Explain to Family “implications” of Consecrated Life: Kenyan Bishop to Nuns at Profession

Bishop Joseph Obanyi of Kenya's Kakamega Diocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Catholic Bishop of Kakamega Diocese in Kenya has urged those in Consecrated Life to explain to their respective family members “the implications and the consequences” of the life they have chosen to live.

In his Monday, June 20 homily on the occasion of the profession of members of Sisters of Mary of Kakamega (SMK), Bishop Joseph Obanyi also cautioned families against putting sons and daughters in Religious Life under pressure, seeing them “as breadwinners”.

It is most appropriate that those in Consecrated Life tell their families the “implications and the consequences of the life that you live,” the Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Kakamega Diocese said, and added, “Sit with your family members, explain to them what it means to be a Sister.”

In cases where the limitations of those in Consecrated Life are not explained to family members, Bishop Obanyi said, “Family members see you as breadwinners; every problem it is you to solve.”

He regretted the fact that some Catholic Sisters have been put under pressure by their respective families to provide for their various needs. He said, “You find a poor Sister is stressed up in the community because she is thinking about the problems in the family.”


In his homily at Sacred Heart of Jesus Mukumu Catholic Parish of Kakamega Diocese, the Kenyan Bishop acknowledged with appreciation the decision the ten SMK members had made to dedicate their lives to God’s service as Consecrated persons. 

“We are not only serving the Church by what we do, but we also, through our lives, get sanctified by what we do so that we can get to heaven,” Bishop Obanyi said.

He went on to congratulate the six SMK members who were making their perpetual profession and the four who were taking their first vows for having listened and responded to God’s call at a time when “the world is full of noise”. 

“Many times, we don’t get the opportunity to listen because the world is full of noise,” Bishop Obanyi who has been at the helm of Kakamega Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in March 2015 said.

He called on the congregation at the profession event to be attentive to the voice that calls people to God’s service, saying, “The moment you get the opportunity to hear the sound of Christ calling you, don’t take it for granted.”

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“We must take care and ensure that we don’t hear other voices within ourselves, other than the voice of Jesus Christ,” he further said, and urged those in Consecrated Life to connect themselves fully to the Cross of Jesus Christ as a way of countering the worldly voices that might disrupt them in their service.

“Think about Jesus Christ and His cross; because it is when we are connected with Jesus Christ through His Cross that we shall not see other things as more important than Christ Himself,” Bishop Obanyi said in his June 20 homily.

Addressing himself to the SMK members who were making their profession in the Kakamega-headquartered Religious Congregation, he said, “Go and experience the power of the cross. We are now called to a life where we must also be prepared to experience the power of the Cross.”

Bishop Obanyi emphasized the need for the professing SMK members to give themselves unconditionally to the Lord, saying, “Immerse yourselves in Jesus Christ without asking what you are going to get because Jesus Christ has a reward for us.”

“Those taking perpetual professions said that they want to follow Jesus for the rest of their lives. This means that there is no turning back and this is your new family,” the 55-year-old Kenyan Bishop said about the six SMK members, and added, “Let us not fall into the temptation and begin to embrace the same family we have left behind.”


The Kenyan Bishop challenged those in Religious Life to place God at the center of their vocation and to give Him glory because He is the initiator of their lives. He said that if glory is given to God alone, Religious Life makes “more sense”.

“Don’t say that is your vocation, don’t say that is your initiative, it is always the initiative of God. Your Religious Life will make more sense when you always refer to the one who initiated it all, and that is God,” he said.

Bishop Obanyi emphasized the need to realize the will of God in each person’s life, saying, “All people have been called with responsibilities to fulfill not because they like it but because God knows that it is His plan (for) you.”

“The world will only be a better place as intended by God if we fulfill our calls as bestowed to us by Him,” the Kenyan Bishop said June 20 during the profession of SMK members in Kakamega Diocese.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.