By Thuothuo Anthony | Boston, MA
The Kenya Catholic Community in America on Saturday celebrated the 6th annual national Swahili mass in Worcester Massachusetts, at St. Peter’s/St.Andrews Catholic Church.
The event was hosted by the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts; under the leadership of Bishop Robert Joseph McManus.
The colorful mass that attracted hundreds of congregants from across the US was presided by Most Reverend Archbishop Peter Kairo.
The Archbishop thanked Bishop McManus for his kind hospitality in playing host not only to the event but to the Kenyan community in Worcester over the years.
Archbishop Kairo preached about the event’s theme which was about faith nourishment. He lauded the Kenyan Community in the US for their commitment to Christ.
”I’ve been going around, I went to Seattle, Minneapolis, Boston, and many other places; and these communities are thirsty for Christ” Said Kairo. He added that he’s committed to working with local bishops to try and have more Kenyan priests come to serve the Kenyan community in the US as needed.
The Archbishop also urged the congregation to pray for Kenya during this time the country is transitioning from the election period.
”Let us pray for our families, our parishes, and our countries. We’re happy that elections in Kenya were conducted in peace, but we are still wondering how long that peace will remain. Only prayer will make it last”. Said Kairo in his sermon.
The event was also graced by the mayor of the city of Worcester, Mr. Joseph Petty, who addressed Kenyans at the reception. Petty welcomed Archbishop Kairo and others who had traveled to Massachusetts from out of state.
”Welcome to the city of Worcester….in a time of confusion and turmoil in the world, you [Bishop] have been a role model to people from your country” Said the mayor.
The mayor, whose aunt used to be a missionary in Kenya in the 1960s, lauded the Kenyan community for their hospitality. Petty also described the city of Worcester as one that will never identify people based on their immigration status.
”The Kenyan community is a growing community here, and I will be perfectly clear to you; this is a welcoming community here in the city of Worcester. And this city will never ID somebody based on immigration status, never. Just to let you know that” Petty added.
The mayor also urged the Kenyan community to get involved in city affairs.
”This is your city, this is your country, we have a responsibility to come out and send a message in November, get involved.”
The mayor presented an appreciation gift to Archbishop Kairo as a way of welcoming him back to the city.
Kenyan Catholics in America holds the event every year in different states.
Watch videos and photos from the event below.