The evangelization of Ukambani started from Nairobi and the pioneers of it were the Holy Ghost father’s fathers. When they started this great task, there were no vehicles, hotels nor lodgings to spend their nights. Further, they were not familiar with the language nor would the people of the area accord them a word of welcome or entertain them. They were moving from the known to the unknown through the bushes and semi-arid areas. Out of their efforts, they expected to meet with some opposition from the traditionalists and the Protestants who had already claimed the territory as their own. These missionaries had their two headquarters at St. Austin’s and St. Peter clever-Nairobi. From here they made their plans and equipped themselves for the mission ahead. Their movement plan was designed from here where one group moved southwards along the railway line from St. Peter Clever while the other from St. Austin established their base at Mang’u from where they established an out post at Kabaa in Machakos
Priests from St. peter clever made regular trips along the railway line down to Kibwezi through Athi-river, Sultan Hamud, Emali and Makindu preaching to the workers in the sisal plantations of the Europeans .According to baptismal records/registers of St. peter clever, records of baptism by Fr Blais at Athi-river are as early as 1920, Kibwezi 1924.Fr’s D.O’Leary and Paul white recorded baptism at Makindu in 1924.Tom Maher and Harry Byrne recorded baptism at Emali and Kibwezi. These missionaries with their base at Kabaa moved in two lines one along Kaumoni, Kilungu, and Mbitini while the other went along Yatta/Matuu to Kitui. Their work was planting the seed of faith, watering, nurturing and reaping.
Today we remember their great mission to Ukambani. Most of them are dead and the remaining retired while a few are with us .We sincerely remember and pray for them due to that great work whose fruits we are enjoying today. The Diocese has a very big number of Christians, over one hundred and fifty diocesan priests without a mention of those men and women from the diocese who have joined other religious congregation’s .Some are working in Kenya while a good number is working in other countries. Today the diocese has 72 parishes and others are on the pipeline to be opened. We thank them for their self-sacrifice, self-denial, efforts and generosity to plant the seed of faith which we celebrate today. These great men and women pose a great challenge to us in this diocese since the word of God has to be preached to the ends of the world. We need to go an extra mile to fulfill Christ’s mandate that “…go to the whole world and preach to all the creatures the good news and whoever believes be baptized…”In this we will be working towards the motto of the diocese “That all may be one”