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Bishop Athanasius


1971 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Bishop Athanasius Obituary
Bishop Athanasius (Amos Masaba Akunda) 48

His Grace Bishop Athanasius (Amos Masaba Akunda) of Kisumu and Western Kenya passed on to eternal life on January 4, 2019 at the age of 48 after spending two months in St. Vincent's Hospital. He was visiting the United States for the wedding of a friend, while also traveling to California, Colorado, Maine, and Massachusetts speaking in various churches about his ministry in the Orthodox Church of Kenya before unexpectedly becoming ill. His death is deeply mourned by countless friends in this country and around the world, but especially by his family and spiritual flock in his home country of Kenya.

Bishop Athanasius was born in Western Kenya in 1971. He graduated from Makarios III Patriarchal Seminary in Nairobi, from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA with a Masters of Divinity, and from UNISA State University of South Africa with a Doctor of Theology. As a layman in the Orthodox Church of Kenya he taught African Literature, Christian Religious Education, Social Education and Ethics at three high schools. He also held the position of Catechist in Western Kenya and served as the Secretary in the office of the Archbishopric of Kenya. He was ordained as a Deacon in 1998 and as a priest in 2002 He served as a Kenyan missionary priest to South Africa from 2002-2015, creating the first interracial Orthodox churches in the country following 50 years of apartheid. He also served as the Director of Missions from 2003 to 2015 for the Orthodox Church in South Africa. 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, Archimandrite Athanasius was asked to return to his native country of Kenya in order to teach at the Makarios III Patriarchal Seminary. 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 as bishop by Theodoros II, the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria, on December 6, 2015 and has spent the past three years developing and pastoring his new diocese.

There will be two wakes held in honor of Bishop Athanasius on Sunday, January 13 from 4:00pm-9:00pm, with a Trisagion Service at 7:00pm, at Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 102 Russell St, Worcester 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, 37 Lake Parkway, Webster.

Donations may be made in loving memory to a special fund created to support His Diocese of Western Kenya and it's difficult transition through the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (www.ocmc.org) at https://www.facebook.com/donate/1160738374082517/

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Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Jan. 10 to Jan. 12, 2019
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