Groundbreaking for New Cathedral in Kenyan Diocese “a gracious milestone”: Local Ordinary

Archbishop Hubertus van Megen blesses the Holy Trinity Catholic Cathedral ground in Kenya's Homa Bay Diocese. Credit: Fr. Joshua Mege/Arise Communications Network

The groundbreaking for the construction of a new Cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Homa Bay in Kenya is “a gracious milestone”, the Local Ordinary of the 30-year-old Kenyan Diocese has said.

In his Thursday, May 18 speech during the groundbreaking ceremony in which the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya blessed the foundation stone for the construction of Holy Trinity Cathedral, Bishop Michael Otieno Odiwa said the task of building will involve “working in faith”.

“Today we begin working in faith as we prepare to begin placing one stone on top of another. The transformation of this ground into the central Church of our Diocese begins,” Bishop Odiwa said during the celebration presided over by the representative of the Holy Father in Kenya and South Sudan, Archbishop Hubertus van Megen

Credit: Fr. Joshua Mege/Arise Communications Network

The Local Ordinary of the Kenyan Catholic Diocese that was erected in October 1993 from Kisii Diocese added, “Today these grounds have been declared the See of our Diocese. It is here where the chair of the Bishop will directly link us to the chair of Peter, the Rock on which the Church was built.”


“The Cathedral that will stand on this ground will be a Sacrament of the salt, a visible sign of Mater Ecclesia, the mother Church whose head is Jesus Christ himself,” Bishop Odiwa said about the new Holy Trinity Cathedral that is to have a sitting capacity of 3,000 worshippers.

When complete, he said, the new Cathedral “will constantly call on us to foster unity and diversity and to deliberately focus on the many things that unite us across different cultures: languages, religions, denominations, even ideologies and political affiliations.” 

The third Catholic Bishop of Homa Bay Diocese who started his Episcopal Ministry in the Kenyan Episcopal See in February 2021 said the new Cathedral “will always be a reminder of the peace that the risen Lord repeatedly wished His apostles.” 

Those to worship in the new Cathedral, when complete, will have a conducive place to pray for peace and love in families and for Kenya, he said during the May 18 event in which five Seminarians belonging to Homa Bay Diocese, and two members of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ (Passionists) were ordained Deacons.

Since the erection of the Kenyan Diocese close to 30 years ago in a mission where Dutch-born and Irish Mill Hill Missionaries (MHM) and Passionists from Italy were the pioneer evangelizers, St. Paul church has been serving as the Cathedral of the 7,778-square-kilometer Kenyan Diocese that has 47 Parishes and 80 Diocesan Priests.

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In his speech during the May 18 event, Bishop Odiwa who had served as Vicar General for Homa Bay Diocese before he left for Australia where he served as assistant Parish Priest and in-charge of Italian-speaking community of the Annunciation Church Hectorville Parish and defender of Bond Tribunal of the Province of Adelaide South Australia and Northern Territories, said St. Paul church was constructed “in such a generous way that it has played the role of a Cathedral almost flawlessly for close to 30 years.”

“Many are those who are only learning that the Diocese had no substantive Cathedral with canonical specifications,” the 60-year-old Catholic Bishop who was appointed Bishop in November 2020 said.

Reflecting on the task of constructing the new Cathedral, he described the groundbreaking ceremony as an uplifting and joyous moment, as well as a humbling one.

Credit: Fr. Joshua Mege/Arise Communications Network

Bishop Odiwa commended “the task to the Lord”, reverting to the theme of the May 18 groundbreaking event from Psalm 127:1, “If the lord does not build the house…”


He went on to call on the people of God to give generously towards the construction of the new Cathedral, saying, “Like the little boy discovered by Andrew in the crowd carrying some two fish and five loaves, we open our arms in a gesture of giving to God that little that we have.”

“If we all discovered that we are that little boy and we surrendered without a second thought, with the two fish and five loaves that we have, we might have the Cathedral completed in record time,” Bishop Odiwa added during the well-attended May 18 event, that had hundreds of Clergy, women and men Religious, and Kenyan political leaders, among others.

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.