Up Close … with Reverend Daniel Kallee, Priest Incharge of St Paul’s Cathedral-‘Together we can fight social evils’


20-September-2011

Rev. KalleeThese were the exact words of Reverend Daniel Kallee who has engaged himself in helping Christians to face their problems head on with the help of God.

Having celebrated 26 years in priesthood under the congregation of the Anglican Diocese, the 50-year-old man has brought a new initiative in the Anglican Church which brings Christians of different religions together.

“But it is only after years of personal discoveries that I was able to achieve this mission to bring people together for change,” he said.

A Mauritian by birth, Rev. Kallee landed in Seychelles in 1985 already ordained as a priest and ready to do what God had planned for him.

He did all his schooling in Mauritius up to college but later went to Zambia for a one-year specialisation course in Ecumenical Church Ministries – to promote worldwide Christian unity.

“I was sent straight to Grand Anse, Praslin where I was made responsible for the congregation there.”
He was transferred to Mahé at St Paul’s Cathedral in the early 1990s.

“After 15 years in Church I felt that something was missing and I needed to take another path.”
His duties as a priest during all these years were mainly to do mass and funeral and sometimes to meet people, but he wanted to move beyond these routines and norms.

“This was when I chose to get out of church and join the community development, that was in 1999,” he said.

He started off as a liaison officer then promoted to director of programmes – a chance for him to meet and work with people from different backgrounds and groups of society. These included the senior citizens, the youths and disabled.

“This was the happiest moments of my life. I did that job for 11 years and during that time I was not active in church but on the other hand I was learning a lot from the Seychellois community.”

There were social challenges and people who were striving to make a difference, to put our youths on the right track, to work with our senior citizens and disabled, he said.

“Bishop Santosh Marray asked me to come back to work for the church but I wanted to stay out there and see more for myself.”

He then realised that he can return to the Anglican Diocese but this time to do more for the followers and for the people of Seychelles.

“We started off with bible studies; there were only 16 people. Then more approached the church as we went deeper to discuss issues such as sexual behaviour and problems faced by single parents; it was like a counseling session.”

The group started to get bigger and the Church realised that it was slowly touching issues in the lives of many.

“We had to find ways to offer these people what they were seeking and hence came about the  Kingdom Seekers Revival Ministry, an umbrella of the Anglican Church, with its vision – Sesel pour Zezi.” (A multi-denominational ministry bringing together not only Anglicans but other Christians.)

This ministry introduced vigil prayers – and in no time the praying and preaching session became popular among the young professionals, youths aged 16-35 and people from other age groups as well, he remarked.

“We meet in the Cathedral every Friday night from 8pm to midnight to pray, sing the gospel and preach.”
“I noticed that as Seychellois, we are religious but there was a lack of deeper spirituality in us.”

The Church is now planning to launch a non-governmental organisation ‘Nou la pour ou’ ¬– translated into English as ‘We are here for you’.

The organisation will focus on four areas: homeless people, single mothers, prostitutes and neglected children.
“We will go out to the community to find and talk to these people and find ways to bring meaning back into their lives,” Rev. Kallee said.

And there is also the Deliverance Ministry which sets out to help those who may be possessed by demons, who are obsessed with witchcraft, gambling and pornography.

He is also working on a group called the ‘Joshua generation’ where the youths will have a platform to develop their spirituality and also have fun together.

He said Seychellois need a new mindset and changes in the way they see things as well as adopt Christian principles.
Rev. Kallee, who is married with three kids, said he has a lot of support from his family and he spends his whole week in a variety of sessions.

But he calls on every Seychellois to turn to God when the going gets tough as he always has an answer for everything.

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