NAIROBI MARCH 15, 2016 (CISA) – Archbishop Charles Daniel Balvo, the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan on March 14 led a gathering of government officials, diplomats, ambassadors high commissioners, heads of mission and a few faithful in celebrating the 3rd anniversary of the election of Pope Francis.
The Nuncio called on Kenyans to keep Pope Francis message — which he left for us following his maiden visit to the country in November last year — in their hearts.
“The two days of his (Pope’s) stay was full of excitement and enthusiasm even the rain could not dampen. Almost four months have passed since the end of his visit and as natural the euphoria and excitement has died down, what remains and what should remain in our hearts and minds is the message that he left for all of us,” he said.
“The many Brothers and Sisters of the gospel whom he met for the first time, to us the Catholic community, bishops, priests, religious men and women, catechists and lay faithful especially the young people; he left words of inspiration and guidance,” added Archbishop Balvo.
The Nuncio stated that during the meeting with ecumenical and inter-religious leaders, Pope Francis called upon people of faith to work together in facing the many problems that affect the human family and that he had words of encouragement for those entrusted with the government Kenya.
“He asked them particularly to show genuine concern for the needs of the poor, the aspirations of the young and the just distribution of the natural and human resources with which Kenya is blessed,” said the nuncio adding that the pontiff invited all people of good will to “commit themselves to the intention of lessening the impact of climate change, fighting poverty and ensuring respect for human dignity.”
Kiminini Member of Parliament, Hon Chris Wamalwa who was the guest of honor at the event said he was elated that Kenya and the Holy See have come a long way to build a bond that is expected to continue to strengthen further in the future.
“Our shared vision actively engaging in improving the lives of Kenyans are only two important land marks in the long list of issues that bring us together and make us true companions on a journey of mutual cooperation for the benefit of our people,” he said.
Hon Wamalwa who is also the vice Chair of the Catholic Parliamentarians Association further applauded the exemplary work done by the Church in Kenya especially in health and education sectors saying “these programs and other noble initiatives have indeed gone a long way in improving the quality of life of the people of Kenya.”
Also in attendance were bishops, priests, men and women religious, members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of other Christian churches and religious organizations.
Bishop Philip Anyolo, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Chairman on behalf of members of the KCCB and all the people of Kenya congratulated the Pope on his 3rd year anniversary as Pope.
“We want to take this opportunity to assure the Holy Father that we shall continue praying for him and that may the good Lord who has began the good work in him bring it to completion on the day of our lord Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Anyolo of the Catholic Diocese of Homabay.
Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on February 28 2013, a papal conclave elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ — then Archbishop of Buenos Aires — as his successor on 13 March and he took the pontifical name of Francis.