About us

Welcome to Holy Family Basilica

holy-family-minor-basilica-nairobi2The Holy Family minor basilica parish is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Nairobi. The current church as it stands was built in the 1940s and 1950s, with interruptions during the country’s liberation struggle for independence. The story of the construction of the church goes back to 1899, where the once tiny rail workers camp was growing in leaps and bounds. This impromptu settlement of the swampy plain (Nairobi), was an opportunity for the Catholic Church to cater for the religious needs of the community.

Under the administration of the Holy Ghost Fathers, in 1904, brother Josaphat, C.S.S.P (Holy Ghost Missionary) was entrusted with the building of the church. With a sitting capacity of 300-400 people, it was the first stone building in Nairobi. 

The structure of the current church was constructed by a British firm, Mowlem construction International while the architectural work was designed by Mrs. Dorothy Hughes of Hughes & Polkinghorne Architects. The church as it stands today has a sitting capacity of 3000 – 4000 people. 

The administration of the church was under the Holy Ghost Fathers from 1904-1991. The first baptism was documented in 1906, two years after the establishment of the first church building. The first marriage was conducted in 1908, while the first group of Christians was confirmed in 1923.  Archbishop JJ McCarthy, (a Holy Ghost Missionary) was the first Archbishop of Archdiocese of Nairobi.