Kenya: Fr Martin Addai laid to rest

 46-year-old Ghanaian Catholic priest, Martin Addai, a member of the Society of Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) who was gunned down by robbers in a Nairobi street on March 10, was laid to rest here in Nairobi on Saturday, March 31. Hundreds of people, led by the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin and head of the metropolitan Catholic archdiocese of Nairobi, His Grace Ndingi Mwana 'aNzeki, attended the funeral Mass at Our Lady Queen of Peace, Nairobi's South B area and subsequently the burial at Nairobi's Saint Austin's Cemetery, Mssongari area, where four other missionaries of the same congregation are buried. In his homily, Ghanaian priest, Father Richard Baawobr, the First Assistant to the Superior General of the Missionaries, based in Rome, and who represented his Superior General, praised the zeal in which Father Martin undertook his pastoral duties, and said that he had now joined other priests killed in the course of their pastoral ministry, both in Kenya, Africa and the entire world. In a statement, he read out to the assembled congregation, which included scores of priests, religious men and women as well as Fr Martin's immediate family member, the chairman of the religious superiors conference of Kenya (RSCK), Fr Patrick Devine said: "Once again an innocent life has been violently cut short by gun fire. It happened in the early afternoon of March 10 on a lonely street in Nairobi. A lecturer in Tangaza (a constituency of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa) College and Rector of the Missionaries of Africa (M.AFR) Theological House of Formation, Rev Fr Martin Addai, was felled by a gunman". He pointed out that there are currently 63 international and national congregations/Orders of the Catholic Church working in Kenya. The two-page church statement blamed the Kenyan Government and in particular its security personnel for its "failure" to deal with violence in the country. It said: "We write not just in reaction to the violent death of another good missionary, shocking as that may be, but rather to call to action to condemn the 'merchants of death' in our nation and help to stop the creeping violence now engulfing us before we reach a point of no return." The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Lebeaupin echoed this statement in his short speech saying that every effort should be taken to arrest the current wave of crime and other insecurity in Kenya. The son of a catechist and former worker with Ghana Railways Service, Paul Kenneth Kyereme. and Marry Addai, a trader and farmer, Father Martin Addai was born in Akrofoum, a village near Obuasi, formerly diocese of Kumasi, but now diocese of Obuasi, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana on November 12, 1960. He was ordained priest in July 21, 1990 after he had studied Theology in London at the MIL. His first pastoral duties were in Mozambique first as a curate and then superior and district counselor at Soalpo/Chimoio diocese. He stayed there until 1994, when he proceeded to Rome for further studies in Moral Theology at the Academia Alfonsiana in view of working in Formation. He completed his preparation course at the Centre of Spirituality, Manrese, Canada in 1996-97. Father Addai started his Formation Apostolate by two years of teaching at Maputo Major Seminary in Mozambique. In the year 2000, he served as Rector for Philosophy Centre of Ejisu, Ghana until the year 2004, when, when he went to Rome for Chapter as a delegate for his Province of origin. He then moved to Nairobi in the year 2005, to head the Society's Formation House Centre, where he worked until his death.

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