By KCCB Communications Team
The Holy Father Pope Francis has elevated the Apostolic Vicariate of Isiolo into a fully-fledged Diocese. At the same time, the Pope has appointed Rt. Rev. Anthony Ireri Mukobo, IMC, as the first Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Isiolo.
The news of the elevation of the Apostolic Vicariate of Isiolo into the Catholic Diocese of Isiolo was officially published in L’Osservatore Romano in Rome on 15th February 2023 at 12.00pm Rome time and 2.00pm 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 about the elevation.
The Nuncio’s letter reads in part, “I have the honour and pleasure to inform you that His Holiness Pope Francis has elevated the Apostolic Vicariate of Isiolo to Diocese and appointed Right Reverend Anthony Ireri Mukobo, IMC, Apostolic Vicar, as the first Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Isiolo.”
The Apostolic Vicariate of Isiolo was spilt from the Catholic Diocese of Meru on 15th December 1995. Pope John Paul II then appointed the late Bishop Luigi Locati, IMC, as the first Apostolic Vicar. The current Apostolic Vicar, Rt. Rev. Anthony Ireri Mukobo, IMC, was appointed on 25th January 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI following the death of Bishop Luigi Locati on 14th July 2005.
The new Catholic Diocese of Isiolo covers an area of 25,605 square kilometers. The year 2020 statistics indicate the Vicariate had a total of 64,320 Catholics out of a population of 165,380.
Speaking earlier in June 2021 while touring Isiolo, the Apostolic Nuncio said he was on a fact-finding mission to assess the growth of faith in the Vicariate to report to Pope Francis and propose what needed to be done to enhance continued evangelization in the area. His task was also to assess how the Vicariate could be improved or even elevated into a fully-fledged diocese.