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Covid-19 Charity Initiative

Covid-19 Charity Initiative

Shalom good people,

we are happy to announce that yesterday we managed to provide care hampers of Ksh 1,500 each to 62 families from Matopeni slums. We thank the Nbi West D.O. and Ass. DCC, area acting chief and the Kenya Red Cross for joining us in the exercise. The Matopeni people were very happy and I believe this is a great blessing to our Parish particularly those who donated towards the Charity initiative. See attached photos and program for next Friday.

May God bless your kindness for when I was hungry you gave me to food. Mt. 25:35

Covid-19 Charity Response Initiative

Covid-19 Charity Response Initiative

Shalom, am happy to announce that through our covid-19 charity response initiative we have been able today in partnering with Lang’ata CDF office to deliver a water tank to matopeni slums opposite our church between Karen Brooks and FEM church. May God bless our efforts to improve sanitation for our less fortunate in society. Asante Lang’ata constituency CDF. More good news coming next week. God bless you

 

Called to Serve

Called to Serve

The Regina Caeli Catholic Parish celebrated its 66th birthday in a colorful celebration that entailed a number of other activities taking place within the parish to mark the occasion.

 

CMA & CJPC Commissioning

19 men were commissioned to the Catholic Men Association after six months of training. The Association is a non-profit making and non-political group of baptized and devout male Christians of the Roman Catholic Church, and is affiliated to the International Council of Catholic Men (ICCM).  It brings together Catholic men from all walks of life and prepares them to promote the family institution through companionship, fatherhood and active participation in the Church’s mission of evangelization and the sanctification of humanity.

 

The fastening of the official C.M.A tie, a symbol of commissioning of the new members

The newly commissioned were encouraged to evangelize by being role models in solidarity with fellow Catholic Men and emulating the Holy Family of Nazareth.

 

A section of the newly commissioned CJPC members during the ceremony

14 men and women were also appointed as commissioners in the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC). The Commission aims at sensitizing individuals, communities and the whole nation on justice and peace issues and their respective roles and duties in addressing peace development, human advancement and advocating for human rights.

 

Strategic Plan

There was also the launch of the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan with the theme of Serving the Lord of orderliness and perfection and whose mission is to create and nurture the spiritual and socio-economic growth of the parishioners. This plan will guide parish activities for the next five years, focusing around evangelization and faith formation; outreach; communication awareness and education; and institutional growth and sustainability.

Bishop Alfred Rotich appends his signature on copies of the 2018-2023 Parish Strategic Plan

These events were well in line with the liturgical readings of the day, which were summed up in the fact that each of us is on a journey like Elijah was, seeking the face of God. In his well expounded homily, Bishop Alfred Rotich, urged those present to run to God and not to be led into desperation, because God is a God of endless possibilities. Allow God to lead you away from your mountain of desperation and despair to the mountain of hope and restoration. Look up to God in all your situations of life, and then you will be able to testify that you have tasted of the Lord and that you know that He is goodness itself.

The Bishop also added that we should all heed God’s call to be sources of hope to others, the salt of the earth. God invites us all to be people of hope and assistance. He also congratulated Rev. Fr. James Maloba Wesonga, the assistant parish priest as he marked 18 years of priesthood.

 

 

Parish Family Day 2017

Parish Family Day 2017

Be strong, brave soldiers for Christ
That was the message that His Eminence John Cardinal Njue had for the 152 candidates, on whom he conferred the sacrament of confirmation in a colorful ceremony at Regina Caeli. In his homily, the cardinal stressed on the renewal of baptismal promises and urged those present to live in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Njue delivers his message to the congregation and the confirmation candidates during mass

Cardinal Njue delivers his message to the congregation and the confirmation candidates during mass

He said, “Like prophet Jeremiah, there will always be resistance from the world around you. But be strong; stand strong in your faith. Be attentive to the voice of the Lord God because He speaks to us in various ways. Don’t let your light be put out by the trouble you shall face in this world.” Words that encourage bravery in faith for those receiving the sacrament of confirmation and indeed all other faithful reflecting on their Christian lives.

A smile and a prayer: a section of confirmation candidates prepare to receive the sacrament

The Cardinal went on to address the confirmation candidates, “To my dear ones, who will receive the sacrament of confirmation today, remember what Jesus said: If you want to be my disciple, you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. Nothing comes easy in being witnesses to Jesus. Do not be discouraged. Carry your cross, not by yourself but together with the one who gave you that cross. Strive to be as close to God as possible, in times of joy and in times of sadness and sorrow. Karibia Mungu wakati wote. As members of the Church, we are living stones, which build a living church and feel the real, living presence of God in the church we are. We are all witnesses to Christ and His Church.”

Cardinal Njue applies chrism on a confirmation candidate as his Godfather looks on

This message of encouragement was delivered on Sunday 3rd of September 2017 during the Parish Family day Mass concelebrated by Fr. Stephen Omondi, Fr. Maloba Wesonga, Fr. Augustine Ledude, Fr. Bernard SDB and a diocesan priest from Burundi assisted by Deacon Charles Charo. The mass was held at Regina Caeli, Karen.

By Catherine Muteithia

The Door of God’s Mercy is Always Open

The Door of God’s Mercy is Always Open

Sunday 20th November 2016 was the day the Roman Catholic Church worldwide marked the close of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. This extraordinary jubilee set it apart from other ordinary jubilees or holy years -called by the Pope once every 25 years- during which a particular theme or event is emphasized. During this particular Jubilee, the Holy Father directed our attention and actions on the theme of MERCY, so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s actions in our lives… Be merciful like the Father. This was only the third Extraordinary Jubilee since the tradition began 700 years ago.

The Jubilee Year of Mercy commenced when the Holy Father Pope Francis opened the Holy Door of St Peter’s Basilica on December 8th 2015, and on December 13th all the Holy Doors in Cathedrals and designated churches throughout the world opened to pilgrims. The doors were opened across the world -some for the first time- so that people everywhere could pass thorough them and gain a plenary indulgence (the complete remission of all temporal punishment due to sin). Those entering or passing through the Holy Door of Mercy will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons and instils hope.

At Nairobi’s Resurrection Gardens, one of the churches in Nairobi that have the Holy Door of Mercy, the mass to close both the Year and the Door of Mercy was presided over by Fr. Stephen Omondi- Parish Priest of Regina Caeli, Karen and assisted by Fr. Ritho Mwaniki – director of Resurrection Gardens, together with three other priests from Kenya, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The liturgy was led by St. John Karinde Choir. During his homily, Fr. Omondi reminded the faithful to continue carrying out the works of mercy, both the corporal works: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned and the sick, shelter the homeless and to bury the dead; as well as the spiritual works: counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, bear wrongs patiently, gentleness, comfort the afflicted and to pray for the living and the dead. He emphasized that though the door of mercy was closed, the mercies of God remain forever.

Speaking at the Resurrection Gardens, the faithful said that they were very excited to be participating in such a mass -an extraordinary jubilee- that only takes place once every 25 years. “I am very glad to have participated in this mass, for I don’t know if I will be around when this Holy Door of Mercy is opened next. But God is merciful.” said one 75 year old man who attended the mass. Another young lady who usually attends mass at St. John Karinde said that she had attended the mass at the Gardens when the Holy Door of Mercy was opened and was privileged to also attend the closing mass. She said she had seen an increase in charitable activities by different groups within the church during this Year of Mercy.

Indeed, the Jubilee of Mercy served as a reminder of God’s providence and mercy. As a people of God, ruled by the One true King who holds all things together, let us continue in the same spirit of mercy, forgiveness and solidarity.

 

Compiled by Catherine Muteithia

Cancer Awareness Day

Cancer Awareness Day

13th November 2016, Karen

“Cancer never sleeps!” Audrey, a breast cancer warrior (survivor) says as her colleague Catherine adjusts her spectacles while nodding her head in agreement. “…. And neither should we sleep [to fight it]!” interjects Fr. Kiarie as he too gets into the conversation; a conversation that we all urgently need to have.

Globally, cancer is infamous for all the lives it has claimed. In Kenya the scenario is no different with studies indicating that 1 in 14 deaths in 2014 was caused by cancer translating to 39 deaths each day (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics). This is the reason behind the Cancer Awareness Day held at Regina Caeli Parish on Sunday 13th November 2016. Though the cancer awareness month falls in October, the Regina Caeli community decided to mark the day during the month of November, during which the Church traditionally remembers and prays for our departed brothers and sisters. And true to the Catholic tradition of praying for the departed, a mural was put up in the church with names of loved ones lost to the tragedy that is cancer. Although the list of names was not exhaustive, it served to show that indeed the disease does not choose race, creed, education, age or walk of life in its devastation. Special prayers were said in all masses for the souls of these persons and all other people who have lost their lives to cancer, are still fighting the disease or are in one way or the other affected. In addition, part of the day’s activities was a free health clinic offered by the Nyumbani Diagnostic Laboratory who were at hand to give advice on cancer related queries as well as provide free BMI, blood sugar and malaria testing for parishioners.

The main message of the day was quite clear: We can fight cancer, we don’t just have to stand aside helplessly and watch it deliver its deadly blows to our society. We have the power to rid Kenya of the scourge and indeed even the world. This message was delivered clearly by cancer warriors visiting the parish to deliver this message of hope and encouragement. The warriors who were invited by Ruth Were included, Audrey Barasa, Ezekiel Libamira and Catherine Mutua, who are all cancer survivors. They spoke of their experiences in surviving cancer and how each person’s journey with the disease is a unique one.

The one day event held at the church is obviously not enough in the effort against cancer. There is needed a continuous effort if the goal of having a cancer free Kenya is to be achieved. But this begs the question, how? How is it possible to have a cancer-free Kenya? Well according to our visiting warriors it is quite possible but it all begins with each and every one of us.

Early detection is one of the biggest weapons we have in this war. We need to use it. Awareness of how self-testing and even medical testing for the different forms of cancer needs to spread like wildfire on oil. We all need to talk about it! Secondly, Treatment has now become more accessible and more affordable. We should take advantage of advances in medicine. Today we have a lot of information everywhere, the question is, do we act on this information or do we just sleep on it? Opportunities appear all the time, for example the free medical clinics offered at the Church. How often do we visit them and get even the simplest advice on preventative measures like nutrition? Finally, prayer and support for the victims and the affected will go a long way in giving the spiritual and material support that they need. In the words of Pope John Paul II, “no one is too poor to give and no one is too rich to receive.” The journey of a cancer victim is one that is unimaginably hard. They need a lot of support. They often just need someone to talk to, someone to listen to them. “Be that person, don’t advise too much, just be there for the person,” advises Catherine who is speaking from experience. 

As the conversation draws to a close Fr. Kiarie reminds us that a lot of what is required of us to beat cancer are works of mercy; works that have been encouraged by Pope Francis over this extraordinary jubilee year of Mercy. Let us all come together, together we can fight and together we will win this battle against Cancer!

Compiled by James Chege

A mural with the names of cancer Victims


Regina Caeli Ground Breaking

Regina Caeli Ground Breaking

Groundbreaking-Gratitude and Opportunity

 

Date: 6th November 2016

                Groundbreakings usually signify the beginning of construction. They are the visible beginning of a milestone. For the family of Regina Caeli-Karen, it marks an exciting milestone, bringing to fruition the dream that the then parish priest-Fr. Paul Kanyi and the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) members had in 2010 of expanding the church. The plan changed from expanding the current church to building a new one in 2013, a resolution reached by the members of the PPC after prayers and deliberations with the Small Christian Communities. There were three main reasons behind this decision:

  1. Expanding the current church would have constraints on the architect, given that the current church is more than 60 years old and there are some walls that cannot be demolished as they are sentimental. The PPC members saw it fit to give the architect free-will to give the parishioners a bigger sanctuary
  2. Given the newly acquired land that was previously being used by St. Mary’s Primary School, the parish had more space and property to build a bigger sanctuary
  • To blend in with the population growth of Karen

This groundbreaking for the new sanctuary is a result of about four years of planning, patience and persistence. This is phase one of this great project. The expansion of the church was necessitated by the growing number of parishioners and visitors to the parish, and the current church is not able to accommodate this growing number. The new sanctuary will be able to accommodate 2000 people, up from the 700 (400 inside and 300 in the tent) which the current church currently accommodates.

                On the 6th day of November 2016, the parishioners of Regina Caeli, led by Frs. Omondi, Maloba, Kiarie, Sylvester and Martin Ndegwa, held the groundbreaking for the new sanctuary, and held special prayers before commencement of construction. It was indeed a way of thanking the people who had made this project possible. It was a joyous occasion for the many parishioners and well-wishers who have been involved in the conceptualization and shaping of the new sanctuary, as well as organizing and directing the ‘Journey of Faith’ fundraising walk.

                Aside from financial contribution, parishioners have the obligation to faithfully perform their duties of prayer, sacrifice and gratitude in order to contribute to the construction of the sanctuary. With the Triune God, we begin this great task. We do so with great boldness, confidence, optimism and gratitude for nothing is too hard for the LORD. This means that not only is God our beginning and our end, but He is also every point in between. As the community of Regina Caeli, we want to focus in God and not ourselves, to bring glory to God and not to ourselves. We are at the beginning of a momentous building project. Monies have been raised, plans have been drawn, committees have met, decisions have been made… but for this project to endure, for it to be lasting, our focus needs to be on God.

                Like the leaders and builders before us, the beginning that we are marking has required leadership, foresight, careful planning and philanthropy. Each of the parishioners and visitors present during the groundbreaking has played a special role in where we are today.

Ephesians 3:20-21…Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever AMEN.

Ground Breaking Time Line

Date Activity
2010: Parish priest Fr. Kanyi and PPC come up with resolution to expand Regina Caeli Catholic Church
2011: Architects invited to draw representations for the expanded church
2011: Designs for the priests house drawn, approved and construction of new priests house begins
2013: Plan changes from expansion to Building of new church
2014: Architects invited to draw representations of new sanctuary, final drawings approved
2014: Space found for the new church on grounds belonging to Regina Caeli but occupied by St. Mary’s Primary School
February 2015: Approval granted and MOU signed for demolition of current structures and putting up of new classroom block at St Mary’s Primary School
December 2015: Construction begins of new school block
12th March 2016: Journey of Faith fundraising walk Begins
21st May 2016: Journey of Faith fundraising walk Ends
August 2016: Construction is completed and pupils begin using classrooms
August 2016: Demolition of classrooms occupying Regina Caeli land begins
November 2016 Official Ground Breaking

 

Some Thoughts and Comments from the Christians

Sr. Felistus Mukima: Daughters of St. Ann working in Regina Caeli as a Catechist

“I want to encourage all the Christians and parishioners of Regina Caeli to continue contributing generously to the church for we know that one day we will be happy to celebrate the Holy Mass in the new sanctuary. We are all encouraged to continue being generous to the Lord for we know whatever we give, the Lord will continue to bless us in our lives.”

Denis Kyalo: Mass Altar Server, Regina Caeli

“Building a new church is good because that is where we will be praying and worshiping our God!

We need to build a big church like St. John so that all Christians can fit inside.

Elishifa Lenkare: Parishioner, St. John Karinde Outstation

“I am very happy because of the parishioners thinking of expanding our sanctuary.  Even though we don’t get to use the church it is okay because we know our children and our children’s children will be happy and they will find that we had them in mind when planning to build a new sanctuary. The journey ahead is not easy but let us be hopeful and courageous. Even a journey of 100 metres begins with that one step, and we have taken that step, so without losing hope, we are going to make it.”

Daniel Njoroge: PMC Member, St. John Karinde Outstation

 “I can say the new sanctuary is good also for the Church in Karinde. We are so happy about it! I remember in month of the rosary when we came for prayers in the hall, we had a lot of trouble as we could not all fit. In the new church we will have a lot of space for everyone.”

Olivia Mwende: Parishioner Regina Caeli Catholic Church

“I believe that we are so going to make it! That we are going to build this sanctuary together when we cooperate and we give our funds we are going to make it! Give all that you have and the Lord will bless you. Giving, giving, giving….that’s all we can do for now.”

Bernard Mose Mandere:  Parishioner, Regina Caeli Karen

“What I’ve seen is the spirit of cooperation. Obviously it has been assisted by the good leadership of the resident priests Fr. Omondi, Fr. Maloba, and Fr. Kiarie, the task force and all the leaders working on the project. My only prayer is going forward that all parishioners can cooperate as it is not going to be a few days job but perhaps even many years of continuous contribution and effort.”

Patience Kisiula: Regina Caeli Sunday School

“It’s a good thing that we are going to build a new church. We are going to get places to sit so then other people can come to our church.”

Edward Karanja: Coordinator, Friends of Regina Caeli

“The process started very well, I like the enthusiasm that people have and the strength that we have started this process with. It is definitely a clear indication that this journey is achievable.”

Natalie Wanjiru: Regina Caeli Sunday School

“When we build a new church people are going to be happy and they will also be coming every time to praise the Lord in the new church.”

Joseph Mathende: Theologian and member of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission

“We need to be weary of the negative word of mouth where some people think that KShs 250 million is too much; that they cannot afford it. The truth is that however much time it will take, your contribution will be positive one and a new sanctuary will be built.  Keep up the spirit and God will touch it!”

Susan Nduku: Treasurer, Regina Caeli Parish Youth Group

“This idea to have a new sanctuary is a very good one. I believe that with faith and God’s will we are going to make it. We are going to come up with a place where everyone will come and worship.”

Francisca Kamuthu: Chairperson, St. Gregory 9.30am Mass Choir at Regina Caeli

“Generally this day has been wonderful from the planning to the execution. The mass went on very well; the singing was good, all the three choirs coordinated very well. What touched me most was the way Fr. Omondi remembered the people who had contributed to the building of the new sanctuary and had passed on.  For us we still have an opportunity to do more. The message is do it now!”




Compiled By Catherine Muteithia and James Chege