Dennis Vincent Wiseman, OP
This is my fourth year in Kenya and I am principally involved in two projects. The first is learning theology by teaching it. In my first years here I taught Mariology, Spiritual Theology, a History of Religious Life and the Secunda Pars at Tangaza College, our seminary for religious orders. However, after the Systematics Department changed faculty last summer, I went up a few notches, teaching Trinity last semester and Christology next semester. By staying up to 1 and 2 AM, I have been able to stay hours ahead of my students, since it is a known fact that young people require more sleep. Hopefully, the Moral and Sacramental Departments will hold together, as I think I have already passed my theological learning threshold and my sleep deprivation threshold as well. My second project is learning to be student master, which is moving along quite well though slowly.
Frederic Ntedika Mvumbi, OP
I am Father Frederic Ntedika Mvumbi from the General Vicariate of Congo (Zaire). Assigned in the Vicariate of Eastern Africa, I help our Dominican students by facilitating the progress of their studies, as Moderator of Studies. I also teach Islamic studies in the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) and in Tangaza College. In addition, I try to facilitate the on-going dialogue between Christians and Muslims in Africa. Preaching retreats, particularly to Religious and Consecrated people as well to small Christian communities and giving talks to university students are also my noble response to Church demands.
John Lorisio Lenkaak, OP
My name is Fr. John Lorisio Lenkaak, OP. Currenly I am assigned to St. Dominic House, Masai Lane. As for my assignment, I am the local syndic for the community and carryout campus ministry at the local campus of the University of Nairobi. My hope is that we as Dominicans may spread the preaching ministry to many people in the best possible ways.
Charles Kato, OP
My name is Charles Kato, O.P. I belong to the Vicariate of Eastern Africa, which is under the Province of St. Joseph in the United States of America. I took my solemn vows in July 2005. My six years as a brother in simple vows in the Dominican order have enabled me to grow in holiness and love God and my neighbours. Because of this, I made the decision to remain a Dominican for the rest of my life. And I believe with the help of God and my brothers I will preach the crucified Jesus for the sake of the salvation of souls.
As a brother in the Order of Preachers, my life is designed in a way which challenges but also helps me to grow to love God and other people. Everyday we have community prayer, share meals together, have recreation, daily celebration of the Eucharist and common meditation. All these aspects help to prepare me for the ministry of preaching. All the years I have been in the Order, I have realized that much importance is put on study. This is not to take place for a few years, for example, during the first circle of studies but that study is for the entire Dominican life. I am interested in studying Philosophy and to be able to teach at university level. In the Order there is the freedom to pursue the choice of studies with the support and encouragement of my brothers. I strongly feel that, studies should be balanced with other aspects of Dominican life for example, ministry, community life, prayer, and celebration of the Eucharist.
Judethadeus Mmassy, OP
I am Judethadeus Mmassy, OP, born in a family of nine children. I come from the North Eastern region of Tanzania, in the steep of Mount Kilimanjaro. I first encountered Dominican in 1994, in the annual vocation workshop normally held at Mwambani Tanga, Tanzania. I attended the workshop where I began to reflect the possibility of becoming a religious and a Dominican in mycase. Four years later, I joint Novitiate on August 1998 and professed solemnly on July 2005. I am currently assigned in our parish St. Catherine of Siena Spring Valley serving as a transitory deacon.
My name is Luke Kipkoech Arap Bett, Op.Currently I am doing my theology at Tangaza College of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya. Originally from the Geographical Rift Valley in Kenya, I was attracted to the order by its integration of contemplation and the apostolate. Today the dynamics of the rapidly changing world pose a real challenge to this balance and it is a joy to be part of the tradition that bears witness to such nobility.
Dominic W. Mutuku, OP
I am Dominic W. Mutuku, OP, a Kenyan by birth/nationality, from the Catholic Diocese of Machakos – neighboring Nairobi. I joined the Order in 2002. Now in simple vows, I’m studying theology, at the Tangaza College here in Nairobi. Living the Dominican spirituality is a great vocation, beautiful and interestingly challenging. A contemplative preacher is what the world needs to save souls even at this time of great secularism and indifferentism. Its an endeavor to blend the legacy of our forefathers, living the life of study and prayer to preach the truth of the gospel, especially in the context of our time and place, here in east Africa, always under the mantle of our lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Cleophas Ushindi Tesha, OP
I am Bro. Cleophas Ushindi Tesha, OP, a Tanzanian, from the Diocese of Moshi, aged 26yrs. I am doing my second year of Philosophy. I like being a Dominican. Of all aspects of Dominican life, I appreciate and praise the aspect of common life lived by the Brothers in the Vicariate for it is through common life that the foundation for the other aspects and pillars is laid. I look forward to being a good preacher and teacher in the spirit of St. Dominic our Holy Father. May he pray for us. Amen
I was born in Meru North district of Kenya in 1978. I have 3 brothers and 4 sisters. My primary and high school studies were done within my home district. I enrolled for a diploma course in computer science from the Kenya Polytechnic which successfully ended in December 2002. Between 2003 and 2005 I worked for ATS CO. LTD and Kajiado Hill Girls School as a technician, administrator and a trainer in their computer departments. This went on until the beginning of 2005 when I joined the Order of Preachers. It has been enjoyable since then. Like Mary, I wish to conceive the Word, and bring it forth in Preaching.
I was born on 12/2/1982. I am the fifth born in the house of seven (three girls and four boys) in a strong Catholic family. I joined primary school in 1988. I developed interest in being a priest when in primary and I joined the altar boys in the parish. When the Dominicans came to Kisumu and began to minister at the Franciscan Sisters of St. Anne Novitiate, I joined them as an altar server there. This gave me chance to know more about priesthood and different orders/congregations we have. I later joined high school in the year 1998 and sat for my Kenya certificate of secondary examinations in the year 2001. Having done art and design, I began working various jobs. I worked in making banners, sign writing, writing and designing certificates and paintings. This I did until the time I joined the Order
Martin Martiny, OP
I, Martin Martiny, OP, am now in my sixth year in Kisumu, Kenya as we experience the longest drought since my arrival in August 2000. For the first time, we are about to buy water in order to meet our daily needs. At the moment, these needs include providing temporary housing for over sixty orphans and poor children who are awaiting the start of the school year next week. As postulant director, I will soon (Ash Wednesday) be welcoming our next class of those aspiring to Dominican life along the shores of Lake Victoria. We continue our ministry to the elderly and house bound and to the incurably sick—the HIV rate rivals anywhere else in Kenya or Africa. We are doing these ministries in the midst of our fundamental preaching mission to the people of western Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. We continue to be involved in days of recollection, retreats, and spiritual direction for priests, religious, and lay (particularly Lay Dominicans) people. Kisumu remains a challenging and rewarding place to live.
Steven Lumala, OP
Dominicans have been appreciated for their contribution in the formation of diocesan seminarians . Their work of the 1960’s is duly acknowledged. That is the spirit in which I, Stephen Lumala, OP, was received by the seminary faculty at Tindinyo Seminary where our brother, the late Thomas Heath, OP, taught. I teach in their Systematic Department. The Dominican presence is also at Maseno University, the 4th Kenyan National University. Here they have a lovely vibrant Catholic Community of students, staff, and faculty. We provide a Dominican presence in the Department of Philosophy, Religion and Theology where I teach. I am also the Catholic Chaplain to serve the pastoral needs of the University.
Kevin Kraft, OP
Fr. Kevin Kraft op, jointed our Vicariate towards the end of May last year. Shortly after his arrival to the vicariate, he took a comprehensive course on Inculturation of Religious Life offered by Maryknoll Institute of African Studies in Tangaza College for about a month. Thereafter he left for Jerusalem where he updated his Biblical Studies until mid January 2007. Upon his return to Kenya, he joined language school in Musoma, Northwest of Tanzania. He will complete his course in early June 2007. Thereafter, he will join Kisumu Novitiate community for his new mission in Eastern Africa.
Prior to his coming to East Africa, fr. Kevin worked in Lima, Chimbote, Coischo, Compoy and Arequipa in Latin America.
Read his articles of his experience and hope for his new mission in East Africa.
Maury Schepers, OP
About fifteen years ago I first set foot in Africa, just at th time that our Provnce was in the process of taking on the project of launching a Vicariate. Fr. Tom Ertle was Provincial at the time, and after I had tested the waters through a semester at the Catholic Higher Institute of Eastern Africa in Nairobi (eventually to become the Catholic University of Eastern Africa), I readily agreed that this was the right road for me to take, by joining the Vicariate. And so it has been! In the first place, there is the re-discovery of Dominican community, from which I had been estranged for some years. Then too the chance to preach and teach “in the African context,” that is a political culture where nations are on the move towards genuine freedom, but where earlier attempts to evangelize have gone only skin deep for lack of contextualization. Finally, there is an opportunity to collaborate in giving some orientation to the growth of the Vicariate, for more effective contemplative preaching, through servant leadership. This is definitely the place for me, and I can’t think of every being anywhere else.
In addition to his responsibilities for teaching and preaching, he is also the heard of Social Communication Institute (ISC) at Tangaza College.
David Adiletta, OP
I, David Adiletta, OP, arrived in Nairobi, Kenya on September 27, 2005. I am assigned to St. Catherine of Siena community. For the first few weeks I was taken to the various ministry sites served y the brothers of this community and introduced to the people. These are the parish of St. Catherine of Siena; St. Martin de Porres primary and secondary school in the Kibegara slum; and the Lower Kabete campus of the University of Nairobi. The latter two sites are in the territorial boundaries of the parish. Soon after that I began celebrating Mass and helping with confessions. I have been on limited service since I don’t know enough Swahili. I will be at the Makoko Language School in Musoma, Tanzania from January 13 to May 13, 2006 to learn Swahili in an intensive program. That should help me greatly in my ministry. My first year in Africa is going to be a time of learning, especially about local customs. For example, during my first week in Nairobi I was preparing some lunch for myself since our cook only makes dinner. I found some nice looking rice with vegetables and little fish pieces. The cook and housekeeper helped my find various utensils and even were helpful by mircowaving the food for me. It was a good lunch. The next day I saw one of the brothers making dinner for the dogs. He was using the rice and vegetables and fish. I had eaten the dog food! The cook and housekeeper were too polite to say anything to me. Our dogs have a very different diet than any dogs I’ve ever known. Fifty years from now this will be part of the Vicariate’s lore. The country is beautiful, the people are wonderful, and the regular people food is good, too.
Bro. Daniel Thomas, OP
Daniel Thomas, a member of the Western Dominican Province has been a co-operator brother for 46 years and has just joined the Eastern African Vicariate at the beginning of December 2005. A native of Oakland, California, Daniel was initially trained to be a printer and ran a printing operation at the House of Studies in Oakland for many years. He also has experience in campus ministry, having served at Newman Centers at Arizona State University, SOSU, Ashland Oregon, UCR, Riverside, California and has worked in parishes in San Francisco and Ashland, Oregon. He comes to ministry in Eastern Africa from a 15 year assignment where he was director at St. Benedict Lodge -a Dominican Retreat Center in central Oregon. His interests include music, liturgical art, singing, acting, mixed media, photography, cooking and computer operations. When asked about his move into missionary activity at the age of 64 he says, I visited Kenya in 2001 to do some talks and workshops in liturgy and art and enjoyed my two month visit. When the friars made known their serious invitation to come back, I said, “It’s nice to have a feeling of being wanted and I would rather accept this invitation now when my health and energy levels are high rather than turn 80 and regret that I missed a golden opportunity to the serve the Lord in Africa.” St. Catherine of Siena House, Nairobi Daniel Thomas, OP.