, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 18 – All is set for Pope Francis’ Apostolic Voyage to Kenya, after the Vatican released the official itinerary for his first visit to Africa as Pope.
During the three-day Kenya visit, the Pope is expected to visit a Catholic Parish in Nairobi’s Kangemi neighbourhood.
According the programme, the Pope is expected to visit the St Joseph the Worker Parish on Friday from 8.30am and spend one and half hours where he will conduct meetings with residents and faithful.
The schedule for the Pope’s visit indicates that he will arrive in Nairobi on Wednesday evening and then hold a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Nairobi, where he will also spend half-an-hour with Kenya’s administration and all the diplomats in the country who have been invited to the meeting at the presidential residence.
READ: Planning in top gear for Pope’s visit to Kenya
Apart from being the Head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis is also the Head of the State for the Vatican State, which is a little city-state inside Rome, Italy that serves as the headquarters of the Catholic Church.
It is about 20 years ago when Kenya last hosted a pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II visited the country in 1995, where he held meetings with Kenya’s then President Daniel arap Moi. The climax of his visit was at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park where Catholic faithful gathered in their tens of thousands to attend mass.
The Catholic Church in Kenya has an estimated 7.5 million baptised Catholics that account for 33 percent of the population.
On Thursday 26, the Holy Father will hold an interdenominational meeting with religious leaders at the residence of the Apostolic Nuncio before heading to the University of Nairobi Grounds for the Papal Mass.
The Pope will then head to St Mary’s School in Lavington where he will hold another meeting with the clergy, religious men and women, and seminarians. Pope Francis will then leave for the United Nations Office in Nairobi.
The Pope will conclude his visit on November 27, after addressing a meeting of young people at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani and later a meet with all the Catholic Bishops in Kenya at Kasarani.
Pope Francis will then head to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where President Uhuru Kenyatta will host a farewell ceremony in his honour before he departs Nairobi for Entebbe, Uganda.
While in Uganda the Pope is expected to visit the Anglican and Catholic Martyrs’ Shrines in Namugongo, Uganda and a refugee camp in the Central African Republic.