By Lourine Oluoch
MALINDI, MARCH 23, 2021 (CISA)-The Catholic Diocese of Malindi on March 18, 2021 planted 100 trees at Mida Catholic Mission to mark the coming of Rt. Rev. Willybard Kitogho Lagho into the diocese. Rt. Rev. Lagho arrived in Malindi from the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa where he had been serving as the Vicar General and head of the Catholic Secretariat.
“I requested that we plant trees today to mark our coming to Malindi because care for trees is one of the things that are close to my heart. My heart feels troubled whenever I hear the sound of machines felling trees. As we can all agree, today temperatures have really gone up. In the past such hot weather indicated the coming of rains, but today the kind of heat we are experiencing indicates a change in weather patterns. We need to protect the environment by planting trees. Today we are going to plant trees and my prayer is that wherever you are at home you too will be able to plant even one tree to remember this day,” Rt. Rev. Lagho said as he led priests, leaders of the lay and men and women religious from Mombasa and Malindi dioceses in the planting of the trees.
Rt. Rev Lagho was accompanied to Malindi by Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde and several priests from the archdiocese of Mombasa. He was received into Malindi by Fr Albert Buijs MHM the Malindi Diocesan Administrator accompanied by priests, representatives of the lay, and men and women religious of the Catholic Diocese of Malindi.
“I must thank you for being patient for the last three years. We have been preparing him and he is here today. He is yours now,” Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde of Mombasa said as he handed over the bishop elect.
“I want to thank all of you Christians of Malindi led by the priests and other leaders for the good welcome you have given us here in Mida. We chose to come into Malindi through Mida Mission because the church is built from the grassroots. To show that in our services, in my service as your bishop I will like very much to visit the parishes but also the out stations because it is in the grassroots that you see the real lives of the people and understand their journey of faith,” Lagho said.
He later visited and prayed at the St Francis Xavier Chapel in Malindi town and attended Solemn Vespers at the at the St. Anthony’s Cathedral and took oath of office in the presence of Archbishop Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen, the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan, Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde of Mombasa, and Rt. Rev Joseph Alessandro bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Garissa among others.
Rt. Rev. Lagho was ordained and installed the third bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Malindi on March 19, 2021 at the St. Anthony’s Cathedral. The see of Malindi fell vacant upon the death of Bishop Emmanuel Barbara OFM Cap on Jan 5, 2018.