Gateshead teacher pays tribute to priest slain in Kenya

 The news of the death of Fr Michael Kamau Ithondeka, in Kenya, has been greeted with great sadness by a parish and school in the north of England. Fr Michael, 41, was killed on 26 January at an illegal roadblock set up by armed youths on the Nakuru - Eldama Ravine Road. He was vice rector at St Mathias Mulumba Senior Seminary in Tindinyo. Mrs Monica Connor, Deputy Head Teacher at St Wilfrid's RC Primary School in Gateshead, has sent the following tribute. I was so deeply distressed to hear about Fr Michael, he was a wonderful priest, good friend and fantastic human being. I am a teacher in Gateshead, England and my previous school, St Mary's RC. Primary School twinned up with St Anthony's Academy in Nakura. Fr Michael had been to England several times to the parish of St. Mary's and helped us to form the link. With his help, the two schools learned a lot from each other's cultures. I was one of quite a few staff who had the privilege to visit and work in Nakuru. I actually stayed a while with Fr.Michael's mother overnight, with colleagues. Several Kenyan teachers came to England to teach at our school. Fr Michael inspired us to raise money, as a school and a parish to help the people of Nakuru. Apart from raising a large amount of money to provide provisions and educational equipment for the school, the parish raised enough money to have bore holes dug for water. I will always remember Fr Michael for his love of life, his pride in his country and his infectious giggle. God Bless you Michael, we all loved you and will miss you. What a great pity that these "men" didn't know the real you and understand the great work you were doing for your people.

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