KATHANGA Proposed Parish – of the Catholic Diocese of Meru, Is at the Igembe North Constituency of Meru County after the split from Mutuati Parish. The location of the parish is at the Nyambene Hills, with good soil for farming and animal keeping. The proposed Parish was handed over officially to the Franciscan Conventual Friars on 28th November 2021, with three Friars assigned there, that is, Friars: Aquinas Mutua, Godfrey Oduor and Paul Njoroge. There are 7 Prayer-houses (Outstations) inclusive of the Parish center Church, with 17 Small Christian Communities:

  1. Holy Cross – KATHANGA, Centre Church
  2. St. Cecilia – Mbiriata
  3. St. Francis of Assisi

iii. St. Francis Xavier

  1. St. Veronica
  2. St. Dominic
  3. Theresa of Avilla – NGUKWINE
  4. St. Monica
  5. St. Augustine
  6. Cecilia – AITHU
  7. St. Theresa of the Child Jesus
  8. St. Agnes

iii. St. John the Baptist.

  1. Martyrs of Uganda – NGITANA
  2. St. Anastasia
  3. Bonaventure – MWANIKA
  4. St. Josephine Bakhita
  5. St. Agatha
  6. James – KACHIURU
  7. St. Clare
  8. Cyprian – AMBARU
  9. St. Joseph
  10. St. Jude

iii. St. Mary Goretti

The estimated population of the faithful of the parish is 1,600. All the Prayer houses has their own land, some with title deeds and others still in the progress of attaining theirs, with this the Main Church and other 5 Prayer houses are under construction with the support from the local people.

There is a parochial school, Kaungu – Mwanika Primary School which is located at St. Bonaventure, Mwanika Prayer House, which was started by Fr. Mathew Kaimenyi, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Meru, and registered under the trustee of the Diocese of Meru. Apart from this parochial school, there are other public schools, that is, 6 primary and 3 secondary schools that are catholic sponsored under our parish.

Challenges – The parish being in interior region of the Igembe, the Youths are not mostly easily found during the schooling periods, until the learning institutions are closed, and again after the completion of their studies most of them go to towns in search of employment.

  • The area depends on rains for sustaining themselves from the small farming practices due to the challenge of water. There is only one private borehole at the area, which is almost 4 kilometers from the parish, which distributes water to the people. With the high dependency on the rains, the area is dry and people are affected with droughts, to be specific this year the people suffered due to drought and some schools were even closed due to hunger at the area.
  • Language barrier mostly to the aged and those who don’t understand common language like Swahili and English.
  • Main parish being under construction bring about the challenge of accommodating the Friars who stays at the House that belong to the Catholic Diocese of Meru located at Mutuati Market, this makes the friars commute from the Mutuati to the Parish at a distance of about 5-6 kilometers.
  • The Community has only one car making it a difficult for pastoral movements, and becomes expensive for the friars to reach the faithful since we have to hire two cars for the friars to reach them, one of the Prayer houses being at 20 kilometers from Kathanga.
  • The area seems to have been neglected pastorally and the friars are doing new evangelization in the area, where some people are still rigid to the change, this makes to experience difficulties in transition from the diocesan to religious priests.

Generally the people are very positive and welcoming, and working together gives a good atmosphere for pastoral.