Monday, February 11, 2008

Kenyan Monastics

In Kipleian, in the Rift Valley region of Kenya, a group of Trappist monks of Our Lady of Victory Abbey are offering refuge to nearby residents. A You Tube video offers an excellent 3-minute news report that includes the abbot describing the events and the refugees they are helping.

There are a number of Benedictine and Trappist monasteries in the East African country of Kenya. Most of them are being affected by the civil unrest there following the December elections. One large community of Benedictine women in the Nairobi suburb of Karen reports that many of their secondary students haven't come to school since the beginning of the unrest--mostly because of fear of traveling from their homes to the school. Many of the workers in the sisters' various ministries have left their homes to move in with relatives who live in a safer place. Karen is named after Karen Blitzen, the author of Out of Africa. Her large farm land is now the home for numerous religious communities.

At the annual meeting of the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses last week the prioresses discussed numerous situations affecting Benedictine women in Africa. Sr. Christine called home to ask that we add the safety of all Kenyans, especially our monastic brothers and sisters, to our daily prayer .