NAIROBI, Kenya, OCT. 17, 2001 (Zenit.org).- In a colorful ceremony held at the Consolata Shrine, 12 new Kenyan missionaries were sent out to the world to evangelize.
The African agency CISA reported that two nuns, two religious brothers and eight priests received a mandate to leave their country to proclaim the Gospel.
The celebration was presided over by the newly ordained Bishop Virgilio Pante of Maralal and marked the conclusion of the centenary celebrations of the foundation of the Consolata Missionaries.
Started in 1901 by now-Blessed Joseph Allamano in Turin, Italy, the Consolatas reached Kenya in 1902, where they officially began their mission among the Kikuyu.
Their work, characterized by a well-balanced combination of evangelization and human promotion, has given birth to eight new dioceses in Kenya, the first being Nyeri and the latest, Maralal.
The Nairobi celebration gathered the four Consolata bishops — Ambrose Ravasi of Marsabit, Peter Kihara of Murangia, Auxiliary Anthony Ireri of Nairobi, and Virgilio Pante of Maralal. It also included the ordination of Consolata Missionary Father Joseph Otieno, of Nairobi´s Kahawa West parish.
Kenyans constitute 15% of the total missionary forces of the male congregation of some 1,000 members. Out of the 12 new missionaries, only three will remain in Kenya.
There are more than 250 Kenyan missionaries around the world. More than 70 of them are Consolata priests, brothers and nuns.
Two of the new missionaries are going to Korea. They are among the first African missionaries sent to Asia.