From Maasai Land to Jesuit Centre
The Birth of Mwangaza Jesuit Spirituality Centre
In September 1979, Fr. John Stack joined the first group. He was a Jesuit from the United States of America and a member of the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus. The three Jesuits could now think of a bigger project for the purpose of promoting Ignatian Spirituality.
Fr. John Stack SJ and the then Jesuit Superior of the Independent Region of Eastern Africa, Fr. Polycarp Toppo SJ, bought a house built in 1938 and a newer, neighbouring house from Mrs. Talbot and Mrs Diana Denison, her daughter. The property was facing the Ngong Hills, near Karen town, a suburb of Nairobi: 38 acres of beautiful land, in a quiet area.
This is how, on 15th October 1978, Manresa became Mwangaza, a Swahili word meaning “light, knowledge, knowhow”, three terms that define the idea of “wisdom”.
At present, the property is covered with indigenous and fruit trees, shrubs of many kinds and flowers. A great variety of birds of all colours fill the air with their harmonious voices. In the grounds the retreatant will also find a Way of the Cross and a Labyrinth. Over two kilometers of pathways allow the retreatants to walk leisurely, pray and relax in the beauty of nature. Such a quiet and natural environment of Mwangaza has for years proved to be helpful in creating conducive environment for prayer and contemplation.