Catholic Bishop in Kenya Hails Irish-founded Missionary Society for "triple presence"

Bishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba of Kenya's Nakuru Diocese. Credit: Courtesy photo

The Catholic Bishop of Kenya's Nakuru Diocese, Bishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba, has hailed members of St. Patrick's Missionary Society (SPS) who have ministered in the Kenyan Episcopal See for their instrumental role in evangelization through what he termed “triple presence.”

Bishop Muhatia who was presiding over the Priestly ordination of a member of the Irish-founded Religious Order, also called Kiltegan Fathers, on Saturday, July 10, said, "The St. Patrick's Missionary Society has made three manifestations in our Diocese. They have a pastoral, prayerful, and formative arms in three different Parishes. This to us is very significant."

"The Patrician Missionaries have all along been pastoring to our people and praying for them. They have also helped form the spiritual lives of many people in this Diocese," the Kenyan Bishop further said during the Priest ordinary of Deacon Isaiah Njoroge. 

He acknowledged with appreciation the sharing of missionaries within the African continent saying while the Kenyan Deacon he was about to ordain a Priest has been commissioned to Nigeria, “as a Diocese we will also be receiving a Nigerian Patrician Missionary.”

“We feel like the St. Patrick's Missionaries are our faith ambassadors out there,” Bishop Muhatia said during the ordination event that was livestreamed on Capuchin TV.


He used the occasion to advice those who have responded to the call to be Priests to be true to their Priestly vocation, cautioning them against the temptation to be pulled toward material gain.

"I advise you Priests that when you go out there in your Pastoral duties, don't see the calling to become a Priest as a source of income; you should be well aware that you are a minister of God who has been sent by the spirit of God to spread good news," Bishop Muhatia said.

The leadership of the Irish-founded Society in Kenya has provided an overview of the Missionary Order in Africa.

“Since its foundation in 1932, the overseas missions of the Society had all been in Nigeria, where the earliest members of the Society had worked before the establishment of the Society,” the leadership states on its website, and adds in reference to the Kenyan mission, “The expansion to a new mission territory was a very significant development, which followed, though only indirectly, the General Chapter of the Society in 1950.”

The leadership recounts the journey to Kenya stating, “The first five members of the Society assigned to Kenya travelled by boat and arrived on December 29th 1951.”

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“The first Society members in Nigeria were to work with Holy Ghost Fathers, already present there. The pioneers in Kenya were to work with Mill Hill Missionaries. The major missionary groups already in Kenya at that time were the Italian Consolata Fathers, the Irish Holy Ghost Fathers and the English and Dutch Mill Hill Fathers,” the leadership of the Kiltegan Fathers further state on the website.

"Kenya today is an important center for the training of St Patrick’s priests. A House of Initial Formation was opened in 1997 in the Diocese of Nakuru," the Missionary Society has further published on its website.