CISA REPORT -Thousands of Catholic faithful thronged the coastal town of Malindi on October 1st to witness the installation of Fr Emanuel Barbara a Capuchin Franciscan Friars missionary as the new bishop of the diocese.
The ceremony was presided over by his Eminence John Cardinal Njue, assisted by Bishop Martin Kivuva of Machakos Diocese who has been Malindi administrator after the death of the former Bishop Francis Baldacchino.
In attendance was the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Paul Alain Lebeaupin.
During the ceremony, the cardinal thanked the people of Malindi for their unity and support to the administrator for the last two years. “Thank you my dear brothers and sisters in Christ for persevering, time now has come for you to get a new shepherd, support him, love him as you work together for the growth of the Church in Malindi.”
Cardinal Njue reminded the faithful that the diocese is young and it has a unique history of its Christianity. He asked them to take up the challenge to promote the growth of faith which was installed by Vasco Da Dama and the Augustinian priests who were the first to settle in the area.
The faithful were also asked to welcome the new bishop and let him guide them spiritually and in the development of the diocese.
In his inaugural homily, the new bishop thanked the cardinal for accepting to take up the responsibility of installing him and the Pope’s representative in Kenya, Archbishop Lebeaupin, for his reflective inspiration.
The new bishop also expressed his appreciation to the bishops whom he said had a lot to do but spared their time to be with him, and for accepting to work with them in the Episcopal responsibility. For those who were not able to attend he said, “He also received their apology with understanding.”
To the clergy, religious and faithful of Malindi, he promised that he will be ready to listen with deep respect to them, “I will do what I can to be a sign of God’s compassion, to heal the broken hearted, comfort those who are morning and to promote and protect the Kingdom of God among us.”
In his speech, the apostolic nuncio thanked the religious and clergy in the diocese for working together for two years adding that a time has come for them to have a shepherd.
He told the new bishop that “the Church requires him to lead as a good shepherd the groups entrusted to him by the Church.” He urged the clergy, religious and the faithful of Malindi to support their bishop for the growth of their diocese.
Currently Malindi Diocese has 17 parishes, 35 priests (11 diocesan and 24 religious), 30 religious brothers, 44 nuns and 8 major seminarians.