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Kenya’s Ngong Diocese Offering Monthly Reflections on St. Joseph in Year-long Celebration

Image of the banner announcing the year of St. Joseph in Kenya's Diocese of Ngong

As part of their program to celebrate the year of St. Joseph, which Pope Francis proclaimed 8 December 2020, Catholics in Kenya’s Diocese of Ngong are expected to participate in monthly reflections on the patron Saint of the Universal Church. 

In an interview with ACI Africa Monday, January 25, the Pastoral Coordinator of Ngong Diocese, Fr. Boniface Mukwe said that the reflections aim at helping Christians to deepen their understanding of the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

“There will be monthly reflections about St. Joseph led by the Priests. Since we are a mission land with few Priests, in some places, the Catechists will lead the reflections,” Fr. Mukwe said, adding, “We want the people to know who St. Joseph is, to imitate him, and to learn from his life.”

He further said, “The reflections aim at nurturing the faith of the Christians and to help them with the growth of various Church groups.” 

While launching the year-long celebration on January 17, the Local Ordinary of Ngong, Bishop John Oballa Owaa said that the monthly reflections should make the foster-father of Jesus “known and loved” by the Christians.

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“The year of St. Joseph is an opportune moment to make the role of St. Joseph visible and more pronounced,” Bishop Oballa said and added that the reflections will assist the faithful to “internalize the role of St. Joseph.”

“This year, by our monthly reflection on him, we should make him better known and loved,” the Kenyan Bishop who doubles as the Vice-Chairman of Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) said during the celebration held at St. Joseph Cathedral of Ngong Diocese.

In the first three months of the year, Catholics in Ngong Diocese will deliberate on St. Joseph as the Most Valiant Protector of Church, Joseph head of Holy Family, and Joseph Most Just respectively.

From April to July, the people of God in the Diocese will reflect on Tender loving and courageous Father, Model of Workers in silence, Joseph Most Obedient, and Joseph Most Chaste and Faithful.

Between August and December, the Clergy, Religious and Laity in the Kenyan Diocese will focus on the themes: Mirror of Patience, Joseph Most Prudent, Most humble Father, Patron of Dying and Solace of the Afflicted, and Joseph Instructor of Morals and Faith.

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Apart from the monthly reflections, the leadership of Ngong Diocese has also composed a prayer to be recited throughout the celebration that will climax 4 December 2021 during the Diocesan Family Day.

In addition, every Parish in the Diocese has “tools” comprising a Bible, crucifix, candles, and the Statue of St. Joseph that will be exchanged among the different Church groups as part of the year-long celebration.

In the January 25 interview, the Pastoral Coordinator of Ngong Diocese explained that the exchange of tools aims at connecting the people of God within the Diocese. 

“The exchange of these tools is to bring connectivity. We are one Catholic Church; we share one faith in St. Joseph. This is more of sharing and to build the faith of each other,” Fr. Mukwe, a Tanzanian-born Clergy of Kenya’s Ngong Diocese told ACI Africa January 25. 

Reflecting on St. Joseph as the Patron St. of men, Fr. Mukwe said, “Men are yet to be evangelized and those that are evangelized need to deepen their faith, and this will be through the intercession of St. Joseph.”

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He added, “If they want to be true men, true fathers and they enjoy being fathers and husbands, this is their time to get trained by St. Joseph.”

“Let the year be one where men will renew their Fatherhood from St. Joseph,” he added. 

The Cleric continued in reference to St. Joseph, “He was a righteous man. He loved his family and though there were a lot of challenges, he never complained.”

Fr. Mukwe who doubles as the liturgist in the Diocese of Ngong said that the Church looks forward to recruiting and forming more men as members of the Catholic Men Association (CMA).

“Once we are able to form these men, we will also be able to take care of the family,” said the Cleric.

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The leadership of the Catholic Church in Ngong is also looking forward to having a “strong Diocese, strong Small Christian Communities (SCCs) and strong families through the celebration of St. Joseph this year,” Fr. Mukwe further said. 

“We hope that the people will deepen their faith and really enjoy their Catholicism throughout the year,” the Cleric told ACI Africa January 25.