Consecrated Persons in Kenyan Diocese Urged to Have Awareness Campaigns to Boost Vocations

A section of Religious Sisters who took part in the celebration of the World Day for Consecrated Life at St. Joseph's Cathedral of Kakamega Diocese on 5 February 2022. Credit: Sr. Irene Muhanga

Women and men Religious serving in Kenya’s Kakamega Diocese have been challenged to organize regular meetings to celebrate Consecrated Life at the grassroots in Parishes or local communities with the view of promoting vocations to Religious Life.

In his message to the Consecrated in his Episcopal See on February 5, Bishop Joseph Obanyi said that the regular celebrations would then lead to a “Diocesan day of the Consecrated”, enabling the Kenyan Diocese participate well in the annual event of the World Day for Consecrated Life marked on February 2.

“This is a challenge I am drawing now; and the challenge I am posing is, wherever you are, wherever you serve in your communities and parishes especially, would you create something like Consecrated meetings? Or the Religious Consecration that culminates into the Diocesan day of the Consecrated?” Bishop Obanyi presented his challenge.

The Kenyan Catholic Bishop recommended that in organizing the regular “Consecrated meetings”, focus should be to enlighten community members about what Consecrated Life entails. He notes that such initiatives would go a long way in contributing to promotion of vocations to Religious Life.

“Promote vocations, including who you are, what you stand for and what your mission is. Even in the Parish where you are, let that week be marked by certain key acts and activities that promote vocations,” he said.


The Local Ordinary of the Diocese of Kakamega further says that creating the Day of the Consecrated at community or Parish level will give the youth an opportunity to inquire about vocations.

“Let the young boys and girls get the chance to ask questions, to have a chance to see what you do. In fact, let them have an opportunity to see how you pray,” the Kenyan Catholic Bishop said during the February 5 event that was held at St. Joseph’s Cathedral of Kakamega Diocese.

Bishop Obanyi urged members of the Clergy ministering in Kakamega Diocese to consider involving the Laity in subsequent celebrations of Consecrated persons so they can be enlightened about the various Religious Orders and Societies of Apostolic Life in view of choosing where they might wish to serve.

The Catholic Bishop thanked the Clergy for their contribution towards Diocesan Family Day celebrations that he said have enabled the Diocese to execute its pastoral duties. He said that contributions of the faithful in Diocesan activities is a promising initiative towards making the Church in Africa “self-advocative, self-supportive and self-reliant.”

“I recommend that the Church as a whole and especially the Church in Africa, our focus is to have a Church that is self-ministering, self-advocative, self-supportive and self-reliant,” Bishop Obanyi said, and added, “that is what the Diocese is working towards.”

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He continued, “Last year, many communities, Religious and others, supported the Diocese during the family day. I would like to thank you specifically today, thank you for supporting the Church and the Diocese.  It is my prayer and request that you continue in that way.”

The Kenyan Catholic Bishop said that for the Church in Africa to continue being self-sustaining, there is need for the Clergy to embrace unity saying that he cannot work alone if the Diocese has to achieve its mandates.

The Catholic Bishop who has been at the helm of Kakamega Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in March 2015 further expressed his appreciation to all members of the Clergy under his pastoral care, and encouraged the Religious to “serve with humility because it is the will of God we are doing.”

He went on to encourage members of the Clergy serving in the Kenyan Diocese to face the challenges they face by speaking about them “in a Religious way.”

“Challenges will always be there. If we ignore that, we will be cheating ourselves. Challenges can be spoken out in a Religious way,” the 55-year-old Kenyan Bishop said February 5.


He also spoke about Priesthood saying that ministry entails celebrating the mysteries of God and that “it is all about being, not about doing, not about impressing anybody, but it is about being, and being witnesses.”

He reminded the Religious not to forget to walk with Jesus Christ in their daily undertakings.

Making reference to the biblical story of Simeon and Anna where the two embraced Consecrated life, Bishop Obanyi said Consecrated Life is not just about vows, “but a decision made as a sign of God’s love in the world by the way we live.”

In a statement shared with ACI Africa, ahead of the annual World Day for Consecrated life marked on February 2, the leadership of the Religious Superiors’ Conference of Kenya (RSCK), the forum that brings together representatives of the male Religious Orders and Societies of Apostolic Life in Kenya, called for prayers for missionaries who pioneered the Gospel in the East African country.

“In our celebrations, let us pray for the consecrated persons who were the first to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Kenya as missionaries,” the Chairman of RSCK, Fr. Robert Karanja, said in the statement ahead of the annual event of February 2.

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Fr. Karanja added in reference to pioneer missionaries in Kenya, “Many of them went through different forms of sufferings and tribulations in order to bring the good news to us.”

The Kenyan Priest urged Consecrated persons to continue with the ministry begun by the pioneer missionaries and to even re-evangelize in different parts of the world.