On October 3, I had an opportunity to celebrate Mass for the Catholic parliamentarians during their weekly Wednesday Mass at a chapel within the parliament buildings.
Apart from sharing the word of God with the legislators, I also wanted to meet them after Mass, and learn more about their group–Catholic Members of Parliament Spiritual Support Initiative (CAMPSSI).
I arrived half an hour early and something particularly struck me. As the members started streaming in one by one, I could see in their faces, the longing for the moment. I saw spiritually hungry individuals. I saw a lively group ready to meet each other, and share their Catholic faith.
Though the Mass begins at 7.30am, by 7.15am most of the members were seated. Some had come in even earlier, and Fr Giuseppe Caramazza, the priest charge of CAMPSSI’s liturgical and networking programs was listening to their confessions.
As I watched the goings-on, I had to admit that the person who came up with the idea of having a private Mass for the MPs thought it wise.
It is true that the legislators need a place and a moment where they can freely pray, away from the glare of the media and the unavoidable attention from other congregants.
Just like you and I, politicians need spiritual support. Most of us tend to assume that politics and spirituality are two worlds apart. In reality, true spirituality can ennoble politics, and politics can ground spirituality. Spirituality can help people leave ego and power trips at the door and truly serve the people.
Through CAMPSSI, Catholic legislators have an opportunity to take part in spiritual retreats which help them reconnect with God, and even guide them on how to handle family issues that may come up as a result of their political careers.
Through the monthly ‘School of Politics’, the legislators are helped to understand issues, the scientific views, modern methodology of governance, among other contemporary issues that come up.
The Catholic MPs have also come up with projects though which they hope to support the Church – the major one being a plan for a home for old priests to be put up in Kitale.
CAMPSSI has not only linked up Catholic legislators in Kenya, it has also linked them to the International Catholic Legislators Network that is made up of legislators from all over the world.
At CAMPSSI meetings, all political party affiliations are put aside as it becomes simply a group of Catholic legislators seeking to enrich their faith.
Truly, the coming together of the Catholic politicians is a worthy cause.