Parishes working in Slums and Informal Settlements n Nairobi Central Deanery
- Central Deanery - Parishes in Slums and Informal Settlements
- Consolata Shrine - Westlands
- Our lady Queen of Peace Parish - South B
- Other parishes in the Deanery
- Holy Family Basilica (Cathedral)
- St. Catherine of Alexandria - South C
- St. Paul - University Chapel
- St. Peter Claver - Race Course
- St. Francis Xavier - Parklands
- St. Paul - University Chapel
- St. Raphael - Kabete
- St. Austin - St. Austin
- Mary Help of christians - Upper Hill
- Parishes in Slums and Informal Settlements in Nairobi West Deanery
- Nairobi Ruaraka Deanery - Parishes in Slums and Informal Settlements
- Nairobi Eastlands Deanery - Parishes in Slums and Informal Settlements
- Nairobi Makadara Deanery - Parishes in Slums and Informal Settlements O
Our Lady Consolata Shrine Parish- Westlands
BACKGROUND OF CONSOLATA SHRINE PARISH
The presence of the Consolata missionaries in Westlands started in 1953. It began as a chaplaincy meant especially for the many Italians who after the war had decided to settle in Eastern Africa. It was not a simple chaplaincy but it acted as a real parish for the Italian community, even though it was not considered a territorial parish of the Archdiocese of Nairobi.
The plot was big and since the beginning there was a plan of using it for three main activities, namely:
¢ Pastoral and Religious services
¢ Consolata Missionaries headquarters
Making the dream come true
The Consolata Missionaries in Kenya had all been taken prisoners during the war and deported. Their missionary work had been at a standstill for a number of years. In the beginning of the hostilities they made a vow to the Lord and to our Lady Consolata that if they all survived the war and returned safely to their mission stations, they would build a memorial church to our lady.
And they did return to Kenya. Furthermore, during the Mau Mau, the missionaries never left their posts deep inside Mau Mau controlled territory and again their lives were spared and their work was not hindered. In the minds of the missionaries it became a question of honour and fidelity that the vow should be fulfilled as soon as possible.
In 1963 Kenya finally attained its independence and the time was ripe not only for the vow to be fulfilled, but also for a step to be taken on behalf of the local residents by creating the structures necessary for a parish to be born. The Italian community and a number of non-Italians who were already requesting that the parish be created in Westlands joined the Consolata Missionaries in order to make the dream come true. The missionaries were willing to give life to the project and the parishioners and friends were ready to look for funds.
On 3rd April 1971, the then Archbishop of Nairobi Maurice Otunga, consecrated the new church and declared it a geographical parish of the Archdiocese. The Consolata Missionaries had fulfilled their vow to show their gratitude for the protection of Our Lady Consolata in times of great distress, and the people had their parish.
A further step was still envisaged whose implementation depended not on us but on the ecclesiastic authorities. That is, the elevation of the church to the status of a Shrine. After studying the implications, the Consolata Fathers, brothers and sisters, and the Consolata parishioners decided to approach His Eminence Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga who gratuitously agreed to take all the steps necessary to declare Consolata Church a Shrine dedicated to our lady Consolata. In 1991, His Eminence himself came to our church and elevated it to a Shrine.
As a Shrine, Consolata prides itself in maintaining a high level of decorum in all liturgical celebrations, in being a haven of tranquility for those who wish to stop and pray in the Adoration Chapel, providing the ministry of reconciliation at the times most convenient to the penitents, and especially in giving special emphasis to all the celebrations in honour of Our Lady and promoting the devotion to Mary our Mother.
Community of Faith
As a parish it is committed to creating a living and mature community of faith with all the ministries needed for its growth. The priests, the religious, the parish council, the committees, groups and associations, the small Christian Communities are all alive and active and willing to answer all the needs of the community. Over the past few years, we have also deepened our commitment on behalf of the less fortunate members of our parish especially those living in places like Masai, Suswa and Deep Sea are our concern, hence the Consolata Youth Rehabilitation Programme (COYREP) was created, a dispensary was set up for the sick, a nursery school is catering to the little ones, houses are being built for the needy, sanitation is being provided, and so forth. The Lord and His Blessed Mother is being good to us.
This short text would be very incomplete if mention was not made of Kileleshwa. A church at Kileleshwa was our dream until the 1990s when finally land was acquired and the church was built; it is now a parish in miniature even though fully omitted to all the activities and plans of Consolata Shrine.
We know that there is always room for improvement and we also know that
"It is the Lord who gives the growth."1 Cor 3:6. Even so, we are proud of our achievements and ready to continue.