Joseph Polet was born on April 8, 1927 at Brugnera, at that time in the province of Udine, and now in the province of Pordenone, Italy. When he was twelve, he started his secondary education which was completed by philosophical and theological training in the IMC (Consolata Missionaries) Seminary, Turin, where he was ordained on June 28, 1953. After serving for three years as an educator of seminarians in Italy, in 1956 he was sent to Kenya where he remained until his death, working first in the diocese of Nyeri and then, from 1965 to 1982, in that of Marsabit. He was remarkably competent in building churches and in painting religious subjects, possessing true gifts of an artist, as it is shown by the fine church built at Loyangalani, perhaps the best of his works. He had a great concern for the poor, particularly for the El Molo people, and a generous spirit of missionary dedication. He was killed in a car accident on December 17, 1982 and was buried at Nyeri.
This article, received in 2005, was reprinted with permission from Christianity among the Nomads: The Catholic Church in Northern Kenya, by Paul Tablino, © copyright 2004 by St. Paul Communications / Daughters of St. Paul, Nairobi, Kenya.