Receiving Eucharistic Jesus & the Holy Spirit

Epiphany Parish Burka-Arusha celebrates the initial Sacraments

On 22 October 2017, more than 250 children fom Epiphany Parish, Burka-Arusha, received the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation. In a colourful Mass led by His Emminence Josaphat Louis Lebulu, the Archbishop of Arusha Archdiocese and Fr. Peter Pinto the Parish Priest, the young faithful were urged to remain rooted in the word of God and imitate the Eucharistic Jesus that they received in their lives.

After the celebration of the Sacraments, the children shared a meal to mark the unity in faith. We wish them God’s blessings as they journey in faith.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD

Recharging our Motivation: a 5 Days Retreat

The first and the most valuable asset that any living being has is that of “life” itself. Breathing seems to be a very passive and effortless activity but it is the most important activity of every living being. If one stops to breath, we know that they are no more. Human beings are the only breathing creatures that God gave free will. This means that men and women can choose what kind of life they would like to live. However, every choice that a man or a woman makes comes with its full measure of responsibilities and demands. These, if not well understood and undertaken, can cloud all the joys that comes in the package of life.

In Mathew 19: 11-12, Jesus, responding to the astonishment of his disciples about the demands of marriage, tells them that not everyone can accept the teaching and that  indeed, there are some who are eunuchs by natural causes, others have been made so by people and yet others have made themselves so for the sake of the Kingdom of God; here we underline the “Kingdom of God”. These are celibate men and women who have chosen not to bring up families of their own in the institution of marriage, but rather to bring up many more families for the kingdom of God. Here I will quickly add also like Jesus, that not everyone in our times can understand this kind of life either. For some it is madness of the highest order and for others an impossibility that breeds hypocrites. Well, not everyone can understand this.

Just as the life of matrimony needs to be spiced up everyday and the “I DO” said on the day of the wedding need to be revitalized everyday for the marriage to stand against numerous storms, so also is the life of those who have made themselves eunuchs for the sack of bringing souls of many to the Love of God.

The last one week a group of Divine Word Missionaries from Kenya-Tanzania Province, went up “Tabor Hill”, a retreat center in the Northern part of Kenya, to recharge the batteries of their apostleship. The retreat was preached by Fr. Xene Sanchez, A Philipino Divine Word Missionary working in DR. Congo for more than 30 years now. It was a wonderful quiet and reflective moment for every participant to rekindle the very “first motivation” that led them to choose this kind of life. This Fr. Xene reffered to as “The First Love” quoting the book of Apocalypse chapter 2, the letter to the Church of Ephesus, whereby the recipient of the letter is being exalted for the dedication and perseverance in the ministry of the Kingdom of God, yet being at the same time reproached for having abandoned his “First Love”.

For any Priest of religious person to remain faithful to the mission given to them by our Lord Jesus, he or she cannot afford to forget the very “first motive” for which he or she felt the urge and the conviction to devote their entire life to Serve God in His people.

It was indeed a wonderful opportunity to rejuvenate our energies so that we may find fulfilment in our mission whether we fail or succeed, because the measure of righteousness is not in terms of successes of failures but rather the faithfulness of the individual person to his or her call.

We want to thank God for the golden opportunity and Fr. Xene for his wonderful insights.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD.

The Friends of SVD

IMG-20171021-WA0019

As a religious missionary congregation,  working in over 70 countries in the world for the las 141 years,  we have come to realize and embrace the contribution of the lay people in our mission.  This led to the birth of a lay organization attached to the Society, famously know as The Friends of SVD.

These have partnered enormously with us in our great vocation to preach the Divine Word to all humanity.  With their contribution of  time,  finances and prayers,  these devoted lay people have proven to be very crucial to our missionaries in the field

This month,  in Nemi-Rome,  the Friends of SVD representatives from all over the world have met to exchange ideas and experiences and see how better they can partner with us.  Here in Kenya-Tanzania province the Friends of SVD are helping us a great deal in our parishes and in our institutions.

We want to thank all of them for their dedication and generosity.

Fr.  Lawrence Muthee,  svd

The Diaconate Ordination

Diaconate ordination at Sts. Joachim and Ann parish Soweto, Nairobi

From The Acts of the Apostles 6:1-6 we read: “About this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenists made a complaint against the Hebrews: in the daily distribution their own widows were being overlooked. So the Twelve called a full meeting of the disciples and addressed them, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food; you, brothers, must select from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom, to whom we can hand over this duty. We ourselves will continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word.’ The whole assembly approved of this proposal and elected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these to the apostles, and after prayer they laid their hands on them.”

Deacon comes from Greek”Diakonos”, meaning SERVANT. In the Catholic Church, diaconate is the first in the three levels of the Sacrament of the Holy Orders. Diaconate can be exercised in two ways. One is the “transitional” diaconate whereby the candidate exercises the role of the service in the Church for a period of time defined in the laws and regulations of the Church (Canon Law), and is later ordained into the priesthood. and the second is the “permanent” diaconate whereby the candidate remains a deacon and does not get ordained into the priesthood.

As depicted in the scripture passage from The Acts of the Apostles, diaconate is a ministry of service in the Church. The deacons are charged to take to the people the love of Jesus of Nazareth is a special way, especially the sick, the widowed, the orphaned, the poor, prisoners, the marginalized, as well as lead the people in prayers.

On Friday 13 October 2017, Sts. Joachim and Ann, SVD parish in Soweto Nairobi, hosted the ordination of six young men into the ministry of the diaconate. Three of these were The Divine Word Missionaries (SVD), two from the missionaries of Africa and one from the Order of Friars Minor (OFM). The  SVD provincial superior Fr. Tony Amissah said that latter two congregations had asked to join the SVDs to celebrate this day together as one family.

The celebration was great opportunity to bring out clearly the concept of one Church, one Mission,  Head, but different callings. The diversity of the congregations and organizations within the Catholic Church does not mean division but rather, the understanding of the Church that “though the gifts of the Holy Spirit are diverse, the Spirit of Christ is one and we are all the parts of his mystical body.” The Church is alive to the different needs of the society that it serves, especially in our times.

We congratulate our newly ordained deacons and urge them to faithfully bring the risen Christ to all they will serve.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD.

Holy Trinity SVD Parish Blesses House & Celebrates Sacraments

 

It was all red, white and black as the Holy Trinity Parish Kwa Morombo in Arusha, blessed the long waited parish house. In the same celebration and more than 300 children received the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation. The celebration was led by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Prosper Balthazar Lymo, the auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Arusha. A number of SVD confreres graced the occasion with some of them travelling all the way from Nairobi.

The parish house has been the passionate effort of the parishioners led by the Parish Priest Fr. Peddy Castelino and the Assistant Parish Priest Fr. Norman Labutan. Apart from the parish house, last year the parish blessed St. Arnold Pre & Primary School. On the list of development too is the Church building that is more than 60% complete.

In his final speech, the auxiliary Bishop congratulated the Morombo people and the entire SVD fraternity for their big contribution in the development of Arusha Archdiocese. Until now, SVD missionaries are running 5 parishes, 3 in the outskirts of Arusha City and 2 in the Southern Maasai land.

We congratulate the People of Morombo and in a special way our two confreres working there for the good work.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD