Thank you for your prayers
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
First, I want to thank you for your prayers while I was on a mission trip to Kitui, Kenya! I think of my time in Kitui as a wonderful adventure. I met many kind and faithful people and developed a number of new friendships.
Last week I gave an update about my first week in Kitui. This weekend I want to share about my second week in Kitui. The second week began with Archbishop Nienstedt arriving in Kitui. We were blessed to celebrate Holy Mass with him and the bishop of Kitui, Bishop Anthony Muheria (Wednesday, October 8). I rested for some time that day and, later in the day, visited a Catholic technical skills college for women in the city of Kitui.
On Thursday, after Holy Mass we went to rural parish for the blessing of a new rectory that was just completed before our arrival. Archbishop Nienstedt offered the blessing amidst much festive music. That evening we enjoyed a wonderful social and meal at the residence of Bishop Muheria. On Friday, we had a workshop about the Kitui/St. Paul and Minneapolis Partnership.
We discussed the relationship of our Dioceses in light of our tenth anniversary of the partnership. Many ideas about our partnership were exchanged in our conversations. I noticed an eagerness to see what the next ten years may bring for our partnership. On
Saturday, October 11 we went to the Diocese Family Day celebration. The faithful from all over the Diocese of Kitui travelled to the city to take part in HolyMass celebrated by Bishop Muheria. Archbishop Nienstedt and our delegation were treated as special guests. The HolyMass was followed by the special collection/fundraiser for diocese. It is very similar to our own Annual Catholic Services Appeal. On Sunday, we traveled to a shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Protection. Archbishop Nienstedt and Bishop Muheria offered the Sacrament of
Confirmation to several hundred youth during HolyMass. It was a blessing to visit the shrine and see the Faith of the people! In Monday, Oct.13, we celebrated HolyMass at about 6am and then left Kitui for our safari. Several hours later we arrived at a wild animal refuge. It was amazing to in person the elephants, giraffes, hippos, wildebeasts, gazelles, water buffalo, zebras and, yes, a lion! We took many, many pictures. To this point in my life I had only seen these animals on television shows. It was special to see them live and in their natural habitat. On Tuesday, after a morning seeing the animals, we left for Nairobi. We stayed at a retreat center called Resurrection Garden. St. John Paul II stayed there when he visited Kenya in 1995. It is a special place for that reason and because it has the tomb of Servant of God Maurice Michael Cardinal Otumba. Cardinal Otumba served the Archdiocese of Nairobi and his cause for canonization is underway. On Wednesday, Oct. 15, we spent time in prayer and enjoyed the beautiful retreat center before leaving for the airport and the long journey home to Minnesota. It was an 8 hour flight from Nairobi to Amsterdam, followed by a 4.5 hour layover and then a 9 hour flight from Amsterdam to St. Paul. I am thankful for this opportunity and it was truly an adventure! While it is true that I am grateful for this wonderful experience, I am also happy to back with all you to share our Catholic Faith in worship and
grace! Thank you, again, for your prayers!
Through the intercession of Our Lady of Protection, St. Joseph, St. Michael and St. Paul, may God bless you, our families, parishes, our Archdiocese and the good people of Kitui!
In Christ through Mary,