Residents and Catholic faithful in Kitale received and welcomed their new Bishop Henry Juma Odonya of Catholic Diocese of Kitale.
Henry Juma was ordained and installed in a religious ceremony in Kitale Town at the ASK Showground on Saturday.
The ordination service was led by the outgoing Bishop Maurice Crowley of the Catholic Diocese of Kitale, after Pope Francis accepted Crowley’s retirement in November 2022 from pastoral care and appointed Odonya as his successor.
Just before his appointment by Pope Francis in November last year, Juma worked as a Formator at St. Patrick’s Philosophy House in Durban, South Africa. He was ordained as deacon in 2005, and a year later ordained a priest on June 25 at Sacred Heart Cathedral Eldoret.
He has served as an assistant priest of St. Patricks Kapcherop (2006-2007); assistant priest of St. Teresa of Avilla Ndalat parish (2008-2009); parish priest of St. Patricks Parish Kapcherop (2009-2011) in the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret.
In 2011, he was sent to work in Kitale as a Fidei Donum and posted as parish priest at St. Zeno Kolongolo until 2013; parish priest Holy Family Chepchoina (2013-2015) in Kitale diocese and later returned to Eldoret as parish priest at St. Teresa of Avilla Parish Ndalat (2015-2016).
Bishop Henry Juma was from 2012 to 2015 the chairman of the Kenya Fidei Donum Association and between 2015 to 2016 chairman of the Eldoret Diocesan Priest Association before leaving for Rome for further studies in 2016.
The Episcopal Ordination and installation of Odonya was also attended by President William Ruto among other senior government officials.
“I thank the Church for its continuous partnership with the government in various sectors of our economy, key being the education sector. We invite the Church not to look back but scale up its complementary roles within the society.
The government will continue engaging religious leaders and institutions at all levels to ensure Kenya walks the path of solidarity, unity, peace and prosperity as we endeavor to work towards walking the talk on what we promised Kenyans.” Prime Secretary Musalia Mudavadi said.