Be Mindful of Persons “struggling very much” amid Drought: Nuncio in Kenya at Ordination

Archbishop Hubertus van Megen speaking during the Consecration of Mons. Hieronymus Joya as Bishop of Kenya's Maralal Diocese. Credit: KCCB

The Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya has, during the Episcopal ordination of the Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Maralal Diocese, appealed for solidarity with those “struggling very much” amid drought in the Northeastern region of the East African country. 

In his homily during the October 22 Consecration of Mons. Hieronymus Joya, Archbishop Hubertus van Megen said that despite the joyful and glorious mood of the celebration in Maralal in Northern Kenya, there is need to be mindful of persons who “have lost their livelihood” due to lack of food and water.

“Take into account as many people that struggle outside there; that struggle in the bush and have sleepless nights on how to feed their children and themselves; people who are thirsty, sick and hungry, who are desperately looking for a way out,” Archbishop Megen said.

He added “We want to include all those peoples in our prayers today who have lost their livelihood who are on the move looking for greener pastures.”

The Catholic Diocese of Maralal, he said, is “at the frontier especially in this time of great drought, of hunger and thirst, where thousands of people in the North have lost their livelihood and are struggling very much.”


“It should be our desire and prayer that the good Lord will finally make it rain over those desert places,” the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya who also represents the Holy Father in South Sudan said during the October 22 event that was held at Allamano Grounds in Maralal. 

He continued, “Let the Lord be faithful to His word that He is a good and gracious Lord full of mercy who makes it rain over the good and the evil.”

In May this year, Catholic Bishops in Kenya expressed concern about the drought ravaging parts of the country. Members  of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) launched an appeal aimed at raising KES. 285 million (US$ 2.8 million) to help families affected by the climate disaster.

In his homily during the Episcopal Ordination Mons. Joya, a member of the Institute of Consolata Missionaries (IMC), Archbishop van Megen also expressed concern about banditry, cattle rustling and murders in the territory covered by the Catholic Diocese of Maralal. 

“We pray that the attacks, stealing and murdering will come to an end so that we may live securely and safely in this country,” the representative of the Holy Father in Kenya said.

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He encouraged the new Bishop of Maralal Diocese to have courage as he begins his Episcopal Ministry in the Kenyan Diocese, saying, “Dear Fr. Joya, do not be afraid to take this great task upon you because you will not carry the cross alone. Christ is carrying it with you; do not be afraid.”

“You are called because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you would follow in his footsteps,” he told the Bishop-elect whose Episcopal appointment was made public by the Holy See Press Office on July 20. 

Archbishop Megen also urged Bishop-elect Joya to emulate Christ in his leadership, and to embrace the virtues of a good leader that St. Paul highlights in his letter to Titus.

You should be “blameless, not arrogant, not quick tempered, not violent, not addicted to alcohol, and not greedy for money,” the Dutch-born Vatican Diplomat told Mons. Joya, adding, “Dear Bishop-elect, be rooted in the word; be rooted in Christ; be that blameless Bishop that Paul speaks of.”

Archbishop Megen promised to pray for the 57-year-old new Bishop of Maralal to become “that new Moses”, seeking God’s intervention on behalf of the people of God under his pastoral care.


“With the help of God, we will pray for you incessantly as you will be that new Moses who lifts up his hands for his people,” the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya said. 

He implored, “May God who has become this good work in you bring it to fulfillment.”

The new Bishop of Maralal who succeeds Bishop Virgilio Pante, the first Local Ordinary of the Kenyan Diocese, is to administer the 20,809 square kilometer Catholic Diocese that has an estimated population of 83,760 Catholics, according to 2020 statistics.

The native of Kenya’s Bungoma Diocese who is the immediate former Regional Superior of IMC members in Kenya and Uganda, and previously served as Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator and Director of Blessed Joseph Allamano Pastoral Centre of Maralal Diocese was, at the time of his Episcopal appointment, a lecturer and formator at the Consolata Institute of Philosophy in Nairobi, Kenya.

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.