Embu Catholic Bishop Paul Kariuki has encouraged the faithful in child-bearing age to consider getting more children to help the church get more priests.
He said there is an acute shortage of those in religious calling and that married couples can help bridge the gap by bearing more children.
Speaking at St Peter and Paul Cathedral church during the ordination of eight priests and one deacon, Bishop Kariuki said a decline in population could hamper the church’s evangelisation and humanitarian work in the future.
HAVE MORE CHILDREN
“We are asking our Christians especially those who are having children to be generous, to have more children. Let us not be afraid because of the economy. People are afraid and they have one or two children.
“Let us have a large family of three, four, five or even more so that we can have people to serve this country. Those countries that didn’t take this seriously are dying slowly by slowly. Let us not be cheated by matters of economy; large families are also source of strength,” he said.
He said many countries where people no longer bear many children are now suffering, with most of them seeking for priests abroad.
However, the bishop urged parents to be actively engaged in the upbringing of their children so that they are morally upright and follow the Christian ways.
He said the church had formulated ways to reach out to Christians at the grassroots to help them mould their children so that they embrace good values and encouraged parents to set a good example to them.
“We expect the parents to ensure the children have values and virtues. If the parents cannot communicate those values, there is no way that they can say they are inculcating them. They can only have those virtues if the parents are also living a good life for the children to emulate,” he said.
Bishop Kariuki said parishes also require more priests to help in evangelisation locally and also globally.
He said the church has many institutions of higher learning where priests are needed to teach the youth but the low number of the clergy is hampering the goal.
Bishop Kariuki also announced the transfer and reassignment of 22 priests in seven parishes.
The church usually invites young men to take train as priests but the number of those showing interest has been on the decline.
To become a priest, one must be a staunch Catholic of good morals and must have attained at least a C+ in the KCSE exam.
Already, the church has invited those willing to train as a priests to attend a convention in December so that they can learn more about the vocation before making a decision.