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 CNS Story:

NAIROBI-INSTALL Nov-1-2007 (250 words) xxxi

Kenyans jam basilica for installation of Nairobi archbishop

By Francis Njuguna
Catholic News Service

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) -- Hundreds of people, including Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, jammed Holy Family Minor Basilica for the installation of Cardinal-designate John Njue, 63, as head of the Archdiocese of Nairobi.

The former coadjutor archbishop of Nyeri, who will be made a cardinal Nov. 24 at the Vatican, replaces Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwana'a Nzeki, who retired Oct. 6 after leading the archdiocese for 10 years.

Archbishop Alain Lebeaupin, apostolic nuncio to Kenya who presided at the installation, urged local Catholics of various ethnic backgrounds to cooperate with the newly installed archbishop.

The nuncio told the cardinal-designate, "You have not been installed for the Catholic faithful only, but for the entire people who happen to be within your pastoral jurisdiction."

In his homily, Cardinal-designate Njue appealed to all Catholics to help him with his pastoral duties.

"I will count on you as you count on me," he said. "With God's guidance, I will do my best."

The cardinal-designate praised Archbishop Ndingi, and Kibaki described the outgoing archbishop as courageous and open-minded on issues pertaining to human dignity and the teaching of the Bible.

Kibaki also welcomed the new cardinal-designate and thanked Pope Benedict XVI for naming him one of 23 new cardinals.

"This is no mean thing, and we really thank the Holy Father very much for this. It's an honor not only for us Kenyans, but for the entire African continent," said Kibaki, a Catholic.

END


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