St. Patrick Would Champion Family Values, “he would speak against injustice”: Catholic Missionary Priest in Kenya

Fr. Livinus Adakole Onogwu. Credit: Capuchin TV

The need to foster Christian values that support family life and the fight against injustices in society would be among the priorities of St. Patrick if he were alive today, a Catholic Missionary Priest in Kenya has said.

In his homily at Holy Family Utawala Parish of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi on March 17, the Feast Day of St. Patrick, Fr. Livinus Adakole Onogwu encouraged the people of God to look to the fifth century Bishop and patron of Ireland for inspiration in responding to the universal call to holiness.

The Nigerian-born member of St. Patrick’s Missionary Society (Kiltegan Fathers) said, “If St. Patrick was to address us today, he would speak about the values of family life, and he would speak against injustice, against hunger, against homelessness, against abuse of children and vulnerable adults, against poverty, against human trafficking and the awful treatment of migrants.”

Fr. Adakole went on to share the current ministry of the members of the Missionary Society that was founded on St. Patrick’s Day in 1932.

He said, “We are into safeguarding children and vulnerable adults; we are into promoting justice, good governance, and responsible citizenship. We are supporting campaigns against human trafficking among many others.”


“We thank all our benefactors as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Feast Day today for supporting us to carry on these life-giving ministries for God’s People,” the native of Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Nsuka, where he was ordained a Priest on  7 February, 2016 added.

He invited the people of God to seek the intercession of St. Patrick, who he said “was like each and everyone of us”.

“We seek his intercession and the graces we need to help us on our own journey to sainthood. We pray through the intercession of St. Patrick that we will have the strength, the determination, the courage to remain focused on our journey to sainthood,” Fr. Adakole said during the March 17 Eucharistic celebration at Holy Family Utawala Parish.

Speaking at the start of Holy Mass, the main celebrant, Fr. Sean Barry, emphasized the missionary calling of St. Patrick among the people of God in Ireland.

“The big thing about Patrick is that he had a great, deep love for the Irish people to whom he went as a missionary,” the Kiltegan Father said, recalling that St. Patrick’s love for Irish remained steadfast despite being trafficked and suffering ill-treatment.

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St. Patrick, Fr. Barry went on to say, “brought the Gospel with special love for the people, and that is the call of every missionary: to love the people that we are sent to ministry with.”

The Irish-born Kiltegan Father recalled with “sadness” the March 13 killing of his Zambian confrere in the sacristy of the Holy Trinity Cathedral of South Africa’s Catholic Diocese of Tzaneen.

He said, “Our happy celebration today however is clouded in sadness because one of our brothers was murdered during the week in the South Africa, Fr. William Banda. Some of you may have been at his diaconate a few short years ago.”

The late Fr. Banda “was classmate to Fr. Martin Kavisu who some of you attended his funeral, recently”, Fr. Barry said, referring to his Kenyan-born confrere, who succumbed to injuries following a December  15 road accident in Malawi.

Ordained Priests in 2016, the late Fr. Kavisu and Fr. Banda were classmates of Fr. Adakole, the homilist during the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day at Holy Family Utawala Parish.


Meanwhile, at another celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Nairobi Archdiocese, the Local Ordinary of the Kenyan Metropolitan See called upon the faithful to collaborate with members of the Clergy.

“Work with your Priests for the success of the work of evangelization,” Archbishop Philip Subira Anyolo said in his March 17 homily at St. Patrick’s Thika Parish of Nairobi Archdiocese.

“The priests you have in your midst are hardworking and if you work with them you are going to succeed,” Archbishop Anyolo told the Parishioners, and added, “Don’t count on what you give, but count on whom you give; count on God whom you give, and He will give you more in abundance.” 

Nicholas Waigwa contributed to the writing of this story. 

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