KENYA: Calls for Unity and Cooperation Dominate as Bishop Cleophas Oseso Takes Over Nakuru

By Arnold Neliba

NAKURU, MAY 9, 2023 (CISA)-“In Nakuru, we have a new bishop and the bishop is not from here. But as a church, we become a new family of God. A new family that goes beyond the tribe. A new family that goes beyond the language because, in Christ, we become that new nation,” the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan His Excellency Archbishop Hubertus Maria van Megen told thousands of congregants in Nakuru.

Speaking after the installation of Bishop Oseso Tuka as the fourth bishop of Nakuru, the nuncio echoed Archbishop Martin Kivuva’s sentiments calling for a united diocese and support for the new bishop.

According to the archbishop of Mombasa and president of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Nakuru is well known as a cosmopolitan metropolis and has since become the centre of the Catholic Church in Kenya.

“The fact that a place like Subukia, which is a National Shrine is here makes it the centre of the church. We want to thank you for protecting these sites of prayer and sites of the church that bring other people to pray,” said Archbishop Kivuva.

In his speech, the nuncio urged Bishop Oseso to stand for a humble church, a church that is averse to any clericalism, a church that does not boast about itself and a church that stands with the poor and the have-nots.

“A church that justly maintains its freedom so as to speak out against any case of abuse of power, against corruption within the church, institutions of government and judiciary because it is there that the first victims are the poor. A church that is not afraid to be battered and excluded by the powers of this world because it is ready to give life for the small and the humble, a church that rather prefers to be trampled upon than to trample upon others,” he counselled.

The papal diplomat also challenged the new bishop to practice prudence and transparency in financial management.

“This diocese does not belong to you personally, you are a steward, not the owner, tend the sheep, govern the diocese according to the will of the universal church and not your own personal preferences,” he warned.

In his maiden speech, Bishop Oseso invited the church in Nakuru; the priests, consecrated men and women, the laity, civic leaders and political leaders to a journey to transformation by dealing with the challenges of drought, banditry in East Pokot and unemployment in the two counties of Nakuru and Baringo.

“There is a lot we have to do together to support our pastoral and social development ministries. I will constantly call for help in prayer, in resource mobilization, and in sacrificing your time and treasures. Let us be a mission-focused church to assist when called to. Let us purposely unite and work together towards a prosperous diocese,” said the 55-year-old prelate.

As a diocese nears the completion of formulation of its 2023/2027 strategic plan, he believes that it provides a roadmap that will create a Christ-centered faith-filled sustainable parish community and that together they can build a diocesan family and find solutions to their challenges.

Before he was appointed bishop on February 15, 2023, Bishop Oseso was the Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru since 2019.