Cardinal in Kenya Urges Parents to Support Children’s Desire to Join Religious Life

John Cardinal Njue with the SMA deacons he ordained at St Monica Kitengela Noonkopir Parish, Diocese of Ngong. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Cardinal in Kenya has called on parents to support their children’s desires to join Religious Life.

In his homily during the ordination of seven Deacons of the Society of African Missions (SMA) in Kenya, John Cardinal Njue said that some parents are against their children’s desires to join Religious Life because of the need for material wealth from their respective children.

“Give an opportunity to your sons and daughters to be able to discover what exactly they want to do,” Cardinal Njue said during the May 14 Holy Mass.

When children express their desire to join Religious Life, “parents begin to look for ways of blocking them,” the Archbishop Emeritus of Nairobi said, adding that parents also think about the opportunities they might miss when their children become Religious.

“Sometimes parents ask themselves, will bride price come from Sisterhood?” the Kenyan Cardinal who retired as the Archbishop of Nairobi in January 2021 posed, and advised parents to be open to God’s work in the lives of their children.


“Do not be tied by some desires such as when one becomes a Sister; there is no bride price that will ever come. Be happy that you have done your part as a parent and let the work of the Lord be respected,” the Cardinal said, and added that parents need to remember they have done their parental duties by bringing up their children.

If parents do not permit their children to join Religious Life, there will be no Priests, women and men Religious, the 78-year-old Kenyan Cardinal Njue said during the May 14 Ordination event.

It is only by living vocations that have been given by God that people become fulfilled, he said and explained, “It is only when we do what God wants us to be and why He sent us to this world, that is when we shall be truly effective in doing what we have taken up. Know that you have not sent yourself.” 

“It is God himself who has sent you to be able to serve Him in a given mission,” the Cardinal said, adding that ordinations serve as reminders “that unless you do what God wills for you, you can be smiling because others are smiling but very sad within.”

In his homily during the Eucharistic Celebration held at St. Monica Kitengela Noonkopir Parish of Ngong Diocese, Cardinal Njue told the candidates he was about to ordain Deacons to remain faithful and remain committed to their ministry.

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“Once you become Deacons, live that diaconate authentically. Remain united with God in His work. May the work of God become your life. Remain united with God in prayer. Dialogue with Him in times of joy and in times of sorrow. Remain united with Him in the Sacraments in the fulfillment of fidelity, in the fulfillment of your life in the Sacraments and in the service,” the Cardinal said.

Cardinal Njue also urged Catholic Priests to use the occasion of the ordination of new Deacons to examine themselves. He said, “My brother Priests, may this celebration be a moment of renewal, a moment of examination of conscience.”

“If everything is alright, then move on. It is when you are doing what is good that you are also being prepared for a better future. If there is anything wrong, wake up as fast as possible and let God return to his rightful place in your life so that when you act, you’ll not be acting just verbally but from the depth of your heart.”

The Kenyan Catholic Church leader added, “Let this be a moment of examination of conscience. Let this be a moment of thanksgiving for the Deacons, renewal and being reenergizing.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.