Story of Insight

Story of Insight

Eighty years ago, in August of 1938, the young Bernard Lonergan [BL] came to Rome to begin a two-year study and writing project that would bear fruit in a dissertation eventually published under the title, Grace and Freedom [GF] with the subtitle “Operative Grace in the Thought of St. Thomas Aquinas.”  The composition took less than two years, and was completed in May of 1940.  Unfortunately because of World War II, the results could not be defended in Rome as is usually the case.  In fact the writer was spirited out of Rome without delay and brought home to Canada for fear that, as a citizen of an enemy nation, he would effectively be imprisoned in Italy until the end of the war. 

Fifteen years later, in the Spring of 1953, BL completed the writing of Insight, a work for which he is much more noted.  It appears to have taken him about three years (1950 – 53).  On this occasion he also had to bring the work to closure in a hurry, not to escape violent hostilities, but in order to get ready for what would turn out to be a distinguished career at the Gregorianum (where he had written his dissertation) as professor of systematic theology. 

These fifteen years are the context for a question: what is the connection between GF (a theological dissertation where Lonergan uses modern historical method) and Insight (a comprehensive philosophical essay, also modern, that takes the human subject as its starting point)?  Notice in fact that both works are about the human subject, i.e., about you and me:  In the case of GF, freedom and the gift of divine love that is for us; In the case of Insight, human understanding, i.e., yours and mine!   The question itself can be put simply: what is it that gives continuity in Lonergan’s intellectual life? 

To provide a clue for a response to this question, there is the remark, on the very last page of Insight, where the author writes about himself as a human subject, that he “spent years reaching up to the mind of Aquinas” (768).  As a matter of fact these are the years that followed on the completion of GF.  What then was the motive for the reaching?  Was it that in the study and writing that resulted in GF Lonergan discovered in Aquinas something that he needed to understand for self-understanding?  Again in fact in the forties, as he reaches for the mind of Aquinas he turns from the affective component of the human being to the cognitive, a turn that makes GF and Insight complementary.  GF concerns love; Insight concerns knowledge. 

In his “reaching for [Aquinas’] mind” what did Lonergan achieve?  Perhaps insight itself?  And if so, what would this insight mean?  The book Insight arrives “at the end of the line,” so to speak.   The years of reaching helped Lonergan to discover two aspects of St. Thomas’ mind.  The first aspect relates to how Aquinas understood and heartily agreed with Aristotle concerning how insight occurs.   The second aspect relates to how Aquinas discovered that the act of understanding (insight) forms the heart of human coming to know.    

What does this insight mean for us?  Well, the book Insight itself.  A day may come when it becomes attractive to reach up to the mind of Lonergan!   It entails the personal challenge of knowing oneself as a knower (intellectual conversion).  Such insight does not depend on a book, nor does it occur without the intervention of someone who has had the experience.                                                                       Fr. Maury Schepers, OP

Saint Dominic’s Priory, “An African Convent”

From its foundation the order of preachers has been a fraternity with the mission to save souls through preaching of the Gospel and contemplation of the truth.  The Order is composed of provinces which, in turn, are comprised of priories and houses.  Following the constitutions of the Order these subdivisions help to maintain a democratic way of life that facilitates unity and fraternal sharing.

Though independent, the provinces collaborate with each other to carry out the universal mission of the Order.  Unfortunately this subdivision sometimes presents a challenge to unity manifested as “provincial individualism,” whereby the needs of some provinces are ignored.  While some provinces grow and overflow in numbers, others close convents and ministries for lack of friars.  While some provinces enjoy the benefit of renowned universities, others, for lack of resources, do not.   Such disparity creates a challenge to unity.

In order to avoid such discrepancies and create more unity among provinces, some African provinces have created the “Inter Africa Order of Preachers” (IAOP).  The purpose of the IAOP is to foster unity among the African provinces especially in the area of formation.  To this end, the IAOP hopes to establish an “African Studentate” and an “African Novitiate.”   The master of the Order spoke of this hope at the latest general assembly in Ibadan (2017).  There the master spoke about a united novitiate even as he advised the brothers to strengthen existing ones.  Unfortunately, there exists no legislation that would make it a reality, and so despite much effort, it has not yet become a reality.  Still, many strive to make it a reality.   Some African entities strive to put this idea into practice by sending students to other parts of Africa for formation.  These entities feel that a united formation would foster an authentic African identity.

Saint Dominic’s Priory in Nairobi is very open to the idea of shared formation.  Every year we welcome Dominican student brothers from outside of the vicariate.  Such cooperation facilitates unity among the different entities of the Dominican family.  For example, St Dominic’s hosts student brothers from 3 different IAOP entities (Eastern African Vicariate, Vicariate of Rwanda-Burundi and Vicariate of Angola) in 6 different countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Angola).  This diversity enriches Saint Dominic’s Priory and fosters the IAOP dream of common formation.

Fraternal unity remains an important aspect of the Dominican character.  The IAOP hopes to realize that unity in shared formation.   Such a sharing would benefit the Dominican Order in Africa by fostering an authentic African identity.  The hope is that Saint Dominic’s will serve as a model for future efforts to bring together various African Dominican entities.  Only then may we fulfill the dream of our founder Holy Father Dominic, who on his death bed bequeathed to his sons his wish that they might have charity for one another.    

By Bro. Feliciano, OP & Bro. Jordan, OP

Theology of Evangelical Poverty and the Economics of Self-sustenance

Theology of Evangelical Poverty and the Economics of Self-sustenance

Pope St John Paul II stated in his 1996 post-synodal apostolic exhortation Vita Consecrata; “evangelical poverty proclaims God as man’s only real treasure.”  This statement challenges every Christian to reflect on what he or she values. While this challenge applies in a special way to consecrated religious by virtue of their public profession of the evangelical counsels, the challenge also applies to all Christians (mutatis mutandis) in so far as they have to make choices concerning the goods of this world.  After all, many goods compete for our attention.

The theology of evangelical poverty concerns poverty as freely chosen detachment from the things of this world.  Such detachment stems from a subordination of earthly goods to those of heaven.  The goal of such poverty is greater knowledge and love of God as possessed and enjoyed.

Historically,religious life comes from eremitic monasticism, generally considered as beginning in Africa with St. Anthony of the desert.  Anthony took to heart the words of Jesus to the rich young man in the Gospel of Matthew; “if you wish to be perfect, sell all that you have and give to the poor, then come follow me” (Mt 19:21).  This Gospel passage presents a mutually exclusive choice; pursue material goods or be perfect in the sight of the Lord.  Monasticism and religious life developed as a response to this choice, a personal renunciation of worldly goods.

Self-sustenance involves an individual or community providing for its own material needs. It necessarily involves the accumulation of material goods. At first glance evangelical poverty seems to oppose self-sustenance.  However, this apparent opposition involves the difference between goods.  Evangelical poverty involves the sacrifice of lower goods in order to attain higher ones.  Over the years, this distinction became one of ownership, namely communal ownership for the good of the community versus private ownership for the good of the individual.

I contend that evangelical poverty and self-sustenance complement each other. While private accumulation of goods for personal gratification opposes evangelical poverty, communal accumulation of goods for the sake of the common good can facilitate it.  The key is love. Monasteries created much wealth because of assiduous work and creativity, while the individual monks survived on a bare minimum.  It is not a mystery that they accumulated great wealth.   When one produces more than one uses one naturally accumulates wealth.  Such wealth becomes available for works of charity, propagation of the Gospel, upkeep and care for the elderly, and the formation of new monks.

Sadly evangelical poverty does not guide the thinking of all religious men and women. After all, we are but frail human beings susceptible to worldly temptations and the fear of insecurity.  Such attitudes suffocate the spirit of evangelical poverty.  Consequently reforms in religious life have occurred throughout the history of the Church.  Recently pope Francis appointed the Australian Cardinal, George Pell, to the newly created dicastery of Vatican finances.  Credible allegations of serious financial malfeasance have arisen such as embezzlement of the Vatican bank (cf. zenith, 25th Feb 2014, Rachel Sanderson, FT, Dec 6, 2013).  Even here in Kenya we have such scandalsas witnessed by the financial mismanagement of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (Cf. Sunday Nation (NN) 4th Dec 2016).

When the spirit of evangelical poverty is suffocateda disordered desire for material goods naturally results.  Such a disordered desire inevitably leads to an attempt to amass worldly goods without the attendant hard work and living by the bare minimum.Though not immoral in itself, if the personal accumulation of material wealth takes precedence over the subordination of the individual to the good of the community, then this competition will quickly become tragic.  Such an attitude becomes a breeding ground for other vices such as theft.

Theft involves a disregard for the community and human relationship.   When one chooses theft as the means to obtain wealth, one not only damages one’s relationship with God, but also one’s relationship with others in the community.Theft reflects the fact that one values things more than relationships, and thus remains the antithesis of love.

The profession of evangelical poverty acts as an antidote to such disorder. It addresses the root of sin, namely lack of love. Evangelical poverty declares that God is the highest good, our greatest possession, and that our love of Him requires us to seek Him above all else.  As pope St John Paul II states in Vita Consecrata, evangelical poverty “challenges the sense of materialism which craves possessions, heedless of the needs and sufferings of the weakest, and lacking any concern for the balance of natural resources” (Cf. Vita Consecrata, 89).

Because of original sin human beings harbor inordinate desires for recognition, vainglory and power. In a materialistic society accumulation of wealth fulfills such disordered desires. The spirit of evangelical poverty moves one to seek the good of others as more important than one’s own.   It reflects“a preferential love for the poor shown especially by sharing the conditions of life of the most neglected.” Far from sacralizing material poverty, the spirit of evangelical poverty creates the condition for society to create sufficient wealth for all her members. It also remains an asset in the work of self-sustenance. The spirit of evangelical poverty shifts the basis of hope from material goods to the goods of relationship, from secular humanism to graced humanism offered by faith in Jesus.

Restoration of the spirit of evangelical poverty begins as a challenge to us religious to re-examine the thinking that underlies our actions. Do we think as the world thinks or have we put on the mind of Christ? The spirit of evangelical poverty requires us to think like Christ if we will bring about redemption to a fallen world.

Unfortunately secularism fails to recognize the ultimate goal of human life which is spiritual in nature, namely divine beatitude.  No amount of material possessions can attain that goal. When we implicitly make material things the source of happiness, we easily fall into greed and disregard for the needs of others.  “Whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did to me.” If we cannot help the poor and needy, then what good are our possessions?  We end up instead with a false religious life.

The spirit of evangelical poverty requires that we put to good use the many material and technological provisions available to us. Christian faith places those goods within the economy of salvation. Christian hope recognizes that bodily well-being, while necessary, is not sufficient for human happiness. Christian love moves us to put love of God above every other good (summum bonum).  Only then may those who publicly profess evangelical poverty effectively propagate the Gospel and attain self-sustenance.

  Fr. Leo S.I Mwenda, OP

Experts, Agents and Instruments

Experts, Agents and Instruments

We have been blessed with the writings of many popes, and despite the availability of their writings, many of us are unfamiliar with them.   Perhaps, we assume that their writings are too complicated.   On the contrary, many of their writings are simple and clear and applicable to our lives.   The three most recent popes have had a lot to say to us.  Their writings reflect common themes that we should understand and live by.

For example, in his apostolic letter at the close of the Jubilee Year 2000, Novo Millennio Ineunte, pope St. John Paul II described his vision of the Church as “the home and the school of communion.”[1]  The pope affirms that communion is both God’s plan and the deepest yearning of the world.           According to the pope, a spirituality of communion begins with “the heart’s contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity dwelling within us.”  When we have come to appreciate the Trinity within us, we begin to see the dwelling of the Trinity in the faces of our brothers and sisters.[2]  This indwelling makes us part of the mystical body of Christ, and only when we accept the reality of the mystical body may we come to understand that our brothers and sisters in faith are “part of me.”  This mystical connection in the body of Christ allows us to “share the joys and sufferings of others,” “sense their desires” and “attend to their needs.”  It allows us to offer them “deep and genuine friendship.”

Moreover, a spirituality of communion gives us the ability “to see what is positive in others, to welcome it and prize it as a gift from God: not only as a gift for the brother or sister who has received it, but also as a ‘gift for me’.”  The pope explains it this way:

A spirituality of communion means knowing how to “make room” for our brothers and sisters, bearing “each other’s burdens” (Gal 6:2) and resisting the selfish temptations which constantly beset us and provoke competition, careerism, distrust and jealousy.

The theme of “communion” continues in his 1996 apostolic exhortation Vita Consecrata where the pope writes: “Consecrated persons are asked to be true experts of communion and to practice the spirituality of communion…”[3]

Pope Benedict XVI continued this theme of communion in his 2011 post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Africae Munus, where he invites us to “live reconciliation between individuals and communities and to promote peace and justice in truth for all.”[4]  For the pope, reconciliation begins within each person: “all of us, as members of the Church, should be aware that peace and justice come first from the reconciliation of each human being with himself and with God.  Christ himself is the one true ‘Prince of Peace’.”  The pope continues; “this peace does not come from us but from God.   It is what the pope calls “the messianic gift par excellence.”[5]

Benedict asks that we make an effort to change the way that we respond to people and situations.  He explains that “Christ calls constantly for metanoia or conversion.”[6]  In this way the pope reminds us that reconciliation is intrinsic to the “spirituality of communion” about which John Paul II spoke.[7]   Pope Benedict urges all Christians to promote actively the work of reconciliation: “all Christians are admonished to be reconciled to God… to become agents of reconciliation within the ecclesial and social communities in which they live and work.”  The new evangelization presumes that “Christians are reconciled with God and with one another. “[8]

Consecrated persons in Africa are called especially to be agents of reconciliation and signs of reconciliation to others.  Thus the pope writes:

Community life shows us that it is possible to live as brothers and sisters and to be united even when coming from different ethnic or racial backgrounds.  It can and must enable people to see and believe that today in Africa, those men and women who follow Christ Jesus find in him the secret of living happily together: mutual love and fraternal communion, strengthened daily by the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. [9]

Finally, our current pope, Francis, in his announcement of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, stated: “Jesus asks us to forgive and to give, to be instruments of mercy, because it was we who first received mercy from God, to be generous with others, knowing that God showers His goodness upon us with immense generosity.”[10]  Believing that God has a plan for unity, Pope Francis explained in his apostolic letter addressed specifically to religious, Witnesses of Joy: “Living the present with passion means becoming ‘experts in communion.’… we are called to offer a concrete model of community which, by acknowledging the dignity of each person and sharing our respective gifts, makes it possible to live as brothers and sisters.”[11]

Pope Francis appeals to the ideal of community proposed by Saint John Paul:

Pope Francis taught that all consecrated persons are “experts in communion.”  He expressed his hope that a “spirituality of communion,” emphasized by John Paul II, “will become a reality and that religious will be in the forefront of responding to ‘the great challenge facing us’ in this new millennium, namely to make the Church the home and the school of communion.”[12]  The pope invites all of us to this communion when he writes: “No one contributes to the future in isolation, by his or her efforts alone, but by seeing himself or herself as part of a true communion which is constantly open to encounter, dialogue, attentive listening and mutual assistance.  Such a communion inoculates us from the disease of self-absorption.”[13]  Religious are especially called to promote communion: “Consecrated men and women are also called to true synergy with all other vocations in the Church, beginning with priests and the lay faithful, in order to ‘spread the spirituality of communion, first of all in their internal life and then in the ecclesial community, and even beyond its boundaries.”[14]   Such communion begins by seeking communion in our own houses: “Communion is lived first and foremost within the respective communities of each institute.  To this end, I would ask you to think about my frequent comments about criticism, gossip, envy, jealousy, hostility as ways of acting which have no place in our houses.”[15]  Even where there are problems Francis wants us to build up community:

Build friendship between yourselves, family life, love among you. May the monastery not be a Purgatory but a family. There are and there will be problems but like in a family, with love, search for a solution with love; do not destroy this to resolve that; do not enter competitions. Build community life, because in the life of a community it is this way, like a family, and it is the very Holy Spirit who is in the middle of the community. And community life always with a big heart. Let things go, do not brag, be patient with everything, smile from the heart. And a sign of this is joy.[16]

Pope Francis admits that being men and women of communion means being present in conflict.   For this reason, he exhorts us: “be men and women of communion! Have the courage to be present in the midst of conflict and tension, as a credible sign of the presence of the Spirit who inspires in human hearts a passion for all to be one (cf. Jn 17:21).”[17]

Denis Vincent Wiseman, O.P.

 

[1] John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, 43, www.vatican.va/…/hf_jp-ii_apl_20010106_novomillennioineunte_en.

[2] John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, 43, www.vatican.va/…/hf_jp-ii_apl_20010106_novomillennioineunte_en.

[3] John Paul II, Vita Consecrata, 46.

[4] Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 1.

[5] Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 99.

[6] Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 32.

[7] Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 34.

[8] Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 169.

[9] Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 171.

[10] Pope Francis, “The Face of Mercy,” 14.

[11] Francis, Witnesses of Joy, 2.

[12] Francis, Witnesses of Joy, 3.

[13] Francis, Witnesses of Joy, 3.

[14] Francis, Witnesses of Joy, 3.

[15] Francis, Witnesses of Joy, 3.

[16] Francis, Address to the Cloistered Nuns, Assisi (Perugia), 4 October 2013.

[17] Francis, Witnesses of Joy, 3.

Dominican Youth Movement (DYM)-Kenya

Dominican Youth Movement (DYM)-Kenya

The Beginning:

One Sunday afternoon in 2010 three Lay Dominicans of the St. Catherine of Siena pro-Chapter met with two youths at our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.  After a brief exposition on the Dominican Order the youths did not hesitate to follow the path of St. Dominic, convinced of the benefit to their spiritual growth.  They became the founding members of the DYM-K.

It was a journey of sacrifice for Miss Scholastic Barasa and Miss Sharon Awiti. With great enthusiasm they sought to witness to the truth just as St. Dominic had done.  Their hunger for truth persisted even though for two years they were the only members.  But their perseverance paid off, and as they shared their joys and experiences other people began to join.

Still, the DYM-K needed organization.  So they developed formal leadership structures.  In 2015, with the help of the Dominican Laity, the Friars and the Nuns at Corpus Christi Monastery they drafted a constitution which helped to spur growth.  And it has grown ever since.  Even to this day members show a desire to follow in the footsteps of Holy Father Dominic.  Currently DYM-K exists in two parishes in the archdiocese of Nairobi; Our Lady of Guadalupe (Adams Arcade) and St. Catherine of Siena (Kitsuru).  It has 50 members.

Their activities focus on the four pillars of Dominican life; prayer, study, community life and apostolate.  Other members of the Dominican family conduct formation activities as part of their apostolate.  They focus on knowing the truth and spreading it.

One activity of the group is the “rotational rosary.”  During the Month of the Rosary, members take turns hosting the group, in order to pray together and to do works of mercy.

Relationship between DYM-K with ADYM and IDYM

The DYM-K is part of the African Dominican Youth Movement (ADYM) and the International Dominican Youth Movement (IDYM).  These youth groups focus on following Jesus Christ as St. Dominic did.

As the youngest members of the Dominican family these youths share the vision of St. Dominic by preaching the Gospel for the salvation of souls in daily life.  Their mission involves following Jesus Christ in the footsteps of St Dominic by “praising, blessing and preaching to young people.”  They strive to “touch the lives of young people through reading the Word of God, maintaining the pillars of Dominican spirituality and living St. Dominic’s spiritual legacy of love, hospitality and friendship.”  Such is their important work in the Church.

In 2020 DYM-K will host both an African and an International meeting of the Dominican Youth movement. We strongly believe that these two events will foster unity in the Dominican family both in Africa and at the International level, and make the DYM-K better able to spread their message across our great nation.  We ask all the members of our Dominican family (Friars, Laity and Sisters) to help us initiate DYM throughout the country.

 Authored by,

Joyful Sharon Awiti (Dean DYM-k) and Dennis Wataka, O.P.

Fraternal greetings and news from St. Martin de Porres Priory, Kisumu

Welcome to the Novitiate

“The law of the Lord is perfect; it refreshes the soul” (Psalm 19:8)

Our senior brethren in Kisumu and Nairobi welcomed us with great warmth.  We felt both relieved and anxious as we began our novitiate year.  Conversations with recently professed brothers reinforced our suspicions that Novitiate requires both commitment and patience.   However, the question remains: are we up for it?  The Novitiate is a time for prayer, reflection and discernment.  It not only gives us deeper knowledge of our relationship with God but also deeper knowledge of ourselves.  As St Catherine of Siena calls religious life, it is a school of self-knowledge.  And we need that self-knowledge if we will be authentic preachers of truth.

On the day of our vestition, 4 August 2018, there was much excitement, with 6 new Novices; 4 from the Vicariate of East Africa (2 from Uganda, 2 from Kenya) and 2 from the Vice Province of Southern African.  The number “2” reminds us of when St Dominic imitated Christ by sending out the brothers two by two to preach the Gospel (Luke 10:1-5)

Besides trying to settle into a new environment, and make it our home for the next 365 days, we also had the challenge of adapting to a new climate, located both on Lake Victoria and the Equator.

Next is the Priory/Novitiate horarium which is quite a Dagwood.  Meditation begins at 5:50 am, followed by OR, MP and Mass.  After breakfast we have classes, followed by the Rosary, DP and lunch.  Finally, in the evening, we have EP, dinner and NP.  For some of our brothers it was difficult to adjust, but now they are managing.  Even our bodies have adjusted.  If we accidentally fall asleep, somehow, we wake up 2 minutes before the next item on the horarium, just enough time to slip into our “wedding garments” and go to meet the bridegroom.  We would not want to be without oil in our lamps.

And then there are the psalm tones, the Salve and the O Lumen!  Since some of us are not musically gifted, the Office sometimes begins in a way that sounds as if a sugar cane truck is driving up the main road to Kiboswa.

Fortunately, Fr Kevin Kraft, OP, the resident Mzee, has much patience and has taken the time to teach us the psalm tones.  Our Novice Master has set a deadline for when he expects us to know the psalm tones without hesitation.   St Cecelia patron saint of musicians pray for us!

Those who could not attend the vesting ceremony of the novices on 4 August missed a wonderful event.  Some of our brothers are quite gifted when it comes to God’s temple; i.e. BMI.  

Since the novitiate programme is quite busy, it requires us to be fit and healthy.   The Novice Master has literally studied medicine in order to be our health instructor.  I think that the hospitals know each of us by name, even those with the most difficult names.

We had the pleasure of a visit by two prestigious leaders in the Dominican family; the Vicar provincial of Rwanda/Burundi Vicariate, Fr Raphael, OP, who stayed for a few days, and our own, brand new Vicar provincial, Fr Gideon Muchira, OP.   We had the opportunity to hear their vocation stories and how they have experienced Dominican life.

As brothers we are slowly but surely learning each other’s personalities, behaviours, likes and dislikes.  The brotherhood is very strong, and we look out for each other, though a kind-of sibling rivalry adds spice to our lives.

Overall it has been a good experience, and we look forward to the coming months.  Please keep us in your prayers, we always pray for our brethren and for the entire Dominican family.

To Praise, To Bless, To Preach.

Be blessed in St Dominic.

NEWS OF THE FRIARS’ COMMUNITY:

The community bid farewell to two of its friars in August, when within a few weeks of each other Fr. Pio Akotha Gitonga left for studies in Biblical Theology in Rome, and Fr. Fred Ntedika Mvumbi was called back by CUEA to its main campus, after three years as the head of its Kisumu campus (now closed).    The people of St. Dominic parish (Kianja) will sorely miss Fr. Pio’s dedicated presence in the parish, and the people finishing up at CUEA-Kisumu will miss Fred’s on-site protagonism on their behalf.   At the priory we miss them both, too:    Fr. Pio talking on his phone as he walks around the compound, and Fred’s loud, joyful humour as he takes his matumbo with a Guinness.   The priory is awaiting anxiously a new friar whom we need to have assigned to Kisumu so that we have the minimum of friars to constitute a priory (a requirement for the location of the novitiate here).

So, for now, we’re just four friars at present in Kisumu accompanying the novices (Pio and Fred having left the community, and Greg Maturi being on home leave).   So, since mid-August we remain only:   Fr. Stephen, the prior, Fr. Charles the syndic, Fr. John Baptist, the novice master, and Fr. Kevin, the resident mzee musician and retreat director.   Usually, with a little planning, good dialogue between us, and foresight we can meet our different community and pastoral commitments (chaplaincy at various religious communities and institutions of learning in the area, and St. Dominic Parish in Kianja) and still have a full liturgical life in the priory chapel.

Fr. Charles Kato had a joyful celebration of 10 years of priestly service, (Sept 8) in his family home outside of Kampala, in the presence of his parents and family, with a good delegation of his contemporaries in the Order, the Dominican Sisters of Namugongo, and other priests, religious and laity.

That same weekend, there was a book launch of a series of booklets on married saints by Fr. Kevin Kraft, at St. Catherine of Siena parish (Nairobi), while he was there to give an intensive Scripture course in the parish.   So far, three booklets have been published, on the Toussaints (New York, early 1800’s); the Ozanams and the Martins [this latter couple, the parents of Thérèse of Lisieux] (both couples in France, mid-late 1800’s).   Kevin hopes to publish 10-12 more booklets, each of another exemplary couple from around the world in modern times.  Nearly all the rest are from the 20th century

The community continues to plan for the renovation of the warehouse on the property in order to convert it into a much larger capacity chapel, in view of developing it as a shrine.   The junk in the interior has been removed and the louvre-type bricks brushed clean.  There’s still a lot to do, demolishing the interior toilets, laying tiles, painting the walls, hanging a ceiling and repairing the roof,  re-doing the lighting with a view to liturgical celebrations;  probably changing the sliding doors for a more conventional (& attractive) type;  liturgical furniture;  constructing a freestanding unit of washrooms at some distance from the future chapel, arranging the upstairs office (or the tool room below it) as a sacristy, reconciliation room, adoration chapel or storage area); reconditioning the bus house for meeting space or offices, etc. etc.   There’s a lot to do, but we friars and the Dominican Laity are very much animated to transform it into a worthy place of worship.   

— The priory community.