Sr. Anne Henriette Owino, FSSA
In the just concluded three-day virtual session convened by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (KCCB) Commission for clergy and Religious, the pastoral agents have been asked to value collaboration as they minister to God’s people.
“The nature of the mission today has proved that it is an inclusive activity and we need to do it together. Each one taking their role actively as it has no monopoly,” Fr. Nicholas Makau told online participants on Saturday, September 18, reminding them that the different vocations of teaching, prophesy or preaching among others have one purpose which is to concur the mission
Drawing his inspiration from Scriptures, Fr. Makau a member of the Consolata Missionaries, (IMC) noted that, “The family of God working in harmony, collaboration and unity for the good of all creation is a dominant theme in the Bible,” and the need for partnership is why the need for the sake of the Mission.
Speaking to the theme “Spirituality of Collaborative Ministry in Mission,” the Consolata cleric acknowledged that mission is all about changes saying, “The good news, the new life, restoration of original order, the kingdom of freedom from all forms of exclusion, poverty, oppression and exploitation, spirituality and materiality…must be understood and accepted today since the perspective of the mission is changing, the responsible people are o changing, paradigms are changing and there are new issues emerging.”
Hence referencing Pope Paul VI document Gaudium et Spes on the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, he noted that “the society is marked by significant changes and by a crucial transition in the life of the Church, which cannot be ignored (and) it is within the folds of the complexity of this context, in its tensions and contradictions, that we are called to “scrutinize the signs of the times and interpret them in the light of the Gospel.”
In his presentation to participants who were drawn from dioceses within Kenya, comprising of Diocesan liaison committee representatives and pontifical Missionary Society (PMS) directors, Fr. Makau emphasized on the significance of the church and ecumenism, interfaith and interreligious dialogue saying, “The reality of the world today has proved that no one is an island, thus we really need to work closely with each other.”
“There is a call to “deepen relationships with other Churches and Christian communities, with which we are united by the one Baptism.” The perspective of collaboration ministry then, is even broader, and embraces all humankind, whose “joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties” we share,” Fr. Makau said adding, “We are called towards a relationship of dialogue and collaboration on various levels.”
He further acknowledged mutual partnership with religious women in evangelization noting that, “Women religious contribute to the growth of the church and …just like in the large society has been shelved in the guise of the human understanding and interpretation of power, culture and tradition.”
He recalls that St John-Paul II and his successors have repeatedly talked about “the genius of women,” an expression suggesting that women bring something particular to humankind and the Church, something that should be praised and acknowledged.”