By Arnold Neliba
KITALE, JANUARY 24, 2023 (CISA)-On the occasion of the Episcopal Consecration and Installation of Rt Rev Henry Juma Odonya as the second bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kitale, President William Ruto praised his predecessor, Bishop Maurice Anthony Crowley as a “giant of faith.”
“Bishop Crowley you’ve been a father figure to many of us, many of our schools, and to many of our institutions,” said President Ruto in his address to thousands of faithful at the ASK showground in Kitale on January 20.
“My good bishop as you retire, you know we are very fond of you and I cherish the many moments…when I said the not-so-correct things I found a message on my phone from you. When I was low I found a message on my phone and you encouraged me. And I value the many times that you put a call to me,” added the head of state.
In his address, President Ruto called on the bishop to retire in Kenya.
“We will not allow you to go and retire in a place of -19 degrees. You are going to stay here with us and I want to request the Church to allow us to have Bishop Crowley stay with us in his retirement,” appealed President Ruto.
A native of Ireland and a member of the St. Patrick’s Society for the Foreign Missions (Kiltegans), Bishop Crowley since his ordination as a priest on June 4, 1972, has worked in Kenya for the past 51 years in the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret, 26 years as a priest, and in the Catholic Diocese of Kitale, 24 years as a bishop.
The president also challenged Bishop Crowley to mentor his successor to be “better than him,” while imploring Bishop Henry Odonya to serve first the poor in society as he is “stepping into the shoes of a great man. Crowley is a giant of faith.”
The event was also graced by the Chief Cabinet Minister Hon Musalia Mudavadi, Speaker of the National assembly, Moses Wetangula, Governors Simon Kachapin of West Pokot, George Natembea of Trans-Nzoia, Kenneth Lusaka of Bungoma, Jonathan Bii of Uasin Gishu, Stephen Sang of Nandi and Paul Otuoma of Busia, and host of members of parliament and county assemblies.