Kenyan priest serving in Oskaloosa, Pella


By Celine Klosterman

Father Charles Gituma celebrates Mass at St. Mary Church in Pella last month.

A Kenyan priest who visited his brother in Oskaloosa this past summer returned to Iowa last month – this time, to temporarily serve as a clergy member for St. Mary parishes in Oskaloosa and Pella.
Father Charles Gituma is celebrating sacraments there until May while Father Ron Hodges, who was parochial vicar for the parishes, is on temporary assignment at St. Alphonsus Parish in Davenport.
Fr. Gituma, 37, first presided at Mass in Oskaloosa this year on Ash Wednesday after receiving an invitation from Father Jeff Belger, pastor of the Oskaloosa and Pella parishes. A month earlier, in January, the parishes had announced that Fr. Hodges would leave for Davenport in early February. Until July 1, he is filling in at St. Alphonsus for Father Tom Parlette, who recently retired.

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