, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 24 – ‘Time is nigh. The wait is over. The Hour has come. Let us receive our Pope.’
That was the mood at the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) when they converged to give an update on the preparations for the arrival of Pope Francis who jets into Kenya on Wednesday afternoon.
“We are pleased to announce that all the teams working towards a successful visit have confirmed that they are ready,” KCCB Chairman Rt. Rev. Philip Anyolo said.
Preparation beginning all the way from Rome to Africa where the first landing will be in Nairobi at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, to all the planned events including the farewell when the Pope leaves for Uganda – all was set by Tuesday evening.
According to Rt. Reverend Alfred Rotich (Military Ordinate) all the parishes in Kenya had received a communication about their movement in Nairobi to attend the major events planned for Kasarani Stadium and the Holy Mass at the University of Nairobi.
Based on the expected human traffic influx in the city, Bishop Rotich confirmed that together with the government, an elaborate mapping of road use had been circulated.
The venues which include St Joseph’s the Worker Catholic Church were all ready and secured for the Pope and people who will be attending the various events.
The bishops also thanked the government for declaring Thursday a public holiday.
“Initially we had requested the government, but it is a pleasant surprise of course and we are very happy given that it has given the spirit which we appealed right on the beginning,” Bishop Anyolo said.
The excitement of hosting the Pope was according to the bishops a gift that will review the spiritual being, instill hope and make calls for transparency, forgiveness and reconciliation.
The bishops added their calls to the government’s declaration that corruption be declared a sin and a threat to national security.
Mombasa Archbishop Martin Kivuva said it was not too late for Kenya to fight corruption as he urged ordinary Kenyans to play their role in stopping the vice.
“it is never too late to kill a snake in your house. The moment you find an opportunity, kill it,” the Bishop said.
“We need every effort, not just the government, any persons and all of us to be part of this war.”