Staff Member: Father Bernard Kiratu
Father Bernard Kiratu
Father Bernard Kiratu grew up in Kenya, the second of six children. He graduated from Catholic University of Eastern Africa with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master of Divinity. He thought he would become a missionary in Sudan or South Africa, but God had other plans.
Instead, Father Kiratu found himself in Pensacola, Florida at the first International Conference of Pope John Paul II’s Parish Ministry Team. He entered into St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boyton Beach, but there was a crisis. He had not been selected for a diocese, and might have to return to Africa. Luckily a friend introduced him to then Bishop of Orlando, Thomas Wenski, who quickly took him in.
Father Kiratu was ordained to the priesthood in 2010 and says he felt indescribable joy and gratitude for the Lord that day. He often seeks Jesus in the silence. “I feel comfortable with any form of prayer but I enjoy most my meditation, especially my private Holy Hour. Without a lot of difficulties and distractions, I have developed a deeper love and appreciation of the Sacrament of Penance, attending to it at least once per week.”
Father Kiratu has served as parochial vicar at Resurrection Parish in Lakeland and Our Lady of Hope in Port Orange.