DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     August 30, 1999     vol. 10, no. 158


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      Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we spotlight each member of the Conclave in alphabetical order. We find this necessary as our dear Sovereign Pontiff Pope John Paul II grows older, clinging to hope, as we join him, of seeing the light of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart with the dawn of the new millennium - the Jubilee Year 2000. How much longer this 264th successor of Peter has left on this earth only God knows for sure, but His Divine Mercy is evident in allowing him to be with us this long for he truly is a saint for our times, truly Christ's Vicar on earth in these waning days before the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Time of Peace, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the New Pentecost, the Second Advent, the Age of the Holy Spirit. What 1999 will bring we have no idea, nor does anyone else, but with John Paul II at the helm, we feel much more secure in knowing God's Will will be done. Nevertheless, we want to preview the future Pope whether that be soon or much, much later, for no one lives forever and eventually one of those prelates will be selected as the 265th successor of Peter. This will give the reader a better insight into the man whom the Holy Spirit will move the conclave to choose. Thus we bring the reader vignettes on each cardinal in alphabetical order gleaned from the Catholic Almanac, The Official Catholic Directory, Inside the Vatican and other sources.

91.   Cardinal Maurice Michael Otunga

          Born the son of a pagan tribal chief in the first month of 1923 in Chebeukwa, Kenya in the Diocese of Kakamega, Cardinal Maurice Michael Otunga would go on to be a chief himself but not in the pagan culture he was raised in but rather the Roman Catholic Church which he was baptized into in 1935. So imbued was he with his newly-found Faith that he entered the seminary in Kakamega after prepping at Mangu High. He finished his major seminary training in Rome where he was ordained on October 3, 1950. After ordination he completed his studies at the College of Propaganda Fide before returning to Kenya where he taught Theology at Kisumu Major Seminary for three years and was made the attache in A

          On November 17, 1956 Pope Pius XII named him Titular Bishop of Tacape and Auxiliary Bishop of Kisimu where he was installed on February 25, 1957. Three years later Pope John XXIII appointed him Bishop of Kisii on May 21, 1960 where he remained until November 15, 1969 when Pope Paul VI made him Titular Archbishop of Bomarzo and Coadjutor Archbishop of Nairobi. Two years later on October 24, 1971 he was promoted to Archbishop of Nairobi where he also served as President of the National Bishops Conference of Kenyaand was appointed to the Permanent Commission of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar.

          In the Consistory of March 5, 1973 Paul VI elevated him to the cardinalate in which he received the titular church of St. Gregroy Barbarigo. After twenty-six years as Archbishop of Nairobi he resigned on May 14, 1997 to become Military Ordinary of Kenya, a less taxing position for he is getting up there in age, now 76. He still enjoys membership in the Roman Curia serving on Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

August 30, 1999       volume 10, no. 158


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