Emulate Joseph, Mary in Handling Marital “embarrassment”: Catholic Archbishop in Kenya

Archbishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba of Kenya's Kisumu Archdiocese celebrating Mass on the Feast day of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St. Gabriel's Minor Seminary in his Metropolitan See. Credit: Radio Maria Kenya- Kisumu.

St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary can be inspirational in handling cases of “embarrassment” between spouses, the Archbishop of Kenya’s Kisumu Archdiocese has said. 

In his Friday, September 8 homily on the Feast day of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Archbishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba said that St. Joseph shielded Mary from shame and humiliation when he plotted to divorce her “secretly”.  

“When things go wrong, how do we save our spouses from embarrassment? Joseph, being a man of honor, wanted to spare Mary from embarrassment by secretly planning to divorce her,” Archbishop Muhatia said during the Eucharistic celebration at St. Gabriel's Minor Seminary to mark the annual visit of the Catholic Women Association (CWA) to the institution.

He added, “The desire to shield each other from embarrassment, the glare of Cameras, away from the attack of the society, is a lesson that spouses should learn from Joseph and Mary.”

Although the Blessed Virgin Mary was not at any fault, Joseph got strength from God not to abandon her due to the pregnancy, Archbishop Muhatia said.


“My dear women of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kisumu, God gives us Mary as the example because, in her, He is redefining our history,” the Catholic Church leader said.

He went on to urge Catholic women in his Metropolitan See to take solace in Mary’s response to God when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her.

Mary’s response to God’s divine will, through her words, “am the handmaid of the Lord” should be the chorus of the Catholic women of Kisumu, the Kenyan Catholic Archbishop who succeeded Archbishop Philip Anyolo in March 2022 said, encouraging the women to make Mary’s response their “dream” and “song”. 

He enlisted some of the ways CWA members in Kisumu Archdiocese can conform to Mary’s response in relation to St. Gabriel's Minor Seminary, including supporting the institution financially, and through prayer.

In protecting Christian families, and in fostering the integrity of a Catholic woman, CWA members would be aligning their lives to that of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Archbishop Muhatia said, and added, “In Mary, we see a perfect response God expects from us as human beings.”

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“Mary comes to redefine our history, to change our brokenness. In her, God begins to reshape us, He manifests His hope again,” the 55-year-old Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in February 2010 as Bishop of Kenya’s Nakuru Diocese said in his September 8 homily.

He lauded CWA members in Kisumu Archdiocese for supporting the Minor Seminary, and added, “St. Gabriel’s Minor Seminary is our special institution in the Archdiocese of Kisumu and I am happy that CWA members have taken this responsibility very seriously.”

“Last year you were here and showed your love for the Seminary. I have been moving around Parishes talking about the Seminary and you have demonstrated together with other Christians your love for the Seminary,” he said.

Archbishop Muhatia appealed, “Please, don’t keep tired if we keep asking you to support this institution because if we don’t support it, we as an Archdiocese would have missed the point.”

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.