Fr. Jack: “What do you learn out of every funeral you attend?”
Kenyans in Italy recently held a requiem Mass for Billy Maina Mathenge, son of Mama Anne Wangui Mathenge.
Grief-stricken family and friends gathered at St. Pius V Parish in Rome to pay their last respect to Billy before the body left for Kenya.
The Celebrant, Fr. Jack Wainaina Ndirangu told the congregation that death is not a punishment from God. “It is God who gives and takes away life,” he said.
“We usually forget and live our lives as if it belongs to us, but the truth is that our lives belong to God,” Fr. Jack said.
He advised the congregation to always glorify God in times of trouble.
Christians believe that the only way to go to God is through death, Fr. Jack said, urging all to be ever ready since no one knows the day or the hour they’ll be called by the creator.
He said God continues to instruct people through events happening in their lives. “You who are alive, what do you learn out of every funeral you attend?” Fr. Jack asked.
He appealed to Africans in Rome not to lose their faith as is commonly said that those who come to Rome lose their faith here.
“Keep your faith; don’t be like many Europeans who have lost their faith. Let them see your faith and desire to have a similar faith,” Fr. Jack said.
Mr. Wilson Mwangi Kamami, President of the Association of Kenyans in Italy thanked all Kenyans for coming to console Billy’s family.
He also thanked them for their generous donations which made it possible to transport Billy’s body back to Kenya. Mr. Kamami urged all Kenyans who have not yet joined the Association to do so, saying that it can be helpful during difficult moments.
“We need to be prepared to handle such emergencies together,” he said. “Should such a thing happen, it should not happen to you alone but to us as Kenyans,” Mr. Kamami added.
Kenya’s Ambassador to Italy Her Excellency Josephine Gaita expressed her profound condolence to Billy’s family. “The entire Embassy staff received the news of Billy’s death with sadness and sorrow,” she said.
Addressing Mama Mathenge, the Ambassador said: “It is so painful, especially as a mother to receive such sad news. Anne, we are together with you in prayers, we are here to give you a shoulder to lean on.”
Ambassador Gaita also thanked Kenyans for supporting Billy’s family. “I’m so touched by your unity. You got together as real Kenyans and made it possible for Billy to be taken back home within such a short time,” she said. “Thank you so much for that solidarity. I’m so proud of being part of this community. I urge you to continue with that spirit. God bless you.”
By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a