Today the first of September 2022, at St Paul's Parish, Sigor, West Pokot in Kitale Diocese, Kenya, a Memorial Mass was celebrated for the late Fr Leo Staples fondly called "Lokomol" – meaning the bull with brown spot, by the Pokot people whom he had ministered to since 1953. The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Maurice Anthony Crowley SPS, Bishop of Kitale Diocese. The people gathered at the Mass thanked God for the gift of his life offered in dedicated service to them and fondly referred to him as their hero of faith, peace and their ambassador of development and education.
May Leo rest in peace.
Thanks to Fr Emmanuel Obi for photographs and report.
The homilist of the day was Fr Emmanuel Battei one of the five West Pokot indigenous priests of the Diocese of Kitale. He said Fr Leo Staples was a Legend Missionary. As a child when he heard the name of Fr Leo Staples mentioned he thought that was another name for God, because Leo was synonymous with everything about God.
Members of St Patrick’s Missionary Society present at the celebration were Fr Emmanuel Obi, Bishop Maurice Crowley, Fr Sean Cremin (Assistant Society Leader) and Fr Emmanuel Sunkutu.
This was the first priest’s house in Sigor built by Fr Leo in 1972 and he lived in it.
Students of Leo Staples’ Girls Secondary School Sigore, built and named after Fr Leo Staples.
Religious brothers and Sisters present at the Mass: There are over 40 Religious Sisters and 5 indigenous West Pokot priests which are the fruit of Fr Leo Staples long missionary work among the Pokot.