Colourful ceremony for new Kenyan bishop

Bishop Michael Odiwa waves during his episcopal ordination ceremony in Kenya last month (The Southern Cross)

Adelaide Archdiocese and Homa Bay Diocese in Kenya were united by the episcopal ordination of former Adelaide priest Bishop Michael Odiwa at a colourful ceremony in the African diocese last month. Source: The Southern Cross.

The former Hectorville parish assistant priest was given a rock star welcome by his home diocese a week after he left Adelaide to take up his new appointment.

Papal Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan Archbishop Bert van Megan presided at the Mass which went for more than six hours. It was attended by bishops, clergy and dignitaries including the local governor, the former prime minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga, and local politicians, many of whom addressed the large gathering.

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, through a speech read by Mr Odinga, said his administration was ready to work with the Church in promoting development.

Highlights of the celebration included traditional African dancing, vibrant singing led by a large choir, and a procession around the school grounds in a vehicle with the new bishop waving from the sun roof.

Bishop Odiwa said he was “thrown into confusion” when the Nuncio called him to tell him of Pope Francis’ decision. After speaking again with the Nuncio, Bishop Odiwa said Psalm 46:10 kept coming to his mind – "be still and know that I am God".

“If I was to leave my comfort zone in Adelaide and take care of His flock in my own home diocese, I would need stillness and wisdom, serenity and wisdom … In a complex world like ours, faith in God and serenity and wisdom helps me in all that I do, it gave me the courage to say yes, and that’s why I chose as my motto ‘serenity and wisdom’.”


Six-hour ceremony for new Kenyan bishop (By Jenny Brinkworth, The Southern Cross

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