Bishop Neofitos of Kenya preaches at Cleveland Deanery Akathist Service in Campbell, OH
CAMPBELL, OH [MW Diocese Communications] — Clergy and faithful from the Diocese of the Midwest’s Cleveland Deanery were joined by the Eastern Orthodox Clergy Association of the Mahoning Valley in hosting the celebration of the Akathist to the Holy Cross on Sunday evening, March 19, 2017 at Saint John the Baptist Church here.
According to Archpriest Andrew Nelko, host Pastor, the guest homilist was His Grace Bishop Neofitos [Kongai] of the newly established Diocese of Nyeri and Mt. Kenya, within the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa.
“Bishop Neofitos is only the second native-born Kenyan bishop,” said Father Andrew. “His Grace was born in 1970 in the village of Kesengei, in the Nandi district of Kenya. After graduating from high school in 1992 he attended two Kenyan institutions culminating in graduation from Makarios III Seminary in 1998. In September of the same year he was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood, taking the name Neofitos after a famous Cypriot saint. His Grace enrolled at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, MA in 2001, graduating with a Master of Theology degree in Theological Studies in 2004 and a Master of Theology degree in Theology in 2005.”
Father Andrew added that in 2007, Bishop Neofitos was tonsured as a monk at the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in the Metropolis of Veria, Thessaloniki, Greece. He was elected Assistant Bishop of the Holy Archdiocese of Kenya by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in November and unanimously elected as Bishop of the Diocese of Nyeri and all Mt. Kenya Region.
“Bishop Neofitos has put his heart and soul in serving his faithful flock in Kenya, and is especially devoted to ministering to children and families in need,” said Father Andrew. “In his remarks, His Grace spoke on the message of the Cross — a message of love, self-sacrifice and struggle — and passionately related it to the challenges the clergy and faithful of his diocese face on a day-to-day basis.”
Following the Akathist, a Lenten meal for the nearly 150 faithful and clergy in attendance was served by the Sisterhood of Saint John’s Parish, at which time a check for $1,600.00 was presented to His Grace as a token of love and support of his continuing work.