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In Kenya, Deacon Michael Mithamo King’ori made history when he was ordained as a priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri. Mithamo had been serving as a deacon at the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri and was ordained by Archbishop Anthony Muheria.
“This new priest, Father Michael, will help us to appreciate, in a very new way, the capacity, the ‘enabledness,’ of people who may have a deficiency of ability because of [their] situations,” Muheria told ACI Africa following the ordination, adding that the priestly ordination of Mithamo King’ori “is a reason for great joy because in spite of his limitation, in spite of the hurdles he has had to go through, he has come out to give evidence and testimony that disability is not a hindrance to answer[ing] God’s call, that disability is not inability.”
According to the last census, conducted in 2019, Kenya had a Catholic population of roughly 9.7 million. Catholicism was first introduced to Kenya in the 15th century, but it was not widely circulated until the 20th century when the Roman Catholic Church’s missionary outreach in East Africa began with the French Congregation of the Holy Ghost among formerly enslaved people on the Coast.
King’ori’s ordination has already inspired his peers. Muheria hopes his ordination will send a powerful message to other Kenyans.
“Many people who may not have the abilities, the normal abilities that we value, are very gifted in so many other ways that make them still very effective in the ministry, in evangelization, and in fulfilling the call that they have received. Of course, it is ours to ensure that they are well prepared,” he said.