St. Mark Catholic Parish (covering an area of almost 1000 km2) is located in the village of Ol Moran in Laikipia County on the Mount Kenya plateau. Founded in 1997 by an italian priest, fr. Giovanni Volpato, and initially belonging to Nyeri Diocese, St. Mark parish since 2002 is included in Nyahururu Catholic Diocese and in the Ng’Arua Deanery. The Parish is also a diocesan mission sponsored by the Patriarchate of Venice (Italy). In the years two venetian Patriarchs have also visited Ol Moran: Cardinal A. Scola in 2004 and 2008 and mons. F. Moraglia in 2015 and 2022. The current parish priest, which succeeded fr. Giovanni in 2009, is Fr. Giacomo Basso, a Fidei Donum missionary from Venice (Italy), assisted by diocesan priests belonging to Nyahururu Diocese.
In 2022 the Parish celebrated his 25th year of activity with a special Silver Jubilee.
The Parish now serves about 4,500 Catholics in an area of the savannah that counts 10,000 inhabitants. Located in proximity to the boundaries of four different counties (Laikipia, Nyandarua, Baringo and Samburu) Ol Moran is the main settlement of the region, in which more than 12 ethnic groups coexist (majority is Kikuyu, Turkana, Kalenjin, Pokot, Samburu, Tugen, Kisii). Main resources of the territory are his beautiful environment and equatorial fauna combined with nature tourism, multiculturalism, farming and breeding.
The main environmental and social challenges of the region are insufficient schooling, insecurity, tribal tension, cyclical drought, nomadism, family poverty, underdevelopment and youth unemployment.
The main tasks of Ol Moran Parish are PASTORAL ACTION (evangelization and training of small christian communities), SCHOOLING (encouraging the teaching development), CHARITY (poor and sick assistance).
The leadership of the mission is entrusted to the priests, assisted by the parish leaders working in the Parish Council and the Finance Council. The mission also welcomes a religious community of nuns belonging to the Servants of the Visitations Institute, working in charity and medical assistance. Since 2016 Ol Moran Mission regularly welcomes some deacons from Venice Seminary, close to the priestly ordination, to spend some time to experience the reality of the mission through a period of service.
In addition to the pastoral centre in Ol Moran, the Parish also serves 20 little christian communities called “Chapels” or “Local Churches” scattered in the area. Some of them are very recent and many meet with the Gospel for the first time. Every Local Church is looked after by a lay Leaders team elected by each community while some Catechists take care of the christian faith formation. Every chapel is divided in some Basic communities, little neighbourhood groups meant to share common prayer and mutual aid.
The Parish and the Local communities support the activities of many catholic groups and associations :
Catholic Groups: PMC, (Pontifical Missionary Children), providing christian education for the children, youth groups, liturgical choir; St. Stephen community for deaf people.
Catholic Associations: CA (Catholic Action), CMA (Catholic Men Association), CWA (Catholic Women Association), Kenya Scout Association (section Ol Moran 1).
Main parish institutions: Ol Moran Catholic Dispensary (since 2002), Hekima House Boarding School (since 2009), Tumaini Academy Parish School (since 2013).
St. Maria Goretti Zone (South)
1) Kabati (St. Anthony of Padua)
2) Mithuri (Bl. Joseph Baldo)
3) Minjore (St. Josephina Bakhita)
4) Githima (St. Francis of Assisi)
5) Gituamba (St. Augustine)
St. Charles Lwanga Zone (Central)
6) Mbombo (St. John the Baptist)
7) Kahuho (Christ the King)
8) Ol Motunyi (St. Stephen)
9) Bogani (St. Paul)
10) Ol Moran (St. Mark the Evangelist)
11) Ngare Narok (Our Lady of Good Hope)
St. Michael Zone (North East)
12) Miharati (Our Lady Consolata)
13) Magadi (St. Kizito)
14) Survey (St. Francis Xavier)
15) Posta (Holy Cross)
16) Naibor (Queen of Peace)
St. John XXIII Zone (North West)
17) Nagum (St. Paul)
18) Dam Mbili (St. Peter)
19) Lounyek (Our Lady Mother of God)
20) Ndunyoriwo (St. Joseph the Worker)
Fr. Giovanni Volpato (January 1997- December 2008), Patriarchate of Venice;
Fr. Giacomo Basso (since January 2009), Patriarchate of Venice.
Fr. Sebastian Gathogo (February 2009 – February 2014), Archdiocese of Nyeri;
Fr. David Kinyanjui (March 2012 – March 2014), Nyahururu Diocese;
Fr. Samuel Wainaina (May 2014 – May 2015), Nyahururu Diocese;
Fr. Paul Ngure (August 2015 – April 2017), Nyahururu Diocese;
Fr. Peter Kinyua (April 2017 – November 2020), Nyahururu Diocese;
Fr. Simon Ngatia (December 2020 – April 2022), Nyahururu Diocese;
Fr. James Ndirangu Muriithi (since April 2022), Nyahururu Diocese.
John Maina, from Magadi, ordained in 2017, Nyahururu Diocese;
Fr. Paul Maina, from Ol Moran, ordained in 2002, Maralal Diocese.
Mons. Nicodemus Kirima (1988-2007), Archbishop of Nyeri;
Mons. Luigi Paiaro (2003-2011), Bishop of Nyahururu;
Mons. Joseph Mbatia (dal 2012), Bishop of Nyahururu.
Card. Patriarch Marco Cè (1978-2002);
Card. Patriarch Angelo Scola (2002-2011);
Patriarch Francesco Moraglia (since 2012).