Society of St. Peter and Paul Seminary

Society of St. Peter and Paul Seminary

Pope Francis: The corruption of the powerful is paid by the poor


The Kenya Episcopal Conference (KEC) has rebranded to the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB).

KCCB Launch

In a colourful ceremony held at the Consolata Shrine in Westlands, Nairobi on Friday 28th June 2013, and presided over by His Eminence John Cardinal Njue, KEC officially became KCCB.


The well attended function was a culmination of a process that saw the statutes of the bishops’ conference revised with approval by the Holy See. The bishops also used the occasion to launch a 10-year strategic plan that will guide the operations of the KCCB – General Secretariat.

Speaking at the launch, His Eminence John Cardinal Njue said the change of name is an “opportunity for the Catholic Church in Kenya to reposition herself to continue providing the required strategic direction for sustained evangelization of all people of God in all parts of this Country.” He said this is in line with KCCB’s Vision “….to be shepherds in communion with the Holy Father, living fully the mandate of Christ “…You shall be my Witnesses…”, (Acts 1:8) for the sanctification and salvation of all people….’’.

Cardinal Njue said the change of name is strategic and gives clarity and Catholic Identity and enables the Catholic Church in Kenya to be more effective in witnessing Christ’s universal service in charity to all humanity. “The change helps us to adapt our strategies and programs to address the many evangelization and pastoral challenges in our rapidly changing society, a change that is witnessed across the sectors, whether social, political or religious,” said Cardinal Njue. “It clarifies and strengthens our Catholic identity, which informs all our Pastoral and Developmental interventions. As we launch the new name and the 10 year Strategic Plan, the way forward becomes clearer and encouraging.”

The new change replaces the word “Episcopal” with “Catholic Bishops” for purposes of clarity and to reaffirm the identity of the Catholic Church in Kenya. According to the General Secretary of KCCB, Rev. Fr. Vincent Wambugu, in terms of structural realignment, nothing much has changed and no substantial change has either been made in terms of the activities of the Secretariat except for the strategic directions, which have been made clearer.

The ceremony was attended by the Kenyan Arch/bishops, clergy and religious, diocesan representatives, partners and collaborators, staff of the KCCB-General Secretariat, Members of Parliament and hundreds of Christian Faithful from the Archdiocese of Nairobi.


 John the Baptist a model for the Church

 June 24th is the Solemnity of the Birth of the Saint, whom the Gospels indicate as the forerunner or precursor of Jesus. Dedicating his homily to him Pope Francis said the Church is called to proclaim the Word of God, even to martyrdom.

 The church exists for courageously proclaiming -until martyrdom- Christ, to serve and "take nothing for herself". In his homily at morning Mass on Monday, Pope Francis pointed to St. John the Baptist as model for Church: he didn't claim the Truth, the Word as his own; he diminished himself so Christ could shine.

Pope Francis began his homily by addressing best wishes to all who bear the name John. The figure of John the Baptist, the Pope said, is not always easy to understand. "When we think of his life - he observed – we think of a prophet," a "man who was great and then ends up as a poor man." Who is John? The Pope said john himself explains: "I am a voice, a voice in the wilderness," but "it is a voice without the Word, because the Word is not him, it is an Other." Here then is the mystery of John: "He never takes over the Word," John "is the one who indicates, who marks". The "meaning of John's life - he added - is to indicate another." Pope Francis then spoke of being struck by the fact that the "Church chooses to mark John’s feast day” at a time when the days are at their longest in the year, when they "have more light." And John really "was the man of light, he brought light, but it was not his own light, it was a reflected light." John is "like a moon" and when Jesus began to preach, the light of John "began to decline, to set". "Voice not Word - the Pope said - light, but not his own"
"John seems to be nothing. That is John’s vocation: he negates himself. And when we contemplate the life of this man, so great, so powerful - all believed that he was the Messiah - when we contemplate this life, how it is nullified to the point of the darkness of a prison, we behold a great mystery. We do not know what John’s last days were like. We do not know. We only know that he was killed, his head was put on a platter, as a great gift from a dancer to an adulteress. I don’t think you can lower yourself much more than this, negate yourself much more. That was the end that John met".

Pope Francis noted that in prison John experienced doubts, anguish and he called on his disciples to go to Jesus and ask him, "Are you You, or should we expect someone else?". His life is one of “pain and darkness”. John “was not even spared this”, said the Pope, who added: "the figure of John makes me think so much about the Church":
"The Church exists to proclaim, to be the voice of a Word, her husband, who is the Word. The Church exists to proclaim this Word until martyrdom. Martyrdom precisely in the hands of the proud, the proudest of the Earth. John could have made himself important, he could have said something about himself. 'But I never think', only this: he indicated, he felt himself to be the voice, not the Word. This is John’s secret. Why is John holy and without sin? Because he never, never took a truth as his own. He would not be an ideologue. The man who negated himself so that the Word could come to the fore. And we, as a Church, we can now ask for the grace not to become an ideological Church ... "

The Church, he added, must hear the Word of Jesus and raise her voice, proclaim it boldly. "That - he said - is the Church without ideologies, without a life of its own: the Church which is the mysterium lunae which has light from her Bridegroom and diminish herself so that He may grow"

"This is the model that John offers us today, for us and for the Church. A Church that is always at the service of the Word. A Church that never takes anything for herself. Today in prayer we asked for the grace of joy, we asked the Lord to cheer this Church in her service to the Word, to be the voice of this Word, preach this Word. We ask for the grace, the dignity of John, with no ideas of their own, without a Gospel taken as property, only one Church that indicates the Word, and this even to martyrdom. So be it! "

Mass was concelebrated by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, and attended by a group of priests and collaborators of the Pontifical Council for Culture, a group of employees of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology and the Vatican’s Philatelic and Numismatic Office.

 Bishop Kasomo Daniel Celebrates 4th Anniversary of Episcopal Ordination

 Fourth Anniversary as Bishop
Society of St.Peter and Paul (SSPP)
June 24, 2013 

 altOn the occasion of my fourth anniversary of Ordination as Bishop, I give thanks at this Moment to Almighty God for the great privilege of serving Him and His Church. Today, one word keeps surfacing in my mind: mystery.

 It is a mystery to me that, with my weaknesses and limitations, the Lord chose me to be His Bishop five years ago. Yet, we know that no one takes this honor on himself. In God’s divine and mysterious plan, it is the Lord who calls! I am what I am by the grace of God.

 There is only one thing to do in the midst of such a mystery: to say yes...Here I am Lord, I come to do Your will. I am the handmaid of the Lord let it be done to me according to His Word. Only in conformity to His will do we find peace.

 Ever since the day of my Ordination, the mystery has kept unfolding. When I was ordained a Bishop, I was serving in one of my happiest priestly assignments: University lecturer. However, shortly thereafter I had to combine that assignment in order to include more administrative and pastoral responsibilities. It was not what I wanted. However, I certainly discovered, once again, that yes to God’s call always leads to abundant spiritual blessings.

 Then, the biggest mystery in my time as Bishop occurred: I had to leave all that was familiar in order to become the Bishop of SSPP. I was somewhat frightened and yet, with God’s grace, was able to say yes. And of course, what followed were more amazing blessings. I thank you, dear brother priests who immediately embraced me and have continued to extend such tremendous fraternal support. Deep gratitude is also extended to you deacons, consecrated religious, seminarians, colleagues, advisors, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ for all of your goodness to me. I thank God every day for the joy and honor of serving as Bishop in your midst and within this great community of SSPP.

 The mystery, no doubt, will continue to unfold for all of us. Who knows what lies ahead? But we do know this: We have every reason to be confident because, as we have experienced throughout our lives, God is always faithful and supplies the strength that we need. May all of us use this occasion to renew our yes to God’s holy will.

 Today, I also reflect on what God is asking of me at this very moment in my life. The Sacred Scripture in particular prophet Micah answers that question for me and all of us: to do the right, to love goodness and to walk humbly with God. The Gospels also speaks clearly to me on this special day and reminds me of the need to be a faithful shepherd after the heart of Christ. Dear friends, I renew that promise today, ever dependent on your prayers and support and God’s divine assistance.

 King David was the young shepherd, called by God, to become the leader of his people through some of the most difficult spiritual, economic and political times in Israel’s history. King David had a great love for music. In several of the psalms he invites the people to join him in singing a new song to the Lord.

 King David was one of the greatest leaders in the history of Israel and yet he was regularly confronted by his own weakness and sinfulness.  He was often tempted to be self-centred and to forget that we are here to serve, not to be served.  One of his greatest qualities, however, was the ability to honestly say,

 ‘Be merciful to me, O God.
Because of your constant love.
Because of your great mercy
Wipe away my sins’  (Ps 51, 1-2)

 As Pope Francis reminded us recently, ‘authentic power is service’ a service which has its ‘radiant culmination on the Cross’.  For a heart that is touched by the Cross of Christ, is a heart that is always drawn to service of others. It is the heart of the Good Shepherd who desires that not even one of those, entrusted to his care, should be lost. It is a heart that embraces, with tender affection everyone, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important.

 Today the Lord calls us to a new place and different pasture.  Today the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred upon me.  Today I was are called to take the place of Christ himself – teacher, shepherd and priest, in a leading and visible manner and to act as his representative.  That is not, and never has been, an easy task.  If it were going to be easy why, right at the beginning, did Jesus feel it necessary to tell his disciples:  The world will make you suffer but be brave.  I have overcome the world.

 If it were going to be easy, why was everything Paul said contradicted at Antioch and why were he and Barnabas expelled from that territory.  Yet, against all the odds, and despite all the opposition, the Word of God spread through the whole country and the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit (Acts 13: 45, 50).

 The Word of God spread simply because things were going according to plan – God’s plan.  Yes, that plan involved the death of Jesus – but more importantly, it involved the resurrection of Jesus and the revelation of His glory, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 My hope is that someone listening to me here today or watching on the internet will be inspired to become a herald of hope to the world – by giving themselves unconditionally in the service of love as a priest, religious sister or brother.

 So together on this day, in the spirit of humility and with renewed faith, we entrust our lives and our future to God’s divine plan. Does that involve mystery? Of course. And only one response is necessary: “Yes... Here I am Lord...I come to do Your will both now and forever. “Sing a new song’ to the Lord”. Amen.

 Rt. Rev. Bishop Kasomo Daniel

 The Bishop of the Society of St. Peter and Paul (SSPP)






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Launch of the rebranded name scheduled on Friday June 2013 at the Consolata Shrine Parish


The College of Catholic bishops in Kenya has from February 2013 officially rebranded to Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) from Kenya Episcopal Conference (KEC). This follows the firm resolution by the Conference of Catholic Bishops that there was a need to change its name keeping in mind the mushrooming of many religious sects, to avoid confusion with other church organisations.


The bishops took up the issue which included among others the choosing of the appropriate name. Once there was consensus on the name, the Statutes were revised in 2011 to reflect the Changes and also in compliance with the 1983 Code of Canon Law. After approval of the statutes, they were forwarded to the Holy See, Congregation for Evangelization of Peoples for recognition.


In July 2012, the Statutes for the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) were approved by the Holy See thus completing the Canonical requirements. In February 2013, the change of name was successfully effected at the Registrar of Societies.


By a resolution of the Plenary Assembly, the rebranded name is scheduled for launch on Friday June 28th 2013 together with the 10-year strategic plan of KCCB at the Consolata Shrine Parish. The launch will be a milestone in the History of the Catholic Bishops Conference, since its formation in 1965.





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Press Statement by the Bishop Chairman of Waumini Communications Ltd.

Theme: Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New spaces for evangelization

Today, the universal church is celebrating the 47th World Day of Communication.  The universal theme, identified by the Pope Emeritus, Benedict the XVI, is Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New spaces for evangelization. Thus the Church in Kenya, united in this spirit with the universal church, begun the celebration three days ago, under the umbrella of the Catholic Media Festivals, which begun on 9th May and will end today 12th May 2013.  In our celebrations in Kenya, we have focused on various areas of reflection for media use.

Precisely, we have reflected with the primary and secondary schools, as well as university students. We also reflected with families and religious and clergy. We have also spent time reflecting about the State of Kenyan media and the role of Communications and media in promoting the common good.

While congratulating Kenyan media for their role towards building a truly open society, we realize that a lot still remains to be done; especially in the area of evangelization. In particular, we realize that the new media, and especially the social media, need to be evangelized as well. To this effect, it is vital to mention that we are aware of hate messages, ethnic and derogatory remarks being perpetuated on social media, specifically on Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo groups, community chat rooms and mobile phone texts.

It is regrettable that while we have made tremendous steps in improving mainstream media, the unregulated forums are being used to perpetuate ethnic stereotypes and polarization. On this special day of World Communications Day, the Catholic Church in Kenya thus urges responsible use of all forms of media to promote common good.

The media’s oversight role

We call on the media to continue playing its watchdog role and not shy away from pointing out ills in the society. We recognise that an objective media is an important partner in development. Let the media take up its role in educating the people on the constitutional implementation process so that we can have a smooth transition into the devolved government and a prosperous God fearing Nation.

We cannot conclude the celebrations of this day without acknowledging the risks media practitioners find themselves in while discharging their duties. We have media practitioners from Church-owned, private and government-owned media who have lost their lives while on the line of duty. We salute you all on this day and pray that the good Lord grants you all eternal rest. And for contemporary media practitioners, let ethics, professionalism, dedication to God and service to humanity be your driving force.

And for the young and up-coming media, we encourage you to soldier on, learning only the good things from your predecessors. In particular, we celebrate Radio Waumini that is turning 10 years today.

Long live the media! Long live Kenya! God bless Kenya!

Martin Kivuva Musonde

Chairman, Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops Commission for Social Communications

2013-04-23 Vatican Radio
alt (Vatican Radio) The Director of the Vatican Press Office on Tuesday released a statement on the kidnapping of the Orthodox bishops in Syria.
Please find below Vatican Radio’s translation of the statement.
The kidnapping of the two Metropolitan bishops of Aleppo, Mar Gregorios Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Church, and Paul Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, and the killing of their driver whilst they were carrying out a humanitarian mission, is a dramatic confirmation of the tragic situation in which the Syrian population and the Christian communities in Syria are living. The Holy Father has been informed of this recent, extremely grave act, which comes on top of the increasing violence of the past days and a humanitarian emergency of enormous proportions. Pope Francis is following the events with deep participation and he is praying for the health and the liberation of the two kidnapped bishops. He is also praying so that, with the support and prayers of all, the Syrian people may finally see tangible responses to the humanitarian drama and real hopes of peace and reconciliation rise on the horizon
E-mail Print PDFHis Eminence John Cardinal Njue on Friday 12th April 2013 led the Catholic Bishops in Kenya in welcoming the new Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, His Excellency Archbishop Charles Daniel Balvo.


The plane carrying the new Pope’s Representative touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at  On hand to receive Archbishop Balvo were the Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, His Eminence John Cardinal Njue, the Archbishop of Kisumu, Most Rev. Zacchaeus Okoth, the Bishop of Malindi, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Barbara, KCCB Secretary General, Rev. Fr. Vincent Wambugu and the Charge D’ Affairs at the Apostolic Nunciature to Kenya, Msgr. Javier Herrera Corona.

The new Nuncio later addressed a press conference at the airport. In his remarks, the Nuncio said he was excited with the recent appointment of the New Pontiff, Pope Francis. He said the Christian Faithful all over the world were happy with his values and lifestyle. “The name of the Holy Father, Francis, is of great symbolic meaning, especially as it is associated with St. Francis of Assisi, who lived a humble, simple life. His appointment has generated a lot of excitement around the world.”

Archbishop Balvo said he had met Pope Francis before embarking on his maiden trip to Kenya to take up his appointment and was touched by his humility especially when the Holy Father asked him to pray for him. “The Holy Father gave me great words of encouragement. What he seeks from all of us are prayers and support so that he can carry on his mission.”

Archbishop Balvo expressed pleasure over his appointment as the Pope’s representative to Kenya. “I feel honoured and privileged to represent the Holy Father in Kenya,” he said. “I’m happy to see His Eminence and the bishops here this morning. I will spend the next days observing and listening in order to understand the Church in Kenya and aftewards plan on how to proceed in my work in the country.”

On his part, Cardinal Njue said the coming of the new Nuncio was an important occassion for the Catholic Church in Kenya. “The country has been waiting anxioulsy for this day of days. This day is also special in that it is coming at a time when the bishops are having their Plenary Assembly. I hope His Excellency can find time to meet the bishops during their meeting.”

Archbishop Okoth invited the Nuncio to enjoy the beauty of Kenya as he visited the dioceses where the Catholic fraternity will be glad to welcome him. “Your coming here makes us feel  that the Church in Kenya is not isolated. Seeing you today reminds us of the unity of the Universal Church.”


Wednesday, 10 Apr 2013
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Receive greetings and cordial regards from the Kenya Episcopal Conference, the umbrella body of the Catholic Bishops and their equivalent in Kenya.  The Catholic Church in Kenya celebrates your election as the fourth President of the Republic of Kenya with Hon. William Ruto as Deputy President.

The determination of the people of Kenya on 4th March 2013, to elect leaders of their choice to lead this Country, gave you a majority vote and the required threshold as the President in the very first round of the elections.  This was upheld by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kenya in their verdict delivered on Holy Saturday, 30th March 2013.

Your Excellency, you have been preferred by the people of Kenya in the true spirit of Democracy.  The will of the people has been loudly expressed and upheld giving you a basis of Authority to form the Government for the Republic of Kenya.  This should reciprocate the peoples’ confidence with the upholding of the Common Good by promoting and respecting the fundamental rights of persons which by extension include the spiritual and temporal good of society, peace and security of each person and the whole society.

Our plea is that you form Kenya into a solid and God fearing nation where Justice and Peace will reign, ensuring development and progress of the people of Kenya.  We pray that the Principle of solidarity and subsidiarity as expressed in the devolved Government will continue to ensure equity and equality especially in the distribution of resources, which will be vital for nation building and cohesion.

We pray that you, your Deputy Hon. William Ruto and all other elected Leaders regardless of their party affiliations, will endeavour to serve this Country with love, objectivity and patriotism.

We the Catholic Bishops in Kenya, and all our Catholic faithful and people of good will, join in celebrating your election along with your Deputy Hon. William Ruto.  We reaffirm our commitment to continue complementing the efforts of Government in bringing crucial services to the people of Kenya, more often in the most disadvantaged areas.    This has been our pledge and commitment for a period spanning over 100 years of faith in Kenya.

We join other Kenyans in praying to God of all Creation to;

“…Bless our land and nation,

Justice be our shield and defender,

May we dwell in unity,

Peace and liberty,

Plenty be found within our borders…”.

(National Anthem)

For and on behalf of

All Catholic Bishops in Kenya

His Eminence John Cardinal Njue


Kenya Episcopal Conference


free catholic homilies sermons sunday homily sermon altfree catholic homilies sermons sunday homily sermon



Dear People of God;

Just before Lent, the season of preparation for Easter began on Ash Wednesday, all of us received the unexpected news that Pope Benedict had resigned. Therefore for two weeks the Catholic world didn’t have a Pope – no Bishop of Rome, no Successor to St Peter. The situation returned to normal when the Cardinals, on Wednesday, 13 March elected Cardinal George Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as the new successor of St. Peter. He took the name of Francis, after St Francis of Assisi probably the best known of our saints in the other Christian communities.

In his wonderful and simple first sermon as Pope in the Sistine Chapel, the Holy Father laid out an Easter message for us all. All followers of Christ are called to walk with Jesus, to move forward in Christian hope which isn’t the same as shallow, artificial optimism. We have the Good News that God is interested in each one of us - sensitive to our problems, and sufferings and encouraging us to struggle regularly towards the Eternal Rewards of Heaven.

Pope Francis also told us that we need to build on these foundations at all times, especially in Lent through regular prayer and service, through our acts of self control and penance because the moral struggle between good and evil - a clash of the two kingdoms - is central to progress. The Holy Father told us that if Christians don’t follow Jesus they are building in vain – sand castles, following the worldliness of the devil.

And finally Pope Francis called all of us, especially at Easter to bear witness to the victory of the crucified and risen Christ certainly in our conversations and through official teaching, but especially through our care for one another, through the services offered by our huge range of communities and organisations. Deeds are more important than words. Christ is risen, and the victory over evil will one day be complete.

Once again the Easter message comes from Francis of Assisi - peace and goodness; especially to those who are suffering, to those wounded by Catholic Church members, to the sick, the depressed, the bereaved, those experiencing misfortune. Christ asks us to announce the peace of Easter to each and everyone. So Happy Easter and Easter Peace.

Rt.Rev.Kasomo Daniel

The Bishop of The Society of St.Peter and Paul (SSPP)


 Pope: Homily for Chrism Mass [full text]

alt (Vatican Radio) Below please find the official text of Pope Francis’ Homily for Chrism Mass, Holy Thursday 2013:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, This morning I have the joy of celebrating my first Chrism Mass as the Bishop of Rome. I greet all of you with affection, especially you, dear priests, who, like myself, today recall the day of your ordination.
The readings of our Mass speak of God’s “anointed ones”: the suffering Servant of Isaiah, King David and Jesus our Lord. All three have this in common: the anointing that they receive is meant in turn to anoint God’s faithful people, whose servants they are; they are anointed for the poor, for prisoners, for the oppressed… A fine image of this “being for” others can be found in the Psalm: “It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down upon the collar of his robe” (Ps 133:2). The image of spreading oil, flowing down from the beard of Aaron upon the collar of his sacred robe, is an image of the priestly anointing which, through Christ, the Anointed One, reaches the ends of the earth, represented by the robe.
The sacred robes of the High Priest are rich in symbolism. One such symbol is that the names of the children of Israel were engraved on the onyx stones mounted on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, the ancestor of our present-day chasuble: six on the stone of the right shoulder-piece and six on that of the left (cf. Ex 28:6-14). The names of the twelve tribes of Israel were also engraved on the breastplate (cf. Es 28:21). This means that the priest celebrates by carrying on his shoulders the people entrusted to his care and bearing their names written in his heart. When we put on our simple chasuble, it might well make us feel, upon our shoulders and in our hearts, the burdens and the faces of our faithful people, our saints and martyrs of whom there are many in these times…
From the beauty of all these liturgical things, which is not so much about trappings and fine fabrics than about the glory of our God resplendent in his people, alive and strengthened, we turn to a consideration of activity, action. The precious oil which anoints the head of Aaron does more than simply lend fragrance to his person; it overflows down to “the edges”. The Lord will say this clearly: his anointing is meant for the poor, prisoners and the sick, for those who are sorrowing and alone. The ointment is not intended just to make us fragrant, much less to be kept in a jar, for then it would become rancid … and the heart bitter.
A good priest can be recognized by the way his people are anointed. This is a clear test. When our people are anointed with the oil of gladness, it is obvious: for example, when they leave Mass looking as if they have heard good news. Our people like to hear the Gospel preached with “unction”, they like it when the Gospel we preach touches their daily lives, when it runs down like the oil of Aaron to the edges of reality, when it brings light to moments of extreme darkness, to the “outskirts” where people of faith are most exposed to the onslaught of those who want to tear down their faith. People thank us because they feel that we have prayed over the realities of their everyday lives, their troubles, their joys, their burdens and their hopes. And when they feel that the fragrance of the Anointed One, of Christ, has come to them through us, they feel encouraged to entrust to us everything they want to bring before the Lord: “Pray for me, Father, because I have this problem”, “Bless me”, “Pray for me” – these words are the sign that the anointing has flowed down to the edges of the robe, for it has turned into prayer. The prayers of the people of God. When we have this relationship with God and with his people, and grace passes through us, then we are priests, mediators between God and men. What I want to emphasize is that we need constantly to stir up God’s grace and perceive in every request, even those requests that are inconvenient and at times purely material or downright banal – but only apparently so – the desire of our people to be anointed with fragrant oil, since they know that we have it. To perceive and to sense, even as the Lord sensed the hope-filled anguish of the woman suffering from hemorrhages when she touched the hem of his garment. At that moment, Jesus, surrounded by people on every side, embodies all the beauty of Aaron vested in priestly raiment, with the oil running down upon his robes. It is a hidden beauty, one which shines forth only for those faith-filled eyes of the woman troubled with an issue of blood. But not even the disciples – future priests – see or understand: on the “existential outskirts”, they see only what is on the surface: the crowd pressing in on Jesus from all sides (cf. Lk 8:42). The Lord, on the other hand, feels the power of the divine anointing which runs down to the edge of his cloak.
We need to “go out”, then, in order to experience our own anointing, its power and its redemptive efficacy: to the “outskirts” where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight, and prisoners in thrall to many evil masters. It is not in soul-searching or constant introspection that we encounter the Lord: self-help courses can be useful in life, but to live by going from one course to another, from one method to another, leads us to become pelagians and to minimize the power of grace, which comes alive and flourishes to the extent that we, in faith, go out and give ourselves and the Gospel to others, giving what little ointment we have to those who have nothing, nothing at all.
A priest who seldom goes out of himself, who anoints little – I won’t say “not at all” because, thank God, our people take our oil from us anyway – misses out on the best of our people, on what can stir the depths of his priestly heart. Those who do not go out of themselves, instead of being mediators, gradually become intermediaries, managers. We know the difference: the intermediary, the manager, “has already received his reward”, and since he doesn’t put his own skin and his own heart on the line, he never hears a warm, heartfelt word of thanks. This is precisely the reason why some priests grow dissatisfied, become sad priests, lose heart and become in some sense collectors of antiques or novelties – instead of being shepherds living with “the smell of the sheep”, shepherds in the midst of their flock, fishers of men. True enough, the so-called crisis of priestly identity threatens us all and adds to the broader cultural crisis; but if we can resist its onslaught, we will be able to put out in the name of the Lord and cast our nets. It is not a bad thing that reality itself forces us to “put out into the deep”, where what we are by grace is clearly seen as pure grace, out into the deep of the contemporary world, where the only thing that counts is “unction” – not function – and the nets which overflow with fish are those cast solely in the name of the One in whom we have put our trust: Jesus.
Dear lay faithful, be close to your priests with affection and with your prayers, that they may always be shepherds according to God’s heart.
Dear priests, may God the Father renew in us the Spirit of holiness with whom we have been anointed. May he renew his Spirit in our hearts, that this anointing may spread to everyone, even to those “outskirts” where our faithful people most look for it and most appreciate it. May our people sense that we are the Lord’s disciples; may they feel that their names are written upon our priestly vestments and that we seek no other identity; and may they receive through our words and deeds the oil of gladness which Jesus, the Anointed One, came to bring us. Amen.



Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, a member of the Society of Jesus, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 17, 1936.

Serving as Archbishop of Buenos Aires before the papal election, Pope Francis was ordained a Jesuit priest on December 13, 1969. He completed his studies in theology at the Faculty of Theology of San Miguel, Argentina. He would go on to lecture in theology and act as novice master here after his graduation. From 1973-1979 he worked as Jesuit Provincial, and moved to become rector of the Philosophy and Theology Faculty of San Miguel from 1980-1986.

Pope Francis was consecrated as Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires on June 27, 1992, and later appointed Archbishop of Buenos Aires on June 3, 1997. In this capacity he acted as Ordinary for the Eastern-rite in Argentina for those lacking an Ordinary of their own rite.

He was elevated to the College of Cardinals on February 21, 2001, by Blessed John Paul II.  Pope Francis has served as President of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina from November 8, 2005-November 8, 2011. He has been a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for the Clergy, the Pontifical Council for the Family, and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.



Conclave start on 12th March.


 In eight days cardinals will enter the Sistine Chapel for the start of the Conclave. 12 Cardinal electors yet to arrive as 1st Congregation concludes. Many of those still absent are expected to arrive Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning at the latest. Cardinals yet to arrive are: Cardinals Naguib, Rai, Meisner, Rouco Varela, Pham, Grocholweski, Sarr, Nycz, Woelki, Duka, Lehmann and Tong.

Cardinal Sodano has written to cardinals calling them to attend the first General Congregation of the College of Cardinals. Cardinals have received the letters sent by the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, calling them to attend the pre-Conclave general congregations.  The congregations have been convened for next Monday, 4 March, at 9:00 in the New Synod Hall. The cardinals’ congregations will continue until all cardinal electors have arrived in Rome and only then will the College decide on the Conclave start-date, Angelo Sodano confirms in his letter.




Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, a member of the Society of Jesus, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 17, 1936.

Serving as Archbishop of Buenos Aires before the papal election, Pope Francis was ordained a Jesuit priest on December 13, 1969. He completed his studies in theology at the Faculty of Theology of San Miguel, Argentina. He would go on to lecture in theology and act as novice master here after his graduation. From 1973-1979 he worked as Jesuit Provincial, and moved to become rector of the Philosophy and Theology Faculty of San Miguel from 1980-1986.

Pope Francis was consecrated as Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires on June 27, 1992, and later appointed Archbishop of Buenos Aires on June 3, 1997. In this capacity he acted as Ordinary for the Eastern-rite in Argentina for those lacking an Ordinary of their own rite.

He was elevated to the College of Cardinals on February 21, 2001, by Blessed John Paul II.  Pope Francis has served as President of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina from November 8, 2005-November 8, 2011. He has been a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for the Clergy, the Pontifical Council for the Family, and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.