National Prayer Day for Peace 2017 in Kenya Emphasized Peace through Dialogue
CANAA || By Sr. Michelle Njeri, Nakuru Diocese || 12 October 2017
The annual National Prayer for Peace 2017 in Kenya, which took place last Saturday, October 7, emphasized the need to nurture the fragile peace in the country by having the key political leaders reach out to each other in dialogue and family members embracing peace in the example of the Holy Family.
“As you may be aware, the aftermath of the General Elections has threatened and affected the peace and harmony of our Nation,” the Chairman of Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Bishop Philip Anyolo of Homabay diocese told the gathering of thousands, appealing to Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta who was present at the event, to reach “out to the Opposition and other Political Leaders” in dialogue for peace.
Bishop Anyolo revealed what informed the theme of the day saying, “In our earlier deliberations as a Conference we had proposed a theme based on thanksgiving after the General Elections of 8th August 2017. In view of what happened after the Elections and what are going through as a Country, our theme this time is: Peace in the family, peace in our country and hope for our youth.”
The main celebrant during Holy Mass, Archbishop Zachaeus Okoth of Kisumu emphasized the theme: “Standing on this Holy Ground of our National Marian Shrine, we pray for our families and young people, so that, like the family of Nazareth where Jesus grew up, they too may be the cradle where peace is brewed and served to all the members.”
Located in Subukia, some 43 kilometres from Nakuru town, the Marian National Shrine belongs to the conference of Bishops, with the Conventual Franciscan Frairs as the caretakers.
The Eucharistic celebration was animated by a 500-member choir from the eight dioceses under Kisumu Metropolitan, namely, Kakamega, Bungoma, Kisii, Kitale, Lodwar, Homabay, Eldoret, and Kisumu.
Hundreds of clergy and religious and thousands of lay faithful from all the 25 dioceses in Kenya took part in the daylong event.