Kenya: Bishop Locati laid to rest

 The Requiem Mass for Bishop Luigi Locati, was held yesterday at St Eusebius Cathedral, Isiolo, in northern Kenya. Bishop Locati was shot dead by gunmen on Thursday, July 14, in Isiolo. He was 77. Police have arrested at least two suspects over the murder. A Fidei Donum priest from the northern Italian Archdiocese of Vercelli, he worked in Kenya since 1962. The Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, His Excellency, Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin, presided over the solemn Eucharistic celebration, which started at 11.30am local time, and was concelebrated by 17 bishops. There were more than 250 priests from dioceses around the country. Coadjutor Archbishop John Njue of Nyeri, who had been coordinating the funeral arrangements, delivered the sermon to a congregation who had packed the Cathedral to capacity. The faithful included not just Catholics, but also Christians of different denominations and members of the Islamic community. He urged residents to embrace the element of love planted by the late Bishop Locati. "Love is a heritage that Locati has left with you. . .now it is your turn to lead that life," implored Archbishop Njue. The Apostolic Nuncio said Pope Benedict XVI was saddened to learn of the death of Bishop Locati. "He prayed the death may hasten the dawn of that peace and reconciliation to which [bishop Locati] devoted himself to the last," said the Nuncio. Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki was also present. He commended the late prelate for setting up poverty eradication programmes within the diocese. "For example, there was the sinking of water boreholes and pumps and the establishment of health centres," noted Kibaki. He said the government would get to the bottom of such murders. Bishop Locati was buried in the crypt -an underground chamber- within the basement of the Cathedral. Among those present were Bishop Cornelius arap Korir of Eldoret and chairman of the Kenya Episcopal Conference, and Archbishop Nicodemus Kirima of Nyeri. At least one relative of the late Bishop was also present. Other dignitaries included the Italian ambassador to Kenya, Enrico De Maio. May God rest the soul of Bishop Luigi Locati in eternal peace. Source: CISA

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