Pope Francis’s visit to Kenya is going to mark his first Africa visit after becoming the pope in 2013, and the second Pope to visit Kenya after Pope John Paul the second who during his tenure in the papal’s office from 1978 to 2005 visited Kenya three times; in 1980, 1990 and the last one in September, 1995.
Kenyans are prepared to receive the head of the Catholic Church in the country for a three day visit that is scheduled to start on 25th November, 2015 and end on 27th November, 2015. This is good news to many Christian faithful including non-Catholics which is attributed to the manner the Pope chosen to freely interact with the people unlike previous Pontiffs.
Pope mentioning Kenya
The Pope first remembered Kenya in his prayers in a Holy mass in Vatican after Kenya was badly hit by Al-Shabab terrorists that left more than 148 people dead many of whom were students of the Garissa University College. Alongside Kenya the Pope is also expected to visit Uganda and war stricken Central Africa Republic and preach his message of peace to them too.
The program of the Pope’s tour
The pope’s visit is both a pastoral visit and a state visit too. A pastoral because he is the Head of Catholic church and a state visit because he is the head of Vatican; this means he will be meeting state officials and leaders as well as church leaders. He is also expected to hold meetings with Kenyan leaders of different religions, Christians, Muslims, Hindus and even traditional leaders.
25th November, 2015 is his expected arrival date. On arriving he will head straight to statehouse for a courtesy visit – cum- welcome visit to our head of state. He will also meet with several diplomats and members of civil societies in Kenya.
On 26th November, 2015 he will have three meetings and celebrate one holy mass. He will start with a meeting with Ecumenical and inter religious leaders, a holy mass at the University of Nairobi, later proceed to another meeting with various clergy men and women in St Mary’s field and end the day by visiting the United Nations Offices.
Friday 27th November, 2015 will be the last day of Pope’s visit to Kenya. He will start the day by visiting a Nairobi suburb, Kangemi Village. Pope Francis will later proceed to meet youths from all corners of the country at the Kasarani stadium along Thika superhighway, and in the same venue hold talks with Kenya Bishops, and thereafter proceed to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for a farewell ceremony after which will proceed to Entebbe, Uganda.