Kisumu’s Archbishop-designate Rev Philip Anyolo on Friday told Catholic faithful to unite and defend the church against interference, which he warned could tear it down.
Rev Anyolo, who will be installed as the Archbishop of Kisumu Saturday, used his farewell mass in Homa Bay County to preach togetherness among the congregation, saying it will would provide a good opportunity for spiritual leaders to serve and undertake their evangelism roles effectively.
“I appeal for continuous unity (in the Diocese of Homa Bay) because this will ensure everybody discharges their roles without fear and interference,” he said during a farewell mass at St Paul Catholic Church in Homa Bay town yesterday. He told the Church to continue providing for the poor.
Last year in November, the then bishop of Homa Bay was appointed the Archbishop of Kisumu by Pope Francis.
The archbishop-designate, who is also the Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), will be taking over from Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth, who is set to retire.
Rev Anyolo, now the centre of attention among the Catholic faithful, assured them of support to ensure prosperity of the church.
“We need to continue doing the work of the Lord by touching the hearts of the poor. Being in Kisumu will not hinder me from serving the congregation in Homa Bay,” said Rev Anyolo.
In Kisumu, he vowed to continue building bridges for the sake of attaining a unified Church.
He promised to consult and work together with his predecessor, Archbishop Okoth, who served the metropolitan diocese since May 21, 1990.
“We want to thank God for him and for the work he has done as I plan to find out the legacy that he has laid down and make it the root of our faith here,” he said.
He said the unity should go beyond and across the walls and rivers so that the Catholic faithful unite as one.
Born on May 18, 1956 in Tongaren, Bungoma County, Rev Anyolo was ordained into priesthood in 1983, serving in the Eldoret Diocese.
He was appointed and installed as Homa Bay bishop in March 22, 2003, having moved from Kericho where he first became a bishop in 1996.He was elected chairman of KCCB in October 2013, and is currently serving his second term.