Setting hearts ablaze in Kenya

Sister Mary

Kibera is the biggest urban ‘slum’ in Kenya. In fact, it is the biggest in Africa. Rife with all the problems poverty brings – malnourishment, addiction, abuse – it is easy to see Kibera as a place of despair. But missionary Sister Mary meets the challenges of life in Kibera with faith and friendship.

‘Our charism is “be one with the people”, “go where people are”,’ says Sr Mary. ‘It’s from St Paul, but our foundress, Sister Magdalene, also took it from St Charles de Foucauld: to be there with them from the grassroots, discover what is happening, and together learn what to do.’

That is why Sr Mary and her fellow Little Sisters of Jesus choose to live in the heart of Kibera, alongside the people they serve. That way, she can better understand the daily challenges, and reach all who are in need.

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Among the many people Sr Mary works alongside is Linet, who courageously lives out her faith by rescuing and fostering children who are at risk from harm. Linet sometimes faces real danger to rescue the children who have been abandoned, orphaned, or trafficked.

Linet shares: ‘We have so many challenges… It’s a challenge to find all of it. I need clothes. I need to pay for school. It’s difficult.’

Thankfully, Linet has people like Sr Mary who support her mission. She says:

‘Sister Mary has done so much. Sister is always there for me with support – mental, physical, everything. She has always been there for me.’

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‘My mission is befriending. I began with Christians I met in the church. Slowly I gained their confidence and they welcomed me to their houses. They share their problems. When the stories are painful, even if I have nothing to offer, it’s possible to find someone who can help. That makes me create friendships with other people who are able to help. So, it’s friendship, but a friendship that means you can’t just sit and watch; that something has to be done.'

World Mission Sunday is on 22 October 2023

‘Hearts on fire, feet on the move’- cf. Luke 24:13-35

World Mission Sunday is celebrated in every Catholic community in the world. It’s a moment of grace to express solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are living in situations of poverty, violence and oppression. Every parish, school and community is invited to join this special event. And every penny, pound and prayer you give to Missio helps missionaries everywhere continue their work.

Donate to World Mission Sunday here>>

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