Cardinal otunga

Servant of God




 

FIRST SESSION

 

Not long after the unexpected death of Fr. Bellagamba, Cardinal Njue sought the advice of officials of the Congregation of Causes of Saints on how to proceed with the process. Without hesitation, he was advised to take the services of Dr. Waldery Hilgeman, a Dutch layman who is a respected Postulator of several beatification and canonization causes. On 1 September 2012, Cardinal Njue formally appointed Dr. Hilgeman to succeed the late Fr. Bellagamba.

As Dr. Hilgeman is a resident of Rome, he is required by church law to appoint a vice-postulator who would oversee the process in Nairobi. On 2 September 2012, he appointed Bro. Reginald Cruz, a Xaverian Brother who reads Church History and Spirituality at Tangaza College and with previous experiences on beatification matters, to this position.

Dr. Hilgeman and Bro. Cruz immediately set to complete the work that Fr. Bellagamba had left behind. Together, they finalized the list of witnesses and instructed the members of the Tribunal and the support Committees on the tasks and responsibilities expected of them by the Church. Given the foreseeable heavy task before the Tribunal, they recom-mended to Cardinal Njue the appointment of two Adjunct Notaries in the recording of testimonies. On 3 November 2012, Cardinal Njue formally appointed

Sr. Caroline Akoth Abonyo, a Franciscan Sister of Lwak, and

Sr. Esther Wangui Ichugu, a Dimesse Sister,

to these positions. With their appointment, the Archdiocesan Tribunal was fully constituted.

Completely assured that everything was ready to formally open the Diocesan Inquiry, Cardinal Njue held the Solemn Opening of the Diocesan Inquiry – also known as the First Session – on 11 November 2011 at Holy Family Basilica. Before a sizable crowd of the faithful, Cardinal Njue, the members of the Tribunal, and the Postulator and Vice-Postulator publicly swore to keep fulfill their duties and to guard the secrecy of the investigation.