"Resurrection Garden" (Archdiocese of Nairobi)

Having finished my appointments in Nairobi, I still had a couple of hours free before packing and leaving. Fr Daniel asked me if there was anything else I would like to do and I asked to visit the "Resurrection Garden", a place I always heard about but had never visited.

It is place for retreat and prayer under the "archdiocese of Nairobi" but built and run by a Consolata Missionary. It is certainly impressive.

There are different "paths" you can follow. One is certainly the one of the Stations of the Cross which finishes with the empty tomb and the risen Christ. There is an "angel" (picture above) seated on the stone that had been "rolled away" pointing to the text in the Gospel of Matthew 28: 5-8

"But the angel spoke; and he said to the women, ‘There is no need for you to be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here, for he has risen, as he said he would. Come and see the place where he lay,  then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has risen from the dead and now he is going ahead of you to Galilee; that is where you will see him.” Look! I have told you.’  Filled with awe and great joy the women came quickly from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples. "

Next to it there is a room with an "empty tomb". The room was already locked and we could not visit it. 

Another path would be the one of the "Our Father" in an incredible number of languages (Zulu being one of them). Some of them impossible for us to read them, like the one in Sin Hala from Sri Lanka

A very special place is the tomb of Cardinal Otunga (1923 - 2003) who was archbishop of Nairobi and whose process of beatification is in progress. His remains had been transferred to the Resurrection Garden in August 2005.

"Not long after Cardinal Otunga died, members of the faithful who had been profoundly moved by his examples and teachings began to talk openly about him as a “saint.” As the years passed, this conviction grew both spontaneously and increasingly, to the point that the faithful began to ask Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwana’a Nzeki to initiate work for launching the beatification process of his predecessor. However, it was decided that, in observance of Church laws, no formal proceeding would be undertaken until five years after his death.

Nearly two years after Cardinal Otunga’s death, nonetheless, ecclesiastical leaders strongly felt that it would be fitting to move his mortal remains to Resurrection Garden. With the approval of the Cardinal’s family members, as well as the permission of both civil and ecclesiastical authorities, the mortal remains of Cardinal Otunga at St. Austin’s Cemetery were exhumed on 19 August 2005. A few days later, these were solemnly re-interred in the Memorial Chapel at Resurrection Garden.

Every day of the year, small groups of people visit the Memorial Chapel and privately pray next to the tomb of Cardinal Otunga. Every weekend and during holidays, big crowds would do the same. Some would write on the memorial book a statement of gratitude to the Cardinal for graces received and favors bestowed on them, their families and friends. In four years, around 80.000 people had already signed the book. Several of them had written notes of appreciation for his life, ministry, intercessory power, and witness to the life, death and passion of Jesus." (from http://www.cardinalotunga.org/)


O God, you granted your Servant Maurice Micheal Cardinal Otunga
the Grace to be an exemplary pastor at the service of the church,
making him a symbol of humility and love for the poor and less fortunate in the society,
while denying and detaching himself from the pleasures of the world.
Grant, we beseech thee,
that we may also learn to respond faithfully to the demands of the Christian vocation,
converting all moments and circumstances of our life
into opportunities of loving you and our neighbours with joy and kindness,
and of serving the kingdom of God with humility.
We humbly request you to grant your servant cardinal Otunga
a share in the Glory of Heaven
which is promised to those who have served you well.
Through his intercession Bless the Church, our country,
Our Families and Children, and grant us the favours we humbly request..
Through Christ Our Lord.

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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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