Thanks be to God
Though I am writing still from my home leave, I wish you well and all the best for this great feast of the Family Day. I am sure that each and everyone of us has a lot to thank God for. We thank God for
the good things; we thank God for seeing us through in different moments; we thank God for giving us Faith to keep trusting in Him, even in cases where darkness seems to overtake us.
Definitely, as a Family of Consolata Shrine, 2017 has marked the beginning of few
things. Among others I would wish to underline:
1. The concrete beginning of the Allamano Centre. A project that was being worked upon for the last almost four years, saw
its blessing, ground breaking and work upto the point which you can observe by yourselves. We reached this far, thanks
to your commitment. We know that the political situation of the country has affected many economic sectors, including your own pockets in a way. That is why we appreciate your effort so much! We really hope, that we keep moving together, and as we pray for stability in the country, we hope that you are able to keep sustaining this project which will benefit the Parish at large.
At the same time, don´t shy off from sharing this project with others, and making your passion for it, a contagious
passion towards them. In this way, we make our Shrine, the Family which Blessed Allamano wanted for all his members, a place where we not only come to receive, but where we arrive and join, where we contribute, enjoy, and share, and even where we die with concern for one another.
2. The creation of new SCCs (Small Christian Communities). After noticing a significant number of parishioners coming from James Gichuru upwards, and upon their request, members themselves have come up with new Small Christian Communities. Alive and active, many of them will witness their participation as the best thing that happened to them in the last times. We continue asking God´s blessing for them and karibuni wote, all those who wish to join them. In this way… we make our Shrine… the Family of families, the Family of Small Christian Communities.
3. The creation of the Groups of Professionals. Once more, this has been an initiative which we were working upon since at least a couple of years ago. It is about the offer to professionals who may or may not be able to join a SCC, to be able still to gather as a
Christian and reflect upon their lives, and put their talents at the service of the Kingdom of God; that Kingdom being… their families, their place of work, the society, our Shrine, the Church at large… the world! We appreciate the efforts of all those who coordinated the first steps and those who are taking some leadership role in these groups. Being something relatively new, and where more than offering a way… we invite everybody to be participative in drawing and walking the way and the talk, I really encourage all to keep it up and dream to make again… of our Shrine… the Family who shares talents at the service of the Kingdom of God!
4. We can’t forget to recognize and to thank the work done at our “princess” community, St Joseph – Deep Sea. I call it the princess community, because even if we don´t mention it so much, our eyes are often put upon that community.
We serve it with a privilege heart, we learn from it with surprising eyes. The challenges that come from that
community, make us to invest time, personnel and finances in it, as Parish and through COYREP for its social point of view. Yet, their openness and support among themselves and towards the activities of the Shrine, help us to say…
“how right St John Paul II was when he invited people to share from their own poverty”! St Joseph, Deep Sea, knows
what it means. To some groups I posed the challenge to go at least once for mass there before the year ends. I wish to pose the challenge to each and everyone of you to attend any of the celebrations or going by our own means if you haven´t done it yet.
Of course that many other activities happened… organized by different committees, pastoral groups, lay
Let me say, and on behalf of the pastoral
team, a big thank you to all those who in one
way or another made all this possible!
We are starting a new year. Even if the year of
the Family gets to its end, in itself the Family remains an on-going journey. I wish that each and every one of us, as an individual, a member of a family, of a workplace, of a group that either belongs or don’t belong to the church, member of the society… at
whatever level… we commit ourselves to be members of the family of Jesus at all times:
“whoever listens to my Word and puts it into practice is my Brother, and Mother and Sister”
and that we really live as brothers andsisters of ALL, in our families, in the Church, in the Society, becoming other living Christs as much as we can, leaving aside other plans that we may have. In this second year of the Pastoral Plan, we had made an option for the Youth, in view of the special Youth Congress organized by the Church. Let us all put efforts to involve them and to let them feel the Church, not only as a space we invite them to, but as a space that belongs to them. That requires not much criticism to what they might do or propose, but let us welcome initiatives which help
who waits for them, in order to assist them to make in the future a better discernment of what they want to do… of how they want to spend their lives. Yet, making the journey together, will strengthen the whole Family of the Consolata Shrine… and of the Consolata Missionary Family. We keep praying for the country, hoping that we can move ahead, and while searching for peace, we learn lessons to keep preparing more smooth roads in our daily lives for the good of all. Our consciences, which are God´s voice, will judge us. Blessed month, blessed Family Day, blessed beginning of Advent, renewing in ourselves the hope the Messiah who is with us, while we await his second coming; but at the same time, doing something to bring that hope to others. For example, Could you take a child from a children´s home for Christmas at your own home?
All the best! May Our Lady Consolata, Blessed
Joseph Allamano and Blessed Sister Irene
intercede for us all!
Fr Daniel Bertea,