Bishop Cornelius Korir was born in 1950 at Segutiet Bomet District, Kericho Diocese. The Bishop was ordained Priest in November 6, 1982. Bishop Korir took over leadership of Eldoret Diocese from Bishop John Njenga after he was transferred to Mombasa before his retirement. He was first Appointed Bishop in April 17, 1990 then Consecrated as a Bishop in June 2, 1990.
Bishop Cornelius Korir was awarded a Moran of the Burning Spear by President Mwai Kibaki for his peace efforts.
He founded Upendo FM radio station that broadcasts from his diocesan office on 89.4 FM in the North Rift on October, 2013. The station was recently voted the best Catholic radio station in the country.
30th October 2017, Bishop Cornelius Korir of the Eldoret Catholic Diocese died at the age of 67. The catholic Bishop passed away in his Eldoret home thereafter his body was transferred to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary on Monday.
The bishop was Eulogized by many leaders amongst them Raila Amolo Odinga, Moi, president Uhuru Kenyatta who described him as a great religious leader and an excellent peacemaker. The president said, “I join the Catholic Church in mourning a great religious leader whose exemplary service calls for emulation by others,”
Bishop Cornelius Korir Background
Bishop Cornelius Korir could walk for 23KM to the nearest Catholic Church in Kaplong Mission in his early days for the word of God. During his interview, he said that “My family could not afford to go to church every week as it meant we would walk for 46KM to and from church. My late mother was a very staunch catholic and that is when I learnt what it meant to be a catholic,”
Bishop Cornelius Korir wished to become a priest in his early school days. This dream become a reality as Korir served as a priest for 34.98 years.
Bishop Cornelius Korir Education Background
He was a pupil at Chesoen and Segutiet primary schools between 1959 and 1970. Thereafter he I joined the Mother of Apostles Minor Seminary in Eldoret before joining St Augustine Major Seminary in Bungoma in 1976 where he graduated with a diploma in philosophy and religious studies.
During his time in the seminary, he worked as a catechist. Bishop Korir attained another diploma in theology from Nairobi’s St Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary which he followed up with a licentiate degree in sacred theology from St Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Ireland, in 1989.
In 2012, Moi University Eldoret conferred upon him the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters
Peace and Justice Mission of Bishop Cornelius Korir
Bishop Cornelius Korir was the chairman of the Catholic Peace and Justice Commission and was vocal on matters touching on public interest.
He has been instrument in peacekeeper among warring pastoralist communities in Kenya. He called on both Jubilee Party led by president Uhuru Kenyatta and National Super Alliance (NASA) Coalition led by Raila Odinga to dialogue in the runup to repeat presidential polls 2017.
In 2016 he mediated between Turkana and Pokot over continued cattle rustling that has claimed many lives. He managed to mobilize governors, members of parliament and senators from the counties and urged them to support the peace process along the border. This resulted to few cases of cattle rustling and coexistence between the two communities.
His mission was to continue leading the peace process and help political leaders from the communities to end animosities.
Bishop Korir was part of the peace keepers during 1992 and 2007/2008 post electoral violence. At the height of 2007/2008 post-election clashes, apart from holding reconciliatory meetings between Kalenjins and Kikuyus in Eldoret, he accommodated 10,000 IDPs in the compound of Eldoret cathedral.
The Bishop played a pivotal role in distributing relief food to families affected during the 1991-92 clashes and the Marakwet-Pokot conflicts in 1996.
He is one of the bishops in Kenya to be awarded a Moran of the Burning Spear by the for his peace keeping.
Bishop Cornelius Korir also earned the Milele Lifetime Award in 2009 from the National Commission of Human Rights.
Bishop Cornelius Korir Eulogy
Amongst the people who eulogized Bishop Korir was Turkana Catholic Diocese Bishop Dominic Kimengich. He said “It is a very sad moment for us and the country. He was a gifted peace ambassador who wished that the world would be peaceful. Bishop Korir spent his time talking to communities and their leaders to embrace peace. Despite the resistance he got sometimes from the communities that had were wounded from raids, he was calm and used dialogue and with the help of God he brought resolutions. We now have peace because of his efforts.”
Bishop Cornelius Korir Address:
Bishop’s Office -P.O. Box 842 – 30100 Eldoret
Bishop Cornelius Korir Facebook Page