Your Excellency, Archbishop Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen, Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan, Director of Institute of Social Ministry in Mission, Br Jonas Yawovi Dzinekou, distinguished guests, faculty, staff and students of Tangaza University College.
I welcome you to this very joyous occasion. Congratulations to the Institute of Social Ministry in Mission (ISMM). Twenty-five years seems a long time when you look forward, maybe not so long when you look backward. For ISMM, it has been a time of significant contribution to Tangaza University College, to the church in Kenya, and even beyond its borders.
The founder sponsors of Tangaza began the Tangaza Centre for Religious for the formation of priestly ministers in 1988. It was not to be a typical seminary, but a Centre for Religious. It was proposing a formation centre where the candidates would come to study theology and other classes, but live in their religious houses, learn also to engage with the world in which they would minister. The founders soon became aware of the Church’s needs, their congregations’ needs as part of the preparation of young men for priesthood, and even beyond. The Second Vatican Council was beginning to influence how the church people were thinking about the People of God. It became apparent that brothers, sisters and lay people, even non-Catholics, were to participate more fully in the life of the Church and needed formation to bring the gospel to the world, to transform the world.
In those days Fr. Francesco Pierli, a Comboni Missionary and former Superior General, was fired up by this vision of a renewed Church. From the foundations of the Mission theology department, he, supported by the administration of Tangaza envisioned ISMM and worked devotedly to help it come to birth.
As I was spending time with the gospel message for today from Luke 5: 33-39, I could not but recognise its blessings and the insight. “No one puts new wine into old wineskins”.
Tangaza Centre for Religious created a new wineskin for this new wine.
The Institute for Social Ministry in Mission began its mission for Social Transformation through the formation of social ministers for the world. It brought together the findings of Science (human understanding and learning) and Faith (the spiritual dimension of the human life).
ISMM has promoted the reality of the community of the People of God.
This presents as Pluralism and Diversity – of male and female students, of lay and consecrated life, of religious beliefs, of nationalities, of ministries, of varying age groups, and of various levels of study
It also recognises individual Uniqueness through personality and charism.
In my ISMM classes over the years, I have encountered this diversity among the student body. This has contributed to the formative environment. The various points of view lead to an enriched understanding and to greater potential for integration and transformation. Through interaction between the ideas / theories and the personalization of the values, real faith-based education can take place.
Collaboration is a key element in the formative process and opportunity for students to take electives would lead to an integrated formation for ministry for all students – theologians, educators, social and youth ministers, social communicators and formators.
The institute has developed various levels of study programmes from Certificates and Diplomas and a Degree Programme from Bachelor’s through Masters to a Ph.D in Social Transformation. It has partnered with Catholic University Milan in the teaching of a MBA programme in Social Entrepreneurship and has worked with E4Impact to encourage small and medium business initiatives. It has initiated a programme taking university to the people through the teaching of the Diploma offered at “University Mtaani” in the informal settlement in Huruma.
It has become a popular programme with the Administration Police and the Kenya Defence Forces personnel who have been encouraged to pursue formal degrees through ISMM.
It has even begun a partnership of Support for Catholic Members of Parliament through CAMPSSI – the Catholic Members of Parliament Spiritual Support Initiative, which has now developed a network with Catholic parliamentarians throughout the world.
The networking continues with the collaboration with many groups involved with the promotion of social initiatives and efforts at Social Transformation.
Congratulations on the first 25 years, may you continue to grow even stronger in the years ahead in your contribution to teaching minds, touching hearts and transforming lives. This celebration of a Silver Jubilee records a significant contribution to the life of Tangaza University College.
There are no upcoming events at this time.