Luanda, Kenya: Saint Joseph’s Day Anticipated

St Joseph’s day at Luanda

It was to be celebrated on 19th March which is Saturday but due to the upcoming installation of the Archbishop of Kisumu the same day, we decided to celebrate on Wednesday 16th March 2022. The Mill Hill communities of Kisumu and Luanda were coming together as the ‘western cluster’ to celebrate our patron saint. Also in attendance were the friends of Mill Hill from the two parishes of Luanda and Ojolla.

The guests were assembled already by 9.30am. We celebrated the day under the theme of “cherishing the gift of friendship” as we celebrated the 5th anniversary of the death of Fr. Jim Fanning known to be the founder of Friends of Mill Hill East Africa. Fr. Jim Fanning died on 28th February 2017 at age 67.

The main celebrant was Fr. Sylvester Odhiambo, the current vocations director in Kenya. In his homily, he paid homage to the Mill Hill Missionaries who had worked tirelessly to leave a lasting impression in the lives of people. Fr. Jim Fanning and the great legend Fr. Hans Burgman who left us this week, are not exceptional. He asked all present to imitate them as they imitated St. Joseph.

The day was filled with laughter as the students in formation at Luanda presented a short play on the life of St. Joseph and how he struggled to understanding Gods purpose in his life. On the other side, the friends of Mill Hill expressed how much Fr. Jim Fanning is missed and how someone should be found to quickly fill his shoes. They expressed gratitude for the invitation which made them feel part of the larger family of Mill Hill.

We had a shared lunch, a sign of togetherness as we socialized. It was a wonderful day indeed. We thank God for the gift of one another in mission and for the friendship we share. May the souls of our departed great Mill Hill Missionaries rest in eternal peace.

Francis Makuba MHM

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