An aerial view of the Sacred Heart Cathedral (Eldoret Cathedral) grounds.

Tracing the History of Eldoret Catholic Cathedral

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The Eldoret Catholic Cathedral, officially known as the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, is a prominent religious and architectural landmark in Eldoret, Kenya.

Its history is closely tied to the growth of the Catholic Church in the North Rift region.

Early Days:

The history of the cathedral dates back to the early 20th century when Catholic missionaries arrived in the Eldoret area. They initially held Mass in small thatched huts and makeshift chapels.

Foundation and Construction:

The construction of the cathedral began in the mid-20th century, around the 1950s.

Eldoret Catholic cathedral building.

It was however a gradual process that involved local volunteers and funding from the community. The cathedral’s design reflects a mix of European and African architectural influences.

Role in the Community:

The Eldoret Catholic Cathedral has played a significant role in the spiritual and social life of the local community. It has also been a place of worship, community gatherings, and a center for various charitable activities.

Spiritual Growth:

Over the years, the cathedral has witnessed the growth of the Catholic faith in the region. It has been a hub for religious ceremonies, including weddings, baptisms, and other important rites.

Renovations and Expansions:

Like many historic buildings, the cathedral has undergone renovations and expansions, but on a minimal scale, to accommodate the growing congregation and preserve its architectural and historical significance.

In addition, the Eldoret Cathedral serves as the administrative Headquarters of the Eldoret Catholic Diocese. The diocese is currently headed by Bishop Dominic Kimengich.

Eldoret Catholic Diocese Bishop Dominic Kimengich during the event at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Eldoret.
Eldoret Catholic Diocese Bishop Dominic Kimengich during the event at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Eldoret.

Being located in the North Rift region of Kenya, the Diocese covers the three devolved Counties of Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet.

From the 2019 National census, the area covered by Eldoret Diocese has a total population of 2,503,377 .

The Catholic population in the Diocese is estimated to be 890,000. There are 72 and 5 chaplaincies parishes and still a good number of prospective parishes are in the offing.

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