African Priest Urges Responsible Parenthood, Says Parents “abandoned responsibilities”

Fr. Albert Ngengi Mundele. Credit: BICAM

There is need for responsible parenthood in Africa, the Director of the Catholic Biblical Centre for Africa and Madagascar  (BICAM) has said, bemoaning the fact that some parents “have abandoned their responsibilities”.

In an interview with ACI Africa on the sidelines of the Congress on family as domestic church held in Nairobi, Fr. Albert Ngengi Mundele emphasized the need for families to be domestic churches, adding that the concept has Biblical foundations.

“It seems that the parents in the family have abandoned their responsibilities. The parents have given up their responsibility of teaching the children how to pray, to teach them how they should conduct themselves properly,” the Director of BICAM, an entity of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) said.

In the Wednesday, May 11 interview, Fr. Mundele further said, “The challenge we are living today is that when the parents release their children to the Parishes, they (children) do not have basic elements in spirituality.”

“We have concentrated more on the Parishes, the Small Christian Communities, and somehow neglected the domestic church, which is the family,” he said.


The Parish, the Nairobi-based Congolese Catholic Priest said, “should be a continuation of what the family is living and sharing.”

He underscored the need for parents to nurture the faith of their children at family level saying the spiritual train should start in the domestic churches, in families.

“The Parish should be a continuation of what the family is living and sharing,” the Director of BICAM who doubles as a lecturer of Bible and Biblical Methodology at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) told ACI Africa May 11.

“The word of God should be shared or enlightened in their families and then it goes to the Parish,” Fr. Mundele went on to say, and continued, “Parents have the responsibility to listen, to read, to share the Word of God and to pray in the family.”

If parents share the word of God in their families, “they will then form their children well and they can pray in the Small Christian Communities and in the Parishes,” the native of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said.

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If all families nurture the fundamental Christian values of their members, “we can move on well in the larger Church,” Fr. Mundele who was speaking on the sidelines of the SECAM conference that brought together  representatives from the Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA), the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA), the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa (ACEAC), and the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa Region (ACERAC), said.

Delegates at the six-day Congress on the family that concluded on May 14 deliberated on the theme, “The Family as the Domestic Church in the light of the Kampala Document.”

The Kampala Document (KD) is a 100-page publication that resulted from discussions of SECAM members at the conclusion of the year-long Golden Jubilee celebrations of their Symposium (July 2018 to July 2019), held  in Uganda’s Archdiocese of Kampala.

In a separate interview with ACI Africa, a participant in the Congress on the family said the strengthening the domestic church is helpful to society. 

If the domestic church is built on a foundation of Christ, it will multiply in the society; It will eradicate the ills of our society. Strengthening the domestic church will help our society,” Benedicta Awuolu said. 


Mrs. Awuolu added, “If we take a look at the early church, the first Christians were living like a domestic family. They shared everything in common, even when the distribution of food became an issue, they were able to resolve it amicably and other non-Christians saw this and it attracted them and the church multiplied.”

“When the domestic family is healthy and Christ-like, the society will become Christ-like; societal ills will be eradicated,” the Nigerian-born human resource manager said told ACI Africa.

A family founded on Christian values would contribute to a society whose members manifest human and Christian values and integrity, she said.

Mrs. Awuolu explained, “We would not have issues of armed robbery, assassination, and all of the other social ills that we have today. There will be no corruption because we will see every other person as an image of Christ or see you as my sister or my brother and together, we would look after one another, we would not kill one another, we will not want to harm one another.”

Another participant in the Congress on the family held at Domun Dei in Karen, Nairobi, Zanza Dulice said parents have a responsibility of teaching their children Christian values. 

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“Being a father or a mother is a divine responsibility that one carries. When God gives you children, He is entrusting you with a responsibility and your task is not just to buy material items for your children but it goes to teaching your children how to pray, the Catholic values, teaching them how to live a moral life, teaching them how to respect human dignity,” Mrs. Dulice said.

The native of the Central African Republic (CAR) added, “Being a domestic Church will be a guiding light for how families should live according to the will of God. It will help to have a balance in life to not only live a secular life but to also know what God expects from you.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.