KENYA: Over 30,000 Expected in Meru for Beatification ceremony of Sr Maria Carola

By Arnold Neliba

MERU, NOVEMBER 4, 2022 (CISA)– Bishops, priests, religious men and women, and faithful continue to throng Meru County to witness the beatification ceremony of Venerable Sr Maria Carola Cecchin, a missionary sister of the congregation of St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo.

Bishop Antonio Crameri S.S.C, vicar Apostolic of Esmeraldas, Ecuador, and Bishop Agapiti Ndorobo of Mahenge, Tanzania, and a delegation of Cottolengo priests, sisters and brothers are already in the country ahead of the Saturday, November 5, celebration.

Speaking exclusively to CISA on her way to Kinoru Stadium in Meru, the venue for the beatification ceremony, Sr Mary Japhet SSJC, local superior of the Madre Nasi community and member of the organizing committee said preparations are on the tail end in anticipation of ‘the big day’.

“We are expecting 30,000 people and more. What we know is that our visitors from outside the country are in the country already. Other people from around will also be there. Our sisters are very happy to be here with us and anxious to witness this event, the second of this nature in Kenya,” she said on November 4.

The November 5 event will be the second in Kenya after the beatification of Consolata Missionary Sister, Irene Stefani on May 30, 2015.

According to Sr Mary, “this beatification, second in Kenya shows the abundance of graces and plan of God to raise the faith of the people in Kenya because this sister was exemplary in charity, in faith. These early missionaries are models to the Church in Kenya and the Church at large.”

His Eminence Antoine Cardinal Kambanda, archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kigali, Rwanda, the presiding prelate of the beatification ceremony is also expected in the country today, November 4.

On March 11, Pope Francis granted the celebration of the Rite of Beatification of the Venerable Sister Maria Carola Cecchin who worked in Kenya from 1905 to 1925, in an announcement made by the Superior General of the sisters of Cottolengo, Mother Elda Pezzuto, together with the Father General of the Little House, Father Carmine Arice, and the Superior General of the Cottolengo Brothers, Brother Giuseppe Visconti.