Brief information about the Diocese
The Catholic Diocese of Murang’a was elected on March 17 1983 by His Holiness Pope John Paul II during the 5th year of his Pontificate. It was curved from the then Diocese of Nyeri (now Archdiocese). Rt. Rev. Peter Kairo was appointed the first Bishop of Murang’a. He was later transferred to Nakuru Diocese. The Consolata Missionaries introduced Christianity to this region in 1902 in Tuthu Parish, which now lies under Murang’a Diocese. The total area covered by the Diocese is 4016 km2. The Diocese lies 90 Km North of Nairobi City of Kenya.
The Diocese covers 2 Administrative Counties namely Kirinyaga and Murang’a Counties.
The Total Population of the Diocese stands at 2 Million. Of these, 800,000 are Catholics. The others follow different Faiths such as Muslims, Protestant, and some Traditional Religions.
The Diocese has undergone leadership transitions of the following: From 1983 to 1997, Rt. Rev. Peter Kairo who served the Diocese for 14 years. He was succeeded by Very Rev. Fr. William Kamau as the Diocesan Administrator, who served from 1997 – 1999. Rt. Rev. Peter Kihara, a Consolata Missionary was appointed and consecrated Bishop of Murang’a on 11th September 1999. He served the Diocese diligently for seven (7) years and then he was transferred to Marsabit Diocese. After the transfer the Bishop Kihara was succeeded by His Eminence John Cardinal Njue in the capacity of the Apostolic Administrator until June 2009. At the moment the Diocese is under the leadership of His Lordship Bishop James Maria Wainaina Kung’u who was consecrated on 27th June 2009 as the Bishop of Murang’a.
Geographical, cultural and statistical information
The total area covered by the Diocese is 4016 km2. The Diocese lies 90 Km North of Nairobi City of Kenya.
The Catholic Diocese of Murang’a is situated in the Central Province of Kenya where it covers 2 civil Administrative Districts of Murang’a North, Murang’a South (Maragua), Kirinyaga and 2 Divisions of Thika District. The Total Population of the Diocese stands at 1.7 Million. Of these, 670,000 are Catholics. The others follow different Faiths such as Muslims, Protestants, and some Traditional Religions.
Economically, the Majority of the inhabitants of this region are Small Scale Farmers, with some regions growing Coffee, Tea, and Rice as the main cash crops. In one of the regions animal husbandly is the source of income. In all areas of the Diocese, maize, which is the staple food is grown in small scale. The better part of the Diocese is semi arid.
Below is a short profile of persons who have been in the Diocesan Top Most Leadership positions:
Rt. Rev. James Maria Wainaina
He was born on 27th Dec 1956 in Ngenya Village Kiambu District. He is the son to Mary Wanjiku and the late David Kung’u. He joined Nyandarua High School for his A levels in 1975 and later Kagumo High School for his A levels from 1976 – 1977 after which he joined the Seminary at St. Augustine Philosophicum Mabanga in 1978 for his Philosophical and Religious studies. Later he joined St. Thomas Aquinas for his Theology up to May 1984. He was ordained Priest in 15th Dec 1984 and before his Episcopate appointment on 30th March 2009, he was the Rector Christ the King Major Seminary in Nyeri.
John Cardinal Njue – Apostolic Administrator
He was born in 1944 at Embu District. He is a son to Kibariki. His Eminence was ordained Priest on 6th January 1973. He was appointed Bishop of Embu on 9th June 1986 and Consecrated on 20th September 1986. He was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Nyeri in March 2002. In 2005 he was appointed Apostolic Administrator of Isiolo Vicariate, where he served until a Bishop was appointed.
When the Seat of Murang’a fell vacant, he was appointed Apostolic Administrator in January 2007.
Rt. Rev. Peter Kihara Kariuki, Imc
This is the Bishop who served the Diocese since 1999. Bishop Kihara was born in Othaya division of Nyeri District on 6th February 1954. He attended Thunguri and Othaya Boys for his secondary education, after which he joined the Consolata Seminary. He was ordained priest of the Consolata Missionaries on 17th December 1983. Before his appointment of Episcopate on 19th June 1999, he was Novice Master at the Consolata Novitiate – Sagana. Currently he is the Bishop of Marsabit.
Very Rev. Fr. William Kamau Ng’ang’a
Fr. William was born on 27th November 1957 at Thika District. He was ordained Priest of the Catholic Diocese of Murang’a on 1st December 1984. His appointment as Diocesan Administrator was in 1997 the service that he rendered up to 1999. After his service as Diocesan Administrator, after he was appointed director of Bishop Kairo Education Centre and currently he is the Parish Priest at St. Charles Lwanga – Kenol.
Rt. Rev. Peter Kairo
Archbishop Kairo who was born in Nakuru District on 24th May 1941 was the 1st Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Murang’a, upon creation of the Diocese. He was appointed Bishop March 1983 and Consecrated in May of the same year. Bishop Kairo was ordained Priest on 8th November 1970 as a diocesan Priest for Nakuru Diocese. Bishop Kairo was transferred from Murang’a and installed as Bishop of Nakuru on 17th August 1997. Currently he is the Archbishop of Nyeri.