KENYA: Priest In-charge of Resurrection Garden Dies

NAIROBI NOVEMBER 20, 2015(CISA)-Fr Octavius Santoro IMC, priest in-charge of the Resurrection Gardens Nairobi died of heart attack November 18 at Aga Khan Hospital Nairobi. He was aged 82, with 63 years of religious profession and 57 years of priesthood.

Fr Santoro was born July 1, 1933 in Martina Franca in the Province of Taranto in Italy.

He was ordained priest on February 8 1958 still in Washington DC.  He arrived in Kenya in 1959 and became an assistant parish priest at Kiriaini parish in Murang’a. From Kiriaini, he was sent to Nyeri as the Vice Rector of the diocesan Seminary. In 1969, he became the parish priest of Kaheti Parish in Nyeri.

In 1971 he became the Regional Administrator of the Consolata missionaries in Kenya, a task he held up to 1985.  From 1986 to 1994, he was the Administrator of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa where he realized the first buildings of the institution.

He also built the Tangaza University College and the Allamano House. Having enjoyed a long and admirable friendship with the Servant of God Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga, they developed the idea of giving the Church of Nairobi and that of Kenya, a garden that could be used for prayers and meditation.

They bought a land in Karen where today stands the Resurrection Garden. Fr Santoro became the first Rector at the Resurrection Garden, a task he held up to his death.

There will be a vigil Mass at the Resurrection Garden on Monday, November 23 at 4:00PM. The funeral Mass will be on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at the Resurrection Garden at 9:00PM followed by burial at Consolata Cemetery, Mathari-Nyeri at 2:00PM.