Be Nuns “modeled after the heart of Christ”: Kenyan Bishop at Profession

Members of Sisters of Mary of Kakamega (SMK) taking their vows on Friday, 8 December 2023. Credit: Sr. Irene Muhanga

The Catholic Bishop of Kakamega Diocese in Kenya has urged the newly professed members of Sisters of Mary of Kakamega (SMK) to live their vocation as people modeled after Christ’s heart.

In his homily during the celebration that took place at SMK Mother House Grounds in Kakamega Diocese on Friday, December 8, Bishop Joseph Sagwe Obanyi also urged the newly professed to emulate the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“My dear ladies who are going to make their vows today, become people who are modeled after the heart of Christ in the example of our lady who was conceived without original sin,” Bishop Obanyi said at the event that saw 13 SMK members take their first vows while 11 others took their perpetual vows.

At the event that was celebrated on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Kenyan Bishop challenged the 24 SMK members to transform their lives and to do things differently after taking their new vows.

“Those who are making perpetual vows, become stronger… and greater witnesses of Jesus Christ wherever you are,” he said, and added, “After professing, become even humbler than you are.”


Bishop Obanyi emphasized to those who undertook their final vows the importance of deepening their love for the Congregation. He urged them to wholeheartedly commit to their religious community, urging them to cast aside any doubts and to fully immerse themselves in their chosen path.

The Catholic Bishop encouraged them to foster mutual support within the group, emphasizing the importance of cherishing one another as fellow members of the same congregation. He stressed the need for unity, reminding them that they share a common goal.

“Cherish one another, don’t make your colleagues feel like strangers in communities where they go,” said the Bishop who has been at the helm of Kakamega Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in March 2015.

Bishop Obanyi also encouraged the newly professed nuns to take their vows seriously, saying, “All the three vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity are equal and important.”

He added, “These vows are the guidelines that are going to help you to be closer to Jesus Christ. Be faithful to them; cherish them; love them and you will be happy.”

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“Your vows help you to discern the will of God, and that will be your work; what does it mean to be poor, what are the implications of being poor, and what are the practical aspects of being poor,” he explained.

The 55-year-old Kenyan Bishop told the sisters that living within their vows would draw them closer  to Christ and enrich them spiritually.

“Chastity involves developing purity of the heart so that you can serve people with love,” Bishop Obanyi said and added, “Obedience on the other hand involves obeying God’s will through your superiors.”

He emphasized the need to be obedient towards superiors who he said are mandated to lead according to the will of God.

“Any guideline or instruction given by superiors is presumed to be the will of God. We don’t have levels of obedience, there is no negotiation in obedience,” the Local Ordinary of Kakamega Diocese said.


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.