The World Today Needs Priests More Than Ever Before, Bishop in Kenya at Ordination

A poster announcing the July 22 Diaconate and Priestly Ordinations in Kenya Kakamega Diocese. Credit: Kakamega Diocese

The world today needs Priests more than ever before, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kakamega in Kenya has said.

In his homily during the ordination of new Deacons and Priests that was held at St. Bakhita’s Girls High School in his Episcopal See, Bishop Joseph Obanyi Sagwe explored the relevance of Catholic Priests in what he described as “distorted” cultures.

“One may ask, is there really any room for one to become a Priest in the modern world when we are having different cultures that are even distorted? Where the sense of the religious is being pushed to the sidelines? Where humanity is in haste to acquire the good of the world?” Bishop Obanyi posed.

He added, “We need Priests now more than ever before because they remain relevant and they remain the conscience of the society. It is not the priesthood that is passing away, but the secular culture.”

Addressing members of Clergy who participated in the Friday, July 22 ordination celebration, the Local Ordinary of Kakamega said, “The Priest will always remain the man of the present and the future. Your relevance, therefore, does not end. When every memory of every popular culture has passed away, the Priesthood will remain.”


Five Deacons were ordained Priests at the event. They are Deacon Clement Kitoli Ikhala from St. Joseph’s Luanda Parish, Deacon Bernard Ombasa Omambia from St. Camillus Tabaka Parish, Deacon Fredrick Ohiambo Owino from St. Paul’s Mbaga Parish, Deacon Wycliffe Lubembe Mumia from The Sacred Heart of Jesus Mukumu Parish, and Deacon Simon Wanga Okiya from The Nativity of Our Lady Mutoma Parish.

Those ordained Deacons were Seminarian Benjamin Namonywa from St. Paul's Ejinja Parish, Seminarian Felix Kalo Mukulu from At. Augustine Eregi Parish, Seminarian Justus Misango Mukoshi from St. Luke’s Bumini Parish, and Seminarian Stephen Akungwi Wabuti, also from St. Luke Bumini Parish.

Bishop Obanyi challenged members of the Clergy at the ordination celebration to always work to set a good example in the society, noting that a lot is expected from them.

“The people of God expect to see more than a man in the Priest. Even when we have modern culture, even when we see popular cultures and cultural societies passing, this Priest who remains relevant must be seen to be more than the man he is,” the Local Ordinary of Kakamega Diocese said.

He said that in a Priest, the people expect to see “an example of true devotion”.

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“People expect to see an example of true devotion: devotion in prayer, devotion in the Eucharist, devotion to our Lady, devotion to the Church, the love of the Church. They expect the Eucharist,” he said.

The Kenyan Catholic Bishop cautioned those he was about to ordain Priests not to take the gift of Priesthood for granted.

“We say one Mass is better than anything else in the world. You will be given the faculty of saying Mass,” Bishop Obanyi said, and added, “You should never at any point take it for granted that you have been given the power, and you have the gift. Cherish it and live it.”

“When people encounter a Priest, they should have that same experience of meeting Christ in person. Priests need to become the Eucharist. We represent Christ, we become persona Christi in what we do,” he said during the ordination celebration on July 22.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.