CATHOLIC CHURCH NZAIKONI
Fr. Devasia Manathara, SDB
Father in Charge.
As early as 1985 His Lordship Urbanus J. Kioko, Bishop emirutus of Catholic Diocese of Machakos invited the Salesians of Don Bosco to take up one of the parishes in this diocese. Among the choices given to us were Masii and Nzaikoni. Our superior’s heart fell for Nzaikoni, which was an out‑station to Machakos Cathedral Parish. On 1st October 1991 this parish was officially erected with other 11 outstatstions, with Fr. Thomas Punchakunnel, SDB as the pioneer Parish Priest. Since then the parish ministry has grown and now we have 18 outstations within the radius of 17km from Nzaikoni. Isyokoni was closed in the year 2008 and the Christians joined the near by Kisovo outstation.
We tried to visit every month to all the out‑station, besides the weekday visits to the Small Christian Communities (SCC). What is remarkable of this parish is the active involvement of the laity in the church activities from its beginning till today, in a special way in the Sunday liturgy. Liturgical celebration is graced with music and dance, the inborn quality of the people of this place.
Church activities have become vibrant due to the self sacrificing attitude of the various groups of the parish: like Central Parish Committee, CWA, CMA, CTA, Choir, Sunday Schools, Youth Groups, Altar servers, Liturgical dancers, etc. in the parish. Youth is given a special attention in their faith formation in view of making the young good Christian and honest citizen.
Within the parish there are 10 secondary schools of which only one is Catholic sponsored. We give weekly Eucharist to 7 of these schools. There are 40 primary schools of which only 7 are Catholic sponsored. Pastoral services are rendered through the catechists and on special request Masses.
Basics of Christian faith and formation of the young children are maintained in more than 25 Sunday schools spread all over the parish, which are run and taught by the young people on voluntary basis. Thanks to their self sacrifice and commitment to faith. We have 20 catechists who are committed to work in primary evangelization. They are the back bone of the spiritual life of the out‑stations. The SCCs are active in invigorating the local church by being the little church at home. There are a total number of 235 SCCs in the parish.
By the middle of 1999 the sisters of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus joined the parish to run a health centre / dispensary which was opened in 2003, the fulfillment of our dream, since the parish started. Unfortunately it is closed in 2005... the dream is over. Their presence brought quality to our pastoral ministry in the parish. On 20 May 2009 the dispensary was reopened in the compound of the sisters.
One of the remarkable features of this parish is the care they take for their priests and sisters. Every month one of the out‑stations organise itself and provides provisions for the month. It is touching to see the Christians walking up to this centre from far away outstations as a group to share their time, energy, problems and life with us.
This parish is also a fertile ground for vocations to priestly and religious life. There are about 32 young people who have responded to God generously to work in his vineyard as priest and religious even as missionaries abroad. At present we have 5 diocesan priests working in the diocese of Machakos.
Don Bosco Pastoral Centre of the parish can accommodate up to 100 people with two dormitories each having a separate bathrooms and toilets. In addition this centre has a modem multipurpose hail with stage, 3 class rooms, kitchen and dining hall. It offers an ideal place for retreats, seminars, meetings, conferences, etc. for the youth, students, community leaders, teachers, and other groups. Since the inauguration of this pastoral centre we have been organizing leadership seminars, retreats, and other formation programmes for various groups of the parish and out‑stations. In the year 2001 we opened a computer school with the aim of helping the youth in and around the parish to equip them with qualities for the job market in the city.
Today I would like to thank my predecessors: Fr. Thomas Punchakunnel, the first parish priest of this parish, Fr. Sebastian Koladiyil and late Fr. Tony Pinto and Fr. Tony Fernandez and Fr. Simon Asira for their hard work for the growth of this parish and for the formation of the people of God. Thanks to the helping hand rendered to this parish by the visiting priests of this diocese and from the Salesians of Don Bosco Nairobi, especially the community of Bosco Boys Kwinda, who assist us once a month for the celebration of the Eucharist, so that all the out‑stations may have a Mass every month. On 17th May 2009 we bid farewell to Fr. Jose Vettom SDB who has returned back to his home province. Thank you for the 4 years of hard work for the parish and for the church building Mutitu which was blessed on 10 March 2009.
|Nzaikoni 1991||1947/1962||Francis Assisi||04/10||57||208|
|Kisovo||2000||Anthony of Padua||13/06||7||94|
|Munyiiki||1994||Joseph the Worker||01/05||11||134|
|Mithanga||1990||MaryHeip of Christians||24/05||16||179|
|Kaviani||2004||Sacred Heart of Jesus||19/06*||9||86|
|Kauti||1991||Our Lady of Fatima||13/05||13||148|
|Muthala||2001||Therese of Child Jesus||01/10||6||73|
|Lita||1991||John Baptist (birthday)||24/06||8||86|
|Thinu||1992||Therese of Child Jesus||01/10||13||140|
|Kaewa||1991||Therese of Child Jesus||01/10||10||108|
|Kithunguini||1990||Joseph the worker||01/05||19||202|
|Kituvu||1990||Joseph husband of Mary||19/03||7||66|
|Kitenge’i||1995||Simon & Jude||28/10||6||64|