In the remote Kenyan region of Turkana, next to its capital, Lodwar, the desert and widespread environmental poverty have come to offer an unusual and privileged space for living the contemplative Augustinian Recollect charism. We will first approach the region where the nuns live; then we will learn something about the local Church that has welcomed them and the monastery, its history and current affairs; and finally we will enter the most intimate of one of the contemplative vocations that go on mission with their sole presence in this remote African region.
Silence, contemplation, manual work and the total dedication of the person to the adoration of God, including time, feelings, desires and thoughts, are part of the contemplative charism in the Catholic Church, the charism commonly called “cloistered life”.
In the case of the Augustinian Recollects, contemplative nuns of the Augustinian Recollect Family, to these values are added those derived from the own charism: community and fraternal life, the search for wisdom and the service to the Church; all of them proposed by Saint Augustine for the members of his Family, regardless of their specific way of life, women or men, old or young, consecrated or lay.
Until this region, where science places the very birth of humanity in its long evolutionary path, the nuns of the Federation of Augustinian Recollects of Mexico founded a monastery.
This is the second contemplative monastery of the Augustinian Recollects in Kenya, since the first was founded by the Federación de España en Wote, Makueni. Nevertheless, they are separated by 740 kilometers and no less than 14 hours of driving, although they are united by the same contemplative and recollected vocation.
In the case of Lodwar, only 10% of the population surrounding the nuns is Catholic. It is a true missionary monastery, since the nuns have the immediate opportunity of the daily and striking testimony of women who show the surrounding society a way of life that is unknown and never contemplated.
We will first approach the region where the nuns live; then we will learn something about the local Church that has welcomed them and the monastery, its history and current affairs; and finally, we will enter the most intimate of one of the contemplative vocations that go on mission with their sole presence in this remote African region.
Our Lady of Consolation Monastery in Wote, Makueni, Kenya. Augustinian Recollect Nuns Federation of Spain.
Saint Augustine’s Monastery of Nakwamekwi, Lodwar, Turkana, Kenya. Augustinian Recollect Nuns Federation of Mexico.
NEXT PAGE: 1. Lodwar, the center of Turkana
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- 1. Lodwar, the center of Turkana
- 2. The Catholic Church in Lodwar
- 3. Augustinian Recollects in Lodwar: a dream come true
- 4. Sister Irene: “I wanted to feel with the missionaries, suffer their difficulties, loneliness, hunger, conflicts and failures; celebrate their achievements, listen to them”