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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Parishioners in Kenya disappointed after priest suspended – for rapping

Many parishioners at St Monica Church in western Kenya are unhappy after their favorite priest was suspended for misconduct by the Diocese of Homa Bay.

Fr Paul Ogalo was suspended on 3rd June for using secular music, drama and dance to attract youths to the church. The 45-year-old priest had been entertaining his parishioners with rap music, urging them to stop using drugs and to get involved in environmental and social justice issues.

Locals came to love his unique style of preaching the Gospel.

“I’m very disappointed that he is suspended. I will now not go to church,” said Benard Oketch, 28.

“Fr Paul has been our mentor. He uses the language youths understand,” Oketch said. Through rap, the priest “has saved thousands of youths” from abusing drugs, he said.

Called Fr Masaa or Paul SWIT, an acronym for Sees World In Turmoil, Fr Ogalo had stunned and thrilled his congregation in equal measure. After celebrating Mass, he would change his priestly vestments for black shorts and a white shirt, tie a red bandana around his head, and begin rapping to the congregation.

Picture: Fr Paul Ogalo performs rap songs about drug abuse, food insecurity, and the environment at St Monica Church in Rapogi, Kenya, on 6th May. Since then, the 45-year-old priest has been suspended for one year by the Diocese of Homa Bay for rapping after Mass. (CNS photo/Doreen Ajiambo).