Dearest people of God in Malindi Diocese,
Greetings from St Joseph Freinademetz (Witu-Kipini) Parish.
Today I am solemnly announcing the start of Malindi Diocese Synod process by this decree. The Diocesan synod deliberations is part of the universal synod process that has already been opened with a solemn Mass on October 10, 2021 by Our Holy Father in Rome. All the faithful by this decree are called to become better at listening and discerning so that we move forward together in solidarity with the struggles and aspirations of all humanity. The theme of the Synod is “Communion, Participation, and Mission” which entails walking together and listening to one another but above all to the Holy Spirit.
The upcoming synod is unlike any previous one. It starts with, and involves all the faithful at local Churches across the world. The Holy Father invites the Churches to dedicate substantial resources to listen to the joys and sorrows of all especially to people who frequently remain in the church periphery like abused teenage girls and mother’s, couples in solemnized and polygamous marriages, divorced, landless and street families, human trafficked and vulnerable migrants, abandoned babies and elders to mention but a few. The Synod in the words of Pope Francis offers us the opportunity to discern and listen to fellow pilgrim including many others who worship differently including atheists.
My three-day pastoral visit to Witu-Kipini in Tana Delta from 15th to 17th October this year will remain a deliberate synodality emersion experience because it brought me face to face with a remnant of Christian communities some with places of worship in seemingly neglected makeshift structures. The people of Witu-Kipini who are suffering from prolonged drought, effects of perennial floods, human, livestock, wildlife conflict, securitization and sexual exploitation of vulnerable families desire a church that must become space for their voices.
I am therefore calling upon all pastoral leaders especially the parish priests to renew and redesign holistic parish pastoral programs only after discerning divergent, legitimate and authentic voice of the people they serve including those considered as outsiders. In fulfilment of my synodal obligation therefore, I have today appointed Rev Fr. James Kinoti as the chairperson of the Diocesan synodal team. This team will immediately ensure all group of people no matter their circumstances of life take active role in the synodal process.
The diocesan synodal process will run from 17th October 2021 until April 2022. Let’s begin praying for this extraordinary moment of renewal of our universal and local Church through the intercession of the holy family who remained faithful to God will in the various societal challenges of their times.
I remain your humble servant,
Rt. Rev. Willybard Kitogho Lagho
Catholic Bishop of Malindi.