Prepared by the Beneficiary Sr. Veronica J. Rop, PhD
My heart most gratitude is to our Triune God for his gratuitous gift, blessings, graces and guidance throughout my studies, research, graduation and most importantly for the dignity bestowed upon each and every human person. I am indebted to the Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church (CTEWC) and more especially to the entire Committee for Scholarship Programme for African Women particularly, Rev. Dr. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, Linda Hogan, Rev. Prof. James Keenan and the donors who made my doctoral studies a reality. I am now an African woman Moral Theologian because of you. Your scholarship makes the African proverb “I am because you are and you are because I am” become a reality. May God bless each and every one of you.
I graduated on Friday, 27th May 2016 at The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Faculty of Theology and Department of Moral Theology with First Class Honours. I would not have done this without your assistance. Thanks. My work was on Human Dignity: A Study on the Participation of Women in Integral Human Development among the Kalenjin in the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret-Kenya. It is a study on the dignity of women among the Kalenjin community in the light of the Church Teaching on the principle of the human dignity. I am grateful to My 1st Supervisor was Rev. Dr. Richard Rwiza and the 2ndSupervisor was Rev. Prof. Constance Bansikiza for their guidance.
Holding a doctoral degree in Moral Theology means a world to me. It has given me a voice and authority to confidently stress and work towards the importance and application of the Sacred Scriptures and the Church Tradition on human dignity as a canon for appraisal of own cultural beliefs and practices at various spheres. As a member of the Kalenjin community and as a Kenyan, a people who uphold communitarian spirit, love of human life as well as solidarity with the marginalised, vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the community, I am now able to challenge our traditions with informed knowledge thus influence positively decisions that are made at our local parishes, community, educational institutions and theological forums. Being viewed as a role model and a successful woman from a humble background has given me a platform to be invited as motivational speaker at various educational functions at various levels. Here learners, staff and parents/guardians see the importance of studies in a new perspective. Many people of all genders and age have expressed the need to go back to school, further their studies and women feel proud they also have what it takes to be leaders. Some have expressed the need of studying Theology. My ASE Assumption Sisters of Eldoret where I serve as Congregational leader (Superior General) has not been left out either. I have been able to lead my Sisters in developing a new ASE strategic plan and policies that are richly informed by the Teaching of the Church. I have stress moral formation in our institutions and formation houses as never before. With the help of friends, I am in the process of establishing a boarding high school for girls and also starting an educational endowment fund to help the needy girls and vulnerable children. I have proposed and encouraged religious women in Kenya on importance of pursuing studies in theological disciplines. I do this during our Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya (AOSK) meetings at local and regional level. Various parishes have invited me to talk to their women leaders. I have inspired and challenged many priests who feel challenged that a religious woman has a PhD in Moral Theology.
May the Merciful and gracious Lord bless and reward you abundantly.