ope francis appoint- ed Althbishop Philip Arnold Subira Anyolo of Kisumu as the fifth metropolitan ofthe Archdiocese of Nai- mbi on October 28 .According to Canon Law.a metropolitan heads a m,exjor diocese and also presides over an ecclesiastical pmvince (Canon 435).This means that as the Naimbi Metropolitan,A1th- bishop Anyolo will (wersee the di- oceses ofKericho. Kitui.Machakos Nakuru and Ngong which have their (Avn bishops as the prop- er heads. Every Church jurisdiction is im- portant in its own right-The Arch diocese ofN airobi enjoys signifi- cance as an ecclesialjurisdiction för several reasons, Historically, it was the first Church division in Kenya to gain metmpolitan status in 1953.Additionally, its territory encompasses the capital city and includes Kiambu County. Recent statistics show that it is the spir- itual home of3.8 million Cath- ohcs, representing a sizable pro- portion of the total population of
both counties. Since its elevation to metmpol- itan status. the archdiocese has been headed by four archbishops. Its first prelate of this rank was Althbishop J J McCarthy CSSp who in that role from 1953 to 1971 ,Before promotion to the rank of archbishop, he had served as Bishop of the Vicariate of Zan- zibar. the ancient Churh territo- ry and name that morphed into the Archdiocese of Naimbi. Archbishop McCarthy, a dynam- ic prelate, will be ever lernern- bered for completing the con- struction ofthe iconic Holy I.kun- ily Cathedral in a recolXl three Aiears. He was succeeded by the Servant ofGod Maurice Cardinal Otunga.loved and revered by ma- ny for his humility and saintly life. The third metropolitan was Althbishop R.S. Ndingi Mwa.na 'a Nzeki,passionate for socialjustice and good governance. Some de- scribed him as one bitten by the political bug.f-hs successor. John Cardinal Njue. will be remem- bered for infrastructure develop- ment and administrative stleam- lining. His achievements include
the construction ofthe Cardinal Otunga Plaza. next to the Basilica. Archbishop Anyolo has a full plate and there are great expec- tations.AII his predecessors were prelates of solid achievements. Currently. the Archdiocese of Naimbi has 114 parishes of which 70 are served by local diocesan priests and the rest by missionar- ies.'lhevrisdiction falls into 14 deaneries or groups of neigh bour- ing parishes. There are 109 religious wom- en congregations and 71 religious men organizations. Besides pro-
viding direct spiritual nourish- ment, agen ts ofevangelization run education institutions-of- fer health services and perform works of mercy in thejurisdiction. Inspired by a papal letter of Pope John XXIII, the Catholic Church understands its mission to be that of mother and teach- er. Education. including techni- cal,civil.civic and religious vari- eties.is part and parcel of evan- gelization, In a word, the Catholic Church is a teaching Church. Althdiocese of Naimbi runs 145 private schools. 26 at sec- ondary' and 119 at primary lev- els While about half ofthese are owned andmanaged by the arrh- diocese, the others belong to mis- sionary congregations. 'Ihe said jurisdiction sponsors 102 secondary schools and 200 pri- mary learning institutions. M a- ny parishes and religious congre- gations run pre-primary learn ing centres,technical training and trade institutions.
'Ille Code ofCanon Law de- scribes the bishop ofa diocese as "a teacher ofdoctrine. priest of sa- cred worship and minister of gov- ernance" (Canon 375). Althbish- opAnyolo will be notjust famil- iar with the operations ofthese institutions, but his role is to pro- vide leadership, inspiration and guidance as a spiritual father. His training and experience will stand him in good stead to lead and serve in this challenging ap- pointment. Philip Subira was born in Ton- garen location. Bungoma County, to the late Mzee Paul Anyolo Shi- litsa and Mama Dinna Nechesa as the second of I o siblings,five girls and an equal number of boys. He attended Kakamwe Primary School where he successfülly sat the Certificate of Prilnary Educa- tion in 1971. Ms EVeHyn Mbayah Shinali. his niece and Principal ofSt.Anne's Musoli Girls High School, Ka- kamega County, ly:"The Archbishop was always humble since his youth and close
to all family members. He loved playing football as amidfielder". Feeling called to the priesthood, he was admitted at the Mother of' Apostles Seminary Eld01Vt and studied there for four years.Af- ter two years oftraining at St.Au- gu Stine Seminary Mab angzt Bun- goma,he studied at St. 'Ihomas Aquinas Seminary Nairobi earn- ing a Diploma in Philosophy and a BA degree in Theology Ordained priest in 1983 by Bish- op John Njenga, Fr Anyolo served the Diocese of Eldoret in various capacities. He did pastoral work at Burnt I.Orest and Loreto Mat-un- da parishes. He was appointed secretary first to Bishop Nienga and later to Bishop Cornelius Korir.Sr Caitri- onaKeIIy of the Loreto Sisters has known Archbishop Anyolo since his youth and recalls: "He's a lov- erofthe pastoral ministry and ac- ademically gifted". 'Ihe cleric en- rolled at the University of Inns- bruck, Austria, where he received his PhD in Theology in 1993. His thesLs was titled Concept of God in Paul: A new Perspective of Relatiomship with GocE
Upon returning home. he was appointed Catholic Chaplain and lectumer at Moi Universityan as- signment that proved short-lived. Pope John Paul Il soon named him the founding bishop of the Diocese of Kerichq which he headed for seven years. The prel- ate was transferred to the Diocese of HomaBay where he served till his elevation as Arch bishop of Kisumuin 2019. This has turned out to be another stint as he was recently appointed the A-chbish- op of Naimbi. Arch bLshop Anyolo is a spiritu- al leader and gifted administra- tor.A multitasker.he has served as Chairman of the Kenya Confer- ence ofCathoIic Bishops. Those who know him since his semi- nary trarning attest to his strong %ork ethic and calm demeanor in the face ofcrises."He reminds one of the Servant of God Mau- rice Cardinal Otungzv he.s always cool". remarks Patrick Kanja who was contemporaneous with Althbishop Anyolo at the Eldoret
As he takes the reins of the Arch- diocese ofNairobi from Bishop David Kamau Ng .ang'avApostolic Administrator, bishop Philip Arnold Subin Anyolo is undaunt- ed by the Herculean task ahead of him. "lhe new motto on his lo- go states:'Manate in me, et ego in vobis"which is Latin for "Abide in me and Iin you". (John 15:4).