Bishop Joya: Stay Away from the Zebedian Sons Syndrome

The bishop of the diocese of Maralal, Hieronymus Joya during Mass with the delegates of the 13th regional conference in Sagana. Photos: Daniel Mkado

Consolata missionaries working in the Kenya/Uganda region have been advised by Bishop Hieronymus Joya of the catholic diocese of Maralal to be servants of all the people entrusted them in their missions. Bishop Joya was speaking on February 28 to the delegates meeting in Sagana for the 13th regional conference. 

By Daniel Onyango Mkado 

“As Church leaders we must be ready to serve others sacrificially with love in all humility” he said adding that as leaders in the congregation and among Christians, missionaries must be humble, loving, selfless and servants of all. 

Bishop Joya expressed gratitude for being invited to celebrate Holy Mass with the 46 delegates as “you plan the life and missionary activities of our congregation for the six years to come”.

A member of the Consolata missionary congregation, bishop Joya reminded the delegates that the presence of the General Superior and his Council members was a testimony that the conference is an important activity not only for Kenya-Uganda region but the whole congregation. 

“You are reincarnating what the first ten missionaries did in 1904 when they met to plan their life and mission activities in Murang’a which is the same place you are holding now the 13th Regional Conference” reminded Bishop Joya, the second bishop of the catholic diocese of Maralal.

Referring to the gospel of the day, Matthew 20: 17-28, bishop Joya reminded the delegates that as agents of evangelization whose core mandate is Mission Ad Gentes, they should avoid the attitude of the sons of Zebedee of desiring favours and a better place in the mission. What he termed as the Zebedian Sons Syndrome. 

“Today a good number of missionaries suffer from the Zebedian Sons Syndrome where they seek for favours from people in authority and look for better places in the missions by all means but are not willing to make any sacrifice for the salvation of the people of God as the first missionaries did” said the bishop who formerly served as the regional superior of Kenya/Uganda region for two terms.

Bishop Joya said that a missionary who is not willing to go and serve the poor, the marginalized and the vulnerable groups in society is going against the aim of the congregation. 

He expressed concern that today congregations are more preoccupied with investments hence endangering the existence of the congregation since “we relinquish the sense of divine providence and seek security in capitalization of material wealth for our own sustenance without sparing anything for the building of the Kingdom”.

“Amidst economic challenges of our time, resource mobilization, proper management and administration as well as investing in viable income generating projects is needed” he expressed.

 According to bishop Joya, consolidating financial resources in the common fund and sharing, guarantees sustainable economy that enables the missionaries to have sufficient resources to live with dignity and carry out their missionary activities without problems. 

Bishop Joya said that trusting in divine providence, moderation in acquisition, accountability and transparency in the use of financial resources should be the guiding principles for all the missionaries. 

He expressed confidence that as a congregation, “we can achieve a lot in the coming six years if we come up with a good organizational structure, and plan well the life and activities of the missionaries at all levels of the congregation, namely, local, zonal, regional, continental and general level. 

Concluding his sermon, the bishop entrusted the conference to the maternal intercession of Our Mother Mary Consolata, Founder Blessed Joseph Allamano, Blessed Irene and Leonella.

Fr Daniel Onyango Mkado, IMC, Comunication Kenya/Uganda Region.

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