By Arnold Neliba
KITALE, NOVEMBER 4, 2022 (CISA)-Pope Francis has appointed Fr Henry Juma Odonya, priest of the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret as the new bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kitale.
“I have the honour and pleasure to inform you that Pope Francis has appointed the Reverend Father Henry Juma Odonya as the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kitale. The Bishop – Elect comes from the clergy of the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret,” reads a letter by The Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan, His Excellency Archbishop Bert Van Megen to the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB).
As an associate of St Patricks Missionary Society, Fr Juma before his appointment has been working as a Formator at St. Patrick’s Philosophy House in Durban, South Africa.
Born on December 10, 1976, to the Late Mr George Odonya and Mrs Odonya. In 1997, he joined St. Mary’s Major Seminary in Molo for his spiritual formation and in 1998 joined St. Augustine Seminary, Mabanga, for his Philosophical Studies up to 1999. From 2000 to 2004 the bishop-elect attended St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary for his Theological Studies.
According to information provided by the Catholic Diocese of Kitale, the bishop-elect was ordained deacon on June 11, 2005, and a year later ordained a priest on June 25 at Sacred Heart Cathedral Eldoret.
He has served as an assistant priest of St. Patricks Kapcherop (2006-2007); assistant priest of St. Teresa of Avilla Ndalat parish (2008-2009); parish priest of St. Patricks Parish Kapcherop (2009-2011) in the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret.
He was sent to work in the Catholic Diocese of Kitale in 2011 as a Fidei Donum and posted as parish priest at St. Zeno Kolongolo until 2013; parish priest Holy Family Chepchoina (2013-2015) in Kitale diocese and later returned to Eldoret as parish priest at St. Teresa of Avilla Parish Ndalat (2015-2016).
The bishop-elect was from 2012 to 2015 the chairman of the Kenya Fidei Donum Association and between 2015 to 2016 chairman of the Eldoret Diocesan Priest Association.
The holder of Licentiate in Missiology from Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome succeeds Bishop Maurice Crowley who has led the diocese since August 15, 1998.