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“Collaborate with shared purpose, to do the work of Christ,” Pastoral Agents in Kenya Told

A poster announcing the three-day online workshop for pastoral agents in Kenya.

The need for pastoral agents to collaborate in their mission of evangelization has been emphasized at the start of a three-day virtual workshop that is bringing together Clerics and religious men and women involved in pastoral animation in Kenya.

“We have to collaborate in order to do the work of Christ. We need to collaborate with a shared purpose and our purpose is to bring Christ to the world and the world to Christ,” the National Director of Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Kenya, Fr. Bonaventure Luchidio, said Thursday, October 22.

In his presentation titled “Collaboration for Mission”, the Kenyan-born Cleric noted that the Church is facing a crisis in her evangelization mission hence the need to foster a collaborative ministry.  

“The crisis we are facing is because of secularism, privatization of religious matters and faith, the exaltation of the self rather than God, emphasis on doctrines that call for personal experiences more than social experiences,” Fr. Bonaventure indicated during the online event.

He added, “When we privatize faith, we exalt ourselves rather than God; we become development agents rather than spiritual agents and because of that, there is syncretism.”

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“People come to the Catholic Church for service and go to other churches for spiritual nourishment,” the Cleric whose office functions under the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) said.

Addressing himself to participants in the ongoing workshop that has brought together liaison committee members of the Commission for Clergy and Religious and PMS Directors in Kenya, Fr. Bonaventure said that Jesus is inviting “all of us to break down all the barriers, all the walls that divide us and he wants us to sit around and share.”

The member of the Clergy of Kenya’s Kakamega Diocese made reference to the words at the end of the celebration of Holy Eucharist saying, “We are told: Go, the Mass is ended. We have to go and as we go, we become missionaries.”

Fr. Bonaventure added, “As we go, we are going with a process and the process is our spirituality: I have Christ with me, how can I break and share this Christ with the people?”

He encouraged participants in the virtual workshop to embrace humility saying, “There is no way we can collaborate if we are not humble and if we are full of pride.” 

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The PMS national Director in Kenya urged the pastoral agents to proclaim the Gospel message in “a language people understand,” ensuring that it has been packaged creatively. 

“Our message should be creative and inspiring. We should use fewer words and act more,” he said. 

Organized by the Commission for Clergy and Religious of KCCB, the webinar is a follow up of the September 24 to 26 workshop for  Liaison Committee members, PMC Directors and PMC Coordinators from all Dioceses in the East African nation.

In the September workshop, participants focused their discussion on the theme “Communication for Collaboration.”

While giving his opening remarks on the first day of the October 22-24 virtual workshop, Bishop David Kamau who chairs the Commission for Clergy and Religious of KCCB called on pastoral animators to be “authentic witnesses” of the Gospel.

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“We are called to be authentic witnesses to the good news by sharing our love, our faith and our hope in our experiences rather than in teaching and in life and action than in theories,” Bishop David Kamau said. 

The Auxiliary Bishop of Kenya’s Archdiocese of Nairobi added, “As witnesses, we are called to take a courageous and prophetic stance in the face of many evils and divisions so evident on our world, to make a personal examination and communion in our conscience in order to correct what is contrary to the Gospel and disfigures the face of Christ.”

“If the Church is to be able to show her true meaning and reality to this world, she urgently needs communities of true communion,” the Prelate said October 22 and added, “Think for a moment of how many communities we belong to.” 

According to 65-year-old Kenyan Bishop, “If there is true meaning and collaboration, then by their very existence, these communities contribute to the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ.”

He added, “This is because these communities show the faithfulness of the commandment of Love. This witness is of the greatest importance in our world torn apart by very many divisions.”

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Besides the theme on Collaboration for Mission, the October 22 to 24 virtual sessions will see participants discuss “Mission to the Margins” and Pope Francis’ new encyclical ‘Fratelli Tutti’ Uniting our gifts in the Mission of the Church.”