NAIROBI OCTOBER 16, 2015 (CISA) – Bishop Philip Anyolo, Chairman Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has called on Kenyans to spiritually prepare for Pope Francis visit and “take this visitation as a wonderful gift for the country.”
“We want to invite all Kenyans of all faiths to prepare spiritually to receive the pope,” said Bishop Anyolo during a press briefing on preparations of the pope’s visit to Kenya.
“The pope is coming to talk to us not just as individuals or as a country but he’s coming to talk to our hearts and our souls,” said Bishop Anyolo of the Catholic Diocese of Homa Bay.
Bishop Alfred Rotich Chairman KCCB Commission for Ecumenism and member of the Pope’s visit secretariat said that the pope’s message will resonate with all areas of life be it in governance, management or politics.
“He comes to Kenya and brings in his style as a servant leader who is ready to meet the poor. He touches the soul and this humbles people,” added Bishop Rotich of the Military Ordinariate.
Bishop Anyolo said that the Church in collaboration with the state are preparing and implementing plans for the visit which is both a pastoral and a state visit.
“Preparations are on schedule despite the fact that we were informed very late,” stated Fr Stephen Okello, National Coordinator of the Pope’s visit, adding preparations of venues, mobilization of people expected to attend the occasion as well as security measures required for the visit are ongoing.
“We are at 70 percent of our preparations at the moment,” he explained during the press briefing.
According to Fr Okello, Pope Francis’ three day visit (November 25–27) which is under the theme “stand firm and be strong” will involve a meeting with interreligious communities including Muslims, Hindus and traditionalists and other mainstream churches.
“He will meet and address the youth to encourage them to direct their vitality and enthusiasm in the right direction,” said Fr Okello.
The pontiff will also address the issue of environment and meet with the poor from the slums of Nairobi. “He wants to be in solidarity with them and send a strong message to the country that we should not abandon or ignore our poor people,” added Fr Okello.
The Holy Father will also have an audience with the Catholic faithful in a Mass in which over a million people from all over the country and beyond are expected to attend.