Kenya: missionary priest murdered on Christmas Day

 A missionary priest was shot dead by robbers in the early hours of Christmas Day in Nairobi. Fr Philip Valayam, 46, a professor at Tangaza College of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), was attacked as he drove home after celebrating the Midnight Mass at Uhuru Camp, Mbagathi. The Salesian missionary lived at Don Bosco Youth Educational Services (DBYES), Karen. The incident took place at around 3.20am on Dagoretti Market Road, some 200 metres from the DBYES institution and barely 100 metres from the post of a security firm. The thugs had no time to take anything from the car as personnel from the security post raised alarm and police arrived soon after, Fr Alex Matua mccj, of Don Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services, told CISA. Police rushed Fr Valayam to hospital but he was pronounced dead on arrival. The late priest was with a student of the DBYES institution in the car. The young man was not hurt. Salesian priests, brothers and sisters, together with representatives of other religious institutes and young people gathered for a solemn Eucharist Celebration at the spot where Fr Valayam was brutally murdered. The evening mass was preceded by recitation of the Holy Rosary. Arrangements are being made to transport the body to India for burial,Fr Matua said. Father Philip Valayam was born on March 23, 1959, and was ordained a priest on December 29, 1988 in India. He came to Eastern Africa in 1997 and worked in the Salesian Seminary in Moshi, Tanzania, as professor of philosophy. In 2001, he went for further studies in Rome. On his return he was assigned to the DBYES community and appointed Academic Advisor to the Institute of Youth Ministry, Tangaza College, CUEA. Until his fateful death he was ministering to various religious congregations and youth groups in various secondary and tertiary levels. Fr Phillip joins the long list of clergy who have been killed in Kenya since the murder of Fr John Kaiser of the Mill Hill Missionaries, said a statement sent to CISA by the Don Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services. Source: CISA

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