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Kenyan Bishop Eulogizes Priest for Manifesting “compassionate heart of the Good Samaritan”

Late Fr. Dominic Waweru Kariuki. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Catholic Bishop of Kenya’s Ngong Diocese has paid glowing tribute to his Priest who was laid to rest Tuesday, July 27, saying he manifested a “compassionate heart” that can be compared with that of the Good Samaritan in St. Luke’s Gospel.

Fr. Dominic Waweru Kariuki died Wednesday, July 21 while receiving treatment at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Nairobi at the age of 61. He was the Director of Social Communications in the Diocese of Ngong.

“One characteristic that remained constant in Fr. Dominic, apart from being an accomplished organist, great singer, was his compassion,” Bishop John Oballa Owaa said during the Funeral Mass of the late Kenyan Priest at St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral of Ngong Diocese. 

Fr. Dominic, Bishop Oballa added, “had this compassionate heart of the Good Samaritan who could not pass by a suffering and dying person.”

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"He had time for the people," the Kenyan Bishop said in reference to the late Priest, adding that apart from being a man of God, Fr. Dominic was a man of the people.

Fr. Dominic “died daily to assist where he could and as much as he could with the few resources at his disposal,” the Bishop further recalled.

“He had a heart that was moved … to listen to those who were in any kind of affliction. He listened to their hearts, their anxieties, their troubles and their suffering,” Bishop Oballa added in reference to the late Priest. 

Ordained a Priest for the Diocese of Ngong in August 1991, Fr. Dominic studied Theology at St. Thomas Aquinas National Major Seminary in Nairobi Archdiocese and Philosophy at St. Augustine’s Major Seminary, Mabanga, in Kenya’s Bungoma Diocese.

As a Priest, he coordinated Justice and Peace in the Diocese’s Maela Camp; he also served as Principal of Najile Boys Secondary School, and Parish Priest. 

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He suffered a stroke in December 2007. Since then, the Kenyan Priest was been in and out of hospital. 

In his homily, Bishop Oballa who has been at the helm of the Kenyan Diocese since April 2012 called upon the people of God under his pastoral care to emulate the late Priest’s acts of compassion.

“Let the contribution of our brother in that regard move us to be renewed in feeling with our brothers and sisters,” he said, and underscored the need for compassion now than ever before.

“If there is one loud cry of our time, it is the cry of compassion,” the Kenyan Bishop said, and described compassion as “the ability to be moved and do something to change a situation and bring consolation and comfort to our brothers and sisters in pain.”

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He alluded to reports about embezzlement of COVID-19 funds in Kenya explaining, “What we are witnessing over and over again is that we are living in a world where instead of helping the sick and the dying there is no shame in stealing from them. Look at the billions stolen from the COVID money.”

Humanity needs to exercise “true compassion, not false compassion where we sympathize with those who should be in jail,” Bishop Oballa who is at the helm of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) said.

“Humanity needs to restore a human heart that feels not only for others as a pity but also and mainly feeling with others and doing something about it,” the 62-year-old Kenyan Bishop said, and added, “We need to pray for this compassionate heart.” 

“The last judgement will be based on concrete deeds of mercy that we perform on Christ in our brothers and sisters: the hungry that we fed, the thirsty that we gave a drink,” he emphasized.

On their part, representatives of Catholic communicators described the late Priest as “an icon of Church communication.”

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“Hereby lies an icon of Church communication. Hereby lies an icon of good news. Hereby lies an icon of patience; hereby lies an icon of kindness, God’s lover, Church suffering, of the Church militant, of Church triumphant,” they said in a message read by Fr. Frederick Njoroge, Director of Communications in Kenya’s Eldoret Diocese.

“Dom is a winner through Christ par excellence. The one who is communicating to us the beauty of the resurrection,” the Catholic communicators further said, and added, “Rest in peace Kenyan icon of Church communication.”