From Sister Sangeeta
Here are a few pics of our visits in Eldoret diocese which covers 3 counties. Eldoret is the 5th largest city in Kenya. Bishop Cornelius’s unexpected death on October 29th has left the diocese in some chaos. We met the Vicar General, Fr. Raphael who had no idea about our visit but wanted us to meet the Apostolic Administrator. Yesterday we met bishop Maurice Anthony Crowley from the neighboring diocese of Kitale who is appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of Eldoret. He is an Irish who has lived in Kenya for 50 years; has a great sense of Irish humor.
We loved the short visit we had with Bishop Maurice. He has the DCs and CMs in his diocese and is aware of the charity charism. He talked about the unmet needs of Ministry to the youth, especially vulnerable girls and women. He said the congregations are mostly in the town but not in the rural areas where the needs are. We could not visit any parishes or Ministries so it is hard to say what those needs are like.
The political front is very peaceful now that the president is sworn in. We had a good road trip to Nairobi.
Today we are taking a day for ourselves. Putting our pictures together and gathering our thoughts as well.
All three of us have stayed well so far. A little tired. The weather has been really good in Bungoma and Eldoret and here on Nairobi, it is in the 70s.
I cannot tell you how good the people have been to us. We experience the gentle, gracious hospitality every place we have been so far. The Xaverian community has become our second home. Br. Raphael is most attentive and caring.
Kenya has lots of unmet needs in the areas of working with the youth and families, the many vulnerable children, women, and men. Bungoma is a place we saw which is quite rural and in need.
From Sister Nancy
Our second place to visit in Kenya was the Diocese of Eldoret, made up of three counties with 61 parishes – almost all having several outstation churches. To get to Eldoret, we took a two-hour drive on a two lane highway in a matatu (an eleven passenger van).
The matatu weaved in and out of other matatus, trucks, cars, picky-pickys (motor bikes), tuk-tuks (motor rickshaws), bicycles, pedestrians and a few cows. Once there, we visited the cathedral, which at one time opened its doors and grounds to 10,000 displaced persons due to violence in 2007. The outside altar where Mass was held became known as the “Altar of Peace”. Since that time Eldoret has been an area of peace and rapid growth. We stayed at the Pastoral Center where we met an enterprising young woman who makes her living by crafting by hand, painting and selling religious statues to churches and other religious organizations in the dioceses.
We toured a parish, a minor seminary, a home for abandoned and uncared for children. We met with several representatives of the church and the Bishop. The needs of the area are great; the people are generous with their welcome and hospitality. We are now in Nairobi for a few days to meet with various religious congregations.