We began our day attending Mass at a local parish, Saint John the Evangelist. Saint John’s is a beautiful church, designed in the round, with wooden beams that flow upward, creating a sense of “prayer telegraph wires” as they arch their way toward the opening in the ceiling of the church.
This was the English language Mass, and it was very impressive to see the number of women religious in attendance. Granted, this section of Nairobi, called Karen, is home to so many Religious Congregations and Seminaries that its nickname is “The Little Vatican”. Nonetheless, the presence of the women religious stand in stark contrast to the struggles that so many congregations of women religious are having in the US. There are many reasons for that contrast but too deep a discussion for this blog. Perhaps another time!
As Mass began, I had this overwhelming sense of the vastness of “the Church” – its global scope with all its diversity, cultures, customs, and languages that become manifest in the ritual of the Eucharistic meal all around the world. However, after communion, I experienced a sense of the “intimacy” of Church- although global-at that moment in the breaking and the sharing of the bread -we are intimately connected to one another through Christ. It truly was an experience of what it means to be “one in Christ Jesus”.
After Mass, it was a great joy to experience our Lasallian family, and the oneness we share in Christ through the Lasallian charism and mission. We visited the Novitiate and spent time with the Director, Brother Anthoney, and the eight novices who are in community there. It was also a great joy to visit with DENA Brother Jerome Cox, who is here for a visit that will include a celebration of his vocational call to be a “Brother without Borders” for fifty years! Brother Jerry, just off his year at Saint Vincent Strambi High School in Jamaica, is certainly a world traveler!
Please continue to keep in your prayers the Brothers and the young men at the Novitiate as we all continue to pray for vocations to the Brothers of the Christian Schools.