Pope Francis appoints Very Rev. Fr. Joseph Mwongela as Bishop of Kitui
The Holy Father Pope Francis has appointed Very Rev. Fr. Joseph Mwongela as the Fourth Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kitui.
The news of the appointment of Bishop-Elect Joseph Mwongela was officially made public in Rome on Tuesday 17th, March 2020 at Noon, Rome Time (2.00 p.m. Kenyan Time). The letter of his appointment was sent to the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) by the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, His Excellency Archbishop Hubertus van Megen.
Bishop-Elect Mwongela will replace Most Rev. Anthony Muheria who was transferred by the Pope to the Archdiocese of Nyeri on 23rd, April 2017. Archbishop Muheria has been serving as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Kitui since April 2017.
Bishop-Elect Joseph Mwongela is currently serving as the Vicar General of Kitui. He was first appointed as Second Vicar General on 6th, March 2015.
As Vicar General, Bishop-Elect Mwongela is in charge of priestly personnel and conduct, pastoral, education, health, development, diocesan communication and youth chaplaincy matters.
He is a member of the Boards of Caritas Kitui, Muthale Mission Hospital and St. Teresa’s Catechetical Training Centre, among others.
Bishop-Elect Joseph Mwongela was born on 7th April, 1968 in Kakumi, Diocese of Kitui. He attended the preparatory year at Saint Mary’s Senior Seminary, Molo, in the Diocese of Nakuru (1989). He carried out his studies in philosophy at Saint Augustine’s Senior Seminary Mabanga, in the Diocese of Bungoma (1990-1991) and in theology at St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary in Nairobi (1992-1995). He was ordained a priest on 7th September 1996 for the Diocese of Kitui.
He subsequently held the following roles: parish vicar of the Migwani parish (1996-1997); parish priest of the Nguni parish (1997-1998); formatter at the Saint Patrick Formation House (1999-2001); diocesan chancellor and, at the same time, director of the diocesan office for vocational pastoral care (2003-2008).
From 2003 to 2008 he studied in Rome where he was awarded a licentiate from the Pontifical Gregorian University (2003-2006) and a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Angelicum (2005-2008). He went on to serve as Chaplain of the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Kitui (2008); parish priest of Muthale parish (2008-2013); Director of the Saint John Paul II Institute of Professional Studies and parish priest of the Boma parish (Our Lady of Africa Cathedral); and Vicar general of the diocese of Kitui (since 2015).
The Catholic Diocese of Kitui was created on November 16, 1963 with Rt. Rev. William Dunne as the first Bishop. The second Bishop was the late Archbishop Boniface Lele who was appointed in February, 1996. Archbishop Anthony Muheria was appointed Bishop of Kitui in 2008 where he served until April 2017 when he was transferred to the Archdiocese of Nyeri.