Cardinal otunga

Servant of God




By Francis Njuguna (September 6, 2013)


September 6 of this year was quite historic for the Catholics on one side and for some students at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) on the other side.

This was the day the Catholics had converged at the Holy Family Minor Basilica, Nairobi to mark the 10th anniversary on the day Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga passed on. He passed on September 6, 2003 at the age of 80 and having served the Catholic Church for over fifty years.

The historic day also coincided with the giving out of the scholarships to the 2013 lucky students from the Cardinal Otunga Scholarship Funds Scheme, spearheaded by the Catholic University since the year 2005.

“The recipients are from the poor and the needy families. They were competitively selected by the University’s scholarship committee,” explained Rev Fr Dr Pius Rutechura, the University’s Vice Chancellor.

Before this event, three equally important events took place.

These were, the Eucharistic Mass to mark the 10th anniversary on the passing on of Cardinal Otunga, the annual Cardinal Otunga lecture, delivered by Bishop John Omballa Owaa of the Ngong Diocese and whose theme was: Simplicity of Cardinal Otunga, the Servant of God and a funds drive for the Cardinal Otunga Scholarship Scheme.

The funds drive exercise was presided over by Mr John Kiruthu, Managing Director, Pacifics Advisory Company, based in Nairobi. A total of KSH 2.2 million was raised. He contributed KSH One million.

Major contributions to the Fund came from the Catholic University fraternity, comprising lecturers, students, workers and other people, who had attended the occasion.

Mr Kiruthu praised the congregation for honoring the occasion.

“This shows how much we valued our Cardinal Otunga. I hope the financial aid will make a difference to the recipients .This is our hope and when it happens we shall all praise God for it,” he explained.

Dr Rutechura in his address said the scholarship scheme was in line with Cardinal Otunga’s love for the poor and human development.

He said the University had established the scheme as a way to honor our Cardinal.

“Many students have benefited from the scheme since its institution in the year 2005,” explained Dr Rutechura.

He added that the more money we get the more poor students will benefit from the scheme.

Earlier on, a huge congregation attended the colorful Eucharistic Mass to mark the occasion (the 10th anniversary on the passing on of Cradinal Otunga).

The homily was delivered by Bishop John Omballa Owaa of the Ngong Diocese and attended among others by His Eminence John Cardinal Njue, Auxiliary Bishop David Kamau of the Archdiocese of Nairobi and former Bishop of the Diocese of Military Ordianariate, the Rt Rev Alfred Rotich.

Bishop Owaa, who later on delivered the 2013 annual Cardinal Otunga lecture, praised Cardinal Otunga for the way he had carried out his pastoral duties.

“This is life worth to be lived and emulated too by each one of us,” he emphasized.

He called on the Catholics to continue to offer prayers to the Cardinal and more so in relation to the current on-going beatification process on his life.

“The process calls for moral, spiritual and financial support. We are being challenged to ensure that we all participate in this worth cause,” he advised.