“Stand firm in Christian values”: Archbishop to Catholic Student Leaders in Kenya

Archbishop Philip Subira Anyolo during the Annual Leaders Symposium in Kenya's Nairobi Archdiocese. Credit: Archdiocese of Nairobi

Student leaders in Catholic sponsored schools in Kenya have been urged to make Christian values their main reference in their day-to-day decisions.

In his January 27 homily during the Annual Leaders Symposium, the Local Ordinary of Nairobi Archdiocese, Archbishop Philip Subira Anyolo, said, “As a leader who is going to be consecrated today in the prayer of leadership, you are the one who knows the way. You should know the way and guide the other people.”

Archbishop Anyolo urged the student leaders to strive to live a “life of virtue”, putting to good use the leadership traits and their “giftedness” in their interactions with others in their respective institutions of learning.

“You are to be role models. Your colleagues will be looking up to you and everyone will try to imitate you without you noticing,” the Local Ordinary of Nairobi Archdiocese said during the January 27 event that was held at Mangu High School in his Metropolitan See.

He cautioned the over 3,000 student leaders against the tendency “to molest or mishandle” students placed under their leadership.


“All the others will look at you as an example,” the Catholic Archbishop who has been at the helm of Nairobi Archdiocese since November 2021 said, adding, “The learners will look for you and they will take your example; they will follow you.”

He continued, “The best thing that you can do for these young people who are growing in wisdom, in knowledge, in spirit and in social life is to show them a better way so that they will call you role models.”

The 66-year-old Kenyan Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in February 1996 as Bishop of Kenya’s Kericho Diocese underscored the need for student leaders in Catholic sponsored schools to stand firm in Christian faith and make Gospel values their source of reference.

“I want to encourage you to stand firm for something, for a principle which you have been guided into by your leaders; stand firm and stand for it,” he said referring to Christian faith.

The Kenyan Catholic Archbishop warned, “If you don't stand for something that you have been given at this age as something precious, you are going to fall for anything.”

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“If we don't stand for a certain value of life, if we don't stand for a Christian virtue of life, we shall fall for any evil cause of life. So, I encourage you to stand up and stand for something in your leadership and stand for something for your school and stand for something in your life and others will follow,” Archbishop Anyolo said in his January 27 homily.

He continued, “If you don't stand for anything, you are like a flag being blown left, right and center by the wind; you will never lead anybody”

“Be consecrated in the truth and be good leaders that will bring and propel your schools and your lives into the careers and professionalisms you wished in your hearts,” the Local Ordinary of Nairobi Archdiocese said.

Meanwhile, in his keynote address during the event, Titus Wairate urged the student leaders to regard their leadership role as a divine calling.

“You have been appointed and anointed by God to serve him as a leader. He is the one who gave you. He is the one who has invested in you leadership skills that others don't have,” the Kenyan educationist and counseling psychologist, who doubles as motivational speaker said.


He called upon student leaders from Catholic sponsored schools in Kenya to be “agents of the good news through many things, but particularly for today by living an active Christian life. The way you live your Christian life will make people want to emulate you.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.