Prioritize Service, “then money comes as a reward”: Catholic Bishop in Kenya to Graduands

Graduands at the 41st graduation ceremony of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Credit: CUEA

Graduands at a Kenya-based regional Catholic University have been challenged to prioritize service over financial gains, the latter coming “as a reward” after having served.

In his homily during the Thanksgiving Mass ahead of the 41st graduation ceremony of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Bishop Paul Kariuki Njiru said, “All the gifts that God has given us are meant to help others.”

“To serve God means to serve humanity; we place ourselves totally in the hands of God, do his will and serve others,” Bishop Kariuki further said. 

The Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Embu Diocese who doubles as the Chairman of the Commission for Education and Religious Education (CERE) of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) underscored the need to prioritize service over money.

“When you serve others, do not be deceived that what comes first is money or reward; what comes first is service and then money comes as a reward of what you have done,” he said during the Thursday, October 27 Eucharistic celebration at CUEA’s main campus in Langata, Nairobi.


Bishop Kariuki went on to encourage the 2,500 candidates graduating from the Catholic institution of higher learning owned by the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) to explore the deepest inclinations of their hearts in their life of service.

“My dear brothers and sisters, especially the graduands, do what you believe is great work; you must discover what you love; what you have passion for in order to serve God and humanity,” the Kenyan Catholic Bishop who chairs CUEA Council said. 

He also emphasized the need for teamwork, saying that nothing significant can be achieved in solitude.

Making reference to the biblical story of creation, Bishop Kariuki said that the companionship that God instituted in Adam and Eve was a recognition of the value of teamwork and working together.

Fostering a team spirit can be handy in handling the challenges of life and disappointments, the Kenyan Catholic Bishop said, and added, “Know how to handle challenges and disappointments in life. Even if we have the power to handle challenges, we need others to help us to handle those disappointments.”

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“Do not walk alone; walk with others. Our goal is to walk far and do very many things,” the Bishop who has been at the helm of Kenya’s Embu Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in July 2009 said.

In his homily during the Eucharistic celebration that was concelebrated by four other Bishops, the 59-year-old Catholic Church leader urged the graduands to include God in their life strategies.

“To succeed today, you need a strategy; when we respond ‘yes sir’ to God, our strategy works,” Bishop Kariuki said, and added, “If we don’t respond appropriately to God, our strategy, however good it may be, comes to nothing. Strategize, but always put God first.”

Among the Bishop concelebrants during the October 27 Holy Mass at CUEA main campus were Bishop Markos Ghebremedhin of Ethiopia’s Jimma-Bonga Diocese, the Bishop of Dedza Diocese in Malawi, Peter Adrian Chifukwa, Bishop Robert Muhiirwa of Uganda’s Fort Portal Diocese, and the Local Ordinary of Kondoa Diocese in Tanzania, Bishop Bernardin Francis Mfumbusa

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.