CLC KENYA HISTORY
CLC Kenya was started in 1989 when Fr. Tim Quinlan, S.J., the Vice Ecclesiastical Assistant for World CLC, visited and spoke to several groups in Nairobi and Mombasa about CLC. From this visit, one group of recent university graduates, including Loreto Sisters, emerged in Nairobi. A scholastic, Gerry Whelan, S.J., from Hekima College initially took responsibility for CLC in Kenya. In 1990, Fr. Terry Charlton, S.J, came to Kenya and was asked to serve as Ecclesiastical Assistant for CLC Kenya which he gladly accepted; a job he was to do for the next twenty years.
CLC Kenya then later spread to four other parts of the country and University groups. CLC in Nairobi under took a six-month process of discernment of common mission in 1993 and the result was to focus on mission to youth. This thrust was confirmed in a nation-wide discernment process in 1998.
In 1994, CLC Kenya was incorporated into the World Community during World Assembly held in Hong Kong.
In 1995, CLC Kenya held its first National Assembly (NA) which was attended by 65 members. This assembly set the direction for development of CLC Kenya for the next two years. It is during this assembly that the first Executive Council (ExCo), which is responsible for executing the directions set by the NA, was elected. Levi Matseshe was elected the first president of CLC Kenya.
The Second NA was held in 1997 which reviewed progress so far and set directions for the next two years. Another National ExCo was elected to spearhead the implementation of the set directions. Levi Matseshe was re-elected president.
The Third NA held in 1999 discerned CLC Kenya’s three mission priorities: Youth, Sharing our Ignatian Spirituality with others, and Civic Education and Constitutional Reform. This NA also approved the Constitution of CLC Kenya. The assembly elected Tom Omariba as president.
In the year 2000 CLC Kenya, in collaboration with other organizations in the Ignatian family, started Zaidi Centre for Ignatian Spirituality. These organizations included the Jesuits, Loreto Sisters, Missionaries of Africa, Missionary Sisters of our Lady of Africa and Christian Brothers. Zaidi Centre was established as a means of ministering to Christians through workshops, presentations, recollections and retreats on aspects of our Christian life. Zaidi is a Swahili word for more (Magis)
The Fourth NA was held in 2002. It focused on the growth of CLC Kenya and monitored the progress of mission. Isaac Momanyi Oigo was elected president; a position he diligently served for six months before passing on to be with the Lord on 9th October 2002. Catherine Waiyaki, the vice president then, took over as president to the completion of the term. Within the same year, members of CLC in Nairobi founded Hands of Love, an organization to minister to AIDS infected and affected, especially in Kibera slums, Nairobi.
In 2003, CLC Kenya hosted the Fourteenth (14th) World Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya. There was good representation from the international community.
In January, 2004, Hands of Love, with the support of CLC Kenya, began St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School which, to date, serves needy youth who are affected and infected by HIV/AIDS. The school was located in the heart of Kibera slum. It is in the same year that the CLC Kenya Fifth NA was held and which focused on the CLC Kenya National Identity. Edel Churu Ebale was elected as president.
Three members from CLC Kenya participated in an international Africa Formation Encounter held in South Africa in 2005 which focused on formation needs.
In 2006, CLC Kenya was registered as a Charity organization in Kenya. The Sixth and Seventh Kenya National Assembly were held in 2007 and 2009 respectively with focus on CLC identity. Cornel Okalo led the community as president between 2007 and 2012.
Plans were underway by CLC Kenya to construct a new modern structure for the St. Aloysius (St. Al’s) Gonzaga School away from the slum of Kibera where it was started. This dream was realized in 2010 when the new modern campus for St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School was opened in Langata area.
The Eighth CLC Kenya NA was held in 2012 where Four key areas were emphasized; Formation for mission (financial co-responsibility), CLC identity, CLC visibility with regard
to family and youth and EXCO mandated to ratify the proposed new constitution for CLC Kenya. This assembly elected Daniel Obonyo as CLC Kenya president.
The Ninth NA held in 2014 focused on CLC Membership, Formation for Mission and CLC Mission projects. A new Exco team was put in place. Daniel Obonyo was however re-elected president.
The Tenth NA was held slightly over a month ago on 29th April to 1st May 2017 and was based on the Theme; CLC –A Call to service for Humanity. The fruit of the assembly’s discernment process highlighted the following four areas; new evangelization, social justice and family life, financial sustainability and mission projects. Catherine Waiyaki was elected president.
Transition of Ecclesiastical Assistants
Since the inception of CLC Kenya, we have been blessed with Six Ecclesiastical Assistants (EA).
Gerry Whelan S.J. was the first E.A to serve the CLC Kenya community. He served from 1989 to mid 1990.
Fr. Terry Charlton, S.J. then picked up from Gerry Whelan, S.J. and has been the longest serving EA having served from 1990-2010.
Fr. Ambrose Kituyi, S.J. then took over as E.A for a period of two years between 2010 and 2011.
Fr.Michael Mungai,S.J. served for two years in 2012 and 2013.
Fr. Mungai then passed the mantle to Fr. Eric Simiyu, S.J. who served for a period of one year before Fr. Richard D’Souza,S.J. took over in August 2015 and has been the CLC Kenya E.A. to date.
CLC Kenya Statistics
The community currently has 353 members; 123 adults and 230 youth members from nine university groups and two parishes. We have an estimate of five hundred university alumni members who have not joined the community due to various life challenges.
Twenty nine members have taken permanent commitment in CLC way of life.
Sixty four have done the full Spiritual Exercises and twenty four are trained to give retreats and spiritual direction.