SPEECH OF H.E JOHN CARDINAL NJUE ON THE OCCASION OF THE EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION AND AWARENESS CREATION TO THE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ABOUT THE SOG MAURICE MICHAEL CARDINAL OTUNGA AT CHRIST THE TEACHER CATHOLIC CHAPLAINCY : KENYATTA UNIVERSITY ON SUNDAY 20TH JANUARY 2019.
The Vice Chancellor, Kenyatta University and The Board of Management Kenyatta University
The leadership of all Universities represented here,
Members of the Clergy, Religious Men and Women,
Members of Central Committee of the Cause of Beatification of SOG Maurice Cardinal Otunga,
The Catholic chaplaincy of Kenyatta University leadership
Students and Other Christ’s Faithful who have joined us today.
God is Good, all the time . ….And all the time, God is Good
We thank the Vice Chancellor and the entire Kenyatta University leadership for accepting to Co host this important liturgical activity with the Catholic Chaplaincy of Christ The Teacher.
We appreciate and acknowledge all the Chaplaincies represented here. In a special way, we appreciate the role played by the leaders of Christ the Teacher chaplaincy to ensure the activities are successful.
We are gathered here to study, share and reflect on some outstanding virtues of Servant of God Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga our role model of living Christian Faith today, among them :
- Devotion to Blessed Virgin Mary,
- Love of Eucharist,
These virtues made the SOG Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga, a symbol of humility and love for the poor and less fortunate in the society enabling him to convert all moments and circumstances of life into opportunities of loving God and neighbour with joy and kindness.
As you may be aware we have an office to spearhead the process of beatification of Servant of God Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga situated at Cardinal Otunga plaza 8th Floor within the Holy Family Minor Basilica grounds. The Office was established in 2009 and is coordinated by a vice postulator and a religious sister.
Beatification is a process through which the church declares one a saint due to exemplary living of faith or through martyrdom following confession of faith. We thank God that slowly Kenya is becoming a “ land of saints”.
In 2015 we celebrated an example of lived faith through the beatification of Blessed Irene Stefani “ Nyatha” a Consolata Missionary Sister who lived, worked and died in Nyeri. She contracted plague in Nyeri as she served the sick. Her example of love and mercy.
On 26th May 2018, we celebrated an example of witnessing through blood through the beatification of Blessed Leonella Sgobarti, a Consolata Missionary Sister who worked in Kenya and was murdered in Somalia for hatred of Faith.
Friends, we thank you for supporting the process of beatification and canonisation of the Servant of God Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga in Kenya which is our first Kenyan Cause for a Kenyan born, Christian, priest, Cardinal and shepherd.
We are aware that some knew the SOG Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga in person for he confirmed them, officiated their marriage and preached to them, Others know him by reading what he wrote or is written about him, while others we are introducing his heroic life to them today. This calls for great creation of awareness among our people through education and involvement so that we are all aware of this noble cause.
The two phases of the process, that is Diocesan and Roman are engaging and requires financial resources to facilitate investigations, data collection and analysis, transport, preparation of his biography, creation of publicity through mass media and day to day running of the beatification office, that is, salaries, telephone bills, stationary, electricity bills etc. As a cause inspired by faith, it is supported by generous contribution from Christians and people of good will.
The Servant of God Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga was born in western Kenya Bungoma diocese among the Bukusu people in 1923. He became a catholic Christian, a priest, a bishop and a cardinal. He worked in Kisumu as Auxiliary bishop, Kisii as local Ordinary and Nairobi as Local Ordinary. By his simplicity in life style he touched the lives of many people. The SOG Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga passed on in 2003.
We are here to celebrate his human and Christian qualities which have made him a hero of Faith as manifested by his patience, humility, prayer life and faithfulness to the Gospel values. He was a committed shepherd as he celebrated the sacraments and preached the Word of God. Indeed, he had a deep concern for the less fortunate in the society.
Our gathering together here today is a sure sign of our commitment to see this process fruitfully concluded and our servant of God declared a saint, that is, become a role model of faith for us and the entire Universal Catholic Church.
On this awareness creation forum, on behalf of myself and all Christians of the Archdiocese of Nairobi as their Shepherd and petitioner of the cause, I wish to register our deep gratitude and appreciation for your personal presence, commitment to seek growth in holiness and dedication to publicize this cause.
I thank you for honouring the invitation in such a great number as we meditate on the values of the Servant of God and joyfully participate in his cause of beatification. To you all may God who is never out done in generosity bless you, your families, your education institutions and your studies abundantly.
Last but not least, allow me to present the following for appreciation:
- The Postulation Office
- The Central Committee for their commitment and sacrifice to make this cause successful.
- Fr. Celestino Bundi the Chairman,
- Esher Ichugu, the Secretary,
- Stephen Githiga,
- Margaret Njuguna ,
- Fr. Wallace Ng’ang’a,
- Stephen Mwangi,
- James Karumba,
- Fr. David Njau,
- Onesmus Gichuiri,
- Rosemary Saina,
- Domitila A. Omuse,
- Col. Cyril Maloba,
- Perpetual Nyawira,
- Grace Njau,
- Francis Njuguna,
- Martin Kamande,
- General ( Rtd ) John Koech,
- Fr. Joseph Healey.
I conclude with words from the sermon of St. Hilary on Holy Trinity ( Lib 1, 37-38,Pl 10, 48 – 49 ) that: “ I am well aware, almighty God and Father that in my life, I owe You a most particular duty, which is to make my every thought and word speak of You”
May the life of SOG Maurice Cardinal Otunga inspire us to become better witnesses of the Gospel. I entrust you all to the maternal protection and intercession of Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God and Help of Christians.
H.E. JOHN CARDINAL NJUE
ARCHBISHOP OF NAIROBI