Archive for August, 2012
An exciting and creative class has begun at St. Clare Girls’ Center. Sister Christa, one of the Adrian Dominican sisters living and working at St. Clare is now teaching a weaving class on Mondays from 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. At the present time, there are 8 members of the class and the girls taking weaving are really enjoying it.
While she was visiting in the U.S. this past June, Sister Christa was able to bring 10 looms back to St. Clare. The looms are frame looms, which make great starting looms for the girls. Sister Christa hopes “we will be able to create small items like bags, or mats or even square pieces which we can attach together.” This new class is giving the students an opportunity to create something beautiful. Pictured here are some of the weaving students holding the boxes with their individual looms.
Continuing their summer mission talks, Bud and Sue Ozar recently told the story of St. Clare to the community of St. Paul of Tarsus, a suburban Detroit parish. Located in Clinton Township and composed of 2800 households, St. Paul of Tarsus is a vibrant parish with both great music and excellent participation. Fr. Ron Essman, the pastor at St. Paul, along with many parishioners, warmly welcomed Bud and Sue.
The scriptures for the weekend spoke about Jesus feeding the multitude. This gave Bud and Sue the opportunity to speak to the call of all Christians to also feed today’s hungry.
In the photos you will see Kim Heiss and her two chldren, Leah and Luc, who were servers at one of the masses and helped collect our brochures after Mass. In addition, Sue is pictured with Father Ron.
A few months ago, Father Riwa became a “fish farmer.” Reacting to the drought and famine that occurred last year, Father began raising tilapia to add more protein into the diets of the children at the Children’s Village. According to Father Riwa, “Fish farming is a worthy enterprise to feed the children and the easiest farming I have undertaken.”
Recently, Father’s fishery yielded a wonderful harvest of St. Peter Fish a.k.a. tilapia. (Tilapia is called St. Peter Fish because that is the primary fish in the Sea of Galilee.) The recent harvest was divided evenly between the boys at St. Francis and the girls at St. Clare.
However, a “surprise” was discovered in the fishpond. A catfish weighing 5 kgs. was found in the tilapia pond and had been feeding on the tilapia there. The fisheries officer advised Father to have a separate pond for catfish because they grow faster and are bigger. The way forward for this project involves purchasing swampland in order to create more lakes and ponds to rear many more fish.
Bud and Sue recently spoke at Old St. Mary Church located in the Greektown area of Detroit. The parish, staffed by Spiritan priests (missionary priests), is Detroit’s third oldest parish. Father Simon Lobon, pastor of Old St. Mary, is a Kenyan priest who knows Father Riwa. As a result, Father Lobon is aware of Father Riwa’s work in Kenya and is most supportive of the mission of St. Clare. As missionaries, both Father Lobon and his associate understand life and the need in the developing world, so they are very supportive and encourage their people to be the same. Bud and Sue enjoyed sharing Kenyan stories with Father Lobon.
Mission groups from across the world now have to go through an extensive process in order to speak at parishes in the United States. The mission group makes a request through diocesan mission directors. From there, a missionary or a mission group is invited to speak at Mass in specific parishes. Because there is such a great need, the number of requests far exceeds the invitations that are extended.
Bud and Sue Ozar petitioned and have been invited to speak at 11 parishes in Pennsylvania and Michigan this summer. Recently they traveled to the Diocese of Erie where they spoke at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Lewis Run (pictured above) and at St. Bernard Parish and Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parishes, both in Bradford. Bud and Sue report, “People have been very gracious and open to hearing about the St. Clare Girls’ Centre.” The financial feedback will be known in several months. (Pictured below are Bud and Sue with Father Gramata of St. Bernard Parish and The Ditz Family with Father Collins of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish.)
St. Clare Centre will be unable to continue competing in the tribal dance and sacred song competitions, as teams are required to travel a great distance to participate. Travel expenses have made it prohibitive for the St. Clare girls to continue participating. However, the girls have learned a great deal from interacting with the students from other schools. Competing has truly been a great learning experience in multiple ways. The girls worked very hard competing and showcasing their own tribal culture. Their hard work paid off as they won several first place honors throughout the competitions. (The photo was taken when the girls were competing in June.)
For the first time ever girls from St. Clare Centre, entered the local competitions for tribal dance, folk dance, sacred song, Shaira (Kiswahili poetry) and English poetry in the spring of 2012. The 110 St. Clare girls competing walked 9 kilometers (5.4 miles) to the first competition held at Kimachia Primary School. One of the St. Clare participants said, “Our success was great since we received 7 first places and several 2nd places.”
The following week, St. Clare participated in the district competition at Kiangai. The girls continued to do well, earning 5 first places for the Samburu sacred song, the Boran sacred song, the Samburu folk dance, the Lau tribal dance and the Shari (Kiswahili) poem.
In late June, the girls competed in Maua, about 1.5 hours drive from St. Clare where the competition included many more tribes and was very difficult. St. Clare did take one first place for the Samburu sacred song. One of the girls noted, “On June 22 and 23, we competed in Maua, about one and a half hours drive from St. Clare. There we were surprised to meet really tough competition. There were many tribes represented, many more than in the other places. So we left with only one first place for the Samburu sacred song.”
Students at various levels of education and from different parts of the United States are involved with Friends of Kenyan Orphans. Check out The Student Kenya Project to see what different young people are doing to help with St. Clare Centre for Girls. Click on the picture to see what U.S. students are doing to help.