On September 23- 27, 2019, the new Province of St. Francis of Assisi in Kenya celebrated its first Ordinary Provincial Chapter at the Marian Shrine of Subukia. The Minister General, Friar Carlos A. TROVARELLI, presided.
The Chapter was attended by all of the solemnly professed friars of the Province; the Vicar General, Friar Jan MACIEJOWSKI; the Assistant General for the African Federation of Conventual Franciscans (AFCOF), Friar Anthony Bezo KUTIERO; the Assistant General for the Conventual Franciscan Federation (CFF), Friar Jude WINKLER; and the Vicar Provincial of the Mother Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Poland (Gdańsk), Friar Tomasz RYŁKO.
On the third day of the Chapter, Friar Obed KAROBIA was elected as the first Minister Provincial. Friar Obed was born in Meru, Kenya, on June 29, 1979. He lived with his family in the Parish of Ruiri, the location of the Order’s first mission in Kenya. Friar Obed began formation in 2001. He made his simple profession on July 24, 2004; his solemn profession on October 10, 2010; and was ordained to the priesthood on July 28, 2012. Before his election he was a pastor and a vocational animator.
Next, the Provincial Definitory was elected. The new Definitors are Friars Francis Mbugua KANYIRI, Vicar; Pius Mutisya MUSYOKA, Secretary; Kazimierz SZULC, Definitor; and Gifton Kiwo MBAYA, Definitor.
Friar Raymond Owinda OGUTU was elected Provincial Econom and Friar Leonard Githegi WAMBUI was elected Provincial Exactor.
On September 26, a Mass was celebrated to officially launch the new Province and to conclude the first part of this Chapter. In addition to the Capitulars, others attending the Chapter included various former missionaries; the Minister Provincial of the Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw); the Vicar Provincial of the Province of the Franciscan Protomartyrs in Zambia; the Provincial Custodes of Ghana and Tanzania; the Provincial Delegates of Uganda and Burkina Faso; and some Ministers Provincial and representatives from Provinces in the USA.
The Conventual Franciscan mission in Kenya was founded in 1984 by the Province of Warsaw. After the Province divided in 1986, the mission was assigned to the newly erected Province of Gdansk. It became a Provincial Custody in 2004 and was established as a Province during the General Chapter of 2019.
The Jurisdiction consists of seven friaries, two houses of formation, five parishes, one National Marian Sanctuary, two retreat houses, two medical centers, one school, and one orphanage. The Province numbers forty-two solemnly professed friars, one missionary outside the Jurisdiction, twenty-six simply professed friars, five novices and seventeen postulants.
Friar Robert KOZIELSKI, Provincial Secretary for Missions, Gdańsk