Homa Bay to St. Cloud – We are One Catholic Family

The following is information on the blessings that priests from the Homa Bay Diocese of Kenya have been to our St. Cloud Diocese throughout the past several years. Each priest brought their own unique gifts, talents and personalities, and we are grateful for each and every one of them and the incredible ministry they have blessed us with!

For more information on how and why the St. Cloud Diocese welcomes missioner priests to minister among us, read the International Clergy Policy (PDF) here.

Get to know our missioners from Homa Bay!  They are wonderful people who have shared incredible things with us as we all grow together in our journey towards GOD!

oderoAsante Sana Fr. John!

In 2011, St. Cloud welcomed Fr. John Odero from Homa Bay, Kenya.

Fr. John Philip Odero Waindi landed at the Minneapolis Airport in August of 2011 and was immediately welcomed by friends from the St. Cloud Diocese.  Fr. John visited our diocese originally in September of 2007 as part of that year’s delegation to St. Cloud and he returned again for a month in August of 2008 for a brief time. He was to be with us for three years, but his time here was so blessed that our Bishops and Fr. John chose to extend his time.  He served in the St. Cloud Diocese a total of five years, having served as parochial vicar in the Bowlus-Elmdale-Upsula-St. Francis cluster in Central Minnesota for nearly all of that time.  Fr. John has also served as missioner to many parishes, schools and groups throughout the diocese through mission education and partnership liaison efforts.  Prior to arriving in our diocese, Fr. John served in the Bishop’s Office, as pastor of a parish, and as the communications liaison for the St. Cloud-Homa Bay Diocesan Partnership’s Leadership Team in Homa Bay.

Fr. John completed his time in our diocese in September of 2016. He was a treasure to have here and we look back upon those past five years with gratitude!  We cannot thank him enough – Asante Sana our friend!

Asante Baba Gregory!

In 2007, St. Cloud welcomed Fr. Gregory Ombok from Homa Bay, Kenya

Fr. Gregory Otenga Ombok was sent by the Diocese of Homa Bay, Kenya to serve as a missioner to the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota, as a part of sharing gifts through our Diocesan Partnership between the Homa Bay and St. Cloud Dioceses. The exchange of peoples which has been key to the partnership was extended to include the exchange of longer-term personnel. Fr. Gregory arrived in August of 2007, and was with us until October of 2010.

Fr. Gregory lived in the parish house in both Holdingford and Bowlus, and served as pastor or associate pastor of both communities’ clusters. As a missioner to us, he shared his faith and helped us all develop a deeper understanding of our call to communion and solidarity with our global brothers and sisters. As Bishop Kinney said of him, “He will take the pieces of a LOT of peoples hearts when he leaves.”

Fr. Gregory, we were truly blessed to have had you among us, and we wish you all the best in your ministry in your home of Homa Bay Diocese!

pascal_staplesFather Pascal in Mission to us

In 2004, St. Cloud welcomed Fr. Pascal Otieno from Homa Bay, Kenya

Fr. Pascal Otieno Ounga was commissioned and sent by the Diocese of Homa Bay, Kenya to serve as a missionary to the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota in August of 2004. Since the beginning of this partnership in 1999, delegation exchange visits have been the key to developing this mutual relationship. Now the two dioceses have taken steps to further strengthening their commitment to this relationship through the exchange of personnel, like Fr. Pascal.

Initially Fr. Pascal ministered for his first year at St. John Cantius Parish in St. Cloud and at St. Cloud Hospital. Subsequent ministries include St. Andrew and St. John Parishes in Greenwald and Meire Grove, and St. Anne’s Parish in Kimball. Fr. Pascal served in our diocese for a period of three years. As a missioner to us, he shared his faith and helped us to develop a deeper understanding of our global neighbors especially in Homa Bay, Kenya.

Fr. Pascal left the diocese in 2007, although memories of him and his free spirit continue to live on in the many people he encountered and touched during his time here.

everline_winifredKenyan & Minnesotan Sisters in Partnership

As a part of the partnership between the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls and the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph in Asumbi, Kenya, we have been blessed to have 6 different Sisters stay in Little Falls at different times.

Sr. Winefred Adongo Oguya and Sr. Everline Buyaki Mboga were sent by their community within the Diocese of Homa Bay, Kenya to serve as missionaries to the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. They arrived in 2004. Sr. Winefred and Sr. Everline served in our diocese for a period of two years with the Franciscan Community of Little Falls, MN. They lived, worked, and shared their faith with the Minnesota Franciscans, as well as others throughout the Diocese. They also helped us to develop a deeper understanding of our global neighbors in Homa Bay, Kenya and a fuller appreciation of our universal faith.

In the fall of 2006, Srs. Winefred and Everline left our Diocese to return home. Later Sr. Everline returned to the states on behalf of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph to establish a house in Virginia Beach. They are greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to know and learn from them during their time here. We wish them wonderful blessings as they continue their ministry elsewhere.

beatrice_ aliceIn 2006, after the departure of two Fransiscan Sisters from Homa Bay, Kenya who had been living and serving with the Fransiscan Sisters of Little Falls, two new members of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph community in Assumbi, Kenya came to continue building on the diocesan and religious community partnership.

These two Sisters, Sr. Beatrice and Sr. Alice, were educators from Homa Bay. Here they worked at educating us on the life, Church and culture of Kenya, as well as on faith. Our diocese has a lot we can learn from all our partners in Homa Bay, and we are grateful to have had their presence and willingness to share and evangelize to us during their two years in the Diocese. The Sisters also served their local community by working in Clare Center at the convent in Little Falls where they served the elder sisters of the community. They lived in a community house with a few other Franciscan Sisters. Through all of their living, working and sharing, they helped all of us whom they encounter to develop a deeper understanding of our global neighbors in Homa Bay, Kenya and a fuller appreciation of our universal faith. They left the diocese in 2007.


In the fall of 2012, Sr. Mary Ida and Sr. Susan came for a short visit to their partners in Little Falls. Their trip was brief, but the friendships made were impactful and continued the growth of the partnership.

Currently there are no new Sisters from Homa Bay, Kenya living in our diocese, as the Franciscan communities are continuing to pray about the partnership and discern directions it may take in the future. However, we do continue to feel the blessings that remain following all of the Sisters’ and our Homa Bay missioner priests’ time with us!