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Remembering Fr. John Kaiser: Catholic Bishops to hold anniversary Friday

The late Rev. Fr. John Anthony Kaiser

On Friday, 25th August 2023 will mark 23 years since the death of Rev. Fr. John Anthony Kaiser.

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops will celebrate his Anniversary tomorrow (Friday) at Morendat —Naivasha, along the Nakuru-Nairobi highway where he was found dead on the 24th August 2000.

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The cause of his death could not be ascertained at the time but it later emerged that he was murdered by unknown assailants.

The Government opened an inquest into Fr. Kaiser’s death at the request of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB).

The inquest ended on 12th June 2007, after hearing and gathering evidence from 111 witnesses. On August 2007 the then presiding magistrate ruled that Fr. Kaiser had been murdered, and that the ‘suicide theory’ was based on pre-conceived notion.

She further stated that she could not, on the basis of evidence tabled before her in the inquest, point out with certainty who killed the Priest.

Rev. Fr. John Anthony Kaiser was born in Perham, Minnesota in the United States of America on 23rd November 1932.

Fr. Kaiser was ordained in St. Louis for the Mill Hill Fathers in 1964, and was sent for the mission in Kenya the same year.

He ministered in the Diocese of Kisii for twenty (20) years; and later in the Dioceses of Nakuru and Ngong. As a missionary, he served the poor, advocated for justice for the oppressed and respect for human rights.

At the height of ethnic violence and land clashes in Kenya in 1993, Fr. Kaiser worked with displaced persons at Maela Internally Displaced Persons’ Camp located within the Diocese of Nakuru.

They had been displaced from Enoosupukia within the Diocese of Ngong. Fr. Kaiser later transferred to Lolgorian Parish-Ngong Diocese in Maasai Land.

Twenty two (22) years after his death, family, relatives, Mill Hill Missionaries (MHM), the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, fellow Christians, members of human rights groups, civil society and other people of good-will continue to celebrate his life and remember him for the tireless efforts in advocating for justice for the poor, oppressed and vulnerable, preaching peaceful coexistence.

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Mary Muthoni
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