, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 23 – It was excitement and ululation at St Joseph’s the Worker Catholic Church in Kangemi slum.
Listening to the songs and the loud ululations from outside, it was apparent the joy of receiving Pope Francis was overflowing.
Whereas most members of the church especially the choir sang, some of them ululated in celebration from different corners of the church.
They clapped and smiled as they turned around to the tune of the song.
It was an unusual mass.
But as many of them told Capital FM News, news of receiving the Pope at their church was humbling and had uplifted their spirits even if not all of them will see him.
It was the same excitement that a member of the choir now goes by the name Mama Pope.
With a lot of excitement and laughter, Mama Pope (Roween Kuleo) who is six months pregnant says if she gets a baby boy she will name him after the Pope.
“I am carrying the future Pope. Even if I don’t see Pope Francis because there will be many people and a lot of commotion and you know I can’t come because I am carrying the future pope. I am so happy that he will be joining us for the few days he will spend in our country,” she said.
Amidst applaud from her fellow members she said: “We welcome him and more so in our ghetto.”
She was not sure how she got nicknamed as Mama Pope.
But she believes the excitement of nicknaming her Mama Pope came after they received the news that they would host the Pope.
Fr Bob White who presided over the Mass service at the Church on Sunday said it was humbling that the Pope has always sent messages for equality and compassion for the poor into practice.
“The pope has dedicated himself to the poor and this is all over the world. When he went to the United States, he visited the prisoners and the asylums for the poor. And he is calling everybody to be dedicated to the poor.”
“He chose not to have this event in a cathedral but in a church which is among the poor,” Fr White said.
Pope Francis will interact with 1,200 slum dwellers selected from 11 slums in Nairobi.
READ: Kangemi humbled and honoured to host Pope Francis
The interacting will involve the slum dwellers narrating their experiences and the Pope also giving his words of encouragement.