Samuel Mungai

Candidate
Studying:
Theology
Preparing for: Priesthood
Hometown: Nakura, Kenya - See more at: http://admin.epagecity.com/site/epage/159789_919.htm#sthash.dgGpNqgU.dpuf
Candidate
Studying:
Theology
Preparing for: Priesthood
Hometown: Nakura, Kenya - See more at: http://admin.epagecity.com/site/epage/159789_919.htm#sthash.dgGpNqgU.dpuf

After completing his first year of theology studies at St. Meinrad (Ind.) Seminary in May 2016, 29-year-old priesthood candidate Samuel Mungai was accepted into the new Glenmary novitiate class along with Jose Carlos Miguel Lopez, Aloysius Ssendawula and Kenneth Wandera. They comprise the largest novice group in recent Glenmary history.

The novitiate is a one-year program beginning July 1, 2016, potentially leading up to the four students’ profession of their First Glenmary Oaths—at which time they would become members of Glenmary.

In May 2016, Aloysius was also installed in the Ministry of Lector at the seminary. And during June, he and Kenneth have both been on a mission placement at the Maynardville, Tenn., mission to learn more about life, people, and ministry in Glenmary mission areas. 

 

Before coming to the United States in the summer of 2015 to enter Glenmary formation, Samuel grew up in Nakuru, Kericho County, Kenya. He and his twin sister are the youngest of seven children of farmers and businesspersons James Mungai and Freshia Wambui Mungai. He says that “my childhood was so fun…. I grew up knowing how to socialize, play well, and settle disputes when we had fights.

“Duties and responsibilities were shared and distributed in our family, and everyone had his role to play. My twin sister and I shepherded our sheep, not less than 60. We also fetched firewood from the forest and fetched water from a well.”

Samuel is thankful to his mother for providing a strong example of spirituality and prayerfulness. “She introduced me to church at an early age," he said. "She was a Pentecostal, and I joined her. I began attending a Sunday school and became very active. We recited and chanted Bible verses, sang songs, and participated in concerts and skits. But a little later on, 'video shows' were introduced in our village and I became preoccupied with them. I had no time for Sunday school anymore.

“This was why my dad then sent me to a Catholic boarding school, where there was Mass twice a week along with daily rosary. It was here that I learned to love Catholic spirituality. I quickly adopted the Catholic culture. I completed my primary education and was admitted to a junior seminary for my secondary education.

"I was baptized and received first Communion on March 31, 2002. With daily Mass and monthly recollection, I felt a desire to become a priest. And in May 2006 I joined the Passionist missionaries for priesthood formation. I studied philosophy with them and graduated in May 2010. But I left because I did not feel called to become a Passionist.”

Afterwards, Samuel learned about Glenmary Home Missioners by reading about and communicating with them, especially when missioners came to Kenya for a visit and he had the chance to talk to them in person. He discerned a call to priesthood with Glenmary and was attracted by this missionary group’s ministry in U.S. rural areas, the way they establish and nurture a Catholic presence in counties where there previously was none, and their service to people in spiritual and material need regardless of their religious affiliation.

He was finally accepted by Glenmary as a student, left his country for the first time, and came to the United States in the summer of 2015 to pursue Glenmary priesthood. He began residing with fellow Glenmary students at Glenmary's House of Studies in St. Meinrad, Ind., and started his seminary studies that fall.

He feels at home with Glenmary, is thankful for God's blessings during his life and his vocation journey, and is very much looking forward to the future.