Bishop James Maria Wainaina Kung’u was finally ordained and installed as the third Bishop of Murang’a on June 27th, 2009, during a celebration that was witnessed by His Excellency Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin, the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Bishops, clergy and religious, among thousands of faithful.
The celebration that was led by His eminence John cardinal Njue, co-assisted by Archbishop Peter Kairo (Archdiocese of Nyeri) and Bishop Luigi Paiaro (Diocese of Nyahururu) was held at Murang’a Cathedral compound.
“People of Murang’a, rejoice, for this is the day the Lord has made,” said Cardinal Njue, as Murang’a received its shepherd.
The new Bishop was optimistic that the church will remain united. “It is for this reason that I have chosen my motto to be ‘united in Love’,” said Bishop Wainaina, as he unveiled his Episcopal logo.
At the same time, he adopted the name ‘Maria’. “Mother Mary has a very special place in my life, and to day I wish to add the name ‘Maria’ in my names, so I will be ‘Bishop James Maria Wainaina Kung’u’,” he said.
On the church unity, the Apostolic Nuncio was candid: “You are not appointed Bishop because you are supposed to be appointed, this is a special gift of the Holy Spirit to serve people of God. Many people wanted me to speak last week and I did not, but now I am speaking. Church is one and united.” He was referring to some priests who have defected from the church communion after going back against the church’s doctrine of celibacy, hence incurring excommunication.
He urged the priests to remain steadfast in their vocation.
Raila Odinga, Kenya’s Prime minister reiterated that the government will continue to partner with the Catholic Church to improve the welfare of the people. “You have done very good work in improving the living conditions of people. Church has always been the guide for moral values in our society,” he said.
And President Kibaki challenged the church to keep on positively critiquing the government to ensure that it remains focused to deliver services to people.
The Nuncio termed it as a move in the positive direction that the Prime Minister and the president are united in the coalition government. “This is the way to go,” he said.
President Kibaki urged Kenyans to engage in worthy socio-economic activities that will bring about self-sufficiency in the society, reducing behaviours that may bring about security threats. He was referring to Mungiki sect that has been terrorizing citizens in central Kenya, which is thought to have its origins in the area.
Bishop James Maria Wainaina Kung’u becomes the third bishop of Murang’a after Archbishop Peter Kairo and Bishop Peter Kihara. His eminence John Cardinal Njue was the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese for two years before Bishop Wainaina was ordained and installed.
KEC website: http://www.kec.or.ke/
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