MALTA: Bishop Paul Darmanin OFMCap and Sister, Laid to Rest


ŻABBAR, AUGUST 8, 2023 (CISA)- Bishop Emeritus Paul Darmanin of the Order of the Friars Capuchin who died on July 25 at the age of 82 was laid to rest on August 3, 2023, with Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta describing him as a “disciple of the kingdom of heaven.”

In his homily during the funeral of Bishop Paul Darmanin and his sister Mary in Żabbar, Archbishop Scicluna said “as we give our last Christian respects, full of faith and hope, we remember Bishop Paul as the disciple, the wise writer, a teacher who truly became a disciple of the kingdom of heaven.”

Bishop Darmanin was the first prelate of the Catholic Diocese of Garissa in Kenya between 1984 and 2015 and eventually returned home to Malta, where he lived in the friary of the Franciscan Capuchins in Floriana.

During the August 3 funeral, the archbishop highlighted Bishop Darmanin’s devotion to Mary, pointing out that “in his Franciscan Capuchin vocation he remained the son of the mother of Jesus and when the Lord called him to be the successor bishop of the apostle, he chose as a motto the words: ‘led by the mother of Jesus, by Mary.”

He added that Bishop Darmanin was a disciple of the kingdom of heaven, in all circumstances of his life, as a Capuchin monk in Malta, a provincial, then bishop “who out of the depth of the love of his heart gave both the new and the old.”

“The old reflected in his loyalty to the teachings, the tradition of the Church, with the apostolic fervour that testified to the name he was given at baptism: Paul the Apostle, our Father, the missionary apostle. But even the new; he dedicated his life to seeing the dream of Garissa becoming a diocese led by the Franciscan Capuchins come true and grow into a community of faith, hope and love, it was also the adventure of his life, the love of his life. He did not do it alone. He was a man who with his gentleness, with his considerate word, also knew how to encourage others to be disciples of the Lord like him.”

Bishop Darmanin’s sister Mary who was also laid to rest on August 3, was eulogized by Archbishop Scicluna saying “today we also say goodbye to his sister who took care of him and he took care of her. The Lord called them within a few days of each other. In the mystery of the Lord’s mercy, we look at him and adore him. To understand him, we must first meet him face to face and on the day we meet the Lord face to face, together with our brothers Bishop Paul and his sister Mary. We really don’t care why but we are lucky enough to meet the love, the mercy, the sweet embrace of the one who truly loves us.”

Following the funeral, Bishop Darmanin’s burial took place in the crypt beneath the Holy Cross Church in Floriana.

Adopted from NEWSBOOK, Originally Posted on August 3, 2023

𝐏𝐨𝐩𝐞 𝐅𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐬 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐅𝐫 𝐇𝐢𝐞𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐲𝐦𝐮𝐬 𝐄𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐮𝐠𝐮𝐭 𝐉𝐨𝐲𝐚, 𝐈𝐌𝐂 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐁𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐩 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐥

Pope Francis has appointed Fr Hieronymus Emusugut Joya, I.M.C of the Consolata Missionaries as the new bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Maralal. The appointment was announced today July 20, 2022 in the Osservatore Romano at 12 noon Roman Time.

The 57 years old missionary takes over from Bishop Virgillio Pante, 76, who has been bishop of Maralal for 21 years.

Until his appointment Fr Joya has been a Doctorate (PhD) student in Sacred Theology with specialization in Pastoral Theology at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), and a lecturer at the Consolata Institute of Philosophy, Nairobi.

Fr Joya previously served as the Regional Superior of the Consolata Missionaries for the Kenya-Uganda region for two terms from 2011 to 2016.

Fr Joya was born April 17, 1965 in Asinge village, Amukura District in Teso South Sub-County in Busia County to the late Andrew Ojuma Joya and Eremina Ikasere. He was baptized and confirmed in St. Anthony of Padua Chakol Catholic Parish, Bungoma.

He did his primary education at Changana Primary School in African Highlands, Kericho and Asinge Primary School. He later joined St. Peter’s Minor Seminary, Mukumu in the Catholic Diocese of Kakamega in 1982 and finished his high school studies in 1985.

He joined the Consolata Missionaries in 1990, and finished his Philosophical studies in 1993 with an award of Diploma in Religious Studies, and a B.A in Philosophy from Pontifical Urbaniana University.

Thereafter he joined Consolata Missionaries Novitiate Sagana, between August 1993 and August 1994. He later joined Tangaza University College from August 1994 to March 1998 where he was awarded Diploma in Theology, Diploma in Mission Studies; a B.A in Sacred Theology from Pontifical Urbaniana University, and B.A in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

He took his first religious vows on August 6, 1994 and final vows on November 8, 1997. He was ordained deacon on November 9, 1997 and a priest of the Consolata Missionaries on September 5, 1998.

From June 14 to August 2003 he undertook a Summer Course on Leadership and Psycho-Spiritual growth and development at St. Anselm in England.

From August 2005 to May 2007 he did postgraduate studies at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa and successfully graduated with a License in Sacred Theology with specialization in Pastoral Theology.

Fr Joya previously worked at Loiyangalani Catholic Mission in the Catholic Diocese of Marsabit, served as Rector and formator at the Consolata Philosophicum Seminary in Nairobi, and as the Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator and Director of Allamano Pastoral Centre in the Catholic Diocese of Maralal. 

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— in Maralal.

TANZANIA: “Lack of Care for The Environmental Has Resulted into Conflicts, Violence and Divisiveness in The World,” Warns Cardinal Tagle

By Paschal Norbert

DAR ES SALAAM, JULY 12, 2022 (CISA) – “Lack of care for the environment is manifesting into lack of care for one another as seen in many conflicts in the world. God wants us to be closer to one another because in Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, God is closer to us. And we should be closer to one another,” postulated Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples at the Vatican on July 10.

In his homily during the opening Mass of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) 20th Plenary Assembly held at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Cardinal Tagle opined that the present-day global conflicts and divisions and lack of care for the environment have contributed to a state of helplessness in the world.

“We need to ask ourselves why is it that caring is less these days?” asked the Cardinal.

The AMECEA 20th Plenary Assembly, which is being held from July 9 to 18, under the theme “Environmental Impact on Integral Human Development,” will focus on the papal encyclical Laudato Si (on care for our common home), Faith, Values, and Ethics in the Care for the Environment, Care for the Integral Ecology, and Church and Government Collaborations among others.

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples underscored the importance of the theme of the AMECEA meeting observing that it has come at a time when the world is faced with environmental challenges that have resulted in conflicts, violence and divisiveness.

Cardinal Tagle recognized environmental degradation as one of the major threats facing the planet and urged the 20th AMECEA Assembly delegates to address the underlying causes of this threat that compromises the natural environment.

“We need to discuss the root cause of the environmental degradation to have concrete resolutions after the Assembly otherwise we will have cosmetics resolutions from the assembly,” he appealed.

In referring to the three readings of the day taken from Deuteronomy 30:10-14, Colossians 1:15-20 and Luke 10:25-37, Cardinal Tagle noted how the scriptures speak to the closeness of God to creation and humanity. He wondered why humanity should destroy creation if all that was created invisible and visible have the presence of Christ.

Cardinal Tagle was, however, appreciative that the Catholic Bishops, clergy, religious and laity from Eastern African Countries have gathered in Tanzania to proclaim the Good News that humanity needs to come together.

The 10-day assembly in Dar es Salaam has seen more than 100 Catholic bishops from Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, and Kenya, that make up the AMECEA region, attend the quadrennial plenary, which is the supreme authority within the association.

KENYA: Message of Bishop-Elect as he Retreats in Readiness for Consecration

By Arnold Neliba

NAIROBI, APRIL 8, 2022 (CISA)– “I am coming to you not only as your bishop and not only as a servant but I’m also coming to you as a fellow Christian so that together we may walk in this journey,” Bishop-Elect George Muthaka O.F.M Cap of the Catholic diocese of Garissa has said.

Speaking to CISA on April 5 in Nairobi ahead of his retreat, which began on April 6, Monsignor Muthaka invited the faithful to join him in prayer and pray for him as he heads for a retreat in readies for his episcopal ordination on May 7.

“Dear people of Garissa diocese, we have lived together almost for the last 5 years and I have visited every part of the diocese. We have interacted, we have prayed together,” he said further urging them to “continue to pray for me especially as I begin my retreat so that the good Lord may bless me during these days, he may inspire me and that he may give me strength so that we may come together, continue to serve the Lord together and that we may have Christ as our master as a brother, and everything that we do we may do it as witnesses of Christ.”

Just as Pope Francis has invited Christians to walk together as a family in the synod, the 47-year-old bishop-elect called for synodality in Garissa.

“So I am coming to not as your boss, not as your master but I’m coming to you to listen, to try to understand you and together as a family that we may walk together,” he expounded.

Fr George Muthaka, a former Vice-Superior and Superior of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (2009-2015), was on February 17 appointed bishop for the Catholic diocese of Garissa.

The immediate former vicar-general for Garissa will be consecrated on May 7, becoming the third bishop of Garissa after Bishop Joseph Alessandro, O.F.M. Cap (2015-2022) and Bishop Paul Darmanin, O.F.M. Cap (1984-2015).

KENYA: Bishop Muthaka Urges Youth to Respond Calls to Vocations in maiden Mass

By Odiwuor Opiyo

GARISSA, MAY 10, 2022 (CISA) – Newly consecrated Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Garissa, Rt. Rev George Muthaka OFM Cap., on May 8, urged faithful in the diocese to consider religious vocations to continue growing faith both within the diocese as well as all over the world.

In his homily during his first Mass as bishop, the prelate while also celebrating Mothers’ Day asserted that the day, “is a day to pray for a vocation because we know that the Church needs workers who will continue to spread the gospel to the entire world and we recognize that in our diocese, we need priests and men and women religious who will continue with that work. In a special way, we know that there is a dearth of vocations in our diocese. So today, I urge the youth in our diocese, from Mandera, Wajir, Garissa and Tana River to listen to the voice of God and come closer and heed that call to carry out this important work.”

He also urged parents to motivate their children to take up vocations especially those with a calling to a vocation to grow faith in the future maintaining that it is among the priorities forwarded to him by the Holy Father after his appointment.

“We only have three diocesan priests so we have a great challenge as we need more priests to better fulfil pastoral work,” said the prelate who during his installation as bishop intimated that Garissa is geographically the largest in Kenya but with the fewest number of faithful.

“Even when schools close, the youth should attend seminars here where they will be guided on vocation,” urged Bishop Muthaka.

The former first African Provincial Superior of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins in Kenya, moreover, took the occasion to celebrate the mothers in the diocese, with his mother in attendance, on the Sunday of the Good Shepherd. The mass was animated by the Catholic Women Association (CWA) of the diocese of Garissa.

The youngest bishop in Kenya at 47 years, praised “A good shepherd is supposed to provide and to protect his flock…our mothers are the best shepherds since they provided and protected us… so we love our mothers, we cherish you, you are very important to us and God loves you. Thank you so much to our mothers, you are important to the church and our diocese.”

Nuncio in Kenya Cautions against “power, imposition”, Calls for “humility of heart”

The representative of the Holy Father in Kenya has cautioned church members including members of the Clergy against the tendency to refer to authority saying, “The church of Christ does not build on power or on imposition.”

In his homily during the Saturday, May 7 Episcopal Ordination of Bishop George Muthaka, Archbishop Hubertus van Megen also reiterated his previous call for an end to clericalism in the Church.

“Dear George, dear colleagues in the episcopate, brothers in the Priesthood, Religious men and women, dear Christians, let us be humble of hearts,” Archbishop van Megen said.

He added, “That humility of heart we can only acquire when we are able to see our own poverty and insufficiency in the eyes of God.”

Addressing himself to the candidate for the Episcopate, a member of the Order of Friars Minor, Capuchin (OFM Cap.), Archbishop van Megen said, “Dear Fr. George, as a follower of the poor man of God, St. Francis, you are fully aware that we cannot do without the grace of God. In fact, each and every day we are in need of Him.”


“The man who holds an office, a responsibility in the Church, a Bishop, a Priest, a Religious Superior, is even more in need of that grace,” the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya who doubles as the representative of the Holy Father in South Sudan said during the Consecration event held at Our Lady of Consolation Cathedral of Garissa Diocese grounds.

“We the teachers of the Gospel are many times blind to it,” he said in reference to the awareness about the need for God’s grace, and posed, “How often are we leaders of the Church not deceived by the things of this world? How many times do we not fall for the lure of money and power?”

Pope Francis appointed Mons. Muthaka as the third Local Ordinary of Garissa on February 17.

Consecrated on May 7, Bishop Muthaka has succeeded his 77-year-old confrere, Bishop Joseph Alesandro, who first served as Coadjutor Bishop of Garissa Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in September 2012 and as Local Ordinary of the Kenyan Diocese from December 2015.

In his homily during the Episcopal Ordination of the 47-year-old Bishop who, before he was appointed Bishop, was serving as Vicar General, Diocesan Financial Administrator, Director of Caritas, and President of the Diocesan Commission for the Protection of Minors in Garissa Diocese, Archbishop van Megen also cautioned members of the Clergy against the tendency to appeal to power, ruling Christians “with an iron fist”.

He bemoaned the fact that many time Catholic Church leaders have acted as if “we are our own god, as if we are the highest judge, as if we can rule the Christians with an iron fist on behalf of Christ.”

“Let us move away from a clerical Church where it seems that the clergy is a separate caste,” the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya who doubles as the representative of the Holy Father in South Sudan said.

He added, “We Priests, Bishops, Superiors are one with the entire people of God; we are the one Body of Christ.”

“We commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God. We are one body of Christ, taking responsibility for each other as Christians, as members of that body, praying for each other, encouraging each other,” the Nuncio said referencing the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.

He continued, “Let us pray to the Lord that He will make his light shine in our hearts so that we may understand the true condition of our soul, of our human existence.”

The Apostolic Nuncio who doubles as the Permanent Observer to the United Nations Environment Program and Human Settlements Program further said, “To be a leader in the church bears many challenges. Any responsibility for that matter is filled with obstacles and frightening choices.”

“As a leader you may have to put your nets into the deep and that responsibility may weigh heavy on your shoulders. We may even be apprehensive or filled with doubts. We may be called to do things that we would rather avoid,” the Dutch-born Archbishop said May 7.

He implored, “Let us entrust ourselves to the prayer of our fellow Christians.”

KENYA: Thanksgiving and farewell mass for Rt.Rev Joseph Alessandro OFM Cap

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.

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