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Kisumu, Kenya: Celebrating a Beginning and an Ending

The Mill Hill Family in Western Kenya had an opportunity to share in the blessings of God this month of June. We had two great celebrations. As we were saying thanks for great missionary work to our eldest brother Fr. Folkert Kruis, we were welcoming our newest and youngest member in mission Fr. Denis Bwire Wanjala.

Fr. Denis is among the very first priests to be ordained by Bishop Mark Kadima since he became the Bishop of Bungoma Catholic Diocese. In his sermon, the Bishop dwelled much on the holiness of the priest. He said a priest should not hesitate to go down on his two knees in acknowledging his own shortcomings and asking for forgiveness and in prayer to God to strengthen him. The celebration took place on Saturday 25th June 2022, the feast of Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The following day Sunday 26th, the Mill Hill Family of Kisumu cluster, gathered in Kisumu regional house to bid farewell to Fr. Folkert Kruis mhm who has been in Kenya since 1961; more than 60 years of loving service among the people of Western Kenya. Coincidently, Fr. Folkert Kruis had witnessed his last ordination of a Mill Hill member in Kenya, in the very area that he was first appointed after his ordination. He had an opportunity to meet many priests he has inspired along his missionary journey and greeted people at the ordination ceremony. He will be greatly remembered and missed.

During his farewell speech in Kisumu, Fr. Folkert had few words of wisdom to us who were present. He told us to be aware of the dynamic nature of mission. He also added that, while on mission, we should never think we are the only people who can do what we are doing. Therefore we should always be ready to move on; citing the example of Fr. Sylvester Odhiambo who moved on from Kotido and Fr. Benedict Ohanga who is on his way from Cameroon to the United States. Fr. Joe King who is the East African Socrep thanked him in the name of the region for his tireless service and asked him to remember us always.

Fr. Denis Wanjala, will be taking up his mission among the Karamajong people of Kotido diocese in Northern Uganda. We wish him all the best in mission. We equally wish Fr. Folkert well in his much deserved rest. We shall dearly miss him.

Francis Makuba mhm

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