The newly-appointed Catholic Archbishop of Nairobi, John Njue, is among the new Cardinals announced by Pope Benedict yesterday. Njue is the second cardinal in Kenya's history, after the late Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga who was appointed by Pope Paul VI in 1973. Otunga died in 2003. Archbishop John Njue is one of the most experienced Catholic leaders in Kenya , having held important positions at the Kenya Episcopal Conference since his appointment as bishop 21 years ago. Archbishop Njue was born in 1944 in : Kiriari Village, Mukangu Sub- Ngandori in Embu District. His parents were Joseph Nyaga Kibariki and: Monica Ngima Nyaga. He was baptised in 1948. Archbishop Njue began primary school in 1952.. In 1959, he moved to Kyaweru, Nguviu intermediate school where he continued until the end of 1960. All along, John Njue wanted to join the priesthood. He was encouraged by his teacher and Mr Nazario Mvungu and a well renowned catechist Matteo. In 1961, he joined Nkubu Junior Seminary where he completed his primary course. After successfully completing his primary education, he joined the same institution for his secondary education, which culminated to the award of Cambridge School Certificate in 1966. It is in Nkubu that God helped him nurture his priestly vocation. After Cambridge School examination John proceeded to Rome and was enrolled at the Urbaniana University to study Philosophy where he graduated with Masters Degree in Philosophy in 1969. Later, in 1974 he graduated with a Masters Degree in Theology at Lateran University. On 6 January 1973, on the feast of Epiphany which was also 350th anniversary of the Congregation for propagation of faith, he was ordained a priest by the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI at St. Peter,s Basilica, Rome. Upon his return in October 1974, Fr John Njue served in Kariakomu Parish in today Meru South District of Meru Diocese till July 1975. In the same year, he was appointed Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Students at St. Augustine Senior Seminary, Mabanga in Bungoma and thereafter its Rector for four years (1978-1982). In June 1982, Fr Njue went to the United States where he undertook a spiritual renewal programme course for six months. On his return, he was appointed Father-in-charge of Chuka Parish, thereby becoming the first African Priest to be assigned in the parish as parish priest after the Consolata Missionaries left. In January 1985, Fr Njue, was appointed Rector of St Joseph's Philosophicum Seminary in Nairobi. On 9 June 1986, Fr. Njue was appointed as the first Bishop of the newly created Diocese of Embu and he was consecrated on 20 September 1986. He was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Nyeri on 9 March 2002. He was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Vicariate of Isiolo up to 2006. Bishop Njue has served Embu Diocese, Archdiocese of Nyeri and the wider Catholic Church in Kenya with dynamism and dedication. He has served as the Chairman of the Seminary Episcopal Commission for Major Seminaries in Kenya (1987-1991), Chairman Kenya Episcopal Conference Justice and Peace Commission, Chairman Development and Social Services Department Kenya Catholic Secretariat (KCS). Currently, he is the Apostolic Administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Murang,a and the Chairman Kenya Episcopal Conference, the umbrella body of the Kenya Catholic Bishops. On 6 October 2007, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has appointed His Grace Archbishop John Njue as Archbishop of Nairobi. Source: CISA
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