KENYA: “Accepting my appointment as Bishop was the biggest difficult moment of my life,” says Coadjutor Bishop-elect of Isiolo Fr Makau

By Paschal Norbert

ISIOLO, MAY 17, 2024 (CISA) – Monsignor Peter Munguti Makau, IMC, the Coadjutor bishop-elect of the Catholic Diocese of Isiolo has divulged that he received the news of his appointment as bishop with utter shock and disbelief but also with grace, noting that once ordained he will continue with the mission of Bishop Anthony Mukobo, IMC, who has been shepherding the diocese for close to 17 years.

In an interview with the Communications Office at Consolata Africa on May 8, Bishop-elect Makau said when he was called to the Apostolic Nunciature in Kenya to be told of his appointment, he thought the nuncio, Archbishop Bert van Megen, wanted to inquire more about the matters of the congregation in line with his role as the regional superior of the Consolata Missionaries Kenya-Uganda region.

“I could not imagine that something like that could happen to me. Immediately after he told me of this news and the shock that engulfed me, he gave me some time to at least think about it, to reflect on it… it is really one of the biggest difficult moments that you experience where you need to choose and give a response,” said Fr Makau, adding “When you are told that it is the Holy Father’s request, it is difficult to decline.”

Coadjutor bishop-elect of the Catholic Diocese of Isiolo, Monsignor Peter Makau IMC

Fr Makau highlighted the relationship and mission significance of the diocese of Isiolo with the Consolata Missionaries, stressing that he took the call to work in Isiolo with a lot of faith since it was also in line with the Consolata missionary charism of evangelization to far-flung regions and charity to the poor, which is essentially, ad gentes, in which the Church calls on missionaries to go to all people (to all nations) and proclaim the good news of the Lord.

“The Catholic Diocese of Isiolo, as you know is in the northern part of Kenya, the current bishop, Anthony Mukobo is also a Consolata Missionary and he has been there for some good years. He was the first person to really welcome and encourage me into this diocese. This diocese is very important also for the Consolata Missionaries because it is a diocese that we can view as being in the first evangelization in the northern part of Kenya, where we as a congregation are called to be ad gentes, meaning going to the most remote places where maybe the evangelization is not well established to develop the place. After all, that is the work of missionaries,” stated the 49-year-old bishop-elect.

The immediate former Regional Superior of the Consolatas avowed the evangelization work in areas such as Isiolo is what every Consolata Missionary is prepared for, maintaining that in his case, his role will be to bring the local Church together and to continue with the mission that Bishop Mukobo began.

“The other day Isiolo was an apostolic vicariate and a year ago it was elevated to a diocese. It is a Church which is growing and I think this is a moment of putting the pillars of the Church and cementing God’s presence. We will continue the work that Bishop Mukobo had already begun,” he stated.

Msgr Peter Makau was appointed coadjutor bishop-elect of Isiolo on May 4, 2024, by Pope Francis. He will take over from 74-year-old Rt Rev Anthony Ireri Mukobo, IMC, upon retirement, as the second bishop of the diocese of Isiolo. Once ordained as coadjutor bishop on July 27, he will have the right of automatic succession.