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Foster Stewardship, “balanced approach to creation”: Kenya’s Nuncio to Graduands

Graduands at a Kenya-based Catholic institution have been urged to foster stewardship in their leadership aspirations, putting to good use religious values for the “special care for God’s creation.”

Addressing the 2020 graduands at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) Friday, November 27, the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya, Archbishop Bert van Megen called for a “balanced approach to creation” characteristic of individuals “who know how to  interpret the signs of time."

“As future leaders, it is your call and your duty to conserve our society and to have special care for God’s creation,” the Nuncio told the graduands during the 39th Graduation Ceremony that was held virtually and live streamed on social media platforms from the main campus in Nairobi.

The representative of the Holy Father in Kenya further told the graduands, “You would have to find answers for a more balanced approach to creation in which the human being is no longer considered as an absolute ruler but as a steward respecting creation in deepest assets."

“Leaders inspired by the fundamental values of religion, as you are, have a key role to play in combating climate change and finding adequate answers to the present COVID pandemic,” Archbishop Megen who also represents the Holy Father in South Sudan said.

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In the face of the coronavirus and the uncertainties around it, Archbishop van Megen encouraged the graduands to be agents of hope in their various interactions.

“With the diplomas you have earned here today, you have received the skills to be counted among those leaders who are offering hope, taking care not to sow panic and to share responsibility,” the Dutch-born Prelate said.

He went on to encourage the graduands to strive toward visionary leadership amid challenges saying, “We are confronted with our own fragility and the fragility of the world and in that increasingly uncertain world, we are in need of leaders who can guide us through the tempest of our present time.”

"The current pandemic is a time of transition and of philosophical revolution," Archbishop van Megen said at the 36-year-old Catholic institution of higher learning and continued, "We need to take steps today to face the challenges and thus enter into a better tomorrow." 

Speaking at the same event held under the theme, "Strong in the storm, breaking new frontiers in the delivery of value based higher education", CUEA's Pro-Chancellor, John Cardinal Njue, indicated that the graduands had been inculcated in the values of the Catholic Church that emphasize ethical leadership. 

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"Do not burry the values you have absorbed while at CUEA. Rather, show-case these values to the world, become ethical leaders in your respective professions," Cardinal Njue told the graduands. 

By showcasing the values, the Archbishop of Kenya’s Nairobi Archdiocese said, "Many will learn from you and aspire to be ethical leaders just like you."

Cardinal's message was echoed by CUEA’s Vice-Chancellor (VC), Fr. Stephen Mbugua who said, “The world today is full of poverty and disease, corruption and deceit, nepotism and socio-economic inequalities. The world is in dire need of ethical leaders." 

"You are ready to be ethical leaders in your respective fields of specialization," the Kenyan-born VC of the Catholic institution owned by the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) told the 1,884 graduands.

The member of the Clergy of Kenya’s Nakuru Diocese encouraged the graduands to put to good use the knowledge and skills acquired over the years from the university

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“You have received value-based education; this makes you our hope. Go forth and tackle today’s global problems and by doing so, contribute to humanity’s true progress,” Fr. Mbugua said during the virtual event November 27.

On his part, the Chairman of the CUEA’s Council, Bishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba cautioned the graduands against “get-rich-quick schemes and practices that you will find everywhere you turn.”

“Become your brother’s and sister’s keeper and when you find yourself in a difficult or self-compromising situation ask yourself, what would Jesus our Lord do if He was in my shoes?” the Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Nakuru Diocese added.