of God guides the Church in all her activities” These are words of the President of SVD Lay Partners commonly known as Friends of SVD during the inauguration of the new Provincial council in Langata, Nairobi on Thursday 1st, 2023.

On this day, all SVD confreres from Kenya-Tanzania Province, SVD lay partners, and other invited guests gathered at the Common Formation Centre, Langata, Nairobi to witness the inauguration of the new Provincial Fr. William Odeke, and his council members Fr. Peddy Castelino, Fr. Hugo Calis, Fr. Geoffrey Kamau and Fr. Jerome Olianga.

The day began with a prayer and immediately the provincial treasurer gave an update of the financial status of the province at the closure of the past triennium. Then the confreres were taken through the details of the Child and Vulnerable Persons Protection Policy that was then launched and signed by all the confreres. Later the outgoing Provincial Superior Fr. Antony Amissah gave his address about the State of the Province. During the same session, the 2023-2028 Strategic plan was launched.

The handing over and inauguration ceremonies took place during the Holy Mass at the CFC Chapel. The letters of appointment were read for each council member and the Provincial Superior.

In the same celebration, a number of confreres were awarded trophies for standing tall in the following areas:

  • Fr. Tom Leyden, Bro. Karl Schaarschmidt, Fr. Rethinasamy Amaldoss, Fr. Leo Fernando, Fr. Antony Amissah – for remaining in the province for the longest time while many others left the province for various reasons.
  • Fr. Lawrence Muthee, Fr. Jerome Olianga, Fr. Leo Fernando, Fr. Albert Fuchs, and Fr. Rethinasamy Amaldoss, – for completing their parish contribution towards the self-sustenance of the Province.

The celebrations were concluded with shared meals prepared by the CFC community. We thank God for the blessing upon Kenya-Tanzania province for the last Triennium and ask Him to bless and guide us in the new one.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD

God is one in three persons

Sunday readings in brief: Holy Trinity Feast

Exodus 34:4-6,8-9; Responsorial Psalm Daniel 3:52-56; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; John 3:16-18

God is one in three persons

Dear friends, today is the Feast of the Holy Trinity, which occurs on the Sunday after the Pentecost. Next Sunday will be the feast of Corpus Christi (Body and Blood of Christ). Trinity from the Latin word “Trinitas” means threefold.  As Christians, through the revelation in the Holy Scriptures, we experience God in threefold manifestations, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The feast of the Trinity celebrates the closeness of God to us.

In the Old Testament, God is presented as the one who creates, protects, revives, and sustains his people but also scolds those who deviate from his ways. When man and woman sinned against God and lost their friendship with him, they were no longer able to opt for good by themselves. In Egypt, they were enslaved and as slaves, they had to do the will of their masters without choice. When the people of Israel left Egypt under the guidance of God through the hand of Moses, they were not able to opt for good because the scar of sin was still in them. In theology, this scar is referred to as concupiscence. God gave Moses on Mt. Sinai tablets that contained commandments that would be a guide for the people. Therefore, God’s commandments are not a burden but a guide for us who by ourselves are unable to choose good from evil.

St. Paul often uses the Trinitarian greeting at the beginning or the end of his letters to different Christian communities: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”. St. Paul always emphasized that the Trinitarian God was always present in the mission of the apostles in the early Church. God’s love is bestowed upon us through the grace obtained by Christ. The Holy Spirit is the symbol of unity because he proceeds from the Father and the Son as we recite in the creed. The salvific presence of the Son of God in the world is sustained in the Church by the Holy Spirit sent to the Apostles on Pentecost.

In our creed, each of the three persons of the Holy Trinity is defined and his role stated.  “I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible”. Through the Old Testament, God reveals himself as the Creator and sustainer of all things visible and invisible.

“I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him, all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven”. Christ is the visible manifestation of God who came to dwell with us in order to bring the Trinity closer to us.

“I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets”. The Holy Spirit is the fabric that unites the Holy Trinity and the Church with the Trinity.

Every time God acts, he acts as one because he is one. However, we experience him in this mysterious threefold manner. During Creation, God said, “Let us create man in our own image and likeness” (Gen 1:26). We read that the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface before anything was created. God also created heaven and earth through his Word, God the Son. In Mt. 3:16-17, at the baptism of Jesus, The Spirit of God descended upon him in the image of a dove and the voice of the Father confirmed that he was the beloved Son of God. The time of the Church is the time of the Holy Spirit who inspires Christians to imitate Christ in their lives and bring God’s love on earth. “But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to complete truth” (Jn 16:13).  

What God means by revealing himself to us as Trinity? I believe that God intended us to share in his overflowing love within himself. It is such an intense love that enables Him to manifest himself in a threefold manner yet remain one. God created man and woman and blessed them to be productive and bring children on earth as the fruits of the love and unity between them. God wanted human beings to continue the work of creation and experience and share in his love. Love cannot be introverted but always outgoing. Love manifests itself by overflowing outside its source and in the process creating a new being. True and godly love is always positive and selfless. If someone says they love you yet they want to possess and curtail your freedom of determination, run.  

Our communities are supposed to be united in love and bring forth positive development to the members and the world around them. Love leaves no gap or space for the evil that brings division, hatred, selfishness, corruption, and the like. Love heals all brokenness and reconciles all conflicts. In the world today, the institution of the Family that is crafted to imitate trinitarian love is under attack from all angles. Religious communities have been invaded by selfishness and individualism. It is very urgent for us Christians and everyone else to start salvaging what is left of the human community.

Dear friends, as we reflect on the mystery of the Holy Trinity, let us learn unity in diversity and build families and communities overflowing with love and positive energy.

Happy Feast.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD





THEME: “1+1+1=1?”

((Readings: 1st:Ex 34:4-6.8-9; Ps:Dan 3:52-56; 2nd: 2Cor 13:11-13; Gos: Jn 3:16-18))

Today we celebrate one of the greatest mysteries of our Christian faith; the Holy Trinity, the nature of God as we believe it has been revealed to us. The Feast of the Most Holy Trinity was established by Pope John XXII in 1334 AD. Most often, we Catholics make a sign of the cross meaning in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are not three gods but one God. Each one of them is a completely distinct divine person but they are never separated such that there is a unity in essence and relation within the three divine persons. We profess this Faith because God has revealed Himself to us as a Trinity in the history of salvation. Mathematically speaking it means that in God 1+1+1=1.

Now the above mathematical equation is called a trinitarian formula which cannot be scientifically, logically, philosophically, or theologically explained without causing confusion. We can only appreciate it with the eyes of Faith as a mystery and an article of our Faith. “May the Lord enlighten the eyes of your minds…” (Eph 1, 18).

A story is told about St. Augustine, one of the intellectual giants of the Church.  He was walking by the seashore one day, attempting to conceive of an intelligible explanation for the mystery of the Trinity.  As he walked along, he saw a small boy on the beach, pouring seawater with a shell into a small hole in the sand.  “What are you doing, my child?” asked Augustine.  “I am trying to empty the sea into this hole,” the boy answered with an innocent smile.  “But that is impossible, my dear child,” said Augustine.  The boy stood up, looked straight into the eyes of Augustine, and replied, “What you are trying to do – trying to comprehend the immensity of God with your small head – is even more impossible.”  Then he vanished.  It was an angel sent by God to teach Augustine a lesson.  Later, Augustine wrote: “You see the Trinity if you see love.”  According to him, the Father is the lover, the Son is the loved one and the Holy Spirit is the personification of the very act of loving. This means that we can understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity more readily with the heart than with our feeble mind.

Trying to explain how three persons are one God may take an eternity. However, looking at the salvation history we see God expressing Himself as the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit. Number 3 is a symbol of God’s power expressed by the trinity and that is why I like three points homilies. Trinity reveals the following elements about God:

1)  ONE MISSION OF CREATION AND SALVATION. We know that God is one; we believe that He is the Father who created the universe; we believe that He is the son, who came into this world like one of us to save us; we believe that he fulfills his plans of love by his spirit. The first reading from Exodus, God the Father reveals himself to Moses as God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness. After our disobedience to his command, the Father sent the Son to redeem the world (Jn 1, 1-3). Ultimately, the Father and the Son sent us the Holy Spirit as our Counselor and Advocate (Act 1, 8. 2) to accomplish the work of salvation. The God who created the universe is the same God who came to save it and who is our advocate and consoler.

(2) TRINITY REVEALS A PERFECT UNITY AND LOVE: The trinity reveals Unity in the Divine nature. So, the prayer of Christ to the Father: “May they be one, as we are One” (Jn 17:22), is a prayer that arises from Trinitarian love. Therefore, the whole church and each family that forms the universal Church is the sacrament of the Trinity, and as such must be characterized by love and unity. Like the Holy Trinity, we can live and work together as one family of God. This is because, we bear one and the same image of God, and were baptized by the same Spirit of God whose mark we bear (Eph 4, 30). So, IN SPITE OF OUR INDIVIDUAL PERSONALITIES AND DIFFERENCES, UNITY IS POSSIBLE AND A FUNDAMENTAL OPTION.

(3). THERE IS POWER IN THE TRINITY. One Author said that there is a great Power in Unity. This power is first expressed in the mysterious work of creation. I always marvel at how the three Divine persons collaborated in the creation story. God the Father used the word (God the Son) to create and breathed his Spirit in us to live.  That is the reason why we make the sign of the cross, baptize in the name of the Trinity, and conclude our prayers invoking the Trinity. This is one of the greatest treasures that we unknowingly possess. Unfortunately, many Catholics are shy to make the sign of the cross in public places like in public transport, hotels, or in the market. Let us be proud to be Catholics and always make the sign of the cross anywhere without fear or shame.

The celebration of the Holy Trinity is a challenge to my relationship with God and Neighbor (Me, God, and Neighbor). Are we united and bonded together with love in our families and communities? As we praise the most Holy Trinity, let us pray for the Grace of love and unity and learn to imitate the triune God.

PRAYER: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning and ever shall be a world without end. Amen

Fr. Antony Muchui, SVD

 HAVE A PEACEFUL WEEK!!   ((Contact our vocation office on +255629269140 or +254792299140))

“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the word and the spirit of Grace; and may the heart of Jesus live in the heart of all the people. Amen” SVD Prayer

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Sunday Readings in Brief Pentecost A

Acts 2:1-11; Ps 103 (104); 1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13; Jn 20:19-23

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Dear friends, today is the feast of the Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples of Jesus in the upper room just as he had promised them. Pentecost comes from the Greek word pentēkostē meaning fifty days of the fiftieth day after Easter Sunday. The Jews called it Shavaut and it was celebrated 50 days after the Sabbath following the day of Passover when God delivered them from the Egyptian captivity. For Christians, this is the day when the community of believers was born through the preaching of Peter and his colleagues. “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day” (Acts 2:41). This is what we have today as the Church built on the foundation of the apostles. 

But who is the Holy Spirit? During the creation of the world, we read that the Holy Spirit who is also translated as “Wind” was hovering over the waters (Gen 1:2). Throughout the Old Testament texts, we read how God inspired some people among communities by his spirit to do a certain task on his behalf. When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the image of a dove. Today Jesus sends the Holy Spirit upon his disciples and they are filled with courage to preach to the same crowd they were afraid of a few days before. This same Holy Spirit continues to dwell in us through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. 

First, human beings not only believe but also feel and know that God exists. St. Augustin of Hippo says he made us for himself and our hearts are restless until they rest in him. God put in everyone a desire for him though many people spend all their life, denying his existence. Second, God has revealed himself to us through his spirit. God chose to reveal himself to us, not as a solitary person living somewhere very far from us and remote-controlling everything, but rather he reveals himself to us as a community that is known as the Holy Trinity. The entire history of salvation can be divided into three major phases. Phase 1 is the working of God the Father: the creation of the universe, the election of the nation of Israel as the bearers of the salvation of the world, and God’s intervention in the lives of his people through judges, prophets, and kings. It is the phase where God the Father is the major protagonist. 

Phase 2 is the phase of God the Son, Jesus Christ. This comprises the birth, ministry, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. Jesus, the Son of God was sent into the world to bring salvation to all who would believe in him. His mission was foretold by the prophets long before (see Is 61:1). God decided to send his own Son to save the world from eternal damnation. Phase 3 is that of the Holy Spirit from the day of Pentecost until the present day. It is the time of the New Testament and the time of the Church. God continues to create, sustain and save his people through the Holy Spirit. During baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit and the Sacrament of Confirmation adds to us his gifts that help us to live according to the will of God. 

However, not everyone understands who the Holy Spirit is just as many during the time of Jesus did not understand him. While the Scripture presents to us the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Triune God, some regard him as a tool for preaching and performing miracles. The Holy Spirit is the owner and the protagonist in the mission of preaching the Good News of Salvation brought to us by Jesus Christ. Those who are chosen to be ministers of the Good News are only instruments of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit inspires us to preach, teach, heal, and perform other signs for the benefit of all people. St. Paul reminds us that, it is the Holy Spirit who inspires us to call ‘Abba, father’ and we cannot claim to know, love, or serve God without the Holy Spirit.

Today, many misunderstand the gift of tongues given to the apostles. We read that when the Holy Spirit descended upon them, they began to speak in tongues such that all the people present could understand them each in their native language. This is very different from making strange noises and uttering words that no one can understand including those who utter themselves. The day of Pentecost is the opposite of the day of the tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9) when God confused the languages of men who tried to build a tower that would reach heaven. 

The Holy Spirit works in us only when we keep the commandments that God gave us through his Christ. God the Father and the Son continue to live in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the advocate who defends us against the forces of evil and helps us to be and do what is good. He is the one who accomplishes God’s mission in each one of us through his many gifts.

In the Gospel reading today, Jesus breathed on the disciples and gave them the Holy Spirit which will enable them to forgive or retain people’s sins on his behalf. This is the basis of the sacrament of Penance administered by priests in persona Christi.

Dear friends, let us not be confused by the merchants of miracles who think that the Holy Spirit is their tool and at their disposal. Let us adore the Holy Spirit and ask him to continue to renew in us the message of the Gospel and help us to be good. 

Have a blessed Sunday.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD





((Readings: Acts 2:1-11; Ps 104; 1Cor 12:3b-7,12-13; Jn 20:19-23))

Today we celebrate Pentecost Sunday which marks the definitive end of the Easter Season. The word Pentecost is derived from the Greek word Pentekoste which literally means “Fiftieth” (day). For us Christians, it is a memorial of the day the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles and the Virgin Mary in the form of fiery tongues in Jerusalem, an event that took place fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus.  Pentecost also commemorates the official birthday of the Christian Church by the apostolic preaching of St. Peter, resulting in the conversion of 3000 Jews to the Christian faith. Therefore, we wish our Mother Church and ourselves who became members through baptism a happy birthday. Pentecost is a day of renewal of our commitments and empowerment by the Holy Spirit.

Our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles describes in detail the miraculous transformation that took place during the first Pentecost: “The disciples had gathered together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” Acts 2:1ff

The following were the consequences of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit:       

(1). THEY BEGAN TO SPEAK IN TONGUES. Now in this gathering people from different nations, cultures, and languages were present. Amazed by what they saw, the people present exclaimed: “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear THEM, each of us, in our own native language speaking about God’s deeds of power.?”

We should avoid literal translation of this testimony. Before the outpouring of the spirit, people were divided and prejudiced about one another in terms of ideas and cultures. The Holy Spirit came to unite their thoughts and feelings such that no matter the language, people were internally united in spirit. St. Joseph Freinademetz, an SVD missionary said “The only language understood by people everywhere is the language of love”: Even the deaf, the blind, toddlers, those still in the womb, and all cultures and religions will understand this language.

People are still divided in the world and are fighting because they are not able to speak the language of Love. Those who allow themselves to be transformed by the word of the Gospel and by the Spirit speak a language that everybody understands and which can bring people together, the language of love. The spirit forms a new family where all can understand each other in love. May the Holy Spirit renew in us the fruit of love for one another.

(2). RESTORATION OF PEACE AND FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY OF FEAR: In the gospel, Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon his disciples in order to restore their peace and free them from the slavery of fear. Christ knew that the Holy Spirit empowers and liberates. So, the Spirit we have received, “is not the spirit of fear and timidity, but the Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Tim 1:7) According to our Catechism, the Holy Spirit empowers us, makes us strong Christians and soldiers of Christ (CCC 1302).

After this liberation and empowerment, the disciples had the courage to go out to the whole world and proclaim the good news. They no longer closed themselves indoors but they witnessed the good news with power, curing the sick, and casting out demons. Likewise, when we were baptized, we were freed from sin and empowered to be witnesses to the good news. Let us pray that the same spirit will renew in us our missionary zeal.

(3) WE RECEIVED THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: Empowerment comes through the different gifts we receive from the Holy Spirit. A gift is a special Charism or ability that we receive from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, all baptized Christians are Charismatic. The gifts of the holy spirit are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Speaking in Tongues, Healing, Piety, and Fear of God among others. (1Cor 12:7-11). Our Lord expects us to exhaust our gifts and talents to bring forth the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).

In a nutshell, it is only the Holy Spirit that can calm our fears and restore order to our lives. He alone can empower us to face the daily challenges of our lives, families, communities, and our world at large. He alone can give us the right insight we need to navigate through the complex moments of this life. The Spirit develops like a small seed implanted in our hearts. It will grow slowly and silently and, in the end, will produce fruits. May we always listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in order to know the direction he wants to lead us. Let us give him the chance to direct our lives, families, business, and studies.

Prayer: Lord, send forth your spirit and renew the face of the Earth.  Alleluia.”

Fr. Antony Muchui, SVD

 HAVE A PEACEFUL WEEK!!   ((Contact our vocation office on +255629269140 or +254782299140))

“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the word and the spirit of Grace; and may the heart of Jesus live in the heart of all the people. Amen” SVD Prayer

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