Memorial mass for Bishop Silas Njiru held at his Embu home

Wednesday May 13 2020
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Embu Catholic Bishop Paul Kariuki (2nd left) on May 9, 2020 leads memorial mass for the late Bishop Emeritus Silas Njiru at Kevote Catholic Parish in Embu County. Bishop Njiru succumbed to Covid-19 in Italy two weeks ago. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By CHARLES WANYORO

Catholic clergy in Embu have held a memorial prayer service at the home of Bishop Emeritus Silas Silvius Njiru who succumbed to Covid-19 in Italy last week.

Embu Bishop Paul Kariuki, who celebrated the mass on Saturday, said it was meant to condole relatives who could not travel to Italy for the interment due to the current travel restrictions.

Among those present at Kevote Catholic Church were the late bishop’s sister, Ms Rosemilia Weruma, his step-sister Mrs Patricia Ndwiga, who is Embu Senator Njeru Ndwiga’s wife, and a handful of clergy.

BRING BOD HOME

Bishop Kariuki said they were in discussions with Bishop Salesius Mugambi of Meru to bring the body from Italy for interment in a cathedral in Kenya.

Bu he noted that the process of bringing the body to Kenya could take up to 15 years due to the procedure involved.

Bishop Njiru, who died at the age of 92, served in Meru from 1976 to 2004.

Ms Ndwiga eulogised Bishop Njiru as a supportive family member, who assumed a parental role following the death of their father Simon Kanake.

On Tuesday, the clergy in Meru held a memorial service for the late bishop emeritus.

Meru Bishop Salesius Mugambi later placed a picture of the late bishop on top of a crypt which will be opened for public viewing.

“Today was the main mass where we were coming to pray for him and remember that he stayed here for 26 years. As a diocese, we were coming together to bury Bishop Silas and celebrate the things he did for the diocese,” he said.

MAN OF PRAYER

Bishop Mugambi eulogised his predecessor as a man of prayer, development focused and a compassionate clergyman.

At the same time, Bishop Kariuki urged Kenyans to respect and follow the guidelines put in place by the government in order to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

He said the church will hold another elaborate mass in remembrance of the late bishop where other faithful will be allowed to attend.

Bishop Kariuki also asked the government to consider opening churches for a limited number of faithful, saying the clergy would ensure that all guidelines set to curb the spread of Covid-19 are followed.

During the special hour-long mass, relatives and priests who attended wore face masks and observed social distancing.

Senator Ndwiga, who also attended the event, warned those ignoring the Covid-19 guidelines that their actions can be disastrous to the community.