To continue the works of Jesus Christ
Order of Mass
1st Mass: English Service 7.00 am
2nd Mass: Kiswahili Service 8.45 am
3rd Mass: English Service 10.45 am
MADRE TERESA CATHOLIC
Our parish is faced with a milliard of social-economic, cultural and technological
challenges that hinders not only the spread of the gospel but also human development. In order to overcome these challenges, concerted planning is very necessary so as to fulfill the mandate of Christ to the Church; “Go then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples……..” Matthew 28:19.
Achievement is a consequence of proper planning that considers the short, medium and long term needs of the community. It provides focus and enhances concentration hence avoiding wastage of time, energy and other resources. Pastoral planning is a process that engages all members of faith community invited to express their baptismal responsibility.
This blue print is an outcome of collective and concerted efforts that gives direction to the parish programs for the next five years and beyond. Let us all join hand in its implementation. The teachings of the Bible, invites us to participate fully in a spirit of teamwork to attain immense achievements. “……… Select capable men who are committed, honest and trustworthy, for they will make your loading lighter…...” Ex 18:15-23. By doing so, we shall go closer to God and make others come closer to Him.
History of the Church
In the year 1975, Rev. Fr. Thomas Meagher dreamt of erecting a church in the expansive Zimmerman estate dotted by mainly T and L bungalow houses. In his conviction that Zimmerman needed a church, he celebrated a dedication mass in the same year. Catholics in the then sparsely populated estate attended mass at Queen of Apostles Catholic church along Thika Road and other churches in Nairobi. In 1984, the catholic community then numbering about 14 families came together for spiritual nourishment in a small rented house. This served as the first small Christian community (Jumuiya) with 7 active members. The second jumuiya was formed in 1990. That group faced numerous challenges that strengthened their resolve to build a church.
It is important to note that the dream of building a church was made a reality in 1986 through the great efforts of Mr. Silas Muriuki, when he acquired our first small plot at a cost of Sh. 100,000. The catholic community contributed Sh. 1000 per family and managed to raise Sh. 80,000. Through God’s providence, Fr. Wamugunda solicited the balance of Sh. 20,000 from His Eminence the late Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga. The first mass was celebrated on that parcel of land by Rev. Fr. Wamugunda who challenged us to acquire a larger plot that had the capacity to accommodate a fairly big church. The second plot was purchased on 31st January 1990 where St. Mark’s church was built and still stands to date.
The second jumuiya was formed in 1990 and later the number grew to four (4) in 1996. These were St. Mark, Maria Goretti, Augustine and Catherine under Queen of Apostles Ruaraka Church. Construction of the church started in earnest and monies were raised through exerted efforts in Harambees until finally a small wooden with iron-sheet roof church was built-St. Mark Catholic Church was its name. With this development, mass would be celebrated once a month. During these monthly masses, some pews would be hired from a nearby primary school and others from members’ homes.
In 1996, the late Rev. Fr. David Njuguna started celebrating mass every Sunday. The Christians then donated the basic items such as the crucifix, set for the Stations of the Cross, altar clothes and attire for the mass servers. The church was eventually blessed by His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki on 20th July 1997, as an outstation of Queen of Apostles Catholic Parish-Ruaraka.
The catholic congregation grew in numbers necessitating two masses every Sunday. We continued experiencing God’s favour and providence through an Italian investor, the Late Mr. Ricardo Liezier, who donated the parcel of land where the church stands today. He approached the church leaders one Sunday and expressed his intent of partnering with them in building a House of God which he would like to dedicate to Mother Teresa, the founder of Missionaries of Charity religious congregation, who had just passed on. He requested that the church’s name be changed from St. Mark to Madre Teresa which is the Italian version of Mother. The church leaders accepted the request since Ricardo had already started constructing the house of God in his property which he later transferred to the church. Ricardo has since gone to be with the Lord and May God Rest His Soul in eternal peace.
With this progress the Local Church leaders steered by Rev Fr. Gregory Macharia (Parish Priest Ruaraka), Mrs. Jane Gakuya (Local Church Council Chairperson) and Mr. Joseph Mwangi (Development committee Chairman) began erecting a Priest’s house in February 2005 since their vision was to have a Parish in Zimmerman. Christians supported this noble task and the church held its first harambee.
Following this initiative, Zimmerman catholic parish was declared on 19th May 2007 by the His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Ndingi mwana a’ Nzeki and appointed Rev. Fr. John Kiongo as the Father in Charge. Fr. Kiongo reported to the parish on 19th June 2007 and the first mass as a parish was celebrated on 1st July 2007. However, he was housed at Queen of Apostles- Ruaraka by Rev. Fr. John Njenga since the house was not yet complete. By God’s providence, the house was blessed and officially opened by Rev. Fr. Anthony Mwituria (Diocesan Procurator) on 8th October 2007.
The first adult baptism and confessions for first Holy Communion was held on 7th Dec 2007 followed by the first confirmation on 8th December 2007 by His Grace Archbishop Emeritus John Njenga. These sacraments were administered in a structure that stood incomplete erected by the Late Ricardo. This structure exposed the congregation to harsh weather conditions but this did not deter their determination in seeking the Lord. In February 2008, His eminence John Cardinal Njue, appointed Fr. John Njoroge Muhia to assist Fr. Kiongo. He reported to the parish on Sat 23rd Feb 2008.
With the Priests in place, the parishioners embarked on the progressive construction of a modern church. In November 2008 the Parish Priest set up a Finance Committee led by Mr. Joseph Gachomba whose main responsibility was to steer the construction of the church. In December 2008 all the funds collected during the Thanksgiving Sunday went towards this noble course. The first mass on the current site was celebrated on Sat 8th August 2009 followed by a very successful harambee the following day. The chief guest was His Grace Archbishop Emeritus John Njenga. Since then, the committee has always organized very successful annual fund raisers and thus has achieved what stands of our church today. We still have many mountains to climb but all challenges will be surmounted as the resolve and commitment of our parishioners remains steadfast and focused. As the construction was going on, spiritual development was not left behind. Different sacraments ranging from infants’ baptism to matrimony were administered following effective preparations by the then catechist, Mr. Githinji and later catechist Florence Njagi. Currently the parish is served by catechist Titus Ole Njabit who is a precious jewel to the parish due to his competence, passion and resourcefulness.
The population of our congregation has grown in leaps and bounds and currently the Zimmerman Catholic Church has over 2,500 Christians and twenty one (21) Small Christian communities. The parish enjoys active ecclesial movements and associations namely Catholic Women Association, Catholic Men Association, Youth and Pontifical Missionary Childhood. It also has devotional groups like Legio and Sacred Heart. The parishioners have also been given an opportunity to serve the body of Christ through the following laity ministries: Liturgy and Eucharist; Sick and Needy; Catholic Justice and Peace; and Family and Marriage. In a bid to alleviate poverty, the parish has also started a Self Help Group under the Social Promotion registered trustees-Archdiocese of Nairobi.
We are grateful to God that our church was being consecrated on Sunday 28th April 2013, by His Eminence John Cardinal Njue - Archbishop of Nairobi.
The parish has grown tremendously due to the goodwill it enjoys from the parishioners garnished by God fearing, visionary, dedicated and vibrant leaders. The parish has great potential for growth. We have come from far, but still have a long way to go as envisaged in our 2013-2017 Strategic Plan. However, l ‘m convinced more than ever before that there is no challenge that is insurmountable. l’m sure that we are masters of our fate, that the task which has been set before us is not above our strengths; that its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us.
May God’s favour be upon us now and always!