Science, Faith & Networking

CAMPSSI stands for Catholic MPs Spiritual Support Initiative. We are a non-partisan registered Catholic caucus; a partnership between Catholic Legislators in Kenya and Tangaza University College through the Institute of Social Ministry in Mission(ISMM)


The Catholic MPs Spiritual Support Initiative (CAMPSSI) is a duly registered caucus ofKenyan Members of Parliament with an orientation of the Catholic faith. The objective of this caucus is to provide the legislator with spiritual accompaniment and formation, network them with likeminds globally and provide the missing link between the political regime within the Kenyan Parliament and the Church hierarchy aimed at increasing interactive relations for the common good.

The idea of a Catholic Prayer Group in Parliament was conceived way back in 2008 among a few Catholic MPs at the height of the post-election violence that locked the country.  The Christian politicians, majority of those who got concerned being of the catholic faith, felt there was an urgent need to have a common forum where faith would guide their conduct as Christian leaders.  However holding prayers together never materialized due to lack of a structured guidance from a spiritual leader.

During a forum at St. Pauls University Catholic Chapel in Nairobi in 2011, a then Member of Parliament was invited to give a talk on food security and a discussion arose between the legislator and the Masters Degree Programmes coordinator at Tangaza Collegewhich was then a constituent college of the Catholic university of Eastern Africa (CUEA),Fr. Dr. Francesco Pierli, a Comboni Missionary. The discussion brought out a clear and deep desire of the society to get the Church involved in providing political leaders with some spiritual support and accompaniment in their political work for the good of the nation.

What followed was a series of meetings with a small group of Catholic MPs and personnel from Tangaza College to explore ways of coming together for prayers and meditation on a regular basis. Plans to see this happen began but it took a few months to be able to have the first Mass in a hired room adjacent to the Parliament buildings on 27th June 2012.

The celebration of the Holy Mass in the hired room continued from 27th June 2012 to 24th February 2017 when the legislators finally got permission to celebrate mass in a chapelwithin parliament buildings, on Ash Wednesday 1st March 2017.

The legislators always wished to collaborate with an institution that could support members in the field of research and socio-economic development, offering opportunities for in-depth study taking into account the special needs of parliamentarians. This eventually led to the formation of a collaboration between the Catholic MPs and Tangaza University College i.e. The Catholic Members of Parliament Spiritual Support Initiative – CAMPSSI.

The new group had to face resistance from the administration of parliament, which denied them the use of spaces in parliament for CAMPSSI meetings or prayers.  Furthermore although the archbishop of the Nairobi Archdiocese within which the Kenyan parliament is situated, had been informed of the initiative from the beginning, the Church leadership had doubts about the intentions of Catholic politicians. With all these challenges, the group had to find a room near the parliament buildings in order to meet and the first Mass was celebrated by Fr Francesco Pierli on 27 June, 2012 with only seven legislators in attendance.

Since the inauguration of the eleventh parliament in May 2013, the number of active parliamentarians has increased significantly, as have the CAMPSSI activities. Every Wednesday, CAMPSSI members meet for Eucharistic Celebration, except the last Wednesday of the month. On this day, after a brief prayer, the networking meeting takes place. This session is intended to illustrate potential development projects, facilitate meetings with potential project funders, meetings with researchers and people who have resources that may be useful to the MPs parliamentary work. The material presented is always in line with the Church’s teaching, especially social teaching of the Catholic Church.

Once a month, in the evening, The School of Politics is held. This is an ongoingformation class where CAMPSSI invites  experts to illustrate the pros and cons of the legislatkons discussed in parliament. In this way, participants have the possibility of a specific training that can help them in the formulation and modification of laws in the light of the Catholic Social Teachings. In addition, retreats for parliamentarians and their families are organised annually, as well as visits to the various parliamentary constituencies for special functions. CAMPSSI also supports projects of the local churches of its members.

In June 2013, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) officially recognized CAMPSSI and its activities as a platform for social ministry in Kenya. With the inauguration of the 12th Parliament, CAMPSSI has been officially recognized by the administration of the Kenyan Parliament, and has been allocated some office space within Parliament buildings.

Since its founding stages in 2011, CAMPSSI’s programmes are supported by a volunteer Administrative Secretary, Ms Alice Muchiri, and a team from TangazaUniversity led by two Combonimissionary priests, Fathers Francesco Pierli and Giuseppe Caramazza.

CAMPSSI was officially registered as a foundation and specifically a partnership between Catholic MPs and Tangaza University College in 2012.

Though Catholic oriented, CAMPSSI is vibrant in the inter-religious dialogue and collaboration and has several programmes that are designed to accommodate other leaders of others faiths!.