The Catholic Church in Kenya now has a new diocese and a new bishop to head it, the Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA) reported on Saturday. A message sent to CISA from the Apostolic Nunciature in Kenya said: "His Holiness Pope John Paul II has appointed Rev Fr Luigi Paiaro, a Fidei Dodum priest from the Diocese of Padua, Italy, as the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Nyahururu." The new Diocese of Nyahururu, drawn from the Archdiocese of Nyeri, will consist of the civic boundaries of Laikipia West Constituency and the administrative District of Nyandarua. It has 23 established parishes, served by 32 priests (21 indigenous diocesan, seven Fidei Donum, and four from the Consolata Missionaries). The Bishop-elect, 68, who at the time of his appointment was Father-in-charge of Nyahururu Parish, has served the Church in Nyeri since January 1963. In an interview with CISA yesterday, he said: "It was a big surprise for me because I did not expect anything like that. I never thought of it." He said that among his key priorities, will be to form a team of the clergy of the new diocese and their bishop to enhance collaboration. "Christians are the richness of the bishop and the rest of the clergy," the Bishop-elect said, adding that together with the faithful, he sets out to establish a missionary Church that is "self-ministering, self-supporting and self-propagating." The Bishop-elect said that most of the stations are one-priest parishes, owing to meagre parish resources. This is compounded by communications problems, especially in the Aberdare Mountain ranges where, he said, distances are long and some parts cut off since there are neither landline telephone lines nor cell-phone network yet. After his priestly ordination in 1959 in Padua, Rt Rev Paiaro served in a local parish before going to London to study English in 1962. In January 1963, he was assigned to the then greater Diocese of Nyeri, where he worked at Tetu Parish for two years. The Nunciature said that between February 1965 and 1970, the Bishop-elect served at North Kinangop, Njabiini and Manunga parishes, all in the District of Nyandarua. In 1970 he was appointed parish priest of Nyahururu parish, a post he still held at the time he was appointed bishop. The Bishop-elect, is a member of the Nyandarua District Education Board. He is also a member of the District Development Committee and of the District Probation Committee in Nyandarua. He served for many years as the Catholic chaplain to the prisons in the District. Rt Rev Paiaro, who has spent close to 40 years in the region, has a competent command of Kikuyu (the local language), and of Kiswahili (Kenya's national language), besides Italian and English. source: CISA
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