Fr John to visit Portsmouth Diocese!

Fr John (in green T-shirt, third from right) with colleagues

We are thrilled to announce that Fr John Webootsa from CAFOD’s partner St John’s Sports Society in Kenya will be visiting our diocese this September! His visa has just been confirmed.

Students and RE teacher Mugeni Sumba from Oaklands Secondary School in Waterlooville had the pleasure to meet Fr John in person last year when they visited Korogocho during their trip to Kenya with CAFOD. Since then, the whole school has been fundraising to support the wonderful work of St John’s Society and they will now have the pleasure to host Father John during his UK tour.

Fr John will be concelebrating Mass at 10am at St Michael and All Angels in Leigh Park on Sunday 9 September and give a homily about his work with CAFOD, and he will do the same at the 6.30pm Mass at the Sacred Heart parish in Waterlooville.

On Monday 10 he will be visiting Oaklands school and deliver an assembly and various classroom lessons.

For those of you who have not heard about St John’s Sport Society yet (almost impossible if you are reading our blog 😉 ), the society is an innovative outreach project of St John’s Catholic Church and is situated in Korogocho, a low-income, informal settlement of around 100,000 people located in East Nairobi.

The society participates in community work and life-skills training through sports activities, driven by the belief that sport has the potential to rehabilitate young people living in a slum, thus making them more productive members of society and allowing the opportunity for their sporting talents to flourish. Values such as teamwork, tolerance, morality, self-esteem and self-discipline are encouraged and developed during the training programmes.

St John’s also focuses on peace, justice and reconciliation work in Korogocho and played a leading role in using sport to reconcile communities after the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007/2008.

Father John leading a peace walk in Korogocho

Alongside his work at St John’s, Fr John is also a committed campaigner, speaking out against issues that affect the lives of the citizens of Korogocho. He has devoted his life to help improve the living conditions in the slum and this dedication has recently been recognised by the French and German governments who have named him as the inaugural winner of the Franco-German Human Rights Award. He has been described by the award’s judging panel as ‘very determined’ and as having a selfless commitment to the people of Korogocho.

For more information on St John’s Sports Society, watch the 4-minute video on YouTube!

We look forward to welcoming Fr John to the UK!

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