Interviewer – Would you please share a bit about your background: family, childhood, early education etc.?
Fr. Peter – My name is Peter Omwoyo. I was born on November 26, 1976 to the late Patrice Omwoyo and Sabina Moraa in the western part of Kenya, Kisii County. I am the third child in my family of four brothers and one sister. The deep faith of my Catholic family was passed on to me growing up in this household. I was baptized at the age of reason after catechetical preparation and confirmed a few years later. Both my primary and secondary school education took place locally. At that time most of us kids walked the 2.7 miles to and from school each day.
My call to serve the Lord as a priest began at a young age but then became clearer when I graduated from high school. I believed that God was calling me to become a missionary priest who could travel around the world and preach the message of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Pursuing my call, I approached my parish priest for guidance. He shared a booklet with me that mentioned many religious communities. I ended up choosing the Augustinians of the Assumption (Assumptionists.)
Where/how did your Assumptionist roots begin? Did anyone in particular have a significant impact on your life?
My Journey to the Assumptionists’ way of religious life started in 1998 when I contacted the vocation director Fr. Richard Brunnel, A.A. who was very instrumental in my initial formation. He was my spiritual director, formator, postulancy and novice master. Another Assumptionist that left a mark on my formation journey was Fr. Oliver Blanchette, A.A. I had a wonderful opportunity to live with him both in Africa, Arusha, Tanzania and Worcester, Massachusetts. He was not only my spiritual director but also my big brother and friend. May the souls of these to missionaries rest in eternal peace!
Would you share some of your later education and formation memories?
After frequent communications through letters, I was invited to attend several workshops and “live in experiences.” In 2000 I was officially accepted as a resident candidate at Emanuel House, Nairobi.
I did my propaedeutic at Consolata Institute of Philosophy in Nairobi, Kenya. It was during this preparation and stay with the Assumptionists that I was deeply impressed with their simplicity and welcoming spirit. Moreover, I fell in love with the congregation’s motto: ADVENIAT REGNUM TUUM and PROPTER AMOREM DOMINI NOSTRI JESU CHRISTI, (The coming of the Reign of Christ for ourselves and neighbor.)
Where did subsequent community assignments take you?
My religious formation and assignments have been many. To begin with, from 2000 to 2003, I studied Philosophy and Religious Studies at Spiritan Missionary Seminary in Arusha, Tanzania and from 2003 to 2004 I did a year of pastoral/postulancy formation at Kijenge Parish is Arusha. My first profession was in 2005. From then until 2008 I attended Tangaza University College for my theological studies, after which I returned to Tanzania completing my theological studies in 2009. I was assigned to our philosophical study house in Arusha where I served as the community treasurer. My final profession was in May of 2009 when I was appointed to the Democratic Republic of Congo where I learned French and got immersed into pastoral ministry. In the city of Beni at Tamende Parish, I worked with the youth and served as a chaplain at Kangbayi prison. I was then ordained a deacon in 2010 and later a priest thirteen months later in 2011 in Kenya. I served in Congo from 2009 to 2011.
I was assigned as assistant postulant master and minister at St. Monica Parish Nairobi, Kenya from 2011 to 2013. Then I moved to the United States as associate pastor at St. Anne’s and St. Patrick’s Parish in Sturbridge, MA.
In 2017 I studied at Boston College while residing at the Assumptionist Center in Brighton, MA. I eventually graduated with a Master’s degree in Theology and Ministry specializing in the New Testament with a special interest in the Gospel of John. I then moved to our Assumptionist Residence for retired brothers in Worcester, MA until 2022.
Presently I have been assigned to our community in Mexico City, Mexico, where I have been involved in parish ministry. This experience was interrupted for 9 months however because of visa issues. Thankfully, they have been resolved and I will be returning to Mexico on March 1, 2023.
I want to say that during these years, I have encountered people of different cultures and nationalities, within and outside the Assumption family, who have been very important and instrumental in shaping my formation experience and ministry in the Church. The list of them is endless. To all of them, I say thank you for walking with me through thick and thin. Viva amigos!
Last but not least, my mission is to do the mission of the Church: to become the image of God day by day; to become Christ-like, to become Jesus’ disciple and to feel and love as God does. Through God’s grace, I thirst and yearn to be an instrument of God’s love; to be a blessing to God’s people.