Catholic Bishops in Kenya head to Rome for an Ad Limina visit to meet the Holy Father Pope Francis in a private audience and if possible meet with him individually too.

In an exclusive interview with Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Acting General Secretary, Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Rono, we learnt that the bishops will have the opportunity to talk to the Pope about the challenges facing Kenya, visit the tomb of St. Peter to show unity with the pope, celebrate mass at St. Peter Basilica to show oneness with the bishop of Rome and solidarity with the universal Church as well as meet different congregations namely: the Congregation for the Propagation of Faith, Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Congregation for Catholic Education and many other offices where they will also present their concerns of the happenings in Kenya and seek closer collaboration.

Fr. Rono said some of the challenges that will be addressed during the meeting with the Pope which is expected to take place from 13th to 17th April, 2015, will include the financial challenges facing the Church in Kenya, adding that the Church has grown enormously in the past few years but the infrastructure of parishes has not improved hence the need to put up more buildings and churches.

He also cited the need for good formation and sustainability of future priests and religious men and women having seen growth in vocations in the last few years. “Secular media condones evil by demeaning the voice of reason and the voice of faith and as a Church in Kenya, we are facing a challenge on how to establish and strengthen Catholic Media in the country to make the voice of the Church reach as many people as possible” said Fr. Rono

Fr. Rono also noted that corruption and bad politics which divide the country along tribal, political, economic and regional lines are also posing a challenge despite the Church’s persistent endeavours to advocate for dialogue and equitable distribution of resources.

He confirmed that the Kenyan Bishops will also have the privilege to visit different Basilicas like St. John Lateran, St. Paul’s outside the wall and St. Mary’s Major Basilica and eventually meet some of the partners who have always worked with the Kenyan Church. He said it will also be an opportunity to meet the Kenyan team studying in Rome, celebrate mass with them and also share a meal with other Kenyans in Rome.

While expressing hope for a fruitful moment, Fr. Rono appealed to all the Christians and people of good will to pray for the bishops during their trip to the Holy See so that they may have a safe journey and a fruitful visit and that they may be strengthened and energized to continue shepherding the faithful in Kenya.

Ad limina apostolorum (Latin, meaning “to the threshold of the Apostles”) was originally, in the Middle Ages, a reference to a pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul in Rome. In modern times, it usually refers to the visits to Rome (to the tombs of the Apostles, and to the Pope) that all Catholic bishops are required to make at least every five years. The last time Kenyan Bishops went for their visit was eight years ago.

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