Rt. Rev. Joseph is now the new shepherd of the Catholic diocese of Kitui after a colourful consecration and installation ceremony held at St. Charles Lwanga Secondary School Grounds.
Bishop Mwongela was installed in a ceremony presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya Archbishop Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen, assisted by His eminence John Cardinal Njue of Nairobi, and Archbishop Anthony Muheria, the outgoing Apostolic Administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Kitui.
Bishop Mwongela takes over from His Grace, Most Rev. Anthony Muheria who as has been serving as the Apostolic Administrator since 2017 after he was appointed as the Archbishop of Nyeri.
Bishop Mwongela was appointed as the 4th bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kitui by Pope Francis on the Feast of St. Patrick’s, March 2020. Prior to his appointment, he was serving as the father in charge at Our Lady of Africa Cathedral parish and First Vicar General of Kitui under the leadership Rt. Rev. Anthony Muheria. As the vicar general, he has been in charge of priestly personnel and conduct, pastoral, education, health, development, diocesan communication and youth chaplaincy matter. He served in many boards such as Caritas Kitui, Muthale mission hospital, St. Joseph’s Seminary Mwingi, and St. Teresa’s Catechetical Training centre.
Bishop Mwongela pledged to continue with the works of his predecessors as well as work with priests as his closest collaborators in service to the church as he takes over the leadership of the diocese
“Today I want to offer myself to God who has called me and chosen me to lead his people. I loudly promise to be a loving and caring bishop. I shall strive to be a pastoral bishop, one who smells like the sheep. May we all work together with love and joy to build the Kingdom of God. Here I am Lord, I come to do your will. I seek to joyfully do your will. In me, may your sheep find a caring shepherd in me, your servant,” Bishop Mwongela said in his first address as bishop on Saturday August 29.
The ceremony attended by 15 catholic bishops, representatives from the parishes, clergy, religious, political leaders and government officials was characterized by strict measures put in place to prevent a possible spread of coronavirus. Everybody present wore a mask, had their temperature screened at points of entry into the venue and was given sanitizers donated by the Country government of Kitui. Several hand washing and sanitizing points were also set up at the venue.
Archbishop Muheria urged the faithful of the diocese to love, protect, support and take care of the new shepherd.