“Do not get tired of supporting us”: Spiritan Superior in Kenya to Partners at Fund Drive

Members of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost Fathers/Spiritans/CSSp.) in Kenya with Lay Associates and partners during the annual fund drive popularly known as Spiritan Family Day at St. Austin’s Msongari Parish of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi. Credit: ACI Africa

The leadership of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Spiritans/Holy Ghost Fathers/CSSp.) in Kenya is appealing to entities and individual persons who have partnered with the Congregation, the country’s oldest missionary Order, in facilitating the realization of its mission to continue the partnership.

Speaking to ACI Africa on the sidelines of the annual fund drive popularly known as “Spiritan Family Day”, the Provincial Superior of the Spiritans in Kenya thanked those who have been part of the eight-year-old initiative, including Lay Spiritan Associates who were first commissioned in Kenya in February 2020.

Fr. Dominic Gathurithu, Provincial Superior of the Spiritans in Kenya and South Sudan. Credit: ACI Africa

“We thank our Lay Associates and other donors for their support. Since we started … they have always supported us. There is no one time we met and we got nothing,” Fr. Dominic Gathurithu said. 

“Please continue to support us, and do not get tired of supporting us,” Fr. Gathurithu further said during the June 16 event that was held at St. Austin’s Msongari Parish of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi, which members of the Holy Ghost Fathers established in August 1899.


Credit: ACI Africa

The Nairobi-based Spiritan Provincial Superior who also has responsibility over the Spiritans in South Sudan explained the purpose of the annual fund drive.

He said, “This is the time when we fundraise as Spiritans for formation programs.”

Credit: ACI Africa

“It costs a lot of money to educate Seminarians because when they go to the Seminary, there are costs there: that of educating them, and paying the professors, buying food for them, (and) paying their bills,” Fr. Gathurithu explained.

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He continued, “Every seminarian is required to pay a good amount of School fees. We help them to pay their fees because these Seminarians have offered to serve the Church and to be in the congregation.”

Credit: ACI Africa

“That is why every year we approach our friends, Lay Spiritan Associates, and parishioners from where we serve,” the Kenyan-born Spiritan Provincial Superior told ACI Africa on the sidelines of the annual fund drive that also involves the individual contribution of each member of the Spiritan Province of Kenya and South Sudan.

He acknowledged with appreciation the support over the years, saying, “The people of God have really been very supportive. They understand the need for this fundraising so that we can always have seminarians, we can always have young men, young people to serve the Church.”

Credit: ACI Africa


Also speaking to ACI Africa, the Provincial Bursar of the Spiritans in Kenya said the fund drive is meant “to support us in our main objective, which is providing personnel for our work.”

“Our main objective as Holy Ghost Fathers is to provide holistic formation and integral development to our people,” Fr. Stephen Mukami said, adding that the mission of the Spiritans entails pastoral care, education, health services, and “mentorship of our young people”.

Fr. Stephen Mukami, the Provincial Bursar of the Spiritans in Kenya. Credit: ACI Africa

The annual fund drive, Fr. Mukami said, helps “to mobilize resources to go a long way in building our capacity to meet all these needs.”

He went on to share the various stages of the formation program of the more than 40 Kenyan Spiritan Seminarians pursuing their Priestly and missionary training.

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“At the moment we have eight Seminarians in the level of postulancy. We have 12 Seminarians in the philosophy. And we have four in Novitiate, which is our third stage of formation; and in the fourth stage, we have about 17 students,” Fr. Mukami said.

The Provincial Bursar of the Spiritans in Kenya who doubles as the Assistant Parish Priest of St. Austin’s Msongari Parish provided a breakdown of what it costs to keep Spiritan Seminarians in their respective houses of formation.

“It will take about 150,000 Kenya Shillings (about US$1,500) per year to maintain a student in Postulancy,” he said, adding that the cost that covers tuition and accommodation per Seminarians is revised upwards in subsequent formation stages.

Fr. Mukami said that while a Spiritan Seminarian in Philosophy requires US$2,600.00 per year, a Spiritan Novice would require US$2,500 for the year he is in the Novitiate.

Meanwhile, each of the Spiritan Scholastics enrolled for Theology requires US$4,500 per year, he further said.

Credit: ACI Africa

Apart from helping in the training of future Spiritan Priests, the Provincial Bursar said, the funds raised during the annual Spiritan Family Day go into supporting Spiritan Priests enrolled for further studies and specializations.

“At the moment we have Priests who are doing law, education, and business management. The money raised today will also go a long way towards supporting them,” he said, adding that in furthering their studies, the Spiritan Priests get to have “the capacity required to become more and more relevant and competent in the various areas of ministry.”

Fr. Mukami thanked partners who have participated in the annual fund drive, as well as other “partners who collaborate with us”, including donor agencies such as Aid to Church in Need (ACN) International that he said “has been very helpful in supporting our formation.”

Credit: ACI Africa

He echoed the appeal of the Provincial Superior of the Spiritans in Kenya and South Sudan for continued support for the mission of the 320-year-old Congregation whose members, present in some 60 countries across five continents, were on May 8 lauded by Pope Francis for their “generous and courageous docility to the Spirit”.

Fr. Mukami said, “We recognize that there is a dwindling level of donor funding; we acknowledge the economic situation is very difficult for everyone, but we thank you very much for the sacrifices that you have made in the past to enable us to get where we are, to continue building our capacity.”

Credit: ACI Africa

“We appeal to all of you to continue partnering with us so that we can be able to increase our capacity and eventually be able to have as many Priests as possible to serve the people of God in all our areas,” the Kenyan-born Spiritan Priest said.

Credit: ACI Africa

The Spiritan Provincial Bursar assured partners of continued good stewardship, saying, “As we have done in the past, we are going to be accountable, transparent, and most importantly, very efficient in the use of these funds, in accordance with your intentions.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.