Beginnings: In August, 1989, 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 Kenyan Loreto Sisters, emerged in Nairobi.
Scholastic Gerry Whelan, S.J., from Hekima College initially took responsibility for CLC. In 1990, Fr. Terry Charlton, S.J, came to Kenya and was asked to serve as Ecclesial Assistant for CLC Kenya (he is happy to be called chaplain). CLC Kenya was incorporated into the World Community in 1994
Growth in Kenya: Two new groups of recent university graduates began in 1991 in Nairobi, and gradually the membership has grown to 19 groups of three types in the Nairobi Area: city-wide,
University student, and parish-based. CLC began in Kisii in 1992, and there are five parish-based groups in the Area. CLC began in Nakuru, Mombasa and Eldoret at the Chepkoilel of Moi University in 1993, and in Machakos, and else where in Eldoret in 1996. CLC began at Egerton University in 1999. In 2000 CLC spread to Kitale and Homa Bay, and Meru Dioceses. In 2003,’
CLC began in Muranga Diocese. There are some 254 members in CLC Kenya.
International Contacts: International contacts have been particularly important in the Helped the World Community focus especially on its social mission. The WA formulated its vision of Shared Responsibility for Mission as involving four cyclical steps: discernment, sending.Support and evaluation. Three members from Kenya recently participated in an international Africa Formation Encounter held in South Africa in 2005.It focused on formation needs.
Organization: During its initial years the development of CLC Kenya was over seen by a Steering Committee which was initially composed of Religious following Ignatian spirituality and subsequently by an increasing number of CLC leaders.
From 29 April to May, 1995, CLC Kenya held its first National Assembly (NA) at Ngong Pastoral Centre. The NA, attended by 65 members, set the direction for development of CLC Kenya for the next two years, and elected the first Executive Council (EXCO) which is responsible for executing the directions set by the NA. The EXCO is composed of four officers, President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and two Consulters, elected from the lay members. The Ecclesial Assistantant the Executive Secretary are also members ex-officio, and up to two additional consultants may be co-opted by the Executive Council to satisfy needs for expertise and Area representation.
The Second NA was held from 31 May to 2 June, 1997. It reviewed progress, set directions for the next two years and elected the National EXCO. The Third NA was held from 9 1O October, 1999. It 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 Fourth NA was held 30 March to April, 2002. It focused on the growth of CLC Kenya and monitored the progress of mission. The Fifth NA was slated for 20-22 August, 2004. The Fifth NA was planned for in June, 2007. The National Community focuses on our CLC Identity.
Mission: CLC in Nairobi under took as 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. Since the 1999 NA, there has been a focus on implementing the three mission priorities. In July, 2000, the Zaidi Centre for Ignatian Spirituality was established in Nairobi as a means of ministering to Christians through workshops, presentations, recollections and retreats on aspects of our Christian life.national assembly
In 2002, members of CLC in Nairobi founded Hands of Love, an organization to minister to AIDS infected and affected, especially in Kibera. In January, 2004, Hands of Love with the support of CLC began St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School which serves needy youth who are affected by AIDS.
Following the impetus of the WA, Nairobi ’03, and mission is becoming more integral to our lives through the four step process which is exercised in our small groups and at other levels our CLC involvement.