By Rev. Sr. Adelaide Ndilu and Rose Achiego Ande
The Holy Father Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Fr. John Mbinda, CSSp as Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar.
The news of Fr. Mbinda’s appointment was officially published in L’Osservatore Romano in Rome on 4th April 2022, at 12-noon Rome time and 1.00 p.m. Kenyan time. The Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan, His Excellency Archbishop Bert Van Megen, also sent an official communication to the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) communicating the same.
The Nuncio’s letter reads in part, “I have the honour and pleasure to inform you that Pope Francis has appointed the Reverend Father John Mbinda, C.S.Sp. as the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar. The Bishop-elect belongs to the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans).”
Until his appointment, Bishop-elect Mbinda was working as Assistant Parish Priest of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Parish, and currently assisting, at St. Edward Parish in Chiswick, Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster Archdiocese in the United Kingdom, a position he held from 1st April 2022.
He was born on 5th May 1973 in Kanzalu Parish in the Catholic Diocese of Machakos. He joined the Congregation in 1993 at Spiritan Missionary Seminary in Arusha, Tanzania, then Novitiate in 1996 after which he took his first religious vows in 1997 in Magamba, Lushoto – Tanzania. Bishop-elect Mbinda proceeded to study theology at Tangaza University College in 1997.
After taking his final vows, he was ordained deacon in 2001 and a priest on 18th May 2002. As a new priest, he was posted to Kositei Parish in the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru where he worked among the Pokot people for seven years. He then left for Ireland to pursue his Masters Degree in Development Studies. Upon returning back to Kenya in 2009, he was appointed Parish Priest of St. Austin’s Parish in the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi where he served for six years.
He was elected the Provincial Superior of the Spiritans for Kenya and South Sudan in January 2015 where he served for two terms until January 2021. He then left for UK where he also ministered at St. Chad RC Church in South Norwood, Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark from September 2021 to 31st March 2022.