The Pontifical Mission Societies National Office Kenya organised two series of training workshops at the Dimesse Sisters in Karen (Nairobi) for the formation of Pastoral agents: 37 participants attended from 17th to 20th June 2019 and 43 from 17th to 19th July 2019. The theme was “Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World”.
The sponsor of the training workshop was the Pontifical Missionary Union in Rome and the main facilitator was Rev. Fr. Bonaventure Luchidio, PMS National Director - Kenya. The main speakers at the first training workshop were as follows: Rev. Fr. Dr. Ferdinand Lugonzo Makaka, PhD, Catholic priest from Kakamega Diocese in Kenya, lecturer of Canon Law at the Institute of Canon Law of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa; Rev. Fr. Dr. Kizito Muchanga Lusambili, Catholic priest from the Kakamega Diocese, a lecturer at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology; Rev.Fr. Dr. Lucas Onge’sa Manwa, from the Kisii Diocese, Kenya, Deputy General Secretary of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, holding a PhD in Sacred Theology from the Lateran Pontifical University in Rome. The objectives of the workshops were to achieve: 1. Awareness and understanding of the mission dimension in the country; 2. Effective approaches in animating the year of missions; 3. Understanding of the dynamics of evangelisation in the contemporary world.
Some missiological issues about a rapid growth of the church in Kenya were worthy of consideration: 1. To examine in depth, the theological and pastoral meaning of the new evangelization. 2. To use the early church model described in the Book of Acts. (2:40-47). 3.The gospel message should be incarnated in the culture to enable Christianity to permeate all levels of life and adequately meet the social and cultural needs of the people. 4. To enhance a close collaboration with the Bishops’ conferences which may carry out an effective collaboration in mission and evangelization. 5. To support initiatives linked to the evangelisation that are already being put into practice in various particular churches and to promote the realization of new projects by actively involving the resources present. 6. To promote the use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as an essential and complete formulation of the content of the faith for the people of our time.
The second training workshop, held from 17th to 19th July 2019, featured as participants Pastoral coordinators and members of the National Missionary Council. The main facilitator for the training was Rev. Fr. Bonaventure Luchidio – PMS National Office Kenya. The speakers were as follows: H. E. Archbishop Hubertus van Megen, Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan who in his address highlighted the need to focus more on the missionary role of the Church and, at the same time, he urged the Catholic faithful to be more aggressive in proclaiming their faith and reaching out to others; H. E. Rt. Rev. Joseph Alessandro, Bishop Chairman Commission for Mission, who shared that the Universality of Salvation in Jesus means all people are children of God; Rev. Fr. Dr. Ferdinand Lugonzo, PhD, lecturer Catholic University of Eastern Africa, dealt with the theme “Challenges of Evangelization in the contemporary Society”. The following was agreed as the way forward in animating the year of missions: encourage the Biblical Apostolate at a parish level; enhance the family apostolates through pastoral visitations to their homes for blessings, Holy Masses and counselling services; emphasize on-going formation so that the parish becomes a school of faith; evangelize through the use of all media platforms; be authentic witnesses rather than teachers of the faith; encourage more action towards acts of mercy and charity as signs of a faith community; encourage Christians to visit and make use of the adoration chapels, retreat centre and spiritual exercise offered in our parish programmes; have a scholars’ symposium to deliberate more on the challenges facing the mission and evangelization today.