On the Solemnity of our Holy Father St. Augustine, the Delegation of St. Rita, Kenya, celebrated the 25th anniversary of the presence of the Order in this part of Africa. In a beautiful and lively ceremony presided over by the bishop of Ishiara, Most Rev. Paul Karioki, the brothers in communion with the Augustinian contemplative nuns, the 'misioneras' sisters, some other religious and many lay faithful from the four Augustinian parishes expressed their thanksgiving to God for the gift of faith and abundant blessings over the years.
In the nineties, some Irish and Nigerian friars responded generously to the invitation to take up the mission in Kenya; they committed themselves to the spread of the gospel, the service of love among the people, the growth and expansion of the Order in the Church in Kenya.
The Prior General, in his message, read by Fr. Edward Daleng, thanked the Irish Province for their missionary zeal, sacrifice and continuous support to the Kenyan delegation. He encouraged the members of the young Kenyan circumscription to embrace the future with hope, to rise up to the challenges before them and to be faithful in articulating the Augustinian spirit by interpreting the 25 year heritage in a more coherent and realistic way. He says: "I invite you to continue to work to embody the Augustinian charism consistently, both in community life and in the experience of interiority, as well as in the mission in communion with the brothers together as one. In this way, you can continue to announce in the most effective way the Kingdom of God that has become a reality in Jesus Christ."
Six brothers (four Kenyans: Nichodemus Rono, Stephen Nyamwaya, Cyril Mulupi and Matthew Ngimbi and two Congolese: Jacques Bangbasa and Nicolas Takis) made the Solemn Profession of Religious Vows. This brings the number of the indigenous Solemnly Professed Kenyan Augustinians to 25 in 25 years, 7 Simply Professed and 14 postulants. The celebration was a unique occasion of grace as all the other members of the Delegation present renewed their Vows. So also did the Augustinian contemplative nuns and the 'misionera' sisters who attended the occasion.
The Delegation has five communities in Ishiara, South Lands and Baba Dogo-Nairobi, Kisumu and Eldoret where brothers work principally in the pastoral and formation apostolates.
Historically, the Portuguese Augustinians started a missionary venture in the coast of Mombasa toward the end of the 16th century. However, this lasted less than four decades as they were martyred alongside many Christ's followers in the successive century.