St. Augustine Province of Africa

Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God

Solemn Profession and Opening of New Formation Centre in Nairobi

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The Prior General, Brother Jesús Etayo, accompanied by Brother Rudolf Knopp, Brother Moisés Martín Bosca and Brother Pascal Ahodegnon, the Councillor with responsibility for the Africa Region, went to Kenya on 12-15 November, to visit the Scholasticate in Nairobi, and the St John of God Hospital at Tigania.

During the fraternal visit to our houses in Kenya which ended with the inauguration of the new Scholasticate and the Solemn Profession of Brother Jacob Ketchen, the General Curia delegation was able to:

  • Meet all the Scholastics resident in Nairobi studying at the Tangaza College;
  • Meet the authorities of the Tangaza College;
  • Talk to the Major Superiors of the Africa Region and the Regional Subcommission on Vocations Promotion/Pastoral Care and Formation;
  • Visit the Tigania Hospital guided by Brother John Oppong, the Superior and Director of the facility, and meet the medical and nursing staff and the Religious communities there. In Tigania, the Prior General blessed the new ambulance which the hospital has purchased to improve the efficiency of its service to the sick people living locally.

They were also present on November 15 at the inauguration of the Nairobi Formation Centre, at which 17 Brother Scholastics in the first and second year in Spirituality, and others taking their professional training courses at ?Tangaza College?, are living.

This jewel for providing Formation in Africa is the outcome of a far-reaching period of reflection that began in the last Sexennium. The inauguration ceremony was held during the Mass at which the Auxiliary Bishop of Nairobi, Msgr David Kamau, presided and was concelebrated by the  Prior General of the Order, Brother Jesús Etayo.

In the course of the ceremony, our confrère, Brother Jacob Ketchen, made his Solemn Profession. Brother Jacob Ketchen, is from Cameroon, and is a member of the Formation community, and is proceeding with his priestly studies at Tangaza College?. It was a highly emotional moment in which Brother Jacob joined our Family for the rest of his life, and was a powerful act of witness to our presence in Kenya.

The simple ceremony was attended by many Sisters and Brothers from the region including Brother Donatus Forkan, the former Prior General of the Order, Brother José Antonio Soria, Brother Nicolas N’Sale, the Scholastics Master, and all the Major Superiors of the Africa Region. In his short homily, Mgr David Kamau expressed his joy at having the Brothers of Saint John of God in Kenya, and in particular in Nairobi, where he hoped our Lord would be sending other harvesters into his vineyard in the footsteps of Saint John of God. He laid particular stress on community life, which was certainly a cause of many difficulties, but which was enlightened by the continuing presence of the Lord who has called us to his vineyard.

The whole day was an act of thanksgiving to our Lord for this gift to the Region and ended with the celebration of the First Vespers of the Solemnity of the Patronage of Our Lady.

A sincere word of thanks is due to all those who have contributed to making this ambitious Formation project become a reality. Through the intercession of Saint John of God and all our Saints and Beati may our Lord protect and bless you, and remain with you always.


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