On a Pilgrimage

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Last Thursday all the priest from the Archdiocese of Arusha together with the Archbishop Emeritus Josaphat Louis Lebulu, the auxiliary Bishop Prosper Lyimo, Myriads of Religious men and women, Christian Mothers, Men and Youths, made their annual pilgrimage to the hills of Kisongo.

As it is the norm, the pilgrimage is made in a prayerful WAY OF CROSS that stretch about 2 KM from the CAANAN Children’s Home uphill to the top of the hill where sits the diocesan cemetery.

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At the beginning, the pilgrims participate in the act of kindness from their lenten fast, which they donate to the children’s home that takes care of over 30 orphaned children, and ends with a prayer for our departed brothers at the cemetry.

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Later in the evenining, the Archidioce celebrates the Chrism Mass, that is one week before the Holy Week, because of the vastness of the geographical distance of many of the parishes. This allows all the priests to be present in their parishes for the important events of the Holy week.

We thank God for the good weather that reigned on this day after two weeks of continuous downfall.

Fr. Lawtence Muthee, SVD

Is Being Young Today a Mistake?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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