Let’s Be Family “regardless of political choices, party affiliations”, Urges Kenyan Bishop

Bishop John Oballa Owaa during the Holy Mass to mark his 10th Episcopal anniversary. Credit: Ngong Diocese/Facebook

The Bishop of Kenya’s Catholic Diocese of Ngong has urged the people of God in the East African country to look at each other as “one family” even with their varied “political choices and party affiliations”.

In his Thursday, April 21 message on the occasion of his 10th Episcopal anniversary, Bishop John Oballa Owaa reflected on Kenya’s general elections slated for August and said that Kenyans are a family and that there is no need to tear each other apart because of the elections.

“We cannot afford any conflict, so regardless of political choices or party affiliations, I appeal to us Kenyans today more than ever that we are brothers and sisters and we are members of one family,” Bishop Oballa said.

The Kenyan Catholic Church leader who was consecrated Bishop on 14 April 2012 urged the people of God in Kenya to work for peaceful elections and to ensure that campaigns are focused on the vision of the country and not just on party affiliations.

“I ask us who are here today, sharing with me the joy, the gratitude of this day to God to be committed to peace and to all those who might be listening to us,” Bishop Oballa said at the event.


The Kenyan Bishop who has been at the helm of Ngong Diocese since his Episcopal ordination in April 2012 reflected on the words of St. Gregory of Nazianzen, one of the early Fathers of the Church and urged the people of God under his pastoral care to pray for him.

He also asked the people of God to pray for Priest to be holy so that they can make others holy.

“Even as I thank God, I feel challenged and my heart is in tribulation and fear as I listen to the words of St. Gregory of Nazianzen, first be purified and then purify others, first allow yourself to be instructed by wisdom and then instruct others, first become light and then enlighten others, first draw close to God and then guide others to him, first be holy and then make others holy,” Bishop Oballa said.

The 63-year-old Local Ordinary of the Catholic Diocese of Ngong said that prayers from others will strengthen him and his collaborators to uphold their duties without backsliding.

“What an invite, what a challenge,” Bishop Oballa said in reference to the words of St. Gregory, and added, “I ask you to pray for me to be holy so that I can make others holy. Pray for me, pray for your Priests that we may be faithful servants of God.”

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Addressing the faithful who participated in his 10th anniversary event, the Kenyan Bishop said, “I assure you that you are always in my prayers that we may walk together to the home everlasting when the time comes.”

Bishop Oballa listed evangelization, charity and true worship as three pillars that have given him fulfillment during the 10 years he has served as the Bishop of the Kenyan Diocese. He thanked members of the Clergy, women and men Religious, and the Laity for holding the three pillars.

“At this juncture as we celebrate 10 years of being a shepherd, I cannot help but thank most sincerely our closest collaborators, the Priests for your commitment to see that those three areas are addressed in parishes, in small Christian Communities, reaching out to those who otherwise would have been left in the margins of life,” he said.

The Kenyan Bishop added, in his address to Priests, “I really thank you from the bottom of my heart for being close to the people of God because these are our employers and we are their servants.”

Speaking at the same occasion, the Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Eldoret Diocese, Bishop Dominic Kimengich lauded Bishop Oballa and all those under his pastoral care for the progress in Ngong Diocese.


“Despite the challenges, we thank God that for these 10 years. When I saw this Cathedral, I already saw one of the achievements of Bishop Oballa together with the people of this Diocese. I want to thank you for the support you gave to the Bishop,” Bishop Kimengich said.

The Kenyan Catholic Bishop who was speaking on behalf of the Seminary classmates of Bishop Oballa thanked him for uniting them as classmates from Seminary in the 1980s.

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.