The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops has appointed Rev. Fr. Josiah Muthee Mugera the National Executive Secretary to the Commission for Pastoral and Lay Apostolate, which is chaired by Most. Rev. Anthony Muheria of the Archdiocese of Nyeri.
Fr. Muthee will also serve as the National Executive Secretary to the Commission for Liturgy, Ecumenism and the Youth Office, which is under the Pastoral Commission.
He takes over the Commission for Pastoral and Lay Apostolate from Rev. Fr. Charles Odira, who served in the same capacity for 6 years.
Before his appointment, Fr. Muthee had just completed his sabbatical year in England after serving as Rector of Christ the King Major Seminary in Nyeri for six years. Earlier, he had served as a visiting formator in the same seminary for 6 years.
In an interview with The Catholic Mirror, Fr. Muthee said he had accepted the appointment with an open heart and mind because pastoral work is translating what is theoretical in the Church to practical by evangelizing to every person.
“With that in mind, I am very open and I have accepted the appointment,” said Fr. Muthee. “It is a big task, it is a challenge, bearing in mind the many challenges Christians are facing from the secular world.”
Having been a priest for the last 27 years, and Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator in the Catholic Diocese of Murang’a for six-year Fr. Muthee says he has acquired a lot of experience in pastoral work.
“I have been involved in pastoral work especially in a number of parishes, both as a Parish Priest and Assistant Parish Priest, and I bring my own experience especially when it comes to formation of Christians,” he says.
Fr. Muthee is convinced that his exposure as a formator in the seminary has helped him understand the mind of the Church and think in a more practical way and this will help him in coordinating various pastoral activities.
Top on his list, Fr. Muthee says he will follow recommendations by his predecessor on the projects he had initiated.
“I will ensure there is proper coordination of the lay apostolate and movements in terms of their goals and how they are supposed to function in the Church, especially in implementing what John Paul II gave as a guideline in the mission of the lay faithful in the Church.”
He says he will ensure harmony of Church associations, and if any one of them requires recognition, he will guide them through the due process of granting them space for acceptance.
“The other very important thing that I want to put in place that was handed to me is a national harmonious way of running the Church through the Parish Council and Small Christian Communities,” says Fr. Muthee.
He noted that Canon Law allows the lay faithful to become part of the day-to-day running of the Church.
“When we have a national harmonious way of running our parishes, and common principals and common policies, it will ease and facilitate the apostolate or the pastoral activities of the Church in Kenya,” he says.
Fr. Muthee says he intends to interact with young people more through forums where they can freely share their ideas, and in conjunction with their chaplains, deliberate on issues affecting them to understand what approaches to take, respecting and considering their opinions.
Fr. Muthee adds that he would like to have a Christ centred approach to the pastoral ministry. “When we talk about pastoral it is about shepherding. When Christ is at the centre of our apostolate we are bound to succeed as he is our master,” said Fr. Muthee.
On liturgy, Fr. Muthee says his appeal is to have a well-celebrated liturgy; the one that recognizes liturgy as a gift.
“All of us priests and the laity should realize that we are stewards of the liturgy because it is a gift given to us by Christ and the Church.”
He added that when liturgy is celebrated well, it becomes a source of evangelization. “It is not only about norms but it is a liturgy that touches live and people are able to be inspired through a good way of celebrating the liturgy.”
Fr. Muthee holds a Licentiate in Sacred Liturgy from Santa Giustina University (Padua)- an affiliate college of St. Anselm University in Rome.
By The Kenya Catholic Mirror