Dear friars, I am delighted to inform you that basic information about our forty mission presences around the world will be published on the website of our Order.
This information comes from the book Andate e annunciate [Go and Proclaim], which was prepared and published in 2022, by the Franciscan Missionary Center ONLUS [non-profit] of the Federazione Inter-mediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP) in collaboration with the General Secretariat for Mission Animation (SGAM). After the information is translated into the four official languages of the Order, it will be presented in the form of an interactive map on the Franciscan Missionary Center website. I hope you will find this interesting reading. At the same time, I ask you to pray for all missionaries.
Friar Dariusz MAZUREK
General Delegate for Missionary Animation
Province of St. Francis of Assisi in Kenya
Mother Province: Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Poland (Gdańsk)
In 1984, three Conventual Franciscan friars from the Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw) traveled to Kenya at the invitation of the Bishop of Meru. The missionaries began their activity at the parish church in Ruiri, fifteen kilometers [nine miles] from the town of Meru where the bishop resides. The bishop asked friars to spread the Catholic faith in the Franciscan and Kolbean spirit, through mass media; to provide pastoral care to his people through parish ministry; to provide spiritual formation to the diocesan clergy and nuns by means of a spiritual retreat house; and to plant and nurture the charism by forming candidates for the Order.
In 1986, when the new Province of Gdansk was erected, the mission came under its jurisdiction. In 2019, the Custody of Kenya was erected as a Province.
In 2022, this Jurisdiction reported having fifty-five solemnly professed friars, twenty-three simply professed friars, and seven friaries.
Ruiri: St. Maximilian Kolbe Friary and Parish
The presence of the friars in this place dates back to 1984. The friars minister at the parish church and at twenty-one chapels located within a thirty-kilometer [nineteen-mile] radius of the church. In addition to serving the diocese through parish ministry, the friars also run a retreat house and carry out various social and charitable activities throughout the area; in particular, they run a mission medical center and a private elementary school. Today the friary also serves as a formation house for postulants.
Nairobi-Lang’ata: St. Bonaventure Friary and Seminary
This friary functions as a common formation house of the African Federation of Conventual Franciscans (AFCOF). It houses post-novices studying theology. The friars completed the construction of the theological seminary in 1989. The house can accommodate up to sixty friars.
Limuru: St. Francis of Assisi Friary and Parish, Franciscan Center, Kolbe Press
The presence of the friars began with the Franciscan Center in May of 1992. The Archbishop of Nairobi asked the friars to take care of the parish which includes the city area and a rural locality. With the help of lay collaborators, the friars run the Kolbe Press publishing house and edit the monthly magazine, Messenger of Mary Immaculate. The friars, together with the Benedictine Missionary Sisters, support and staff a charitable center for women and girls living on the street.
Nairobi-South C: St Anthony of Padua Friary and St Catherine of Alexandria Parish
The friary was erected in 2004. The friars provide pastoral care for the parish, lead various charitable activities and assist at nearby schools. The friary is the seat of the Province.
The presence began in 2006. The main activity of the friars is serving the pilgrims at the National Marian Shrine known as “Mary, Mother of God Village.” The friars also lead spiritual retreats and built a great spiritual retreat center for that purpose.
The St. Joseph of Cupertino Friary was erected in 2016. The friars focus mainly on parish ministry, charitable services and medical assistance.
The most recent presence was founded in 2018. The friars focus mainly on parish ministry.
Franciscan Missionary Center
General Secretariat for Mission Animation