By Rose Achiego
The Holy Father Pope Francis has encouraged the new Apostolic Nuncio to find new bishops as soon as possible to fill in vacancies in dioceses without bishops.
Speaking at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) during his arrival to Kenya on 4th, May, 2019, The Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan, His Excellency Archbishop Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen said Pope Francis is praying for the Church in Kenya and wishes to have new bishops in place. “We cannot do without Bishops,” Archbishop Van Megen said.
Currently Kenya has six dioceses without resident bishops. These include, Homa Bay dioceses that fell vacant following elevation of Archbishop Philip Anyolo to the Archdiocese of Kisumu, Bungoma after Bishop Norman King’oo Wambua was transferred to head Machakos, Eldoret after the death of Bishop Cornelius Korir, Kitui after Archbishop Anthony Muheria was elevated to Nyeri Archdiocese, Military ordinariet after the retirement of Bishop Alfred Rotich and Malindi after the demise of Bishop Emanuel Barbara.
Archbishop Van Megen said that, the church in Kenya is important promising that, with prayers and support of the bishops, the clergy and religious and the faithful, it will grow. “I need enlightenment of the Holy Spirit in order to do my work,” the Nuncio said.
He also expressed happiness to be in Kenya adding that he was always looking forward to come and serve. “This whole welcoming is overwhelming for me. I really look forward to come to know you more,” he said.
In his welcoming remarks, The Chairman of The Kenya Conference of Kenya (KCCB) Most Rev. Philip Anyolo expressed joy over the appointment and arrival of the Nuncio committing to work together to continue evangelization.
Archbishop Anyolo also encouraged the Nuncio to visit all the dioceses of Kenya to get to know Christians better.
Meanwhile the Nairobi Archbishop His Eminence John Cardinal Njue thanked God for responding to their prayers to get a new Nuncio. Cardinal Njue prayed that the Church in Kenya may be able to work together with the nuncio. “May God enlighten him and walk with him,” he added.
Others who joined in the warm welcoming of the Nuncio were, Nyeri Archbishop Most Rev. Anthony Muheria, Nairobi Auxilary Bishop Rt. Rev David Kamau, KCCB Bishop Rt. Rev. Alfred Rotich, In Charge of the Affairs of the Nunciature Monsignor Marco Ganci accompanied by members of the clergy, religious Women and leaders of Catholic Men Association (CMA), Catholic Women Association (CWA) and choir members from the Archdiocese of Nairobi.