Kitui was made an apostolic prefecture in October 1956 and entrusted to the St. Patrick’s Missionaries Society. It became a diocese on November 16, 1963, with Monsignor William Dunne as the first bishop. The Late Archbishop Lele succeeded Bishop Dunne on February 2, 1996 until he was appointed the Archbishop of Mombasa in 2005. The Diocese was overseen by a Diocesan Administrator (Fr. Paul Healy) 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 and installed on 9th August 2008. Following the retirement of Archbishop Peter Kairo, Bishop Anthony Muheria was appointed as the Archbishop of Nyeri Archdiocese in April 2017 and installed on June 17, 2017 at Christ the King Major Seminary Nyeri. Archbishop Anthony Muheria served as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Kitui since April 2017.
On 17th March 2020, Rev. Fr. Joseph Mwongela was appointed as the fourth bishop of Kitui Diocese. The news of his appointment was officially made public in Rome on Tuesday 17th, March 2020). The letter of his appointment was sent to the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) by the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, His Excellency Archbishop Hubertus van Megen. He was later on installed on 29th August 2020 t St. Charles Lwanga Secondary school ground.
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 eight sub counties. It is an arid and semi-arid area of approximately 30,496.4 sq. Kms in Eastern Kenya, with a population of around 226,414 baptized Catholics as per the 2021 Diocesan statistics.
The first Missionaries to evangelize in Kitui were The 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. The first Diocesan Priests in the Diocese were Frs. Peter Muema and the Late Boniface Lele, who were ordained in 1974. The first Kamba nun to profess was Sr. Teresia Muli (Assumption Sisters of Nairobi) from Boma parish, who made her first profession on 6/1/1973 at St. Austins Nairobi.
The Diocese consists of 30 parishes in Five Deaneries: Northern Deanery with 5 Parishes, Western Deanery with 6 parishes, Central Deanery with 7 Parishes, Southern Deanery with 7 Parishes and Eastern Deanery with 5parishes. There are two more parishes about to be: Kwa Kilui and Mathuki. Currently there are 86 Diocesan priests and two missionary priests of the Holy Ghost Fathers working in Kamuw’ongo Parish. 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 Diocese of Kitui has various departments in achieving its vision and mission goals. The departments include: Pastoral, Education, Health, Finance, Caritas, Vocations and Bishop’s office.