SAGANA JUNE 21, 2016(CISA)-Bishop Virgilio Pante, on June 20, the feast of Our Lady Consolata, urged Consolata Missionaries to be specialists of consolation.
“In particular today we remember one sister who was a specialist in Consolation so much so that the Church proclaimed her Blessed: Sr Irene Stefani “Nyaatha”, the mother of Mercy. We are proud that she was a member of our congregation” said the bishop of the Catholic diocese of Maralal in his homily.
The bishop was speaking during Mass at Sagana parish, some 100 kilometres north of Nairobi to mark the feast of Our Lady Consolata.
“Indeed, this is a special day for us. The evangelization of non Christians which is a purpose that characterises us in the Church finds inspiration in our mother Consolata, she is the icon of the future our religious congregation. Let us never allow our hearts to turn away from her, we cannot be holy religious without her, we cannot be Consolata Missionaries without her” said Sr Serafina Sergi, Regional superior Consolata Missionary Sisters in her speech before tens of Christians who gathered to celebrate this day with the Consolata Missionaries.
During the occasion several Consolata Missionaries: Fathers, Sisters and Brothers celebrated anniversaries of their religious professions and priesthood. Among them was Fr Antonio Bianchi who was celebrating 75 years of religious profession.
In his speech Fr Hieronymus Joya, the outgoing Regional Superior of the Consolata Missionaries, thanked the jubilarians for their faithfulness to Lord and promised them his prayers.
“These men and women are our brothers and sisters, they are not perfect but they are still in the journey of perfection,” he said.
Present at the occasion was retired ambassador Emma Murai who is a sister to Sr Ignazia Pia Murai, the first African Consolata Missionary sister who was celebrating 60 years of religious profession.
“It is a blessing for our family to have someone chosen by God to go and serve him,” said Ambassador Emma noting that her mother was literally brought up by the missionaries in Mugoiri parish, Murang’a diocese.
Commenting on the decision to close the Dadaab Refugee camp, Bishop Pante advised that the government should not rush.
“As bishops we are not against closing the camp but it has to be done humanely because there are lives involved. You don’t give deadlines to human beings; you are not dealing with bags of potatoes. There are women and children involved. Where are they going to stay?,” he posed in an interview with CISA.
“Closing the camp creates another because this people will become new refugees in their own country. The young people if taken back there without a future, they will be recruited by the Al Shabaab, said Bishop Pante, the Vice Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Commission for refugees, migrants and sea fearers.