Paul Okello Nyawir, O.P.
Vicariate of Eastern Africa
Born: December 12, 1965
Professed: September 21, 1992
Died: August 28, 2002
Brother Paul, a native of Kisumu in Western Kenya, Africa, found his way into the Order even before the Vicariate of Eastern Africa was established. While preaching in that region, Fr. Bert Ebben, O.P., received him as a postulant and then sent him, with two other brothers, to the Province of St. Joseph the Worker (Nigeria) for initial formation. With the foundation of the Vicariate the two brothers who had survived the Nigerian experience were invited home, and continued their studies in philosophy and theology in Nairobi.
Paul was endowed with a vivid imagination and was deeply rooted in his own culture, a combination that provided the potential for the sort of inculturation of the Catholic religion that everyone talks about these days. Once having been ordained as a Deacon, he was engaged in several ministries in and around Nairobi, notably with orphan children in a school run by the Sisters of the Assumption of Nairobi—an indigenous community—and with members of the military, at an installation for the training of officers.
After a brief illness, Paul died in the Nairobi Hospital. His Excellency, the Archbishop, Zaccheus Okoth presided at the Mass of Christian Burial. Paul was the first member of the Vicariate to be buried in our Dominican cemetery in Kisumu, within walking distance of the place where he was born and raised.