“Pull up your socks in taking care of these children”: Nairobi Catholic Archbishop to Parents, Guardians

Archbishop Philip Anyolo of Nairobi Archdiocese in Kenya. Credit: Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi (ADN)

Archbishop Philip Subira Anyolo of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi has called upon parents and guardians to take seriously the responsibility of bringing up well children under their care, in gratitude to God for them.

In his homily during price giving day at Fr. Joseph Richetti Primary School under St. Martin de Porres Karuri Parish of his Metropolitan See, Archbishop Anyolo said, “In the name of the church and with the church and for the church, we want you parents and guardians to pull up your socks in taking care of these children.”

“The way we can say thank you to God for these children is the way we take care of them,” he added during the March 21 event.

The Kenyan Catholic Church leader recalled Jesus’ caution against disregarding children, and challenged parents and guardians to keep children close to them for they are “wonderful gifts” from God.

“Jesus says, ‘Let them (children) come to me for the Kingdom of God belongs to them; it’s theirs,’” Archbishop Anyolo said, and added referring to children, “God gives us these wonderful gifts not for himself, but for the parents, for the world and for the church.”


He went on to say that teachers, like parents and guardians, have also an important role in the good upbringing of young learners, including the fostering in them a value system that brings them closer to God and one another. 

“You are already in the mission of evangelization; what you are doing here with these children, you are drilling them into the life that will be having a coordinated knowledge that will pull and direct their hearts for better things, (and) that will coordinate also their energies and their skills to serve God and neighbour in the future. That’s what the church wants,” he said.

Turning his attention to the young learners, the Catholic Church leader, who started his Episcopal Ministry in February 1996 as Bishop of Kenya’s Kericho Diocese emphasized the value of obedience.

“You will obey if you listen to the Word of God, which is in the bible, and you follow it,” he told the young learners at Fr. Joseph Richetti Primary School, and added, “You live longer if you have good knowledge about God, and if you obey.”

When obedience is practiced at home with parents and guardians, the Catholic Archbishop who has been at the helm of Nairobi Archdiocese since November 2021 said, the outcome is “reflected in how we relate with God our Father.”

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He added, “Abraham the father of faith obeyed God. When Jesus Christ came and was born in the family of Abraham, the father of faith, he taught us to obey.” 

“So if you obey mother and if you obey your father you will live longer and you will be blessed and if you don’t, your life your life is short,” he counselled, adding, “If you obey God your Father, who is the overall Father of everybody, the Father of Abraham, the Father of Jesus, our Father who created us, you shall live longer.”

Archbishop Anyolo went on to explain the initiative of the Church to evangelize through education, saying, “The Church begins all these schools and places of worship not for any single reason, but that you may grow, become wiser, prosperous and successful in life and above all you succeed in knowing God.”

Nicholas Waigwa contributed to the writing of this story

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