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Pope Francis erects new Diocese of Wote, appoints first Bishop

Pope Francis has erected the new Diocese of Wote in Makueni County, separating it from the Diocese of Machakos.

The Holy Father has also appointed Rt. Rev. Paul Kariuki Njiru the first Bishop of the newly established Diocese.

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The announcement was made in Rome on Saturday in Rome and later communicated to the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) by the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan, His Excellency Archbishop Bert van Megen.

Bishop Paul Kariuki Njiru

Bishop Paul Kariuki was born on 11th March, 1963 in Kathunguri, Kyeni in the then district of Embu (then under the diocese of Meru). He studied Philosophy at St. Joseph Seminary, Meru from 1985-1987and Theology at St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary, Lang’ata from 1988-1991. He was ordained a priest on March 1, 1993.

Throughout his religious journey, Bishop Kariuki has held various esteemed positions within the church, including Parish Priest of Kairuri Parish and Diocesan Youth Chaplain. He also served as Director of Catholic Schools and Diocesan Vice/Assistant for Youth Pastoral Ministry and the program for Family Life Education.

From 1996 to 1998, he studied for a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Theology at the Pontifical University of Urbaniana in Rome. Between 1998 and 2002 he studied for a Licentiate degree in Biblical Theology at the Pontifical University of Gregoriana in Rome.

Upon his return to Kenya in 2002, he was appointed Parish Priest of Kithimu Parish and Secretary of the Diocesan Commission for Education. In 2003 he taught Sacred Scripture at Christ the King Major Seminary in Nyeri. He also served  as Dean of Studies and assistant to the Rector. He was appointed Bishop on 9th May 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI. He was ordained and installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Embu on 25th July 2009.

At KCCB, Bishop Kariuki has served as the Chairman of the Catholic Health Commission of Kenya and he is currently serving as the Chairman of the Commission for Education and Religious Education.

He is also the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) and member of the Executive Board of Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA).

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