Catholic Diocese of Kitui is found in the ecclesiastical region of Kenya and it is within the Nairobi metropolitan. It covers the whole Kitui County which is comprised of the following districts: Kitui West, Kitui Central, Lower Yatta, Nzambani, Mutitu, Mwingi Central, Mwingi West, Mwingi East, Kyuso, Mutomo, Mumoni, Tseikuru, Katulani, Mwingi West, Matinyani, Kisasi and Ikutha. It is an arid and semi-arid area of approximately 30,496.4 sq. Kms in Eastern Kenya, with a population of around 1,012,709 people according to 2009 census statistics. The Diocese has over 240,000 baptized Catholics.
The first Missionaries to evangelize Kitui were Holy Ghost Fathers from Kabaa (Machakos) in early 1930s. Also, by the time the Holy Ghost Fathers were introducing Christianity in Kitui, the Consolata Missionaries from Meru were evangelizing in the northern region of Kitui (now Kimangau). The first Mission house was built in 1945 at Mutune. Kitui Apostolic Prefecture was curved from the Archdiocese of Nairobi in 1956 under care of St. Patricks Kiltegan Missionaries, later being erected as a Diocese in 1964, with His Lordship, the late Rt. Rev. William Dunne as the first Bishop. The first Diocesan Priests in the Diocese were Frs. Peter Muema Kyumbua and Late Boniface Lele, who were ordained in 1974. The first nun to profess was Sr. Teresia Muli (Assumption Sisters of Nairobi) from Boma.
Following his retirement in 1996, the late Rt. Rev. Boniface Lele succeeded him, until he was appointed the Archbishop of Mombasa in 2005. The Diocese was overseen by a Diocesan Administrator until May 2007 when Rt. Rev. Bishop Martin Kivuva was appointed as the Apostolic Administrator. In 2008, Rt. Rev. Anthony Muheria was appointed the Bishop of Kitui Diocese.
The Diocese consists of four Deaneries: Northern Deanery with 10 Parishes, Central Deanery with 7 Parishes, and Southern Deanery with 5 Parishes and Eastern Deanery with 4 parishes. In 1989 there were 16 Diocesan priests and their numbers grew to 30 in 1999. Currently there are 82 Diocesan Priests, 2 Retired Missionary Priests working in the Diocese. There are 32 Seminarians in the various seminaries. There are also 12 congregations of Religious men and women serving in the Diocese; with Daughters of Jesus the Good Shepherd (DOJGS) as a Diocesan congregation.
The Church Groups
There are several Church groups of Faithfull’s in the Diocese namely: Catholic Women Association; Catholic Men Association; Youth; the Pontifical Missionary Childhood (PMC); Young Christian Students (YCS); Catholic Teachers Association (CTA). There are also several devotional groups including: St. Monica (within CWA), St. Josephs’ (Within CMA), St. Alloys Altars Boys, Shirika la Bikira Maria (within the youth), Pioneer; Family Life and Marriage encounter, Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy. The Church in Kitui is firmly built on the Small Christian Communities that are spread all over the Diocese. This has increased participation of the laity, not only in liturgical celebrations; but also in the Parish councils and the Diocesan Pastoral Council.
The Catholic Diocese of Kitui (Kitui county) borders the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa (Taita Taveta) to the South, the Catholic Diocese of Machakos (Makueni and Machakos Counties) to the west, the Catholic Diocese of Embu (Embu County),the Catholic Diocese of Meru (Tharaka), the Catholic Diocese of Isiolo (Isiolo County) to the North, and the Catholic Diocese of Garissa (Garissa and Tana River Counties) to the East.
Kenya is categorized as a low-income country with GDP of USD 41 billion and growing moderately at 5% and with a gross national income (GNI) per capita of USD 860. The population was estimated by World Bank to be 43 million people by 2013.
The development path in Kenya is being guided by the blueprint Vision 2030, which is built on three main pillars; Economic, Social and Political. The Economic Pillar aims to achieve growth in the Gross Domestic Product of 10 percent from 2012 targeting this growth to be driven by tourism, agriculture, wholesale/retail trade, manufacturing, Information Technology enabled services, and financial services. The Social Pillar of Vision 2030 has the objective of improving the quality of life for all Kenyans. It aims to do this by targeting human and social welfare programs, specifically: education and training, health, environment, housing and urbanization, children and social development, youth and sports. Development operations of Catholic Diocese of Kitui will supplements the efforts of the county government as guided by the Kitui CIDP (County Integrated Development Plan) framework.