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OCMC News - A Special Two-Day Wake for Bishop Athanasius of Kisumu and Western Kenya

by Orthodox Christian Mission Center (Posted 1/10/2019)

OCMC News - A Special Two-Day Wake for Bishop Athanasius of Kisumu and Western Kenya
A Special Two Day Wake will be held for His Grace, Bishop Athanasius who recently fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, January 13 from 4:00pm-9:00pm, with a Trisagion Service at 7:00pm, at Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Worcester, MA, and on Monday, January 14 from 4:00pm-9:00pm, with a Trisagion Service at 7:00pm, at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Webster, MA.May His Grace's memory be eternal!

All friends of His Grace Athanasius (Amos Akunda), Bishop of Kisumu and Western Kenya, are invited to attend a special two-day wake on

  • Sunday, January 13 from 4:00pm-9:00pm, with a Trisagion Service at 7:00pm, at Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Worcester, MA

  • Monday, January 14 from 4:00pm-9:00pm, with a Trisagion Service at 7:00pm, at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Webster, MA

Donations can be made in His Grace’s memory to a special fund that will help pay for his funeral expenses in the USA, the transport of his body to Kenya, and his funeral expenses in Kenya. Any extra money raised will go towards supporting the Diocese of Kisumu and Western Kenya during this difficult time of transition. Donations can be offered through a fund established by the Orthodox Christian Mission Center at https://www.facebook.com/donate/1160738374082517/.

Biography of Bishop Athanasius of Kisumu and Western Kenya

His Grace Bishop Athanasius Akunda was born Amos Masada Akunda in Western Kenya in 1971. He was the eldest of six children, whose father, Joseph, is a theologian who studied at St. Tikhon’s Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. Amos became Orthodox at the age of eight after his parents converted to Orthodox Christianity. Following secondary school, he completed the Makarios III Patriarchal Seminary in Nairobi, then was sponsored by OCMC to study for a Master of Divinity degree at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA. He completed studies and later obtained a Doctor of Theology degree from UNISA State University of South Africa. He also completed a Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma in Education Management at the India Institute of Management, and a Certificate in teaching English as a foreign language at the Cambridge Institute of English Language in Boston.

As a layman, he taught African Literature, Christian Religious Education, Social Education, and Ethics at Ebukhaya High School, Ebusiloli High School, and Ngoro Orthodox High School in Kenya. He served as a catechist in western Kenya and secretary in the office of the Archbishopric of Kenya. He was ordained a deacon on April 12, 1998, by His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim (currently of Zimbabwe), and presbyter on July 25, 2002 by the same hierarch while he was Metropolitan of Johannesburg and Pretoria. He was consecrated as an archimandrite on January 18, 2010, by His Eminence Archbishop Damaskinos of Johannesburg and Pretoria.

In South Africa, he served as a missionary priest assisted by OCMC and helped create the first interracial Orthodox churches in the country. He served as the parish priest at St. Seraphim in Soshanguve, at Sts. Raphael, Irene, and Nicholas in Yeoville, Johannesburg, while simultaneously serving as Dean and Lecturer at Petros VII Seminary. He then served as the parish priest at St. Nicholas of Japan Church from 2009 to 2015. Other positions he served in South Africa included the Director of Missions from 2003 to 2008 and Vicar in charge of missions from 2010-2015. During these years he represented the Patriarchate of Alexandria at the World Council of Churches and the All African Conference of Churches.

In May 2015, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria, asked Fr. Athanasius to leave South Africa, after serving there as a missionary for 13 years, and return to his native country of Kenya in order to serve at the Makarios III Patriarchal Seminary in Nairobi. He was appointed as the Director of Missions and Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology, Patrology, and Teleturgics. On November 24, 2015, he was elected by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria as Bishop of the newly-established Diocese of Kisumu and Western Kenya. He was ordained by His Beatitude on December 6, 2015, and has spent the past three years developing his new diocese.

His Grace Athanasius passed away on January 4, 2019, at 48 years old.

Alex Goodwin
Annual Gifts and Marketing Director
Orthodox Christian Mission Center

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God of truth and love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Hear our prayer for those who do not know You. That they may come to a saving knowledge of the truth, and that Your Name may be praised among all peoples of the world. Sustain, inspire, and enlighten Your servants who bring them the Gospel. Bring fresh vigor to wavering faith; sustain our faith when it is still fragile. Continually renew missionary zeal in ourselves and in the Church, and raise up new missionaries who will follow You to the ends of the world. Make us witnesses to Your goodness full of love, full of strength, and full of faith for Your glory and the salvation of the entire world. Through the prayers of all the missionary saints, Have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
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