By Francis Njuguna
John Cardinal Njue has urged the Catholic faithful to constantly offer prayers for the ongoing beatification process of the life of our beloved Maurice Cardinal Otunga. Presiding over Eucharistic Celebration on 6 September, 2019 to mark the 16th anniversary since the passing on of the Servant of God Cardinal Otunga, His Eminence John Cardinal Njue described prayers as central in the process.
“I urge you to continue to offer prayers for the process and believe that God will do wonders on this,” he told a huge congregation that had converged at the Holy Family Minor Basilica, Nairobi to mark the day when the Cardinal died on September 6, 2003. He said the pastoral life of Cardinal Otunga was real and worth to be emulated.
His Lordship David Kamau, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Nairobi who delivered the homily, said that Cardinal Otunga ordained and nurtured him spiritually. “He served well in his pastoral service. He exercised humility, dignity and faith as he went about his pastoral mission. He believed in the Catholic faith growth and assisted many men and women to enter into the pastoral service and grow in faith,” stressed Kamau.
Sr. Esther Ichugu, Secretary to both the Central Committee of Cardinal Otunga’s Beatification Office and Postulation office, told the assembled congregation that the process was on the right track. “Right now the process is in its Second Phase otherwise referred to as the Roman Phase; the work is ongoing in the Congregation for Causes of Saints in Rome. Pray that all goes on well,” said Sr. Ichugu. She added that the process requires moral and spiritual nourishment. “Let us ensure that we commit ourselves to this process both in prayers and financial contribution,” she stressed. She acknowledge and appreciated His Eminence John Cardinal Njue for his great concern and the various people of good will who visit and call the office occasionally with messages of hope for the graces and miracles received in their lives, “this is a clear sign of intercessory powers in prayers through the of the Servant of God and equally a growth in his reputation” she said
A representative Ms. Miriam Chege of the Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Rev. Father Stephen Mbugua, based at Langata, Kenya, paid a glowing tribute to Cardinal Otunga for his commitment to education of the people. “He was instrumental in the establishment of our university,” she said. The representative added that the university has instituted various activities such as an annual scholarship fund in line with ways to honor the departed cardinal. “In this way, we believe we are in the right course towards recognizing his virtues,” she stressed.
Among the hundreds of the faithful who attended the grand memorial occasion, was a large delegation of family members and friends from the Bakhone Clan that Cardinal Otunga belonged to. It was led by Mr. George Wafula Nabutola. On behalf of the family, Nabutola thanked the Catholic Church, and in a particular way Cardinal Njue, for the commitment shown in the ongoing beatification process. “We are delightful for your commitment,” he told the assembled congregation.