By Anastasia Makunu, JCAM Communications
On November 27th, several students from Hekima University College converged at the Post Graduate Auditorium of Hekima Institute of Peace and International Relations (HIPSIR), to join in, on a virtual graduation ceremony held at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Nairobi, Kenya. Hekima University College is a constituent college of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA).
The Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, and also representative of the Holy Father to South Sudan, Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen was the keynote speaker at the 39th Graduation Ceremony, which was streamed online.
He addressed the graduands, calling on them to embrace a balanced approach to creation and to embody characteristics of individuals who know how to interpret the signs of the times. The Nuncio urged them to embrace stewardship throughout their aspirations in leadership and to put to good use their religious values especially in response to Pope Francis’s call to “special care for God’s creation”. The Nuncio told the graduands that “as future leaders, it is your call and your duty to conserve our society and to have special care for God’s creation”. He also encouraged the graduands to find answers for a more balanced approach to creation in which the human being is no longer considered as an absolute ruler but as a steward respecting creation in deepest assets… “leaders inspired by the fundamental values of religion, as you are, have a key role to play in combating climate change and finding adequate answers to the present COVID pandemic”.
Speaking about the coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainties it presents, Archbishop van Megen encouraged the graduands to be agents of hope in their various interactions, saying “…with the diplomas you have earned here today, you have received the skills to be counted among those leaders who are offering hope, taking care not to sow panic and to share responsibility”.
Amidst the current world challenges, Archbishop van Megen urged the graduands to be visionary leaders in a world that is bursting with chaos saying “…we are confronted with our own fragility and the fragility of the world and in that increasingly uncertain world, we are in need of leaders who can guide us through the tempest of our present time.”
CUEA's Pro-Chancellor, John Cardinal Njue, through his speech, emphasised the Catholic Church values already inculcated to the graduands on ethical leadership, encouraging them to carry on those values to the various places where they will serve and to show-case those values to the world in order for others to learn and to aspire to be like them.
The Vice-Chancellor (VC), Fr. Stephen Mbugua, echoed the latter saying “the world today is full of poverty and disease, corruption and deceit, nepotism and socio-economic inequalities. The world is in dire need of ethical leaders…you are ready to be ethical leaders in your respective fields of specialization". He called on the graduands to put into good use the skills and knowledge attained from their time at university. “You have received value-based education; this makes you our hope. Go forth and tackle today’s global problems and by doing so, contribute to humanity’s true progress,” Fr. Mbugua concluded.
The Chairman, CUEA’s Council, Bishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba, of the Diocese of Nakuru, cautioned all graduand on shortcuts in life, and asked them to put in the hard work rather than engage in get-rich-quick schemes, “…become your brother’s and sister’s keeper and when you find yourself in a difficult or self-compromising situation ask yourself, what would Jesus our Lord do if He was in my shoes?”
The Hekima University College students were among the 1,884 graduands of the Catholic institution owned by the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA).
Congratulations to the graduands!