Meet Polish Priest Behind Historic Kenyan Shrine

  • Collage
    A collage of Father Kazimier and Subukia National Shrine
  • Father Kazimier Szulc designed the famous Subukia National Shrine, which lies in the heart of Subukia Hills, Nakuru.

    The shrine located on a 200 acre piece of land provides a serene environment for worshippers as they seek solace.

    Szulc was born in Poland, where he joined the seminary. In 1993, after his ordination, Father Kazimier was posted in Kenya.

    Subukia National Shrine
    A file Image of The Subukia National Shrine.

    Pope John Paul the second directed The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops to build a national shrine where all people could meet and pray.

    In 2006, the church,upon realizing his skills, sent him to Subukia to establish the national shrine.

    His 30 year experience in Kenya inspired him to come up with a relatable design for the shrine.

    Despite having no formal education in Architecture, he usually sketches buildings which are the converted to a reality.

    "After getting the idea, I sketch it on paper and with the help of architects it is brought to life.

    "The church in Subukia is a special church. My experience in Kenya inspired the design. It has 12 corners which symbolize the 12 stars of the Mary Mother of God. The roof is shaped like a tent, which is what chiefs use when they want to communicate to the people," stated Father Kazimier.

    Pope John the Second laid the foundation for the shrine. The father stated that the shrine is a symbol of peace and reconciliation.

    The shrine can accommodate over 5000 people. It is open to pilgrims all year round.

    The funding for the church is contributed by the residents of Subukia as well as the Catholic church.

    Over the years he has worked in Nairobi, Meru, Limuru and Subukia. His early days in architectural work saw him design a school in Meru.

    Every year, Kenyans from all denominations convene for a national prayer session at the shrine.Unlike other places of worship, muslims, hindus, christians and other faiths can go to the shrine.
     

    Breathtaking hills at Champagne Escarpment in Kajiado County
    Breathtaking hills at Champagne Escarpment in Kajiado County
    File