NAIROBI, OCTOBER 9, 2019 (CISA) – The Religious Superiors’ Conference of Kenya (RSCK), an association that brings together all the superiors of male religious congregations working in Kenya, has celebrated 50 years since its founding.
The October 8 event was marked a day ahead of the Annual General Meeting that is ongoing in Nairobi, Kenya.
“The Church of Kenya still needs visionary and prophetic presence of religious congregations. It is a call for RSCK to open up to the new challenges of evangelization in the church of Kenya today. Therefore, we need to renew things, lest we become a museum,” noted Fr Mathews Magak IMC, in charge of the Commission for Evangelization for the RSCK.
“…there are paradigm shifts which continue to present challenges to all the key players in the field of evangelization. We therefore must change our strategy, in order to be relevant. We should serve no longer as founders but still as visionary collaborators with the local pastoral agents,” he added.
In his homily at Mass to mark the 50 years of RSCK, Archbishop Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen, the Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan compared religious life to the story of Jonah in the Bible, saying that, “The most important vow of religious life is obedience, giving up your own will to do as the church through your superior asks you to.”
“It seems like Jonah had other plans, instead of going to Nineveh, that would be saying to the East to Nineveh, Jonah decided to go to the west, to Tarshish, which to many, would be Spain. Maybe he went for a sabbatical, or he thought, “I have a scholarship, let me do some studies.” He thought to escape what God had wanted for him.”
He noted that the story of Jonah is not so much about the destruction of Nineveh but about saving Jonah who was on the road to destruction.
“Jonah, in many ways an image for all of us. All of us by the way, including me sometimes struggle with the will of God because God’s ways are not our ways and sometimes God may ask difficult things from us. Things we are not really ready to give, or to give up. Many of us have to go through this kind of shock, have to go overboard, have to fall flat on their face before we understand that God is serious.”
Fr Antoine-Marie Leduc, O.C.D. the representative from Rome, warned against drawing young men to religious vocation without informing them of the community aspect of religious life.
“On behalf of AMECEA, I would like to express gratitude for the great work that the religious are doing in the region…We cannot witness in isolation. Let us work together with our bishops, let us work together with our brothers fin other congregations and with our sisters, so that together we can build the church of God,” said Fr Andrew Kaufa SMM the coordinator for AMECEA Social Communications Department.
“We want to extend our invitation as KCCB to you, let us dialogue, let us talk about mission…Pope Francis is calling us to go to the peripheries to preach to those in need. We need to work together, we need to stop and see where we can synergize our activities so that we can preach to the ends of the earth,” said Fr Bonaventure Luchidio, the National Director of Pontifical Missionaries in Kenya.
“May the 50 years of golden service invigorate and strengthen your mission in your role of evangelization. Let us continue working with each other building on foundation laid by our forefathers to make our associations…together RSK and AOSK, we stand united as a sign of God’s presence” Sr Pasilisa N. Namikoye LSOSF, the Executive Secretary of Association of Sisterhood of Kenya (AOSK).
The idea of forming RSCK, formerly M.R.S.K started on the 12th of September 1967 as a result of the AMECEA plenary meeting, which saw the need for uniformity of the religious congregations within the said territory. Today RSCK has 77 member congregations.