Catholic Diocese of Garissa - Kenya


The Catholic Diocese of Garissa under the guidance of the Holy Spirit will seek holiness of its members as witnesses of the love of God to all people. It w

The Catholic Diocese of Garissa was established by H.H. Pope John Paul II on February 3, 1984. It comprehends Garissa County, Wajir County, Mandera County and part of Tana River County. First evangelization goes back to the last part of the 16th century. It was the work of the Portuguese Augustinian Missionaries in Faza, on the island of Pate, and in Lamu. In our times the first Catholic Missionaries arrived in the late 1940’s from Mombasa. They were the Holy Ghost Fathers who established a community in Wema, and later, in Hola. In 1968, the Consolata Missionaries from Meru started to work in Garissa from where they moved to Wajir and Mandera. In 1974, evagelization in the area was entrusted to the Capuchin Friars of the Province of Malta. In 1976, the territory which formed part of Mombasa and Meru dioceses was declared a Prefecture Apostolic and elevated to Diocese in 1984. In the year 2000, the southern part of Garissa Diocese (Wema, Garsen, Mpeketoni and Lamu) was detached from the diocese to form part, together with Malindi, the new Diocese of Malindi. The diocese is divided in six parishes; Garissa, Hola, Wajir, Mandera, Bura-Tana, Wenje.

The Bishop
Rt Rev. Joseph Alessandro OFMCap was born in Paola Malta on November 30, 1944. In September 24, 1961 he joined the Capuchin Friars Minor in the Province of Malta and made his solemn religious profession on January 30, 1966. He was ordained priest in Trento – Italy on April 5, 1970. After his Priestly Ordination, he obtained a Licentiate (S.TH.L) in Moral Theology and a Diploma in Pastoral Pyscholological Counselling (Dipl.Past.Psyc.). In the Capuchin Friars Minor of the Province of Malta he served as a Provincial Definitor, Vicar Provincial, Superior, and Director of Post-Novices. In 1990 he joined the Maltese Capuchin Custody of Kenya. In 1993 he was elected Regular Superior of the Custody of Kenya (resigned from office, after he was attacked and shot and seriously injured, by bandits while he was travelling to visit missionaries in Mpeketoni Parish. He returned to Malta for medical treatment). Between 2005 and 2010 served the Province of Malta as Minister Provincial. In September 2010 he returned back to Kenya. On August 15, 2011, His Lordship Paul Darmanin OFMCap, Bishop of Garissa appointed him Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Garissa. On February 2012 was elected Councillor of the Capuchin General Vice – Province of Kenya.On June 29, 2012 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Rev. Fr. Joseph Alessandro OFMCap as Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Garissa (Kenya). He was ordained bishop in St. John Co-Cathedral Valletta, Malta on September 29, 2012 by His Eminence John Cardinal Njue, Archbishop of Nairobi. On December 8, 2015, Pope Francis l, appointed him as the second Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Garissa.


H. L. Paul Darmanin OFMCap 1984 -2016

Rt. Rev. Msgr. Leo White OFMCap Prefect Apostolic 1976 -1984

H. L. Paul Darmanin OFMCap 1984 -2016

Bishop Emeritus
Bishop Paul Darmanin OFMCap was born in Malta on 6th November 1940. In October 1957 he joined the Capuchin Friars Minor in the Province of Malta and made his solemn religious profession on December 24, 1961. He was ordained priest on 26th March 1966. After his ordination, he proceeded to Rome for higher studies. He graduated in Moral Theology from the Academia Alfonsiana and in Canon Law from the Gregorian University. Between 1974 and 1980 he served as Provincial Minister of the Capuchins in Malta. In 1981 he joined the Capuchin missionaries in the Apostolic Prefecture of Garissa. On February 3, 1984, the Holy See elevated Garissa to the rank of a diocese and, on March 25 1984, Pope John Paul II appointed Fr Paul Darmanin OFMCap as its first bishop. He was ordained bishop in St. John Co-Cathedral Valletta, Malta on June 3, 1984 by H.G. the Metropolitan Archbishop of Malta, Msgr Joseph Mercieca, and on August 26, 1984, was installed as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Garissa. On 8 December 2015 the Holy Father accepted his resignation from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Garissa (Kenya), in accordance with can. 401 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law.

Square kilometres: 142,704
Total Population: 813,330
Catholics: 6,690
Catholics percentage: 0.8%
Parishes: 06
Out Stations: 21
Small Christian Communities: 53
Catholic Primary Schools: 04
Nursery Schools: 07
Health Centres: 01
Clinics: 06
Diocesan Priests: 04
Deacons: 03
Male Religious: 12
Female Religious: 16
Missionaries: 11

Male Religious:
Capuchin Friars Minor, Holy Ghost Fathers, Missionary Fraternity of Mary, Movimento Contemplativo Missionario “Fr Charles De Foucauld”.

Female Religious:
Daughters of St Ann, Camilians Sisters, Movimento Contemplativo Missionario “Fr Charles De Foucauld” Sisters of St Joseph of Tarbes.

Church/Religious Organization in Garissa