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Cleric Who Oversaw Construction of Kenya’s Latest Cathedral Eulogized as Committed Priest

Late Fr. Christopher Wanyonyi who oversaw the construction of the new Christ the King Cathedral of Kenya’s Bungoma Diocese. Credit: Governor's Press Service-County Government of Bungoma Facebook

The Catholic Priest who oversaw the construction of the new Christ the King Cathedral of Kenya’s Bungoma Diocese that was Consecrated in May is being eulogized as a hardworking, committed, dedicated servant of God.

Fr. Christopher Wanyonyi, 63, succumbed to COVID-19 complications Monday, August 9 while receiving treatment at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital Eldoret where he had been admitted.

In an interview with ACI Africa August 9, Fr. Proteus Wosyanju eulogized the late Cleric as “a committed Priest in his work, very faithful and ready to work anywhere. He was very dedicated, strict, hardworking especially in issues of the Small Christian Communities.”

“He was always after elevating the lives of the people,” Fr. Wosyanju recalled the late Priest, and added, “He helped refurbish many schools in the Diocese. He was a member of several boards in the Diocese and was among the pioneer officials of the Constituency Development Fund in Kanduyi Constituency.”

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The Parish Priest of Our Lady Queen of Peace Cheptais Parish of Bungoma Diocese further remembered the late Fr. Wanyonyi as a Priest who “was firm in matters of justice and peace.”

Fr. Wanyonyi was helpful in acquiring title deeds for the property of the Catholic Church, the Priest recalled, further describing the late Cleric as “a no-nonsense person when it came to politics interfering with the Church and how her schools are run.”

Ordained a Priest for the Diocese of Bungoma in 1991, the late Fr. Wanyonyi studied Philosophy at St. Augustine’s Major Seminary, Mabanga in Bungoma Diocese and Theology at St. Thomas Aquinas National Major Seminary in Nairobi Archdiocese. 

Until his passing on, Fr. Wanyonyi was serving as the Administrator of Christ the King Cathedral of Kenya’s Diocese of Bungoma. 

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In an August 9 statement posted on Facebook, the Governor of Bungoma County, Wycliffe Wafula Wangamati, describes the late Priest as “an icon, a dedicated servant of God, an astute administrator and a firm leader who spoke truth to power.”

“I will remember Fr. Wanyonyi as the firm, no-nonsense Priest who never hesitated to confront the ills in our society and called out leaders to level up to their roles in society,” says Governor Wangamati. 

The Governor adds that Fr. Wanyonyi “also expended all his energies to champion the education of our children.”

“That Christ the King Primary School is one of the best schools in the country speaks of Fr. Wanyonyi not just as an administrator but also a consummate educationist at heart,” Governor Wangamati says, and adds, “Through his vast networks, Fr. Wanyonyi sponsored hundreds of children of Bungoma from primary, through high school and up to university.”

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“I mourn a friend. I mourn a compass I would look at to know how best to serve the people of Bungoma. I mourn a servant of God by whose prayers and counsel I am who I am today,” the Governor says. 

He continues, “Bungoma County has lost a fearless leader, a father-figure to many in the church and beyond, a man dedicated and committed to serving God.”

“I send my deepest condolences and those of my family and of the people of Bungoma County to his family and friends and to the Catholic faithful of Christ the King Cathedral and to the larger Catholic family,” says Governor Wangamati. 

On his part, Governor Sospeter Ojaamong of Busia County has been quoted as remembering the late Fr. Wanyonyi “among the religious leaders in the Diocese who always condemned bad behavior and would always  tell off those who misbehaved in public including politicians.”

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“He was a soft-spoken and dedicated servant of God who embraced discipline and good morals besides being an astute administrator and a firm leader who always spoke the truth,” said Governor Ojaamong. 

In a WhatsApp message seen by ACI Africa, Anthony Wekesa eulogizes the late Priest as havinb been "passionate about education and development for the people."

"You abhorred laziness and pettiness!" Wekesa says, adding that Fr. Wanyonyi's homilies were "practical and relatable."

"Go well Fr. Wanyonyi!" Wekesa further says in his August 9 WhatsApp message.