“The Church has for a long time been a Priest’s Church. We hear people talk about building a house for a Priest, visiting a Priest and so on. The Holy Spirit left the Church a long time ago in this sense,” Fr. Kinoti said.
He reiterated Fr. Bett’s message that the Church “must become for all the Baptized” and insisted that evangelization must not be left to those who have been labelled as experts.
Key in evangelization, participants of the workshop were told, is the need for proper catechesis and formation.
“You can’t speak of what you don’t have,” Fr. Luchidio said, and added, “As Missionaries, we sometimes don’t know what to speak when we set out for our missions.”
It was also noted that some Priests have stuck to being “Lectionary Preachers” rather than enriching their homilies by reading the Bible.
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Additionally, the SCCs where Bible reflections are conducted among small numbers of Christians are not properly structured to encourage evangelization, Fr. Luchidio said.
“There are Small Christian Communities, where only one or two people share their reflections on the Bible while the rest remain silent. Sometimes, the word of God is used to attack other members of these groups. They spend very little time discussing the word of God and dwell on other issues such as their contributions to Church projects,” the PMS Kenya Director observed.
In her presentation, Sr. Winfrida also pointed out the politics of money in evangelization, and noted that too much energy was being put on Church finances at the expense of the Word of God.
“The Church is becoming more and more about money,” the Kenyan Catholic Nun said, and added, “The fact that we need to build our Church by ourselves cannot be overlooked. But we shouldn’t centralize money in our work of evangelization.”
Members of the Clergy and women and men Religious were encouraged to collaborate with each other, “bringing all their different charisms on board”, to improve their experience of evangelization.
Participants of the workshop were also reminded to immerse themselves in the different cultures of the people of God, especially those in geographical peripheries. This way, they were reminded, they would easily penetrate the hearts of those who have not known the Gospel.
Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.