May 24, 2017

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KENYA: Bishop Anthony Muheria’s letter to Christians of the Catholic Diocese of Kitui

Through the parish priests

My dear Christians of Kitui,

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says Yahweh…” (Is 55, 8)

The Lord’s ways are indeed different from your own. But His will is always right… by now you have all received the news of my transfer to the Archdiocese of Nyeri that was announced on Divine Mercy Sunday.

The Holy Father, through the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Balvo, has asked me to go and take over from Archbishop Peter Kairo who has now retired.

No doubt this is a big show of trust and confident on the part of the Pope and the church as a whole. Though I feel I may not be worthy, I trust that God will give me the graces I need.

But I must confess also, how hard it was and still is, for me to leave my beloved Kitui. My daughters and sons, you have truly “stolen” my heart, with the great love you always showed me.

My heart is very heavy, and it will be very difficult for me, as I am sure it will be for you. We have walked and worked together in these nine, and had great dreams together.

I particularly think of my priests, who we have had great dreams together. I particularly think of my priests, whom we have had even more opportunities to collaborate closely. It has been a truly joyful and fulfilling time where we have seen the Lord’s vineyard blossom.

However, to fulfill God’s will is always the best way to a lasting happiness and to our eternal happiness. We must accept the will of God, and to continue working in the parts of the vineyard where he now lead us.

I am therefore asking for your prayers, so that I can learn to trust God and more in this new assignment, and to be able to carry out what he expects from me, together with his people in Nyeri. I really need your prayers.

I also know you are concerned about the future of the diocese of Kitui. Just as the boy Isaac could not comprehend what was going on, and so asked Father Abraham, as they went up the mountain.

“Father?” he said. “Yes, my son,” he replied. “Look”, he said, “here are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’’ Abraham replied, “My son, God himself will provide… (Gen 22:7-8)

You may think the Lord is asking of you, and asking of me too, a big sacrifice. We may not fully understand his plans…But Abrahams answer, full of faith, is what we must hear in the depth of our hearts: “God himself will provide.”

Be sure that the Lord will send us a worthy shepherd, who will lead us into even better times in our diocese… Be sure he will guide our diocese of Kitui forward in all the things we were doing… I have no doubt, because I know he has cared for us during all this time and will continue to do so.

In his providence, God sends each shepherd, at his time, so as to help build a part of this spiritual house. In these years, I have built over the foundation of both Bishop William Dunne and Archbishop Boniface Lele. Each comes to carry out what the Lord wishes to remind his people in a specific time. We thank Him sincerely for all what we have been able to do in this period that I have been your shepherd.

To my young people, who occupy a special place in my heart: You are the future of our diocese and of our Country.

I have full confidence in you, if you keep your “Faith on Fire!!!” I have seen how enthusiastic you have been in this year of the youth, in all our activities and in your role in the Church.

We have had an opportunity to be together, and to talk in our program “Hello Bishop” on Radio Thome… I continue to carry you in my heart. I know we shall be meeting and I know you will not let Jesus our Lord down… Have the courage to always return to him!!! Remain strong in Faith, and focus your energies and great talents for good.

My dear daughters and sons, the date for my installation in Nyeri has now been fixed for Saturday 17th June, 2017. While it will be a day of joy and thanksgiving to see his hand in all this, and to truly Trust and Hope in him.

I am therefore asking for a lot of your prayers. I go to Our Mother Mary, who is our protector. We have started the shrine of Museve so that she can show herself as a mother and protector to us all.

I ask her to hold my hand and to hold the hand of each one of the Christians in Kitui in this moment, so that we can continue our journey together to her Son, wherever we will be.

May God bless your abundantly, and continue to Protect and Guide you to greater Holiness. I send you my blessing to you and your families.

Your loving Shepherd,

Anthony Muheria
Bishop of Kitui
1st May 2017
Feast of St. Joseph the worker

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