Brother Peter Tabichi offers opening prayer for United States Congress

Brother Peter meets President Donald Trump in the Oval Office

September 17, 2019 — Washington DC:  Before the assembled member of the US Congress, Brother Peter Tabichi, a humble and joyful Franciscan Brother from rural Kenya, echoed the universally known words of Our Seraphic Father, St. Francis, blessing the august gathering with the Peace Prayer of St. Francis.  Reaching back seven-hundred years to shine a new light and focus on the enduring sentiment of the great saint, Brother Peter stood before the assembly as a remarkable story in his own right.  Recently recognized as the Global Teacher of the Year for 2019, he is a living witness to the power of education and the inherent value and dignity of the teaching profession.  Congratulations Brother Peter.  This latest honor, coming in the bicentennial year of the Franciscan Brothers of the Third Order Regular, underscores the value  of your own and  your confreres’ calling, to a simple life marked by service, fraternity, and prayer.   Click here to view the C-Span video of Brother Peter’s prayer.

Honorary Doctor of Science for Minister General, Brother Tony Dolan

Brother Tony Dolan with UCD President Andrew Deeks

In a year of great honors for our Institute, we are proud to announce that University College Dublin (UCD) conferred a Doctor of Science degree “honoris causa” on our Minister General, Brother Tony Dolan.  The conferring took place within the regular Doctor of Science conferring ceremony on September 2nd, 2019.

In his address to the graduates of the Class of 2019, Brother Tony offered up plenty of sage advice, calling on them to:  “Have a world view that encompasses all of humanity and all of creation. Selfishness, greed and ‘me fein’ attitudes are leading to the destruction of humanity. Think globally act locally.”  He asked the graduates to recognize their God-given talents, saying:  Develop the marvellous resources and gifts given to you by our loving Creator – human, social, natural, spiritual, physical and financial.”  And no doubt, Brother Tony’s  most profound words of the day related to listening to God’s call to each of us.  Invoking Frederick Buechner’s words, “The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  Tony indeed lives a life at the vortex of that meeting place. 

This marvelous and well deserved recognition for Tony, follows on the recent recognition of Brother Peter Tabachi as Global Teacher of the Year Award for 2019, giving our institute so much to celebrate in this our bicentennial year.  National and global recognition from secular institutions is such a terrifc affirmation of the two-hundred years of loving service our brothers have provided to the world, within the Church and in secular society.  In an era that cries out for authentic heroes and role models, the world is saying, “Brothers, you have heroes in your midst.”

Brother Peter Tabichi: World’s Top Teacher!

“This is Africa’s time,” proclaimed Brother Peter Mokaya Tabichi on being announced the 2019 Global Teacher of the Year Award. In a ceremony held in Dubai on Sunday, March 24, Brother Peter was awarded the top prize.  Along with his students, friends and family, our community was elated when Br. Peter made it to the top 100.  Then came the Top 50, and following that, the Top 10.  But Brother Peter’s taking of the most prestigious award in education to Africa, must rank among the greatest moments in our Order’s history.  What a boost for young African teachers and students and what an amazing personal honour for Brother Peter and for our community of teaching brothers!  Brother Peter received the award from Hugh Jackman and also on the stage was the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum. 

We are so proud of you Brother Peter!  In celebrating your achievement, we humbly thank the Varkey Foundation and all those associated with the Global Teacher Award.   And we praise God, who in His divine providence, blessed Brother Peter with the beautiful gift of teaching, and led him to this internationally recognized achievement.   May God continue to use Brother Peter as a role model for all educators, opening their minds to what is possible when one believes that, given the opportunity, students will embrace challenges and exceed our wildest dreams.  

Statement by Brother Tony Dolan, Minister General of the Franciscan Brothers:  “This is a great achievement and a wonderful honour for Peter, his Family, his school community, the two schools in which he taught prior to moving to Keriko three years ago – Offaka Secondary School, Uganda and St. Francis Lare, Kenya – his Lare Brothers Community and the Lare Geographical Community, all teachers especially those of Kenya/Uganda and all Kenyans as expressed by President Uhuru Kenyatta this evening, all of us his Franciscan Brothers in Kenya, Uganda, Ireland and California, families, friends, Agencies and individuals who so generously support the mission of the Franciscan Brothers.

As we send our hearty congratulations to Peter, his Dad, brother and sister who are with him in Dubai together with Br. Bernard Kariuki, representing the Franciscan Brothers, and the Principal of Keriko Secondary School, his family and friends back in Kisii we also thank and praise our loving Creator for giving Peter the gifts, the creativity and capacity for hard work that has enabled him achieve such a prestigious honour.  We thank all those who have supported Peter on this journey and pray that his achievement will motivate and encourage teachers in schools serving the marginalised in our society to work with passion and  professionalism to provide learning environments that will allow all our children and youth develop their talents and achieve sustainable, fulfilling livelihoods that lead to happy, peace and love filled lives.

Peter’s achievement also authenticates the mission of the Franciscan Brothers in East Africa. This mission is focused on the holistic capacity and capability building of small scale farmers and rural youth be it in the formal government or non-government education sectors or through the promotion of sustainable agriculture in the three institutions which they run – Baraka Agriculture College and MCM Lare in Kenya and Adraa Agriculture College in Uganda. To show that a teacher from an under resourced  government secondary school in a poor rural area of Africa can be recognised as the best teacher in the world gives hope to all who have the vision for a fair world in which each person has the opportunity to live a life of dignity.  Thanks and congratulations Peter and may your wonderful victory give hope and confidence to all marginalised people.”