These are the Four Ways to Identify a Catholic Priest: Bishop at Ordination in Kenya

The newly ordained Priests of the Kenya's Catholic Diocese of Bungoma. Credit: Marcello Omuttaha

A Catholic Priest sets himself apart for his obedience, trustworthiness, gentleness, and teamwork, the Bishop of Kenya’s Diocese of Bungoma has said.

In his homily at the Saturday, November 4 priestly ordination in the Diocese, Bishop Mark Kadima Wamukoya said that a Catholic Priests can be identified based on their ability to follow orders without question, work well with others, earn people's trust, and to be gentle amid rejection and any manner of hostility they may find themselves.

 “What is a Priest among us? How is he identified? To me, I see four elements that will distinguish you as a Priest,” he said during the event that was held at St. Cecilia Misikhu Girls High School of Bungoma Diocese.

Unconditional obedience

Bishop Kadima urged the six deacons he was to ordain Priests to obey and execute God’s work without giving conditions to their Bishops.


He challenged them to embrace service and to always yearn to improve the situation of the places where they are sent without complaining.

“No place makes you, you are the one who transforms it. Turn every place you that is not a paradise into a paradise,” Bishop Kadima said, adding, “The priesthood you are joining is that of obedient Priests who do not give the Bishop conditions about where they are sent.”


The Kenyan Bishop said that a Priest is mandated not only to work with talented people but also to promote talents and gifts by reaching out to the people.

He reflected on the letter of Paul to the Corinthians talking about “one body and many parts”, and said, “What St. Paul is telling us is that the most important thing about a Priest today is to be able to work and live with other people…Do not do it alone, embrace teamwork. Doing it alone makes you a dictator.”

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He explained, “St. Paul is telling us that we are all gifted differently, but we need one another. Whatever you have been given, including work; talent; job; and duties, let it improve and help other people.”

Ability to earn people’s trust

Bishop Kadima said that in the same way the Lord trusted Prophet Isaiah to preach good news to the prisoners and set them free, Priests should gain the trust of the people under their care.

“A Priest is a person who says, ‘trust me’. A priest is someone who can be trusted with things and people,” said the 59-year-old Bishop who has been at the helm of Bungoma Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in February 2022.



Bishop Kadima said that a Priest should be gentle while executing his duties even if the environment is hostile. He said that upon rejection at the workplace, Priests should not cause havoc while inside, but only air their grievances while outside.

 “A Priest is a gentleman; go where you have been sent and stay there, stop complaining,” the Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Bungoma Diocese said, and added, “Jesus said you should only rub your feet once outside the house, not while still inside.”

The six Deacons ordained Priests during the November 4 event included, Douglas Tabuche Mbembe, Mathias Simiyu, Mathias Mubuya, Sylvester Olengo, Steven Wafula, and Aguilinous Oundo.

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.