WHO WE ARE
ABOUT OUR CHURCH
ABOUT OUR CHURCH
This history would not have been possible without the contribution of many people, far and near,
who gave of their time, their memories, and their encouragement to the process. We are most
grateful to all of you.
The project began with a brief history compiled by Mr. Lawrence Odhiambo and read by Mrs. Sarah
Randiki at the Inauguration of St. Mary Magdalene Parish in July 2013. They inspired us to begin
what has turned out to be both a daunting and rewarding task, the writing of a full parish history.
We owe special gratitude to Father Ignatius Njue, the present parish priest of St. Mary Magdalene
Parish, and the Parish Pastoral Council. Without their encouragement and support, this project
would never have come to be. We also express our deep gratitude to the Mill Hill Missionaries and
to those Mill Hill priests who served at SS Joseph and Mary, and who responded to our emails asking
many questions about events in the early days of SS. Joseph and Mary, especially Fr. Tony Chantry,
Fr. Arie Braak, Fr. Willem Klaver, Fr. Daniel (Donie) O’Connor, and Fr. Benny Quinto. Thanks also go
to Fr. John Slinger, formerly of St. Teresa’s parish, who helped us to fill in some important details of
We are also indebted to those early parishioners — foundation stones — who responded to our call
for interviews and discussions to help us to better understand the early years of St. Mary’s Centre.
Mr. Francis Kago, Mr. Artenus Njue, Mr. Charles Babu, Mr. and Mrs. Ephraim Opiyo, Mr. Joseph
Mandaji, and Mr. Francis Abuya were especially helpful in this regard.
Others have helped us in the search for photographs and other illustrations. Fr. Francis Makuba,
MHM, parish priest of SS. Joseph and Mary, Shauri Moyo, gave us full access to parish photo albums.
Mrs. Sarah Randiki, Mrs. Salome Muli, Mrs. Ruth Gatimu, and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
added photos from their own collections. Not all of these appear in the document, but more will be
available on the Parish website. Special thanks go to Mr. and Mrs. Boniface Nzimba who produced
the map of the parish. Thank you for helping us to illustrate the History.
Gratitude is also due to the preparers of parish council minutes, handing over notes, and other
parish documents that we used as resources for checking names and other facts. We are also
indebted to Mr. F. Muruga Gachathi, taxonomist at Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), for his
constant availability to ensure tree labels in both scientific and local name, and to Ms. Elizabeth
Opiyo, current parish secretary, for typing and other assistance as we have worked on the various
drafts of this document.
Thank you to each and every one named and to others not named, but who also contributed to this
work by quiet encouragement and active interest in its progress. We are most grateful, and we pray
for you always.
Titus Njagi and Dorothy McCormick, SND
1 May 2017
Ee Mungu Baba wa huruma, unawakusanya watu kwako ili wakupe sifa. Tunakushukuru kwa ajili ya parokia yetu ya Mtakatifu Maria Magdalena. Tuweke pamoja katika utendaji wetu wa kasi na tutembeze twakuomba, katika roho wako mtakatifu ili katika furaha tusikusahau na katika changamoto zetu tuweke imani yetu kwako. Kupitia kwa maombezi ya Mtakatifu Maria Magdalena, ukuze ndani yetu nguvu ya kukujua na kukufuata kwa karibu kama marafiki. Ee Bwana Yesu Kristo, uliye njia, ukweli, na uzima, tunaomba utujenge kuwa jumuia ya ekaristi takatifu pale ambapo fadhila na utumishi ni nguzo ya kanisa letu. Amina.
God the Father of mercies, you gather your people to yourself to offer praise. We thank you for our parish, St. Mary Magdalene. Keep us united in our mission, move us through your Holy Spirit that in our joys we may never forget you and in our sorrows we put our total trust in you. Through our patron, Saint Mary Magdalene, may you grow in us a strong desire to know and follow you closely as friends. Lord Jesus Christ, the Life, the Way, and the Truth, may you build us to be a Eucharistic community where charity, prayer and discipleship are pillars of our church. Amen.