Cardinal Otunga's beatification
Cardinal Lauds Christians’ participation
By Francis Njuguna (November 27, 2013)
His Eminence John Cardinal Njue on Sunday, November 24, while launching his Christmas message for the Archdiocese of Nairobi took the chance to thank the Christians for their participation in the Diocesan Phase of the beatification process on the life of Maurice Cardinal Michael Otunga, whose work wound up on September 6 this year, 2013.
His Eminence Njue also took the occasion to thank the Christians in the Archdiocese for their participation in the celebration of the Year of Faith, which Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI launched October last year and which equally wound up its activities on the same Sunday, November 24.
Cardinal Njue in the introductory message to the pastoral letter said he wished to greet all and to congratulate each one of us for the commitment, “you have shown during the Year of Faith that we just concluded. I would also like to congratulate everyone for the successful conclusion of the Diocesan Phase for the beatification of the Servant of God Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga and the inauguration of our new Archdiocesan offices.”
The new archdiocesan offices are located in the new church building, Cardinal Otunga Plaza, named after Cardinal Otunga and located within the premises of the Holy Family Minor Basilica in Nairobi’s downtown. The new building is housing the office of the Cardinal Otunga Beatification Process, located on the Seventh Floor.
Cardinal Njue told the huge congregation that had gathered at the Holy Family Minor Basilica during the grand occasion that, “These two achievements are land marks of our journey of faith.”
As we conclude the year 2013, I wish also to thank you for being part of a nation where people know that Jesus is Lord and God, emphasized His Eminence Cardinal Njue.
In the pastoral letter, His Eminence Cardinal Njue has emphasized the centrality of the family in the Church and the society.
He stresses that much as this is a reality, “We are aware that today our families are under attack. Many of our families are falling apart; others do not hesitate to go against God’s plans of love, for them, thereby preparing their own ruin.”
This, says His Eminence, poses a serious danger both for our society and for the Church.
His Eminence reminded that in 1921, Pope Benedict XV established the Feast of the Holy Family for much the same reason. In the mind of the Holy Father, this Feast was meant to be a day for Christian families to examine themselves by comparing their way of life with that of the Holy Father at Nazareth. The Holy Father, says His Eminence Cardinal Njue in his pastoral letter, is like a mirror in which Christian families should look at themselves, so as to live in accordance with God’s plans.
Under a subtitle: Building a Family Culture –“Family, Become What You Are.” (FC 17), His Eminence Cardinal Njue has observed, thus: “I would like to invite all Catholic faithful and people of goodwill of the Archdiocese of Nairobi to engage in various ways to build a family culture in our communities and parishes, schools and colleges, institutions and religious houses.”
“And, for the same reason, Pope Francis has called an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops which will take place at the Vatican from October 5-19, 2014, on the theme: “The Pastoral Challenges of the family in the Context of Evangelization”.
For most of us, the family was very close to the pastoral life of our cardinal, Maurice Michael Otunga.
He preached about it, he worked for it and defended it whenever it came to him that it-the family was under any known threat.
One can only recall vividly how he passionately raised his voice and that of the Church whenever the issue of family clearly came under threat.
“If there is any topic that we can recall our cardinal Otunga one of such would be his pastoral commitment to family issue. This, I can say without any fear of contradiction,” remarked Mr Jesse Kanyiri, a faithful at Saint Francis of Assisi Parish at Ruiru within the wider Archdiocese of Nairobi in a candid chat with him recently.
In one of his many articles he has penned on the Small Christian Communities, SCCs, Maryknoll missionary priest, Father Joseph Healey and who has served the Catholic Church in Africa and in particular Eastern African Region for 45 years has quoted Cardinal Otunga thus on matters relating to the family:
“Servant of God Cardinal Maurice Otunga liked to give the example of the SCC in Nairobi Archdiocese that donated the bride’s wedding dress to the couple in the small community who had insufficient money for their Marriage Ceremony in the church.”