“History was made in Kenya today when Fr. John Baptist Oese Imai was finally blessed as an abbot. He becomes the first Benedictine Abbot in Kenya. History has it that some years past, we had an abbot in Kipkelion Monastery in Kericho who belonged to the Cistercian order”.
Fr. John Baptist’s blessing followed the September elevation of the Conventual Priory of Prince of Peace, Tigoni Kenya of the Benedictine Missionaries of St. Ottillien to an Abbey.
The Benedictine Missionaries were invited to Kenya in 1972 and can now be found in the Archdioceses of Nairobi and Nyeri, and in the Dioceses of Eldoret and Marsabit.
Prior to his election as Abbot, Fr. John Baptist who hails from Kenya’s Diocese of Bungoma served as Prior of the Tigoni. He had also ministered at St. Benedict’s Parish Ruaraka of Nairobi Archdiocese as Parish Priest.
The 42-year-old who is passionate about liturgical music also has a long experience in formation and has been Novice master of the Monks in Tigoni for many years.
He is the brains behind the popular Jina Maria (the name Mary), which is sung at the end of Holy Mass across Kenya.