The 21st session of the St. John Paul II Sabbatical Program commenced on August 7 with 30 participants-23 Priests, 2 Brothers, and 5 Sisters. The participants are drawn from 10 Dioceses and 8 Congregations in 5 countries-Kenya (23), Cameroon (4), Zambia (1), Ghana (1), and South Africa (1).
The represented Dioceses are Kenya’s Catholic Diocese of Murang’a (4), Catholic Diocese of Kericho (3), Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi (2), Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa (2), Catholic Diocese of Nakuru (1), and the Catholic Diocese of Ngong (1). The others are Cameroon’s Catholic Diocese of Kumbo (2), the Catholic Archdiocese of Bamenda (2), Zambia’s Catholic Diocese of Mpika (1), and South Africa’s Catholic Archdiocese of Pretoria.
The represented Congregations include FIC Brothers (Ghana) (1), Sisters of St. Joseph – Mombasa (Kenya) (3), Apostles of Jesus Kenya (2), Brothers of St. Joseph (Kenya) (1), and Daughters of St. Paul (Kenya) (1). Others are the Sisters of Little Daughters of St. Joseph (Kenya) (1), Holy Ghost Fathers (Kenya) (1), and Ministers of the Sick (Camillian Fathers), Kenya (1).
During their 4-months participation in the Program, the participants will “read their own book,” thus enhancing their holistic personal development and renewal-physically, psychologically, spiritually, and emotionally. The participants will achieve this through one-to-one growth facilitation, growth group facilitation, large-group (multicultural) facilitation, community building, and lectures and workshops.
At the end of the Program, the participants will graduate with a Certificate in Multicultural, Psycho-Spiritual Counselling and Human and Personal Development.
Opened in August 2013, St. John Paul II Sabbatical Program is a renewal and ongoing formation program that has emerged as a transformative journey for Priests and Religious seeking renewal, personal growth, and spiritual development. Through an extensive four-month experience, participants from diverse backgrounds have found solace, introspection, and a renewed sense of purpose.
The ten-year-old Program is a brainchild of the Bishop of Kenya’s Catholic Diocese of Murang’a, Rt. Rev James Maria Wainaina. Dear to the Bishop’s heart and outreach activities was a retreat center for priests and religious men. He yearned for a place where they could rest and have space for personal development to rekindle their spiritual life.
Hosted in the middle of a typical African village in Central Kenya, approximately 5 km off the highway and 80 km from Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, the Centre offers a serene atmosphere for priests, deacons, religious men and women aiming to integrate their physical, spiritual and emotional lives with the apostolate.
Ten years since its establishment, the Centre has offered a serene and peaceful environment for an estimated 450 participants from various Dioceses and Congregations in Kenya, Africa, and beyond to work on their personal development and rekindle their spiritual life by fostering a deeper love for God, self, and others.