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By ROSE ACHIEGO /KCCB,NAIROBI,24TH JAN 2020- Priests from the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret have expressed gratitude to the Holy Father for appointing Rt. Rev. Dominic Kimengich as their new shepherd. While welcoming the new bishop, the priests say they are looking forward to a continuation of the work started by the former bishop of the diocese, the late Rt. Rev. Cornelius Korir.
In an exclusive interview, Eldoret Vicar General, Rev. Fr. William Kosgey, termed Bishop Kimengich’s appointment as a pleasant surprise and prayed that the new shepherd will foster peace in the region and develop the diocese to greater heights.
At the same time, the Diocesan Communications Coordinator, Rev. Dr. Fred Njoroge, expressed hope that Bishop Kimengich will follow in the footsteps of the Late Bishop Korir considering that the two bishops worked closely together on peace building in the Diocese of Lodwar and the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia, Uganda and South Sudan.
“Bishop Korir was a Father to Bishop Kimengich and we hope he is going to follow in his footsteps as he has expressed in many interviews. He knows that peace is a vital issue in the North Rift and he also engaged Bishop Korir in peace building initiatives in his Diocese of Lodwar and even the neighbouring countries.” Said Fr. Njoroge.
He expressed confidence that being a prayerful prelate and effective administrator, Bishop Kimengich will play an instrumental role on issues of education, development and self-sustainability for the growth of the diocese.
Meanwhile, the Eldoret Pastoral Coordinator, Rev. Fr. Sospeter Kangongo, said Bishop Kimengich is a blessing and a gift from Pope Francis. He said that they are prepared for the new Bishop’s installation slated for 1st, February 2020, adding that they are enthusiastically waiting to welcome him to the diocese.
“We were very happy that our prayers were answered,” said Fr. Kangongo. “People are very ready and eagerly waiting for the installation ceremony. Expectations are very high as we are looking forward to work with the Bishop. We formed committees for liturgy, communications, protocol, and hospitality, medical and catering so as to ensure that everything is in order.”
The Diocese of Eldoret started plans for the installation of Bishop Kimengich in 2019 immediately after his appointment on 16th, November 2020, and hope to receive more than 20,000 guests at the Mother of Apostles Seminary Grounds in Eldoret.
They paid tribute to the Bishop of Kitale, Rt. Rev. Maurice Crowley, who is also the Apostolic Administrator of Eldoret, for his commitment, dedication and generosity while serving in the diocese.
They said Bishop Crowley has a good understanding of the people of Eldoret and has been working well with the priests, noting that he has prepared well for a smooth transition of leadership.
The Diocese of Eldoret fell vacant on 30th, October 2017, following the passing on of Bishop Cornelius Korir. Consequently, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Maurice Crowley as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese.