Proud of My Catholic Roots
A True Story
on Sep 24, 2023
My mother belongs to a local church group known as Catholic Women's Association (CWA). Yesterday, the CWA members converged at our home for a mass. Some of the members arrived in the morning to prepare meals and clean our living room where the mass was to take place.
At around 1.50pm after all preparations were done and dusted, the CWA members gathered in our living room for the mass. They sang, talked and prayed with a zeal I would wish to emulate in my Christian walk.
Well, I didn't join the women for the mass because I thought it unwise for a young man like me to be in a group of old women. I just sat in my room, meditating and reading "Our Daily Bread" devotional book (2022 edition).
As I enjoyed the flow of my thoughts while meditating, I was moved by the Catholic songs I heard the women sing. The songs reminded me of my Catholic days.
My parents did a fine job in bringing up my brothers and I in the way of the Lord. They had us attend church every Sunday at our hometown Catholic church. When my younger brother Symo and I were little, I remember hearing Mum complain that one of us was crying too much in church.
Despite that crying, we all grew to be nice boys. My eldest brother Joe Kagigite set the standards for us when he began serving as an altar boy during Sunday masses in the mid '90s. Bob and Paddy, my other two elder brothers, followed suit.
My younger brother Symo became even more religious. I will never forget the Saturday he attended a healing mass with a broken arm. That was way back in 1998. In the course of the mass, he claimed his broken arm was miraculously healed.
Elated by the healing, Symo went to share the news with the then church catechist, a good-natured man named Josphat Karanja. I am not sure if Symo's arm was really healed. All I know is that he never again wore the bandage a doctor had swathed on his broken arm.
As for me, I started having the eagerness to attend church in August 1997 when an opportunity opened up in the church for me to learn how to play the piano. After that, I was always in church every weekend. And all the nuns, priests and seminarians I interacted with were men and women of integrity.
In 1998, I enrolled for a two-year catechism course that children in my church were required to attend for them to be permitted to receive the Holy Communion. The main aim of the catechism classes was to instil us with biblical principles but for me, what I liked most about the classes were the beautiful girls I got to mingle with.
After successfully completing the catechism course, I was in April 2000 approved to be taking the Holy Communion during a Sunday mass in which we boys were required to dress in white shirts and black trousers. The day before the mass, I was fizzing with excitement at the prospect of receiving the Holy Communion.
Being allowed to receive the Holy Communion meant that I could now serve as an altar boy like my elder brothers. I did serve as an altar boy on several Sundays but I can't really say I enjoyed it since I found it difficult to understand the minor details that went with assisting the priests in the mass.
All in all, I miss the splendour that were my Catholic days. Even though the memories of those wonderful times I sat in catechism classes memorizing the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary have faded from my mind, I appreciate the belief in God they inculcated in me.
My strong moral principles, my passion for learning and my love for godly music can be traced back to my Catholic upbringing. The church did indeed lay a good foundation for my life that has served me well in life so far. That's why I am proud of my Catholic roots.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed reading the above story on how proud I am of my Catholic roots, you might also enjoy another one on "Salvation is Free Folks!" which I wrote about five years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
Sharing is CaringLike this story? Then share it on:
Better the Simple With Integrity
A True Story
on Sep 19, 2023
On the Monday of last week, at around 4.50pm, I received a call from a guy who claimed to be phoning from Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB). He addressed me by my name and he seemed to know I have a bank account with KCB. Where he got that information from is something I am yet to understand.
The guy politely informed me that KCB was changing its bank PINs from four to six digits. He then proceeded to ask me some questions. When he inquired from me whether my KCB account is active or dormant, I bluntly told him to check that info on his end.
As our conversation progressed, I discerned the guy was a con artist and I grew impatient with his talk and inquiries. So I abruptly ended the call to prepare for my evening walk to my hometown of Kiserian.
Before leaving home for Kiserian, I regretted why I had ended the call. I wished I could have let my conversation with the con artist continue so that I could get a glimpse of how crafty some people are.
Moved by that regret, I phoned back the con artist. I planned to lie to him that I had ended the call to attend to an urgent task and then get him talking. But alas! The guy didn't receive my call. Maybe he realized I was not one to be easily tricked. Or maybe he feared I could address him angrily.
Then last Thursday as I was about to play my piano keyboard at 2.17pm, I received a call from a guy who was also claiming to be phoning from KCB. I could tell by the tone of his voice that he was not the same guy who had phoned me the previous Monday.
The guy apprised me that KCB was changing its bank PINs from four to five digits. I noted he was talking of five digits, not six like the guy who had phoned me the previous Monday. And that made me instantly discern that he was another con artist. But I was curious to know what he would do, so I let our conversation flow.
He began by asking me whether I had gotten an SMS from KCB. When I informed him that I hadn't, he checked on his end and confirmed the SMS was still pending. He therefore sent the SMS again and it arrived in my phone under the name "KCB", just like all genuine KCB messages.
As I had expected, the guy asked me for my KCB PIN. When I at first declined, he told me the PIN was needed so that he could send me the five digit PIN I would start using. And he was talking so nicely and confidently that you'd think he had just received the Holy Communion.
Eager to know what he would do, I conjured up the number 3234 and lied to him that that was my KCB PIN. The guy then pretended to be busy checking things on his end, which I am sure was attempting to withdraw money from my KCB account.
After two or three minutes of waiting, he asked me when I had last used my KCB account. When I replied that I couldn't recall the date, he informed me that my KCB account was dormant. He requested me to visit the nearest KCB branch to have my account activated. With that, he ended the call.
No sooner had he ended the call than I received an SMS from KCB that said, "Transaction Failed. Your PIN or password is wrong. Please check and try again."
That SMS confirmed my suspicion that the guy had attempted to withdraw money from my KCB account. Had I given him the right PIN, he would have mercilessly wiped out all the money in my bank account. What a crafty evil man!
The con artist has emboldened me to say "no" to people and to avoid bad company. He has also deepened my faith in God and in His Word. I have especially agreed with the Catholic Bible when it says in Sirach 19:24 that "better are the God-fearing who have little understanding than those of great intelligence who violate the Law."
Remembering that Bible verse has made me admire people like Mama Waithera, a sweet elderly lady who lives in my home-area. Mama Waithera doesn't know how to read but she knits very beautiful kiondos for Mum. She also rears some rabbits that she sells to Mum.
Simple though Mama Waithera is, she loves Jesus and is honest to a fault. Whenever she tells Mum she will do something, she always sees to it that she fulfills her promises. How I wish everybody could be like Mama Waithera! Truly, better the simple with integrity than the intelligent who are crafty.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed reading the above story about simple and honest people being better than intelligent but crafty ones, you might also enjoy another one on "The Evil in This World" which I wrote two years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.