October 23rd & 24th, 2021
Dear Christians, greetings from Kenya. I am Fr. Gilbert Omolo, CP, a Passionist priest from Kenya. I am addressing this letter to you today through the kindness of Bishop Michael R Cote; Rev. Grzegorz Jednaki mission Director; and of your pastor. I am writing to share with you my mission story from Kenya and to offer you the opportunity to join me in solidarity with the suffering people of that land.
Passionist Fathers-Kenya was founded in 1970 by Passionist missionaries from Italy. These missionaries have retired and gone back to Italy, and a majority of them have gone back to God. The Passionist Missionaries’ goal is to promote the memory of the Passion of Jesus Christ by witnessing and preaching to the sufferings of our time (the neglected ones, orphans and widows). Through our projects in Kenya, we are able to evangelize and promote integral human development. Our projects involve programs and activities that alleviate poverty and foster social justice and economic empowerment of the communities we serve.
We have 40 seminarians to educate and prepare for mission. We run two orphanages with 70 orphans, we support poor widows in our missions, and we run a tailoring and carpentry school for orphans and children from poor families. We organize and preach retreats for both religious and lay Faithful.
We no longer receive any financial help from our brothers in Italy. The support we can get from you will continue our mission that brings a positive change in people’s daily lives and the hope for a better tomorrow. As a young boy, I met the Passionist missionaries in my village that brought us the message of the Passion of Jesus Christ. They reached the remotest part of Kenya. With their work, they attracted many.
As a young boy, I said I want to be a priest. I was told that, to be a missionary, I must go to school. This part was not easy. It wasn’t easy because I did not have what it takes to go to school: school uniform, notebooks and pencil. One day, I missed class because I didn’t have a pencil. It was the day for the exam that would allow me to proceed to the next grade. This happened some 33 years ago. To your surprise, this is still happening to many young children in Kenya today; they can’t go to school because they lack pencils or school uniforms, let alone shoes to wear to school. As a missionary group in Kenya, we respond to such needs.
When I was in charge of the running of our two orphanages, I witnessed something that I would love to share with you. I brought a young boy of five years, named Paul, into our orphanage. He was living with his poor and old grandmother after his parents died. I bought Paul a pair of shoes; when he wore his shoes, he was so excited that he refused to take them off when going to bed. We had to wait until he fell completely asleep to remove his shoes.
You can be my partner for fifty dollars. I invite you to be part of the Passionist mission in Kenya. Even twenty dollars will buy Paul pencils and shoes. With your twenty dollars, you will keep a Passionist seminarian in the seminary for a week. So, dig right down and find twenty dollars! Hey, if your hand comes up with fifty, that’s OK. It is a big project. It costs $20,000 US dollars a year to feed and send 70 orphans to school. Above all else, give what Jesus himself will enable you to do for the orphans and seminarians in Kenya.
With that donation you are going to drop in the basket during the second collection, you can change the world. Just do it! We are partners, here. Jesus wants to bring life to others through you and me. We must accept the invitation.
Thank you and God bless you.
If you find time, please visit our orphans, Seminarians, people and Passionists at www.passionistskenya.org.
Donations can be made to:
Passionist Fathers of Kenya
Diocese Mission Coop Collection
Checks payable to: Our Lady Queen of Peace, Please mark 'Kenya' in memo, or place donation in envelope marked 'Kenya' in collection box.