On 8th September 2022, the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Good Shepherd Simanjiro Parish celebrated 20 years of the presence of Divine Word Missionaries (SVD). However, the celebration was held on 11th September 2022 the Sunday closet to 8th. Apart from the faithful from 30 stations under the parish, the celebration was also graced by SVD confreres from Nairobi, Eldoret, and Arusha. Also present were Friends of SVD from Nairobi and Arusha and other invited Guests. more than 1500 hundred people graced the day.
On the same day, 205 candidates received the sacrament of confirmation after completing their catechetical instruction for one year and passing the test. The candidates were all dressed in black and white, each armed with a Bible, A rosary, and a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Two couples also blessed their marriage on the same occasion. We are glad to see much faithful embracing monogamy and blessing their marriages in the Church, abandoning polygamy which is still the norm here.
After the Holy Mass, the parishioners congratulated all the confreres who have worked in the mission for the last 20 years. Many of them were present including some Diocesan Priests among them Fr. Simon Tenges, the Vika General of the Archdiocese of Arusha who also was the main celebrant.
There was also fundraising to make repairs to the Parish Church building which was very successful.
To crown the day, 23 Choirs from the outstations competed with the song for the year, 20 years Anniversary of Divine Word Missionaries in Simanjiro. This took the greater part of the afternoon and into the night.
The parish has made many steps under the shepherdship of Divine Word Missionaries including, an increase in the number of the baptized and outstations, training of many catechists who are very central to the work of evangelization, the building of nursery schools in remote villages, reviving of Simanjiro centre which serves over 30 villages, many sacramental marriages, the building of permanent Churches among many others.
We thank God for all his graces during these 20 years of missioning and transformation of the lives of the Maasai people here in Simanjio.
Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD