Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Feast of Our Lady, Mother of Africa

Today (April 30) on the African continent, the feast of Our Lady, Mother of Africa is celebrated with special, proper liturgical prayers. We pray that Our Lady's intercession may obtain peace, prosperity and - above all - greater faith and vitality for the Church in Africa.

This mother and baby reminded me of Mary and Jesus.

On the Ground in Kenya

MC Volunteer Markus with Br. John Baptist Jordan
 Br. John  Baptist and I arrived in Kenya just shy of two weeks ago. After a few days of doing some necessary errands and preparations, we landed at the Missionaries of Charity Fathers house in the Pangani section of Nairobi. Markus, a volunteer from Italy who works with the MC Sisters and Fathers, was also staying with them. We immediately began proximate preparations for the vocational youth encounter we planned for Saturday April 21 for young people from the slums at the MC Sisters compound in Huruma.

John, a former street boy now attending school,
with the woman he calls "Mother."
 About 180 youth showed up on Saturday morning for a day filled with music and animation, talks, small group sharing, Eucharistic Adoration, and Mass, all revolving around the theme of discovering one's personal vocation to religious life, priesthood or marriage. The response of the young people was enthusiastic and plans are already in the works for another youth encounter for the next African mission trip scheduled for the fall.

A participant at the Youth Encounter.
On Mondays the MC Fathers run a soup kitchen for women and children. Candidates, workers and volunteers all pitch in to serve the guests.

Sifting the beans.
 Photos (below) of some of the guests:

Praying hands.

Muddy feet (from the heavy rains).

Beautiful children (above and below).

Markus assists a small guest.

Candidate Titus cleans the bean pot.

Br. Juan Pablo, MC, serenading the volunteers with music.