The theologicum is where students complete their academic program before they are ordained priests.
Apostles of Jesus Theologicum
P. O. Box 30589 Nairobi 00100 GPO – Kenya.
The Apostles of Jesus Theologicum is located 10 kilometers, in the west of Nairobi City centre in Kenya. The Seminary belongs to the Religious Missionary Institute of the Apostles of Jesus, whose primary object is to train future religious missionary priests who will serve in Africa without excluding any other part of the world. The supreme authority of the Institute is the Superior General who works closely with his General Council.
An ideal house of formation for nurturing vocations of future members of the Institute of the Apostles of Jesus by providing a suitable environment for a holistic growth and development. The seminary ideally provides a desirable environment for theological, spiritual, pastoral and human formation that is clearly seen in leadership skills.
To provide a holistic formation of future religious missionary priests and brothers of the Apostles of Jesus, who are confident leaders, equipped with sound theological, pastoral, academic, socio-religious, and practical skills to pass on the Good News of the Kingdom of God as they sustain the Catholic heritage through their daily practice of a religious missionary life through which they care for the faithful.
The core values of the Theologicum are encapsulated in the Motto: Prayer, Study and Work.
Prayer:Spiritual Formation centered in the life of prayer and meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd;
Study:Intellectual Formation in the studies of theology
Work:Productivity and Self-reliance: including gardening, management of livestock, carpentry, tailoring.
To prepare the students of theology for the practical life of ministry as priests who will address an array of many socio-spiritual, psychological and faith-related needs of the people they will be entrusted to serve in many parts of rural and urban Africa, and other parts of the world.
Administration and Formation Team
Resident Priests and Brothers
The Formation of future Missionaries receives a lot of support from the resident members of the Institute and dioceses within the AMECEA countries. These make practical contribution to the life of the Theologicum
Apostles of Jesus in residence
Fr. Firmininus Shirima, AJ: Director AJAM
Priests from Dioceses and Religious Institutes
Prof. Charles Nyamiti, Lecturer of Systematic Theology and Classical Music.
The life prayer in the Theologicum is dictated by our constitutions and living traditions as directed by our Guide to Prayer. We have a regular time table that provides for community prayers that start with Lauds, Meditation, Holy Mass in the morning and conclude with Night prayers.
These acts of community prayer punctuate our time table according to our rule of life. The time table provides the scholastics with time to do privately certain common prayers: such night prayers, and occasionally the morning meditation may not be included on a day’s programme.
Private prayer is an essential ingredient of our spiritual activities; scholastics choose to do their private prayers in the main church. Of course, private prayers serve as good preparation for community prayer, and vice versa. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist is central to our prayer life, the formators have a weekly rota they follow for the Week day Masses, as well as a semester rota for the Sunday Masses.
Occasionally, we also have a preached meditation, following a traditional practiced that was encouraged by our co-Founder, Fr. John Marengoni;
Spiritual Conferences: whose themes are designed to meet the seminarians in their different stages of formation include themes for inducting the newly professed members into religious life as lived in the scholasticate and after;
they also address the integration of religious formation and discuss pastoral realities for those who are preparing to go for pastoral experiences, and those who have come back from the pastoral fields. We have packages for those who are about to complete their states of seminary formation.
We encourage our scholastics to explore their spiritual life in the various areas of practical pastoral involvement in the various areas of their week end apostolate: as Choir masters, teachers of catechism, and in their involvement in youth, deaf and hospital ministries. We believe that our prayer life (spiritual life) bears fruit when it is extended to the outside.
By its very nature and mission the scholasticate is a place for intellectual training, formation and activity. The major part of the time programme is dominated by academic work focusing on providing the scholastics with opportunities to explore theological disciplines, namely, Systematic Theology, Holy Scriptures, Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Missiology, Liturgy and Canon Laws and others.
The overall goal of the theological programme to help students ‘draw out Catholic doctrine from divine revelation, profoundly penetrate it, make it the food of their own spiritual lives, and be enabled to proclaim, explain and protect the priestly ministry (OT, 16).
They also serve to arouse in the students a desire to further theological knowledge and research by ongoing studies throughout their ministry (Aims of the Programme in the Academic Programme 2010 -2011). Our programme runs on weekdays from 9.00am – 12.30pm, and for four days continues from 4pm – 6pm.
A Theologicum of Distinction
The Apostles of Jesus Theologicum is differentiated by the harmony of the practical pastoral formation that is integrated into theological reflections, in an African context.
This is meant to rhyme with the charism of the Religious Missionary Institute of the Apostles of Jesus that consists in following Christ the Good Shepherd, imitating the compassionate, active and joyful zeal of His Heart for the lost sheep (Jn. 10: 1 -21).
Theological disciplines at this theologicum are designed in such as a way as to prepare the future missionary for the method of apostolate that consists in stressing the unity of the flock of Christ, by living a fervent community life of prayer and work, for an intimate communion among the members and the people of God.
Other areas for a holistic formation include student reading and attention to academic assignments that are not given ample space on the time-table.
The following is the population of the Apostles of Jesus Scholastics in the Theologicum: Theology one – 11 students, Theology two – 20 students, Theology three – 7 students and Theology four – 7 students.
The formation program and the rule of life of the seminarians as encapsulated in the Motto Prayer, Study and Work entails that seminarians demonstrate and live the spirit of work is in the different self-help projects. These projects include; the Poultry, Cows, Piggery, Rabbits and Gardening. Apart from the direct benefits that the seminarians get from these projects, they are formative.
These projects are designed to train the future Priests in Management Skills and Stewardship for the temporal goods of the church, and above all to train the seminarians in the spirit of self reliance. The following are the different projects in some brief details.
The poultry project contains different types of domestic fowl such as chickens, ducks and turkeys. A bigger section of this project is of exotic chicken, the layers for the production of eggs. However there are also a good number of the indigenous breed (local) chickens.
The poultry project supplies eggs and meat for the seminarians’ diet and organic manure for the gardening project. The management of the project has been supplemented by the seminary administration.
The seminarians also run a project of dairy cows. The major source of food for the cows is nappia grass that is grown in the seminary gardens specifically for the cows. However, this has always been frustrated by prolonged droughts.
The cows’ project supplies the seminarians and the formation staff with milk. It is also a source of organic manure for the gardens. Further still, the cows’ project supplies biogas for use in the kitchen and lighting in the refectory.
Unfortunately the biogas supply has not been efficient and effective due to in adequate amount of dung produced which is in turn due to insufficient supply of food.
The seminarians are fully and actively involved in the piggery. This project supplies the seminarians with pork, a high quality white meat. Another great benefit of this project is the supply of organic manure from the wastes to the gardening project.
The piggery supplies the best quality of organic manure with the greatest quantity of nutrients to the garden project. The waste from the piggery is also used for Biogas.
The major source of feed is the supply of remains of food from the kitchen that is gathered from seminary and from neighboring institutions.
This is a project that is being revived after it was closed for a period of time. It is intended to keep rabbits for supplying white meat to the community of seminarians and the formation team. The major source of feed for the project is grass and weeds obtained from the gardens.
The garden project is one of the self-help projects run by the seminarians under the guidance and supervision of the Vice Rector. The seminarians work in the garden during specific times allocated for work. The garden provides the seminary with green vegetables and some cereal such as fresh maize.
The garden project faces a lot of challenges as follows; first and foremost the soil is pure black clay with very poor capillarity and humus content. So the only way to improve the fertility of the soil has been by the use of organic manure from the poultry, cows and piggery.
The second and the worst challenge facing the garden project are the prolonged droughts. There are very few moments of productive rain in a year. The major source of water for the gardens has been a seasonal pond that reduces drastically and even sometimes dries out completely.
The water is pumped from the pond to the gardens by an electric motor pump and supplied to the plants by sprinkler irrigation. The whole system frequently experiences breakdown making work in the gardens indeed difficult.
A solution of ensuring a constant water supply and efficient electric motor pump will improve the garden project tremendously.
This is the newest project of the Theologicum, thanks to Missio Aachen – Germany who provided the needed capital to start it off. The green house serve as a model for the seminarians to learn skills for those be needed skills for their future ministry.
The modern methods of crop management are introducing to our scholastics new methods of gardening, which hopefully, they will introduce to many rural areas where they will be sent to minister as religious missionary priests.
CLUBS AND DEVOTION GROUPS
These Clubs and devotion groups have particular activities and spiritualities which are carried out both in and out of the seminary. They therefore offer a great opportunity for the formation of the seminarians.
The seminary administration has also put one day in a week for club activities such as meetings because of the importance attached to clubs and devotion groups in the pastoral formation of seminarians.
Therefore the members of the different clubs and devotion groups are required to meet at least once in a week and serve the Rector with the report about the progress of the group on monthly basis. The Patrons are members of the formation team.
The Legion of Mary
The legion of Mary is a Marian devotion group that endeavors to glorify God by living the life of sanctity through prayer and active cooperation in work in the church.
As a legion (army), they live to fight constantly the spiritual warfare which the church perpetually wages against the world and its evil powers with prayer as the amour. The Patron of this devotion group is Fr. Peter Shayo AJ. The spirituality of the Legion of Mary is based on the virtues of our blessed Mother Mary.
The main responsibility assigned to the Legion of Mary in the seminary is to take care of the main statue of Mary in the compound and maintaining the seminary grotto, a job this devotion group has done perfectly well.
Young Christian Students (Y.C.S)
This is an international movement within the Catholic Church for students in secondary schools and tertiary institutions. Therefore the area of evangelization of YCS is youth especially those in schools and institutions. The main task of the YCS is to bring the presence of the church among young people in schools and institutions especially in this crucial moment in history when the young people are being swayed from Christian faith by materialism and secularism.
The Apostles of Jesus YCS section members carry out activities as apostolate both in and out of the seminary. In the seminary, they carry out activities such as cleaning the compound and tree planting. They frequently carry out charity visits to the disadvantaged groups like the orphans, the disabled, the sick and elderly. In this kind of visits, they mobilize and carry for such groups of people food and clothing.
This is an affiliate of Human Life International (HLI) is one of the vibrant clubs in the seminary. The main objective of the movement is to protect, promote and defend human life from conception to natural death. The members organize seminars, workshops, and conferences where all the members and non members of the club are invited. These aim to empower the members intellectually to be able to cope with the problems of the culture of death dominating the world today. The club meets twice in a month whereupon a member who has prepared a given topic which was assigned to him shares with the rest his findings. The club also with cooperation with sister institutes visits secondary schools and colleges to offer seminars and workshop on the Sacredness of life and the need to defend and protect it. Rev. Fr. Fr. Raphael Obetia AJ, serves as the patron of the Club.
This is a movement whose objective is to promote love. Therefore by their own lives and activities, the members of this movement preach the gospel of love. The members through their visits give love to various groups in the society who miss love. Their visiting destinations include the homes of the old, children’s home, and the sick in the hospitals, and street families among others. Fr. Stephen Ariko, AJ, is the Patron of the movement.
EXTRA CURRICULA ACTIVITIES
The seminary formation upholds very much the extra curricula activities. These are recommended for the nurturing the talents of the seminarians for future apostolate. They are very much encouraged also for the physical, psychological, spiritual and social health of the seminarians. The extra curricula activities provide the seminarians, occasions to interact and socialize among themselves outside the class setting. They also provide a platform for seminarians to interact with students from other colleges and the seminarians from the neighboring seminaries. Therefore through the extra curricula activities, the seminarians evangelize their counterparts from the secular colleges and universities. The following are the extra curricula activities in the Apostles of Jesus Scholasticate;
Games and Sports
There are various sports and games in the Apostles of Jesus scholasticate. These include football, volleyball, indoor games like table tennis and sports like jogging. All these are meant for physical and mental health of the seminarians based on the maxim “healthy mind in a healthy body”. Each class has its own football team which often engages other teams in interclass competitions. From these teams is formed the seminary team. The seminary participates in various footballs leagues through out the year organized by the neighbouring inter-college and inter-university football associations. The Patron of Games and Sports is Fr. Alfred Oduho AJ who is also the Vice Rector.
Music and Choir
Apart from the liturgical singing in the church, we also have the seminarians’ choir that evangelizes through visual and audio technologies. The Patron of the Choir is Fr. Petri Assenga AJ.
Another extra curricula activity in the scholasticate is drama. The drama club is not only an entertainment group but also and educative club. Through carefully selected themes, the drama club educates the seminarians through the staging of plays. The drama club is the major provider of entertainments during celebrations in the seminary. The drama club stages play that is also attended by seminarians from the neighbouring seminaries. The club members meet regularly on weekly basis to discuss the affairs of the club. The Patron of the drama club is Fr. Petri Assenga AJ.
Fields Afar Magazine
The FIELDS AFAR is a bi-annual magazine of the Apostles of Jesus scholasticate run and managed by the seminarians under the guidance and supervision of the office of the Vice Rector and the Academic Dean.