I bring you greetings of peace and once again belated happy new year wishes. I welcome each and everyone to this our Assembly of 2021. It is unfortunate that we cannot be together as the whole of East Africa during this time because of the effects of the Pandemic. But we thank God for protecting each of us during these difficult times and the people we work with. We remember those who have died during this time and pray for God’s mercy upon them. And for us still alive, God’s protection.
I thank each and every member in the area for the great witnessing to mission that we are all experiencing in our mission apostolate here in Kenya and Uganda. It is wonderful to behold.
I also take this opportunity to thank all members of the EAA and the General Council for the opportunity given me to serve you in this area as Society Representative. I do not take it for granted and I pray we all work together as we give the best of ourselves to the mission entrusted to us in East Africa. I beg that we do this in oneness while celebrating our uniqueness as Mill Hill Missionaries, our cultural and international diversity being our big strength.
I continue to thank our predecessors for the good work done to have our Mission in East Africa where it is at the moment and Philip Adede my immediate predecessor. Where we walk today, our ancestors once walked and others will follow after us, so we keep the faith.
I took over office in September 2020 and I am still familiarising myself with many things around.
YEAR OF ST JOSEPH
The Holy Father this year proclaimed the year of St. Joseph inviting the Church to reflect on the life of this great man, our principal patron, simple, humble man who handled everything with a father’s heart. We cannot be more proud and may we use this year to renew our commitment to mission in the example of St Joseph
CHANGING FACE OF MISSION
We gather for an Assembly like no other in recent years with no single member from the global North. The eldest among us in Uganda is 11years ordained and all of us below 45years of age. What a big shift from just few years ago when the picture was so different! We have a huge responsibility in our hands; to keep mission alive and be apostles to our own brothers and sisters.
CHALLENGES OF COVID 19
2020 has been a big challenge for all of us due to Corona virus. We were all affected in one way or another. The way we operate in mission and other aspects of life completely changed and we are now functioning in a new ab/normal. I thank all for standing strong with our people in such times. I also thank the General Council and Missio for stepping in to assist some of our missions during the difficult times. In these circumstances we decided to have two separate assemblies. But again the persistence of the pandemic pushed us to cancel the Assembly for Kenya. Despite that I was privileged to visit all our missionary teams in Kenya the first two weeks of January 2021. It was good and humbling experience for me meeting people at one to one level and also finding them in good spirits giving their best. I thank you all for welcoming me when I passed by. I also met most of the bishops in whose dioceses we work and we continue to build the rapport with them.
FR ADOLF PÖLL MHM
I salute in a very special way Fr. Adolf Pöll who has served in east Africa for over 50 years and the past 20 years in Witu, Malindi Diocese. We thank him for the inspiration and selfless service rendered to the area. He informed me this is his final year and anytime in the course of the year, he is bowing out of mission here in EA. We render immense thanks to God for his life and wish him good health as he returns home sometime during the year.
We congratulate Malindi Diocese for getting a new Bishop Mgr Wiybard Lagho. We thank our very own Fr. Albert Buijs for looking after the diocese as Administrator for the past two years since the demise of the former bishop.
Francis Makuba was requested by the General Council to take up a course in formation in Tanzania. He left the Parish in early January 2021. We thank him for a wonderful work and transformation he has brought to Shauri Moyo together with the team there. We wish him well in the course and courage to Victor Nayak who leads the team there now.
NEW MEMBERS IN THE AREA
We welcome the new priests to the area, Rev Patrick Bongmoyong and Rev Glenn Dumali who take up their appointments in Nanga Kenya and Mbikko Uganda respectively. We pray they settle down very well.
We also welcome Rev. Michael Ochwo who has been working in Juba, South Sudan and in October took up appointment to the East Africa Area, specifically to St. Francis Xavier in Kisumu Ndogo, Malindi Diocese. We welcome him and pray for a fruitful ministry with the team at the coast.
Over the weekend of October 24th 2020, we had a beautiful celebration of Perpetual Oath and ordinations to the diaconate and priesthood of our brothers in Nairobi. Six took the PO and were ordained deacons the following day at Shauri Moyo Parish, three Cameroonians, two Indians and one Congolese. The priestly ordination was that of our first Malaysian, Herman Menjuan MHM. We thank God for the gift of the new members and we continue to pray for them. We thank our formation teams for their tireless efforts in
OUR MISSIONS & MEMBERSHIP; WHERE WE ARE…
|DIOCESE||PARISH||MEMBERS||P.O||STUDENTS MEP T.O|
|KOTIDO DIOCESE||LOYORO||-Andrew Mitema -Joseph Okwara)||2||2|
|PANYANGARA||-Ignatius Nshing, -Mark Owor||2||2|
|JINJA DIOCESE||FORMATION HOUSE JINJA||-Charles Okata -John Akain)||2||–|
|LUGAZI DIOCESE||MBIKKO||-Joe King, Stephen Odhiambo -Glenn Dumali||3||2|
|BUSAANA||-Frederick Yangnyi – Kevin Baraza)||2||–|
|KAMPALA ARCHDIOCESE||KAMPALA GUESTHOUSE/VOCATIONS||(Ronald Kajja)||1||–|
|KAKAMEGA||LUANDA PARISH||-John B.Tusiime -Thomas Ngong -Norbert Odunga||3||2|
|LUANDA B.F||-Dominic Nyachuoti||1||–|
|KISUMU||NANGA||-Gerry Krakman -Patrick Bongmoyong||2||1|
|REGIONAL HSE||-Sylvester Odhiambo -Fulkart Kraus (in residence)||2||–|
|NAIROBI||SHAURI MOYO||-Victor Nayak -Francis Makuba (out..)||1||1|
|GUEST HSE||-Hilary Awiti||1||–|
|FORMATION HSE||-Damien Fuh -Jakob -Davidas||3|
|NGONG||OLELAIMUTIA||-David Masiga -William Epiti||2||–|
|MALINDI||KISUMU NDOGO||-Albert Buijs -Franz Bichof -Michael Ochwo -Mutukuru||4||2|
|WITU-KIPINI||-Adolf Poll (OUT…) -Alex Kimbi -Ananth||3||3|
|KITALE||-Jacinta van Luijk (associate)||1|
I thank all the teams in their respective places for perseverance and sacrifices made each day. I would love to encourage some good practices that we have had as MHMs; the process meetings of catching up with one another and team facilitation for the younger teams.
FRIENDS OF MILL HILL
We continue to appreciate the role our friends play in our lives as missionaries here in EAA. It is my hope that after the corona virus we will animate this special group more so that they remain active in their apostolate with us. We regret that we did not have the friends of Mill Mill magazine for East Africa. The Editorial board is working on it. And I also encourage members to
EXPANSION and THE FUTURE
I note with great conviction that mission is growing and some of our teams need a boost with additional members. The numbers in our formation houses are also promising and give us reason for hope.
It remains part of our strategic plan as East Africa Area to expand our missions to some of the dioceses we were before or explore new areas as well like Kampala, Kisumu, Lamu, Malindi and maybe Moroto. As the year begins, we look forward to such new plans and we hope this will be achieved gradually as we engage the General Council hoping things will begin to take shape soon.
We note also that with expansion comes the issue of sustainability, hence some have proposed that we take up for now parishes that can become self-sustaining within a short period of time.
We encourage teams to engage much in development project writing to help in the growth of our parishes and also lessen our so much dependence on GC/CSA funds. Many of us have attended projects/development seminars so we can make good use of it. Jimmy and Philip O’Halloran (our Mission Dev’t Officer Misean Cara) are of great assistance to members at any given time. (Philip sent out an email on Missionary approach to Development Initiatives and I will avail it to members so that we take up such opportunities) This is another reason why we are trying to partner with the FMSJ development desk to help us in this regard. It is still in the trial form and during this Assembly we shall agree whether to continue with the trial.
As East Africa, We must start exploring real investment as an area for future sustainability. As a Council we hope that we can become a Region at some point and with retirement plans we must continue planning as we explore less risky ventures and partnerships as soon as we can. This too we shall be engaging the General Council and seeking members’ opinions.
My best regards to each and every one and happy deliberations. Proudly Mill Hill, let us keep the fire burning!
May St. Joseph intercede for us!
Joe King mhm