On Sunday evening, March 7, 2021, the guardians and economs of the Province of St. Francis of Assisi in Kenya gathered at the St. Bonaventure Friary in Langata – Nairobi for a three-day workshop. This was the second such gathering since Kenya became a Province in 2019.

The Minister Provincial, Friar Obed KAROBIA, welcomed the friars and reminded them that the Province, and the Order at large, looked to them for the success of the Province. The main speaker, Friar Francis KANYIRI (Vicar Provincial), started by highlighting the roles of guardians and economs as indicated in our new constitutions. This was a continuation of what had been discussed during last year’s meeting. Friar Francis gave a good synthesis of the duties and responsibilities of guardians and economs, both of whom have a responsibility to animate the friars as a community, and, in the case of guardians, a responsibility to animate individual friars, as well. Guardians are called upon to guide, direct and coordinate the life and mission of the fraternity and each friar, in accordance with the Rule, the Constitutions and the Statutes. These duties go beyond the aspect of just giving orders to the friars. If a guardian is to guide the life of individual friars, then he must be in a position to know and understand each of those friars. The guardian, therefore, has a moral, spiritual, juridical and spiritual responsibility for the community and for every single friar. Drawing upon the Letter of the Franciscan Ministers Generals on the 800th anniversary of the Earlier Rule, the friars were encouraged to reflect upon their humble beginnings and be wary of false prophesy, which can exert influence in the modern world through such forms as the Internet and social media. Humility is a virtue to be cultivated by all of us and is a roadmap to holiness of life.

Friar Pius MUSYOKA, Provincial Secretary