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Catholic faithful in Migori and Homa Bay counties get new bishop [Photos]

New Diocese of Homa Bay Bishop Michael Odiwa during his consecration in Homa Bay on February 9, 2021. He is taking over from Arch Bishop Phillip Anyolo. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

The Catholic Church in Homa Bay Diocese now has a new bishop.

This was after Bishop-elect Michael Odiwa was ordained the new bishop of the diocese on Tuesday.

Bishop Odiwa was ordained by the representative of Pope Francis in Kenya, Archbishop Hubertus van Megen at Homa Bay High School.

New Diocese of Homa Bay Bishop Michael Odiwa (C) flanked by members of the clergy during his consecration in Homa Bay on February 9, 2021. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

As a process of the ordination, Rev Odiwa had to lie in the scorching sun for more than 15 minutes to show his faith in the new apostolic role he was taking.

Odiwa lay down with his head facing down on a mattress on the ground.

The ordination also involved interrogation in which Archbishop Megen asked him a number of questions to prove whether he was ready for the new evangelistic role.

He was dressed by the Rev Megen in line with the dress code of the bishops of the church.

New diocese of Homa Bay Bishop Michael Odiwa (C) flanked by members of the clergy during his consecration in Homa Bay on February 9, 2021. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

The climax of the ordination ceremony was when the Bishop-elect was installed as an elder for the Luo and Kuria communities which live in Homa Bay diocese.

Bishop Odiwa will now be in charge of all Catholic churches in Homa Bay and Migori counties.

The Rev Megen described Odiwa as a religious leader who demonstrated dedication in evangelism.

"Odiwa never lobbied in order to be elected to this position but got it through the holy spirit and dedication in evangelism," Rev Megen said.

The Rev Odiwa is taking over from Rev Philip Anyolo who was elevated to be the Archbishop Kisumu in January last year.

The ordination was attended by Archbishop Anyolo, former Cardinal John Njue, a number of bishops and priests of the Catholic Church.

ODM leader Raila Odinga looks on as the new Diocese of Homa Bay Bishop Michael Odiwa is given authority after his consecration on February 9, 2021. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

The function also attracted political leaders led by ODM leader Raila Odinga, Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti, Senator Moses Kajwang’, Woman Rep Gladys Wanga, MPs Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town), Lilian Gogo (Rangwe), Martin Owino (Ndhiwa), Tom Odege (Nyatike) and Paul Abuor (Rongo).

President Kenyatta, through a speech read by Raila, told the Catholic church that his administration was ready to work with the church in promoting development.

ODM leader Raila Odinga shares a word with former Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero as Deputy head of Civil service Wanyama Musyambo (L) looks on after attending the coronation of the new Homa Bay Catholic Diocese Bishop Michael Odiwa on February 9, 2021. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Raila said the church plays a pivotal role in socio-economic development.

He said the church is respected because it has helped Kenyans in the realization of the democratic space.

“I cannot forget the help I was accorded by members of the Catholic church when I was undergoing political oppression in this country. The church is very significant in promoting peace and democracy in a country,” Raila said.

The Bishop Odiwa was appointed by Pope Francis in November last year.

Odiwa has become the third Bishop of the diocese.

The 58-year-old was born in Sori, Karungu in Migori under the current Kiranda Parish. He was baptised in 1963 at the Migori Parish.

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