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Catholic Bishop in Kenya Invites Prayer for “servant leaders” Ahead of Country’s Elections

A screenshot of part of the proceedings at the Subukia National Marian Shrine in Kenya's Ctholic Diocese of Nakuru on Saturday, October 2. Credit: Capuchin Tv

The Catholic Bishop of Kenya’s Marsabit Diocese has urged the people of God in Kenya to start praying to get hardworking leaders who will have the people’s interests at heart as campaigns toward August 2022 general elections gain momentum.

In his homily on October 2 during the national prayer day that was organized by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) at the Subukia National Marian Shrine within the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru, Bishop Peter Kihara Kariuki acknowledged the heightened political campaigns in the East African country and said that the people had a role to pray for good leaders ahead of elections.

“As political campaigns continue to build up because of the 2022 elections, we pray that we get good servant leaders; not people who will sleep in their positions as the work goes on,” Bishop Kihara said.

He added, “We wish to get servant leaders so that Kenya is led by God and saved from the afflictions that the people are facing at the moment.”

Credit: Lucy Wamucii Chege/Radio Maria Nairobi

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The Kenyan Bishop further called for repentance of sins as the country approaches elections, saying, “Let’s all ask for forgiveness for sins and those committed by others and start afresh as a country.”

KCCB national prayers usually held at the Marian Shrine had been suspended last year in adherence to the COVID-19 regulations that were put in place by the Kenyan government. The last prayers in which Kenyan Catholic Bishops unveiled a strategy to fight corruption in the country were held in October 2019.

Since then, the member of the Consolata Missionaries said, the people had endured immense suffering and had been unable to meet for communal prayers at the Shrine owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The people have gone through so much from the time we came to this place and promised to eradicate corruption from our beloved country. We have suffered immensely from the COVID-19 pandemic which has greatly harmed our economy,” the Kenyan Bishop said.

He added, “We are not out of the woods yet but we thank the Bishops’ conference for allowing us to come here to lift our prayers through our Mother Mary and through the intercession of St. Joseph to continue being true witnesses of the goodness of God.”

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Credit: Lucy Wamucii Chege/Radio Maria Nairobi

According to the Bishop, the only way to win the battle against challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is through prayers.

He said, “There is no other way we shall win in this battle but by coming together united in faith. We have come today to celebrate our faith and to look up to God, trusting him in whatever difficulties we face. He will strengthen us in this battle so that He glorifies Himself.”

“Let’s embrace this day with joy because the grace of God will encompass us as it encompassed Mother Mary and Joseph,” Bishop Kihara said.

The danger of COVID-19 is still here yet here we are because we have nowhere else to be if we do not come to our Mother Mary, he emphasized.

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Credit: Lucy Wamucii Chege/Radio Maria Nairobi

The Local Ordinary of Marsabit further said that the prayer ceremony was a moment of thanksgiving for those who had been spared by the pandemic that continues to ravage the world.

“It’s not by our strength that we are here,” he said, and added, “The COVID-19 pandemic has taken so many. And many others are still suffering. Yet here we are by the grace of God. Let us not run away. The togetherness we are sharing today should be spread to others so that we all go back to Jesus who will show us the way forward.”

“We have been fighting this battle for two years now. We are better off than we were last year. This is a battle that belongs to God,” the Local Ordinary of Marsabit Diocese who doubles as the Chairman of the Commission for Doctrine of KCCB said.

Reflecting on the Year of St. Joseph, which Pope Francis proclaimed last December, the Bishop called upon the people of God to emulate St. Joseph’s conduct and to be more active and silent.

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“Let’s pray before we close the year of St. Joseph on December 8 that our Mother Mary teaches us how to approach this blessed man,” Bishop Kihara said during the October 2 prayer day.

Credit: Lucy Wamucii Chege/Radio Maria Nairobi

He explained, “St, Joseph doesn’t utter any word in the Bible and it is not because he didn’t know how to speak.  Perhaps he understood clearly that actions speak louder than words. For his actions, a great responsibility was bestowed upon him and he was praised for his role in the salvation of mankind.”

The Bishop added, in reference to St. Joseph, “He never uttered words aimlessly in such a way as to cause division. How I wish we could be quiet and more active.”

“In our homes, there should be a missionary father and mother who will in turn teach their children to be missionaries. These children will grow into responsible adults who will serve the nation of God without bias and tribalism,” the Kenyan Bishop said.