The Bishop emeritus of the Catholic diocese of Garissa Rt.Rev Joseph Alessandro OFM Cap on June 12 Thanked the faithful of the Catholic church in Garissa for embracing him and making the diocese his second home.
In his farewell speech during his Thanksgiving and farewell mass after many years of apostolate and pastoral work as a priest and a bishop of the diocese the bishop said “..One of the signs that something is alive, is that it grows and moves.sixty years ago I moved from my parents’ home to the capuchin community,then later to other countries and Thirty three years ago to Kenya and now it’s time for me to go back to my roots,not as a person burdened by age but as a bishop enriched by love and faith from the people of Garissa”.The prelate added that “Being a missionary and bishop was and still is a great blessing from God and to whom I should always be thankful, looking at the present and the future I feel very happy that the diocese has grown”.
In his speech the current bishop Rt.Rev George Muthaka OFM Cap commended Bishop Joseph for his humility, love and for nurturing him during the five years they lived together and was committed to follow in his footsteps.he applauded him for the efforts he made in spiritual welfare,and physical development towards the people of Garissa and more so for soldiering on despite all the difficulties he encountered in his ministry.
Bishop Muthaka also expressed his gratitude to the provincial capuchin brothers in Malta who were represented by Reverend fr.Ivan for their continuous support to the diocese and the people of Garissa.the prelate stated that “Through the generous support of the provincial capuchin brothers in Malta we have managed to construct two new learning blocks at the st.mary’s school in Garissa parish, various projects in wajir parish,a church at hola parish among significant projects,so I thank you and appeal to you to continue supporting us”.
He also made an appeal to the superior of the capuchin brothers in Kenya to consider assisting the diocese with priests to help in pastoral work. The prelate asserted that he will consistently continue in exhorting the young people who discern to live a religious life to embrace that vocation because it will help the diocese grow more and also noted that”We would wish to open new parishes but the low number of priests remains a challenge to us”.
The presbytery, religious members and lay faithful commended the bishop emeritus for his humility, love for people and being an understanding shepherd.they promised to keep him in prayer always and beseeched him to come back again and visit them.
The celebration was graced with presentation of gifts by faithful drawn from the entire diocese and beyond, Muslim friends and friends from far,cutting of the cake, common lunch and entertainments from different church groups.
May our good Lord bless Bishop Joseph Alessandro
Bishop George Muthaka
And the entire people of Garissa Diocese.