Inaugurated Synod Process in Kenyan Diocese to Include “those considered as outsiders”

Bishop Willybard Lagho of Kenya's Malindi Diocese. Credit: Courtesy photo

The process of the Synod on Synodality inaugurated in the Catholic Diocese of Malindi in Kenya seeks to include “those considered as outsiders”, the Local Ordinary of the Kenyan Diocese has said. 

In his message to the people of God under his pastoral care, Bishop Willybard Lagho guides Catholic Church leaders in his Episcopal See on the synodal process whose 22-page preparatory document, which is to be reviewed by all Catholic Dioceses across the globe over a six-months period, was released on September 7.

“I am therefore calling upon all pastoral leaders, especially the Parish Priests to renew and redesign holistic Parish pastoral programs only after discerning divergent, legitimate and authentic voices of the people they serve including those considered as outsiders,” Bishop Lagho says in his message published October 17.

The Kenyan Bishop adds, “The Synod in the words of Pope Francis offers us the opportunity to discern and listen to fellow pilgrims including many others who worship differently including atheists.”

Among those to be listened to, during the Synod process are “people who frequently remain in the church periphery like abused teenage girls and mothers, couples in un-solemnized marriages, polygamists, divorced, landless and street families, human trafficked and vulnerable migrants, abandoned babies and elders,” the Catholic Bishop says.


In the Synod on Synodality, the Holy Father invites the people of God to dedicate substantial resources to listen to the joys and sorrows of all, Bishop Lagho who was on a three-day visit of St. Joseph Freinademetz Witu-Kipini Parish of Malindi Diocese further says. 

The Catholic Bishop who has been at the helm of the Kenyan Diocese since his Episcopal Ordinary on March 19 describes his pastoral visit that concluded on October 17 as part of the Synodal experience.

He says, “My three-day pastoral visit to Witu-Kipini in Tana Delta will remain a deliberate Synodality immersion experience because it brought me face to face with a remnant of Christian communities, some worshipping in seemingly neglected makeshift structures.”

“The people of Witu-Kipini who are suffering from prolonged drought, perennial floods, human, livestock, wildlife conflict, securitization and sexual exploitation of vulnerable families desire a church that must become space for their voices,” Bishop Lagho further says. 

In his message to the people of God under his pastoral care delivered from St. Joseph Freinademetz Witu-Kipini Parish, the Local Ordinary Malindi Diocese made public his appointment of Fr. James Kinoti “as the chairperson of the Diocesan synodal team.”

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The team that the Kenyan Catholic Priest is expected to oversee “will immediately ensure all groups of people no matter their circumstances of life take an active role in the synodal process,” Bishop Lagho says. 

He reflects on the theme of the Synod on Synodality, that is, “Toward a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission” and says, “It entails walking together and listening to one another but above all to the Holy Spirit.”

“Let us begin praying for this extraordinary moment of renewal of our universal and local Church through the intercession of the holy family who remained faithful to God in the various societal challenges of their times,” Bishop Lagho says in reference to the Synod on Synodality.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.