Man awarded medal by Pope misses out on city Mass due to knee injury


Eighty-three-year-old Augustine Adongo Mumma has attended two papal Masses before, but is disappointed that he failed to attend Thursday’s by Pope Francis at the University of Nairobi.

He did not attend the event because of a knee injury.

Just after his ascension to office in March 2013, Pope Francis awarded Mr Mumma and several other members of the Catholic Church the Benemerenti Medal for dedicated service.

Mr Mumma said the medal used to be given to honour members of the military, but it was extended to other members of the church.

It is now given to deserving Christians who have kept the faith during tough times.

It is conferred on the faithful, mostly the elderly, chosen from the diocese.

They are supposed to have dutifully attended Mass, kept praying, upheld Christian traditions and helped the needy.

The names are sent to Rome for the award.

The medal is a gold Greek cross with Christ’s hand raised. It is attached to a yellow and white ribbon.

On Thursday, Mr Mumma said the loss of his four children, who were all PhD holders, at different times between 2000 and 2009, took a big toll on him.

“It is very easy for people to give up on God when such things happen. But we should know that God gave them to us, and He takes them back. The medal motivates me a lot,” he told the Nation Thursday.