“When someone educates you, they free you from the shackles of slavery; they open your eyes,” he said, and added that Bishop Sulumeti built health facilities in the Diocese of Kakamega “to continue Christ’s healing work.”
“He catered for the spiritual and physical well-being of the people by building schools and leading men to the Priesthood. Priests are to look after the spiritual well-being while hospitals are to cater for the physical person,” Archbishop Muhatia said.
“The Church has truly been a giant through this giant,” the Kenyan Archbishop said about the Bishop who ordained him to the Priesthood in October 1994.
The Archbishop called on the people of God to emulate Bishop Sulumeti in the service of the Lord and be giants in realizing Christ’s mission.
Before his appointment as Local Ordinary of Kakamega in February 1978, Bishop Sulumeti had first served as the Auxiliary Bishop of Kisumu under Bishop Joannes de Reeper, a member of the St. Joseph’s Missionary Society of Mill Hill (MHM) whom he succeeded in December 1976.
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In the Diocese of Kakamega, Bishop Sulumeti was succeeded by Bishop Joseph Obanyi Sagwe whose Episcopal Consecration took place in March 2015.
In an interview with ACI Africa after the Eucharistic celebration, Bishop Obanyi termed the celebration of his predecessor’s Episcopal Golden Jubilee as “rare history”.
“As his successor, to celebrate, to be there to witness the fifty-year celebration is history. It tells me that faith is concrete; it is what we are living,” Bishop Obanyi said on the sidelines of the October 29 event.
He added, “Bishop Sulumeti did a great job. He was a strong personality who instilled discipline and yet with a lot of love. He is a man who has faith; he is a prayerful man. He has really made a mark and built a legacy in the Church in Kenya.”
Meanwhile, in his speech during the October 29 celebration, the representative of the Holy Father in Kenya described Bishop Sulumeti as “a living history of the institution of what the Church in Kenya is all about.”
“There is so much history in that man. So much knowledge, not only about the Church but also about the Kenya of long ago that we cannot imagine anymore today,” Archbishop Megen said.
The Vatican diplomat added, “Bishop Sulumeti has always tried to apply the law; he has always tried to be objective, not about his own opinion but about what the Church teaches and what the Church desires. That was the first objective of Bishop Sulumeti.”
He further said that Bishop Sulumeti’s diligent service to the people of God in Kenya can be witnessed in how he acts with his successor.
The Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya explained, “Bishop Sulumeti respects the new Bishop and he never interfered with his work and that can only be if you are very well aware of your service to the Church and to the country.”
“Bishop Sulumeti, thank you for that great witness to all of us,” Archbishop Megen said.