Catholics in Kenya and the World on Wednesday (1/03/17) marked the start of the Lenten season in the Christian calendar, known as Ash Wednesday.
In Nairobi, the Holy Family Basilica increased the number of its services from four to nine to cater for the big number of people showing up for Ash Wednesday, according to Capital News.
The mass at Basilica saw Catholics receive the symbolic mark of a cross marked with ashes on their forehead to remind them that from dust they came and to dust they will return.
“The first death is lack of life of God, which is spiritual poverty. During this time of Lent we remember and we join Jesus Christ who fasted for 40 days in the wilderness,” Auxiliary Bishop David Kamau who presided the lunchtime mass explained.
Bishop Kamau urged Kenyans and leaders to use the Lenten season to reflect on their service to the people, repent and dedicate themselves to fostering peace.
He pointed out that Christians should not fast and pray for the sake of being seen to do so but to do it from their hearts with a purpose.
The Catholic leader also reiterated that Christians should use this period to pray for those facing starvation and the August General election.
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) launched the Lenten Campaign 2017, at the University Of Nairobi last month.
The theme was peaceful and credible elections as well as leaders of integrity.
It was an opportunity for the faithful to pray for peaceful and credible elections.
The Mass was officiated by His Eminence John Cardinal Njue and co-celebrated by the Chairman of KCCB-Commission for Justice and Peace Rt. Rev. Cornelius Korir among other bishops and priests drawn from various dioceses in the Kenya.