Fr Ben’s Homecoming, Remembering in Gratitude
By Philip Onyango
Following the ordination of Fr. Ben in august 31st Saturday, 2019 in Machakos diocese, the family of The Technical University comprising of the St. Thomas chaplaincy students, the alumni community and the legends. The alumni are formed by the alumni who have graduated from the year 2005 to 2019. The legend group is formed by the alumni who left before 2005. This special day 10th of October, began at high note with high expectation from the students and the alumni at around 12.00pm.
Fr. Ben started with confessions with were properly attended by the faithful. It was a touching experience to see how much eager for penance this congregation was moved. Afterwards, the mass was started attended by an unusually large number of catholic faithful. The celebrant being Fr. Ben, animated by the three groups and the St. Thomas Aquinas Choir.
The homily was indeed moving. Just as the theme of the day was; remembering and gratitude, so was the homily filled with such moments of looking back and saying thanks. It was a solemn moment for all of us, thinking of the hard times, the happy moments, the sad days, the joyous times, times of grief and self-awakening, self-rediscovery …a real long glance in the past with gratitude. It was at this time that I realized how ungrateful, unfaithful and disloyal our human nature is weak. So many things the Lord has done for us…. counting our blessings! In fact, one little child so moved by Fr Ben’s exhortation, walked up and handed over a present, of course oblivious of her actions and every one applauded her greatly.
The general mood of the mass was lively, solemn, pious but still joyous. The consecration was a wonderful moment in which we the vigor’s of the priesthood were witnessed afresh. Fr. Ben’s Latin style brought the message home in one beautiful piece. Our father prayer was done in the local language each one speaking in his own language, a mystery of the lord getting all our prayers. At the end of the mass everybody happy to see and to remember and to shade joy on the memories the old times at Kenya poly. The atmosphere was actually noisy and quite messy with excitement.
Then followed Fr Bens vocation story, a wonder it was that, the vocation story was firmly rooted to the Kenya polytechnic and that the chaplaincy served to help him discern and discover his inner most desire. The cycle with him then, living full different vocations now, were very supportive even to this day. It was indeed wonderful to witness this generation reunite and of course a premonition of what would happen in our own time and generation. That our friendship would grow to that level and more. That the bonds we build now will flourish and find firm roots in Christ as we plant it now through him and in him.
Presents were offered from all corners and gift hampers presented with excite to Fr. Later came a dancing session where the cake was ceremoniously cut and happiness shared as each one had a piece. This piece of art formerly inscribed ‘’TUK Catholic Family’
A family is a place where one finds hope and sees a future, a place where the deepest desires of our hearts bud, are nurtured and brought to life. A place where, the future though visible from a far is made attainable by physical, spiritual, emotional and financial support. TUK CATHOLIC FAMILY proved true to this end. As Fr. Ben prepares for his new mission to Asia, we only pray that may he who started the good work in him bring it to completion and that he might find graces every morning to believe what he reads, to teach what he believes and to live what he teaches