Kenyan Jamhuri Day Celebration

January 9, 2015 by  
Filed under Director's Blog, Kenya, Uncategorized

Each year around December 12th, the Kenyan Catholic Community and Friends (KCCAF), in the Archdiocese of Boston, come together and celebrate a joint Mass at St. Michael Parish in Lowell, MA. KCCAF has been around since they celebrated their first Swahili Mass in November of 1999 at St. John The Evangelist in Winthrop, MA. This community started out with about 9 members and today they have over 300 families that celebrate Mass in Swahili at three parishes: St. John The Evangelist in Winthrop, Sacred Heart Parish in North Quincy, and St. Michael in Lowell. Kenyan priest, Fr. Samuel Komu Mathenge, is currently the active priest serving the Kenyan community of the Archdiocese of Boston. There is also another Kenyan community at St Peter’s in Worcester under the guidance of Fr. Charles Omollo.
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This  past December the community came together and celebrated Jamhuri “Republic” Day (also called Independence Day) Mass, marking Kenya’s 51st Independence Anniversary. As a tradition, the celebration included an entrance dance by  the Catholic Women Association (CWA), a Bible dance by the Junior Youth, offertory dance by Sunday School children, and a Thankgiving dance by the Catholic Men Association (CMA).  It is one of the most celebrated national holidays in Kenya as it marks Kenya’s admittance into the commonwealth as a republic in 1964. It has such a historical significance and is celebrated by most Kenyans and friends with dances, political speeches, feasts and parades.
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KCCAF recognizes this day and they started the celebrations with Mass, thanking the good Lord for all his Blessings and gratitude, followed by a feast thereafter. The significance of this day is to remind them of the struggles and the unity that is shared across the world by all Kenyans. It is a way to be grateful and express their unity. Their goal is to come together and also share this part of history with their children and remind them of the struggles that were there prior to attaining self rule.
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The KCCAF has expressed an immense gratitude for the continuous support of Fr. Albert Capone in Lowell, Fr. Charles Bourke in Winthrop and Fr. Louis Palmieri in North Quincy, and our office. Lorna DesRoses (pictured below with members of the community), Director of Black Catholic Ministries,  attended this celebration representing the Office of Outreach and Cultural Diversity.
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For a sneak preview of the celebration, Click Here.

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