Father Edward Mulwa, the director of Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Kitui Diocese, Kenya, has said that embers of the Pontifical Missionary Children (PMC), a society founded on the motto “children helping children” that aims to the Catholic faith to children from 0-14 years, are a key source of and strength to vocations to Priestly and Religious Life.
In an interview with sources on the sidelines of the five-day Annual General Meeting (AGM) of both PMS and PMC officials in Kenya set to conclude on Friday, February 9, Fr. Mulwa described secularism as “a threat” to the growth of children in Christian faith.
“Missionary work has helped to boost vocations. PMC (members) are the pillars of the Church as far as vocation to (Priestly and) Religious Life is concerned,” he said, and added that, “Those who grow in PMC formation are (the) ones entering the vocation to Religious Life; we have many who are in Seminaries and others are already women and men Religious.”
He attributed “the growth of vocations” to Priestly and Religious Life to the apostolate of Priests, women and men Religious, and Laity among children.
“I can encourage that we continue working with the children so that we can get more vocations which will also help in the future of the missionary work,” Fr. Mulwa, who doubles as the Vocations Director in Kitui Diocese told sources during the Wednesday, February 7 interview.
If we make well the foundation of faith in our children, monitor their transition into youth and adulthood, and guide them in their vocational choices and journey, he said, “then we shall have a growth in the vocation to Religious Life.”
Fr. Mulwa went on to caution against the secularism.
“The issue of secularism is not just a threat to children in Kitui Diocese but also cuts across all the Dioceses in Kenya,” he told sources at JJ McCarthy Centre of the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi (ASN), the venue of the AGM of both PMS and PMC officials in Kenya
The Kenyan Catholic Priest, who also serves as Executive Secretary of the Catholic Bishop of Kitui Diocese, said that the exposure of children to digital media needs checking and adults have the responsibility to guide children in matters digitality, adding that initiatives have been undertaken to equip the PMC animators in his diocese with skills to orient children in their consumption of media content from various platforms, including social media forums.
“Since our children are well versed with these means of technology, we want to use the same to evangelize and also teach them how to evangelize to fellow children using the means,” he said.
“We want to venture deeper on how children can use the media to evangelize other children,” Fr. Mulwa further said, adding that in the Kitui Diocese, media has been integrated into children’s Saturday programs.
“We also teach animators to understand the complexities of these children. We also organize retreats, workshops, and even seminars for the animators and the children themselves so that they can do well their missionary work,” the priest told sources on February 7.