NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 26 – “It’s the day I have seen our spiritual leader and I am going to take a lot of blessings from the Pope,” these were the words of Benedict Mutinda Ndosi, one of the congregants who had gathered at the Uhuru Park to follow the Papal Mass during the second day of his stay in the country.
The 50-year-old man who, together with his wife, braved the cold chilly weather as they keenly followed the prayer said this was a memorable day and that they were glad to be part of history.
“It’s a good day, it’s a wonderful day and one I will never forget it in my life,” he added.
Mutinda who is a teacher of religion trained by the Catholic Church said the fact that three Presidents (two former), opposition leaders, government officials and elected leaders were present at the mass which brought together Catholics and non-Catholics was a sign of ‘great things’ set to happen.
“Today’s message is reconciliation, love and staying in peace and more so for our country. This is a great day for our country and it is our hope that from today, we will move in the right direction,” he went on to state.
Also in attendance was 40-year-old Mary Magdalene Gatwiri from Meru County who enthusiastically sang through the celebratory songs as she danced and you could not miss her from the crowd.
She couldn’t hide her joy after seeing the Pope, as she hoped that the country will heed to the Pope’s call of unity and inclusivity.
“I feel blessed…just seeing the Pope has made my day,” she said.
She said it was time that all Kenyans irrespective of religion united to make the country better saying as long as there was sectarian and ethnic division, the efforts of the leadership would be in vain.
Annestine also from Meru County said she was simply excited to attend a mass presided by the Pope.
“Spiritually I feel strengthened and I have gone to another level…the rain was simply a blessing,” she said.
Ann Kathomi a resident of Shauri Moyo in Nairobi County whose 2.5-year-old daughter was tucked warmly on her mother’s back said she brought the little one along for her to be blessed saying although they were far from the Pope, his message and call during Mass was embedded in their hearts.
“I brought my daughter despite the rain to get blessings…this is her foundation as a Catholic and I want her to have a strong foundation,” she stated.
Pope Francis was on Friday expected to meet Nairobi’s slum dwellers at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Kangemi before holding a meeting with the youth at the Kasarani gymnasium prior to his departure to Uganda.
The Pope will end his tour of Africa at the warn-torn Central Africa Republic.