He thanked “the people of the diocese of Lodwar because they have made me what I am today. I have lived with them for the last ten years and we worked together even with the leadership there to ensure that we are solving the issues of the people of Turkana.”
“I also thank the late Bishop Korir for the pastoral work he did because if you look at the parishes in this diocese, they have 66 parishes; that’s a sign that pastoral work was well done and I am ready to work so that the word of God is spread everywhere,” Bishop Kimengich said.
At the Saturday event, the representative of Pope Francis in Kenya, Archbishop Bert van Megen announced that the Holy Father had appointed Bishop Kimengich Apostolic Administrator of Lodwar Diocese.
Meanwhile, on Friday, January 31, Bishop Kimengich made a grand entry into Eldoret diocese, received by thousands of people, including clergy, men and women religious ministering in the diocese as well as the laity, among them, political leaders.
The people gathered at Moi’s Bridge, the border of Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu and Kakamega Counties, which was chosen for the entry of the Bishop, bringing business to a standstill as natives stood by the roadside, waving at Bishop Kimengich. A ceremony of receiving the Bishop was conducted, marked by prayers, singing, and dancing.
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Bishop Kimengich also performed the ritual of kissing the ground as he entered his new ecclesiastical jurisdiction, symbolizing humility and readiness to serve all the people of God in Eldoret diocese.
“The church will not discriminate anybody. We will work with everybody so that the church moves forward,” Bishop Kimengich said at Moi’s Bridge and added, “I thank the people of Lodwar for welcoming and working with me in peace efforts when I served in Turkana.”
During the Friday event, Governor Josphat Nanok of Turkana acknowledged Bishop Kimengich’s role in uniting parties in conflict within the County of Turkana and remarked, “I did not want Bishop Kimengich to leave but we have accepted the Pope’s decision. We thank him for the work he did in Turkana.”
Accompanied by Bishop Maurice Crowley of the neighboring Kitale diocese, Bishop Kimengich was, on Friday, January 31, received at St. Teresa’s Catholic Parish, Moi’s Bridge before being escorted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral through Eldoret town in a convoy of over 100 cars and at least 20 buses.
“I wish a part of the good heart of Bishop Kimengich could be passed on to our political leaders in our country,” the Senator of Baringo, Gideon Moi remarked during the Saturday event that attracted over 10,000 people.