Christian Unity “must be understood to be another aspect of prayer”: Bishop in Kenya

Bishop Michael Cornelius Odiwa and religious leaders after Holy mass. Credit: Homabay Diocese

The unity of the followers of Jesus Christ is “another aspect of prayer” and needs to be understood as such, Bishop Michael Cornelius Odiwa of Kenya’s Catholic Diocese of Homa Bay has said.

In his homily during Holy Mass to observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU), Bishop Odiwa said that he found it regrettable that Christians in Kenya are not making a difference while they are part of the dominant religion. 

“Christian unity must be seen, must be heard, must be understood to be another aspect of prayer,” he said during the Monday, January 23 Eucharistic celebration at St. Paul's Cathedral of Homa Bay Diocese

The Kenyan Catholic Bishop added, “That is why in the Catholic Church it is our interest, it is our concern, it is our desire that as people who profess Jesus Christ Son of God, we may have a certain level, a certain amount of unity.”

“We are expressing the same Jesus in different fashions. In action, may we be one; may we believe,” he said during Holy Mass that had faithful from other Christian denominations in attendance.


Bishop Odiwa emphasized the need for unity among Christians, saying, “Don't be divided. Was Jesus Christ divided?”  

Christian unity “is not a call to conversion but a call to understanding,” the Kenyan Catholic Bishop who has been at the helm of Homa Bay Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in February 2021 said during the WPCU Holy Mass.

Observed annually from January 18-25, this year’s WPCU was guided by the theme, “Do good; seek justice.”

The theme that was selected by the Minnesota Council of Churches, USA, was motivated by the aftermath of the extrajudicial killing of George Floyd and the trial of the police officer responsible for his death.

In his homily, the Local Ordinary of Homa Bay said WPCU presents Christians with time to reflect on their faith.

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“As people who profess the Christian faith, it is a moment to reflect, to consider Jesus Christ,” Bishop Odiwa said.

He called on Christians, who are the majority in Kenya, to fight injustices and other vices in society.

“Kenya is 80% Christian but why are we not making any difference?” Bishop Odiwa posed, and continued, “Shun corruption, believe in justice, defend the widows. These are the practices of life that really express that God has called us here so that justice and uprightness we may pursue.” 

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.