Is Being Young Today a Mistake?


SVD Youth Mass in Arusha

There is a proverb in Swahili that says: “Wazee ukumbuka,  vijana ukumbushwa” (The old remember,  the youth are reminded). This is something I have confirmed in my years of ministering to the youth.  It is a fact of life that young people are forgetful and it is difficult for them to concentrate on one thing for a long time.  This is their reality and it does not change easily. Even trying to change that is not the solution.


What the young need is a constant reminder.  It is the nature of the ministry with the youth.  A lot of patience is required.  The youth are easily discouraged by little scandals. When they sense a negative attitude towards them they easily withdraw to their own-made safe-havens.  However,  these people are the best and most trusting when they find a place of refuge. Someone who believes in them and encourages them loving them the way they are.


Many people have a mistaken attitude towards youth.  Whenever they get a chance ttoaddress them,  they use the podium to critize anything and everything about the youth.  This is an exercise in futility.  The youth cannot be instructed through negative criticism. They need someone prepared to walk with them as they painfully undergo the process of transformation towards maturity. All of us underwent that process. They need someone who identifies himself or herself with them,  like the things they like and form they with love. Someone who allows them to be their age.

Another important thing for the youth are events.  Just as their own lives are dynamic in terms of growth and education,  they as well appreciate different events and movements.  This helps them to dissipate the enourmous energies they have.  Manual work and drama is part of the ingredients.  If they do not get these in the convectional circles,  they will definitely look for it in unconventional ones. Their can be no vacuum in the lives of the young people.


Lastly,  we cannot ignore the youth and think we are helping the society.  These are the strong pillars holding the society.  They need to be natured to take leadership roles here now, so that they can easily take over when their parents retire.  Not doing so creates a vacuum that is not easily filled.

We are all urged to make deliberate efforts to understand the world of the youth and help them be the best they can. To do so,  it is important for us to work on changing our negative attitude towards them.

Fr.  Lawrence Muthee,  SVD

The World is Beautiful


He loves nature and appreciate the beauty of the creation. This can be demonstrated in his love for photography that mostly focuses on the beauty of the environment and in the faces of people. His photos speak a lot about his every keen eye on the extraordinary beauty in our surroundings that passes many of us unaware.

Not only does he demonstrate this beauty through the lenses but he also, more often than not, wraps up his sleeves to maintain and perpetuate this beauty through planting and taking care of flowers and trees.

Fr. James Mailady a Divine Word Missionary from India working in Kenya for over 20 years now, has been gifting all of us with Christmas Cards, that he makes out of the photos he takes of nature and the people. Take for example this card that he made for his Silver Jubilee in priesthood.


More recently he treated us to a wonderful Photo Exposition from his archive of collection. The photos are also on sale to help in his cause. Take a look.

What I have learnt from him is that, instead of spending a lot of time lamenting about things that are not right in the world, we can as well choose to see the good things that there is and appreciate the abundance of beauty that surrounds us. Keep it up Father. It is a great contribution to our lives.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD

Visiting South Sudanese Refugees in Bidbidi – Uganda


My trip to Bidibidi settlement of South Sudan refugees is an important one. Fr. Joseph Kallanchira, the AFRAM Zonal coordinator and I paid visit to our confreres along with Fr. Heinz Kuluke, Superior General of the Divine Word Missionaries at Lodonga, in Uganda.


Our confreres and SSpS sisters welcome us and made us feel at home. On Ash Wednesday we visited one of the five zones in Bidibidi settlement of the South Sudan refugees. Their life is miserable, though cared for by UNCHR, they lack happiness and peace. Most prayer intentions were all about peace in South Sudan so that they could return home.


Mr. John, one of the catechist of the chapels, shared with us that he has been in refugee camp four time, including this one. It was shocking. Our confreres and sisters do tremendous sacrifice in many ways to serve these Christians from South Sudan.


Fr. Hienz was happy visiting this humble place and am sure he should be happy to see confreres working in such a hardship areas of East Africa.


God bless our confreres and sisters, God bless Divine Word Missionaries.

Fr. Leo Fernando, SVD

The Chapter


Last week, the Divine Word Missionaries working in Kenya-Tanzania province met in Langata – Nairobi, for the Provincial Chapter. This was in the view of the Society’s General Chapter which will take place in Rome in June. The theme of the chapter was “The Love of Christ Impels us”.

During the Chapter, the members had an opportunity to evaluate the gains and the challenges in the mission for the last 6. Though we have been having Provincial assemblys that occur every year, the Chapter is a more extensive opportunity whereby we look at how we have been serving Christ in our missions and ask questions regarding the direction we would like to go based on our findings. We also evaluate and revise our Vision-Mission Statement so as to make our motive relevant to the need of the current world.


During the Chapter we evaluated alos our Four Characteristic Dimensions, which defines our involvement in the world as a missionary congregation. These includes: Mission Animation, Biblical Pastoral Ministry, Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation and Communication. Through these, we are able to submerge ourselves into the world and attend to the various needs of our people.


Again we evaluated and reaffirmed to continue to focus on the three key areas that we have been focusing on during the last six years since the last Chapter. These includes: Family and youth, reconciliation and peace building and Primary and New Evangelization. We realized that a lot need to be done still, to address these. Today we are talking of “re-evangelization” 150 years since the first missionaries arrived in East Africa. This is because, either the primary evangelization was not done very well or the rapidly changing world has corrupted the seeds that were sowed.


The experience I have especially in the mission where I serve is that, people have only very superficial knowledge of the faith they profess – the kind of faith that is based on fulfilling the obligations and the laws of the Church without a deep understanding of the content faith itself. This is due to: one, mixing of creeds, where by people subscribe to different way of worshipping without understanding neither of them, and two, because the on-going-faith-formation has been abandoned. After people have completed the catechetical instructions as children, they thereafter do not continue to form their faith. They only attend to church worship without deliberate efforts to develop their the content of their.


The Chapter was also a moment for personal-evaluation for every individual missionaries. This is impotant to recommit ourself to our vocation. It was a moment to scrutinize our motivations and what really impels us in our mission.

The Chpater was successful and a number of resolutions and recommendations were made, to guide us for the nex few years.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD

Getting Ready for the Chapter

Provincial Chapter Bunner.jpg

This year 2018, the Divine Word Missionaries in the world are holding its 18th General Chapter ssince the foundation of the Society in 1875 by St.  Arnold Janssen.

The chapter is a moment of renewal and recommitment to the mission.  It is a moment to evaluate our contribution to the betterment of the modern world as missionaries. The theme for this chapter is “The Love of Christ impels us”.


Here in Kenya-Tanzania province,  we are holding our Provincial Chapter from 21-22nd February 2018 in view of the General Chapter theme. Our presence in these two EastAfrican countries has been significant for the last 34 years in Kenya and 18 years in Tanzania.

We work with the maginalized communities as well as communities in low income townships.  We see Jesus in the people we work with to bring about spiritual,  economical and social prosperity.  The mission of Christ is our mission and the world is our parish.

Fr.  Lawrence Muthee,  SVD