March 30, 2015

KENYA: Catholic Diocese of Kakamega gets New Bishop


KAKAMEGA, MARCH 13, 2015(CISA) – Bishop Joseph Obanyi was on Saturday March 7 ordained for the Catholic diocese of Kakamega.

The colourful ceremony was presided over by the outgoing bishop of Kakamega, Philip Sulumeti and attended by thousands of faithful at Bukhungu stadium.

“I am retiring in Kakamega. From today I will refer to you as my father and promise to respect and be obedient to you,” Bishop Sulumeti 77 told the incoming bishop.

Bishop Sulumeti urged his successor to learn the Luhya language to make it easy for him to communicate with his flock.

“….Dear brother Joseph Obanyi learn the local language, Luhya so that you can smell the smell of your sheep…attend to the flock in which the Holy Spirit appoints you as an overseer of the church of God in the name of the father whose image you personify in the church,” said the outgoing bishop.

The Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Charles Balvo and John Cardinal Njue, 25 catholic bishops and over 100 priests and nuns attended the ceremony.

The occasion was also attended by Deputy President William Ruto, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Senator Dr Bonny Khalwale among other host of local religious and political leaders.



MALAWI: Bishops Deliver Aid to Flood Victims


THYOLO, MARCH 13, 2015(CISA) – Malawi bishops are making solidarity visits to flood-hit areas to deliver aid items to those affected.

The floods which occurred in January have displaced more than 230,000 from their homes mostly in the country’s southern and central regions.

During the visits representatives from each of Malawi’s eight dioceses delivered money, clothes, food, and non-food items valued at 1 billion Malawian kwachas, or $2.2 million. The aid was collected from Catholic parishes and institutions across the country reported CNA.

“We commend the oneness and unity in joy and tribulation which the Catholic Church in Malawi has shown, and we continue to ask well-wishers to keep contributing towards this noble cause,” Archbishop Thomas Msusa of Blantyre said on March 10 during an event held in the Thyolo district.

“The demand for relief items in the affected 15 districts is still huge,” he added at the visit to displaced persons living in shelter camps in the area.

According to Archbishop Msusa, the Malawi bishops had designated February 8 “as a special Sunday for the collections of relief items to support thousands of our brothers and sisters affected by the floods,” adding. “We dedicated all the collections for the AMECEA thanksgiving Mass January 31 towards the support of the flood victims.”

Fr Emmanuel Chimombo, acting secretary general for the Malawi bishops’ conference appealed to the Catholic faithful in leadership positions to “live to their Christian values by advocating for the poor, as well as resilient building policies so that events like these disasters do not always catch Malawians off guard.”

The UN estimates that the two weeks of heavy rain in January claimed more than 275 lives and displaced more than 230,000 persons from their homes in 15 of Malawi’s 28 districts. The flooding washed away more than About 64,000 hectares (158,147 acres) of farmland in the country where agriculture accounts for 30 percent of GDP.

On January 24 Pope Francis sent a message of solidarity to the country, assuring Malawians of “his prayers for the victims, their families and all affected by this catastrophe.”



KENYA: Church Launches Catholic Education Institutions Association


NAIROBI, MARCH 13, 2015(CISA) –The Catholic Church in Kenya has today launched the Catholic Private Education Institutions Association (CaPEIA) that is aimed at bringing all Catholic private institutions together.

“We as Catholics want to pool our resources, bring together our institutions so that with unity we can better promote the mission, vision of the Catholic Church in this country especially in the area of education,” said Bishop Maurice Makumba, chairman of the Commission for Education and Religious education.

He was speaking at the end of the Catholic Private Educational Institutions Director and Head teachers Conference held at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa held March 10- 13.

The prelate urged the directors, principals and the head teachers of Catholic private intuitions to follow the guidelines written in the association’s constitution.

“You are the nerve centre of the formation of children in the society today, so we are relying on you in the right formation for children…let us be men and women who will make a difference in the education system in the country.” Bishop Makumba added.

The association (CaPEIA) was formed because the Catholic Private educational institutions have a different mission with that of the Kenya Private School Association.

The vice chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Philip Anyolo urged the delegates at the conference to have a unique approach to challenges facing the education system in Kenya.

“We want the education level to be advanced in the country therefore we come here in the conference to find ways we can bring together the heads of the education to find ways we can improve to educate nation and the church.”

“This conference is being held at the time of lent; this helps in reflection of our previous performance,” added Bishop Anyolo.

Bishop Makumba supported the government’s decision to abolish ranking of the schools in the education system abolishing of school ranking in Kenya.

“Ranking of schools has become a source of making money and corruption and is no longer a tool which is used to help our education system and help children,” said the bishop.





S SUDAN: Peace talks suspended with no any deal


ADDIS ABABA, MARCH 6, 2015(CISA) –Peace talks between South Sudan’s government and rebels adjourned on March 6 and there was no date set for the next meeting, an IGAD mediation official said in a statement.

Earlier Peace talks between South Sudan’s Government and rebels were extended to March 6 after the warring leaders President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar failed to meet an IGAD peace deadline of March 5.

According to the roadmap issued last month, talks were to have been completed by 5 March, with the goal of a transitional government by April.

East African intergovernmental body (IGAD), which had organised the talks, has been mediating a power sharing deal between the two rivals, in Addis Ababa.

An African Union report, yet to be officially released, calls for Kiir and Machar to be barred from a transitional government and for the oil-producing country to effectively be placed under AU control, reported Reuters.

Fighting in South Sudan erupted in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir dismissed his deputy, Riek Machar accusing him of plotting a coup.

The war quickly took on ethnic tones. Since then, more than 10,000 people have been killed while more than 1.5 million are now displaced from their homes.


LIBERIA: The Country awaits to be Declared Ebola Free


MONROVIA, MARCH 6, 2015(CISA) – Sister Barbara Brillant head of the Catholic Church’s Ebola Response team said there is optimism for the nation to eliminate the deadly disease.

The last Ebola patient in Liberia was released from hospital on March 5 and there are currently no fresh cases of the disease in the country.

Sister Brillant said that Liberia can begin to count up to 42 days to be declared Ebola free in keeping with World Health Organization protocols and standards, reported Vatican Radio.

The American missionary who has served in Liberia for about 40 years warned against signs of complacency in the final stages of Ebola Virus.

Sr Brillant added that: “When you’re running a race, you don’t stop 50 years from the finish line, you keep on going.”

She concluded by saying that overcoming stigma around Ebola is a major task that still has be tackled and said that at the height of the epidemic it was very “vicious” in its scope.

Nearly 9,000 people have died out of 22,495 known cases in the Ebola epidemic that began in December ‎‎2013.  The U.N. Children’s Fund said 16,600 children in the three countries were affected have lost one or both ‎parents.