Spiritan Priest Appointed Bishop in Kenya, Says “looking forward to being a servant”

Mons. John Mbinda, appointed Bishop of Kenya's Lodwar Diocese on 4 April 2022. Credit: ACI Africa

The member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) who has been appointed Bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar in Kenya has said he looks forward to exercising servant leadership “as Christ offered Himself”.

The appointment of Mons. John Mbinda as the fourth Bishop of the Kenyan Diocese was published by the Holy See Press Office Monday, April 4.

In an interview with ACI Africa shortly after his appointment was made public, the Kenyan-born Priest who is the immediate former Provincial Superior of the Spiritans in Kenya and South Sudan said, “The message I can give now is a message of goodwill, a message of looking forward to being a servant, not to be served but to offer myself just as Christ offered Himself for the sake of all the people of Lodwar Diocese.”

As Bishop-elect for Lodwar Diocese, Mons. Mbinda is expected to succeed Bishop Dominic Kimengich who was transferred to the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret in November 2019. The latter, 60, is the Apostolic Administrator of the vacant Diocese.

Born in May 1973 in Kenya’s Machakos Diocese, Mons. Mbinda who started his Priestly formation at the Spiritan Missionary Seminary in Arusha, Tanzania in August 1993 was ordained a Holy Ghost Priest in May 2002, after completing his studies in Theology at Tangaza University College (TUC) in Nairobi, Kenya.


The holder of a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from Kimmage Development Studies Centre (DSC) who completed his three-year second term as Provincial of Spiritans in Kenya and South Sudan in January 2021 has previously served as Parish Priest of Kositei Parish in the Diocese of Nakuru, and in the Archdiocese of Nairobi, at St. Austin's Parish.

At the time of his Episcopal appointment, Mons. Mbinda has been ministering at the St. Chad RC Church in the Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark, United Kingdom.

In the April 4 interview with ACI Africa, the Bishop-elect said he was “overwhelmed” with the news of his appointment as Bishop and expressed his readiness to continue serving the Lord. 

It is so humbling. I am overwhelmed for the time being and for me it is great; I did not expect it much and if the Lord has seen that I can serve him, I am willing,” he said, and expressed his readiness to be at the service of the people of God in Lodwar Diocese in collaboration with members of the Clergy, women and men Religious and the Laity. 

He went on to describe the Catholic Diocese situated in Northern Kenya as “a remote place where resources are scarce.”

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“It will be a lot of work but God will provide. If we work together everything is possible,” the member of the Spiritans told ACI Africa shortly after his Episcopal appointment was made public April 4. 

The Episcopal appointment, the native of Kenya’s Machakos Diocese said, “is a great honor to the Spiritans and I think a new awakening that the past can repeat itself in the present for the greater glory of God.”

Since Archbishop John Joseph McCarthy, the first Archbishop of Nairobi Archdiocese, retired in October 1971, there has not been a Spiritan Bishop in the East African nation.

Recalling Holy Ghost Fathers as Kenya’s oldest Missionary Congregation, Mons. Mbinda said, “I think God is paying us back by giving back to the Spiritans a leader to the Church in Kenya.”

The Provincial Superior of the Spiritans in Kenya and South Sudan has said members of his Congregation “very happy about the news of Fr John Mbinda, one of our own, being appointed Bishop of Lodwar.”


In his message to ACI Africa shortly after the news of the Episcopal appointment became public, Fr. Dominic Gathurithu says the Charism and mission of the Spiritans will aid the Bishop-elect serve the people of God in the Diocese that covers the arid and semi-arid parts of Northern Kenya. 

“Lodwar is a Diocese with many challenges such as few vocations, it's semi- arid, poor infrastructure,” Fr. Gathurithu says, and adds, “We Spiritans are called to go where the Church has difficulty in finding workers. That Spiritan Charism and mission will help Bishop-elect John Mbinda serve the people of Lodwar.”

The Kenyan-born Priest says Spiritans will journey with their confrere in his Episcopal ministry among the people of God in the Diocese of Lodwar.

Once he is ordained Bishop, Mons. Mbinda will oversee the 77,700 square-kilometer Catholic Diocese that is part of the Ecclesiastical Province of Kisumu.

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.