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Kenya-based Catholic University’s Planned Ecumenical Service to Promote Christian Unity

Logo of Tangaza University College (TUC). Credit: Tangaza University College (TUC)

As part of its activities to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU), the leadership of Kenya-based Tangaza University College (TUC) has planned for an ecumenical prayer service during which the unity of believers is to be emphasized, a Catholic Priest involved in the initiative has told ACI Africa. 

Scheduled for Tuesday, January 25, the event that is expected to bring together believers from different Christian denominations seeks to emphasize unity, which Fr. Patrick Mwania has described as the “core of Christian calling."

The upcoming event "is a demonstration that being Christians is not about being by yourself or promoting your specific faith," Fr. Patrick who is at the helm of the Directorate of Catholic Identity, University Mission and Chaplaincy at TUC told ACI Africa Wednesday, January 19.

The unity of the followers of Christ “is important because it shows that we all have a common goal as Christians,” the member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Spirit (Spiritans – CSSp.) said, and added, “It is important to unite because that is actually what Christianity is about; not uniting is counter Christianity."

"Uniting is the core of Christian calling," Fr. Mwania emphasized, adding that by fostering unity as followers of Christ, “we are becoming faithful to what we are called to do for the entire humanity and the entire creation.”

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In the January 19 interview, the Professor of Theology at TUC explained that unity among Christians helps them counter societal challenges. 

"As Christians, we ought to live in peace," the Spiritan Priest said, and added, "By living in peace ourselves, we will send a strong message to the world that it is important for people to live in harmony and promote peace."

Apart from the promotion of peace, he said, the union of Christians "can extend to the promotion of human development and the protection of our common home, which Laudato Si’ promotes."

"The work of preserving the environment is for all of us regardless of denomination,” he said.

TUC has also organized daily prayer sessions during the WPCU, Fr. Mwania told ACI Africa in reference to the annual initiative that is traditionally observed from January 18 to 25, which, this year, is guided by the theme, “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship Him."

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Commenting on the theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Fr. Mwania said, "People from the East, who are presumed to be from far away, come to Bethlehem to worship Christ. Christ here unites us and so, we are all called to come together and worship."

Meanwhile, in an interview with ACI Africa correspondent in South Africa, the Bishop at the helm of the Department of Interreligious and Ecumenical Dialogue of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) said Christians cannot guide others to Christ if they are disunited. 

"It is our (Christian) mission to guide others to Christ but how can we do that if we are disunited, if we do not really work together and give witness together as Christian Churches?" Bishop Jan de Groef of the Catholic Diocese of Bethlehem posed. 

Making reference to the theme of the WPCU, the member the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) said, "The Star coming from the East, which is God guiding us towards Jesus Christ and that search for Jesus Christ of course brings us together because we all believe in the same Christ."

"We are all baptized in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit," Bishop de Groef said during the January 18 interview.

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