Let’s Be “professional” in Preparing Homilies: Catholic Bishop in Kenya to New Deacons

Bishop John Mbinda presenting the Book of the Gospels to newly ordained Deacons. Credit: ACI Africa

There is need for members of the Clergy to prepare their homilies, handling their ministry in a “professional” way as they feed the people of God with the word of God, Bishop John Mbinda of Kenya’s Lodwar Diocese has said. 

In his homily on the occasion of the Diaconate Ordination of 16 members of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CSSp.), also known as Spiritans or Holy Ghost Fathers, Bishop Mbinda reminded the Deacons-elect about the importance of prayer and their vowed life.

“Let us be professional in the way we prepare our homilies because this is one of the ways that we are being called to reach out to those that need the word of God,” the Bishop during the Ordination Mass that was held at St. John the Evangelist Holy Ghost Parish of Kenya’s Archdiocese of Nairobi.

Bishop John Mbinda of Kenya’s Lodwar Diocese during the Diaconate Ordination at St. John the Evangelist Holy Ghost Parish of Kenya’s Archdiocese of Nairobi. Credit: ACI Africa

The Spiritan Bishop further appealed, “Prepare your homilies well so that they can be the stepping stones for those who don’t believe in Christ to believe in Christ.”


“Put your preaching within the context of the people you are serving so that it can teach, inform, and direct their lives,” Bishop Mbinda told the deacons-elect, and urged them to preach God’s word as it is put in the Gospel and “to remain within the tradition of the Holy Mother Church”.

The first-ever Kenyan Spiritan Bishop, who started his Episcopal Ministry in June 2022 following his appointment in April 2022 underscored the need to provide Church teachings in homilies.

One of the seminarians being escorted by his parents. Credit: ACI Africa

“We are also to teach what the teaching authority of the Church – the Bishops, the Pope – teaches so that the people of God can understand what they need to give to the Church, what they need to do so that all of us together with them can reach eternal life,” he told the 16 Spiritan Deacons-elect, who hail from six African nationalities.

The Bishop member of Kenya’s oldest missionary Order went on to appeal to the Deacons-elect foster humility, dedication, and total sacrifice in their ministry as members of the Clergy.

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Some of the seminarians during the Dicaonate Ordination Mass. Credit: ACI Africa

“This is the reason why the Church invites you to proclaim the vow of chastity and celibacy so that you can free yourselves,” the Kenyan Catholic Bishop said, adding that celibacy “is a sign and motive of pastoral charity, a sign and motive of pastoral chastity.”

Celibacy, he continued, “means that when we give ourselves to Christ, our interior motive, and all of our body and soul, give ourselves fully to the service of the Lord.”

Credit: ACI Africa

“We do not leave anything behind; we give ourselves fully and we are motivated to free ourselves of family responsibilities so that we can be fully available to the family of God,” Bishop Mbinda said. 


Bishop John Mbinda examining the candidates for ordination. Credit: ACI Africa

Turning his attention to the vow of obedience, said, “Obedience is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of humility. Following the footsteps of Christ himself who humbled himself, leaving the dominion of heaven and coming down so that He can show us the way to the Father, be obedient and you will reap the fruits of following Christ fully.”

Credit: ACI Africa

The Local Ordinary of Lodwar Diocese called on the Deacons-elect he was about to ordain hailing from Angola, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia to be prayerful.

“Prayer remains a key component. It remains part and parcel of your Religious Life wherever you will be. Pray hard because now that you are going to join the order of Deacons, the devil is graduating to ‘deacon devil’ and he will be seeking to devour you,” he said, making reference to the first letter of St. Peter 5:8 recited during night prayers.

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Credit: ACI Africa

Prayer, the Catholic Bishop told the 16 Spiritans Deacons-elect, “will give you insights into what you preach; prayer will give you insights into your work.”

He made reference to the Reading from the Acts of the Apostles on the qualities of the first Deacons, challenging the Deacons-elect to foster “good reputation” and take note of the presence of the Holy Spirit in their respective lives, helping them fulfil their Diaconate ministries.

Credit: ACI Africa

The 50-year-old Kenyan Catholic Bishop called upon Priests to support the Deacons in their transitional ministry as they journey towards ministerial Priesthood, cautioning Priests against “grabbing” “everything for ourselves”.

“Let us sharpen their practice of the ministries so that they can be productive Deacons now and Priests in the future,” Bishop Mbinda said during the ordination Eucharistic celebration concelebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya and South Sudan, Archbishop Hubertus Maria van Megen.

The Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya and South Sudan, Archbishop Hubertus Maria van Megen. Credit: ACI Africa

In his message at the end of the Eucharistic celebration, Archbishop Megen urged the 16 new Spiritan Deacons to focus special attention to the poor members of society. 

The Nairobi-based Vatican diplomat made reference to St. Lawrence, the 10 August 258 martyr, who, when his executioners ordered him to bring all the wealth of the Church with him before them, showed up with some crippled, poor, and sick persons, saying "These are the true wealth of the Church".

Bishop Mbinda and the Superior of the Spiritans in Kenya and South Sudan, Fr. Dominic Gathurithu, receiving ofne of the seminarians at gthe altar. Credit: ACI Africa

Archbishop van Megen said, “The most symbolic sacrament of the Church are the poor. It is in the poor that we recognize Christ. It is in the poor that we can serve Christ. They can be poor in money, handicapped, those who are depressed, those who are mourning; they are those who are in need of our help.”

Credit: ACI Africa

“I wish that you would find many poor people in your life, whom you can serve. Find many people who are in need of help then you can serve because then you will find Christ,” the Dutch-born Apostolic Nuncio, who has been representing the Holy Father in Kenya since he was transferred from Sudan in February 2019 said.

Credit: ACI Africa

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.