Transition in Kenya’s Nakuru Diocese Similar to “going on retreat”: Archbishop-elect

Archbishop-elect Maurice Muhatia Makumba. Credit: ACI Africa

The administrative change in the Diocese of Nakuru in Kenya following the transfer of Bishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba to the Archdiocese of Kisumu can be favorably compared with the Kenyan Diocese “going on retreat”, the Archbishop-elect has said.

In his Monday, March 14 message addressed to the people of God in the Kenyan Diocese, Archbishop-elect Muhatia whose installation has been scheduled for Saturday, March 19 says that Nakuru “Diocese is in transition and one can actually compare the current state of the Diocese with going on retreat.”

“Retreat time is properly speaking a time for recollection, the recollection of the self in the midst of a world speeding by: the world of business, of appointments, of busy schedules, of excuses, and of ‘too much to do,’” the Kenyan Archbishop-elect says in his statement shared with ACI Africa.

He continues, “In the time of transition or properly speaking sede vacante the Diocese goes through an almost similar experience. It goes into retreat; in some kind of seclusion to come to terms with the reality of God’s abundant gifts and how he dispenses them as he wishes.”

“We are involved in some sort of return to the self, which is basically spiritual,” the Archbishop-elect says, adding that it is important to realize that the departure from the ordinary way of life into quiet is an important step in recapturing oneself. 


“To take a step back in order to make considerations before proceeding with the journey is not a sign of cowardice but of wisdom. A diocese in a situation of sede vacante goes through a similar experience,” the native of Kakamega Diocese who has been at the helm of Nakuru Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in February 2010 says. 

He further says the period of transition is a time for the people of God in the Diocese to make their own experiences “centered in the core of the human mind, to question whether our inside is still alive.”

“We need a push, or a shock to trigger that question that reaches beyond the sphere of mere material needs. It is time to question the meaning of the world and of existence in general,” the Archbishop-elect says. 

He expresses the hope that the next few months will be a time for the people of God in Nakuru Diocese to “return to the self.”

“It is crucial for each of us to realize that it is important for me to know me before I crash into the very tempting desire to want to help everybody else. Charity begins at home even if it does not end there,” the Archbishop-elect who will turn 54 in May says in his March 14 statement. 

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He reflects on Priesthood and Religious Life standards saying that the Church expects Priests and women and men Religious to be firm in their faith.

Being firm in faith, Archbishop-elect Muhatia says, “is the starting point of the life of a Priest and Religious; it is the most elementary and the most fundamental and on which all else depends.”

“It is on this that the daily life of both the individual and the community of faith with their witness and apostolate depend. This is a most important element in the life of one who has been called to lead the community of the faithful to God,” he says.

Being firm in faith, he continues, “is precisely what makes you different and sets you apart for a mission. You bring along with you to your work, the constant realization that you are consecrated for a purpose.”

Archbishop-elect Muhatia further says the success of the Clergy and women and men Religious “will not be judged by the success of other workers or professions in the world. The standard of your performance will not be your commitment to what the world can offer but will depend on your commitment to Christ.”


“This is our only true consolation so that even if we were to meet frustration and dissatisfaction in our external apostolate, we have something to go back to, something to lean on,” he explains. 

In the modern world, the Kenyan Archbishop-elect says, the Church expects Priests and women and men Religious to go deeper into their vocation ‘in absolute faith, not judging it by human or social standards”

“This does not mean we should be mediocre in our duties. Certainly, we have to maintain the highest standards in our work. But the search for the highest standards should be inspired by our desire to serve Christ more whole-heartedly,” Archbishop-elect Muhatia says ahead of his installation scheduled for March 19. 

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.