National Day Celebrations, 8th of April 2024

National Day Celebrations, 8th of April 2024

It was with a joyous heart that after 4 years we were able to celebrate our National Day on Monday, 8th April 2024, the day of the Annunciation.

To start off the celebrations and receive blessings for the day, the Embassy held Holy Mass at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Kitisuru, a beautiful and serene suburb with schools and places of worship located northwest of the central business district of Nairobi.

Mass was presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, H.E. Archbishop Hubertus van Megen and concelebrated by Fr. Cleophas Ushindi Tesha (parish priest), Fr. Thomas Nicholas Odhiambo (also from the parish), Fr. Maurizio Binaghi of Comboni Fathers and Fr. Stephen Mkagutu, OFM Cap, Assistant to the Permanent Observer of the Vatican to the United Nations Environment Programme.  In his sermon and speaking from his heart, the Apostolic Nuncio reminded the congregation of the Order’s founding principles, summarized in the motto “Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum”: nurturing, witnessing and protecting the faith; and serving the poor and the sick.  And how we all have to learn to accept people from all walks of life irrespective of their social or economic status and show compassion to those who are less fortunate in this world.

Several members of the Diplomatic Corps, Companions of the Order and other invited guests honoured us by taking part in the Mass.  The Embassy was represented by H.E. Ambassador Wilhelm von Trott zu Solz and his team.  In attendance were also the Ambassador’s daughter, Princess Victoria zu Salm-Salm and H.E. Ambassador Michael Patrick Murphy, Permanent Representative of the Order to the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Special Envoy to East and South Africa.

The highlight of the Holy Eucharist were the 240 children who joined the celebration with jubilant songs and dances.  These youngsters were invited by the Embassy from two different centres:

1). the Daniel Comboni Vocational Training Centre for teenagers who have completed their rehabilitation (under the aegis of the Napenda Kuishi Rehabilitation Programme founded in 2006 as a concrete answer to the questions and challenges posed by the presence of street teens and youth in the Kariobangi and Korogocho informal settlements) and are trained in carpentry, Electrical Wiring, Plumbing, Welding and Masonry;

2). the Mother Margherita School in the informal settlement of Kawangware run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus.

After Mass, all the children were gifted a food parcel containing maize meal, all purpose flour, breakfast oats, cooking oil, beans, rice, sugar, tea and soap.  Biscuits, milk and chocolates were also offered as snacks.  The invited guests graciously joined the Embassy officials in handing out the food parcels to the happy and grateful children.

In the evening a Reception was held at the Muthaiga Country Club where close to 100 invited guests graced the event with their presence. To welcome the guests were the Ambassador, his daughter Victoria, Dr. Franco De Paoli, the Deputy Head of Mission and his spouse Mrs. Marinella De Paoli. The venue was a conducive environment to a lively and friendly gathering where diplomats mingled with friends and supporters of the Order.

As is customary on these occasions the Ambassador addressed the gathering explaining the environment in which nowadays the Sovereign Order has to operate: a world plagued by wars and conflicts, climate change and natural disasters which produce millions of refugees and displaced persons requiring support, shelter, food and health and psychological assistance.  The Ambassador reminded the guests of the projects initiated with the Government of Kenya and local NGOs in the field of Health, Agriculture, Emergency management and also One Health.  Malteser International is ever present to assist and implement required activities and now the Companions of the Order in Kenya, created three years ago, are committed to be closer to the Order and support its work with hands-on and financial means.


The Guest of Honour was H.E. Archbishop Hubertus van Megen, the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, who in turn shared encouraging words and appreciation for the humanitarian activities undertaken by the Order in Kenya.

In everyone’s eyes, the National Day celebrations were beautifully organized and turned out to be an immense success!







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