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Kenya: Dominican priest dies after violent robbery

 An elderly Dominican priest has died of injuries he sustained when thugs attacked a house of the religious community in Kisumu, 350 km north-west of the capital Nairobi. American Fr Thomas Richard Heath OP, 85, died on January 13, nine days after the attack. A vigil took place on Monday night vat the Dominican Community of St Martin de Porres, Mkendwa. His funeral was due to take place yesterday, at St Theresa's Cathedral, Kibuye, at 10am, followed by interment in the Dominican Community's cemetery. "The Dominican Friars (Order of Preachers) of the Vicariate of Eastern Africa announce with deep sorrow the death of their beloved Brother, Fr Thomas Richard Heath, on Thursday, 13 January, 2005," Fr Benedict Croell OP of Kisumu told CISA. "Father Tom died just before midnight at Aga Khan Hospital, Kisumu, from complications resulting from injuries sustained when robbers attacked the Dominican House near Kisumu, the night of Tuesday, 4 January," he said. Fr Benedict described his late confrere as "a faithful servant of God," adding that "men and women, both religious and laity, looked to him as the wisest of counsellors in their spiritual journey. . . His own Dominican Brothers venerated him as an outstanding example of fidelity in their contemplative way of life, and a most joyful and compassionate member of their community." Fr Thomas had been in Kenya for the past 13 years, after 10 years of ministry in South Africa and Lesotho. Renowned both as a preacher and a teacher, he was mentor to a whole generation of young Catholic clergy of Kenya, who have studied theology at St Matthias Mulumba (National Diocesan) Seminary in Tindinyo in recent years. Source: CISA