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THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF KIGOMA

BRIEF PROFILE OF THE DIOCESE

1. Geographical location and demography.

The Catholic Diocese of Kigoma, which was created in 1953 is found in Kigoma region, in the Western part of Tanzania, along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the second deepest lake in the world (1,470m. deep) after Lake Baiker in Russia. The Diocese covers some 45,066 sq. km, of which 8,029 sq.km is covered by water (Lake Tanganyika ) and has over 2,127,930 inhabitants (URT 2012) of whom 524,713 are Catholics. The rest divide among Christians of Protestant and Pentecostal denominations, Moslems and adherents of African Tradition Religions.

Besides the fact that Kigoma growth rate is very high in relation to most regions in Tanzania, there is an added fact that the influx of refugees from the neighbouring countries that took place in the early 1990s especially from DR Congo and Burundi add to the already high growth rate of the population in the region. Currently, Kigoma region has approximately 100,000 refugees who are accommodated in one camps of Nyarugusu.

For the work of evangelization, the diocese is blessed with a number of pastoral agents, working in the parishes, various departments and related institutions. These will include 64 priests, 119 religious women and 29 religious men and about 618 catechists. We also have 27 major seminarians in the various formation houses, inside and outside the country.

District Population Area (Sq. Km)
Males Females Total Land Water Total Area
Kibondo 215,999 229,394 445,393 15,722 336 16,058
Kasulu 350,913 326,409 677,322 9,128 187 9,315
Kigoma (R) 255,631 266,581 522,212 11,545 8,029 19,574
Kigoma Ujiji Municipality 159,725 166,680 326,405 120 0 128
TOTAL 982,268 989,064 1,971,332 36,515 8,552 45,075

2. Climate.

The climate of Kigoma region is tropical modified by the existence of Lake Tanganyika and topography of the region. The meteorological statistics reveal that the mean daily temperatures range from 15-30⁰C that varies inversely with latitude. The region experiences an average annual rainfall of 600mm as minimum in low altitude along Lake Tanganyika shores and 1600mm as maximum in the forested highlands per year. The distinct wet season begins late October to May with a short dry spell of 2 to 3 weeks in January and February, followed by a prolonged dry season. The heavy rainfall covers 120 days between March and June every year and spreads throughout the region. The light rainfall is received for 60 days and is common from October to December each year. The heavy rainfalls are used for cultivating crops that require more moisture such as paddy and maize. On the other hand short rainfalls are used by smallholder-farmers to cultivate crops that require less moisture and they contribute about 15% of the cereal production.

2. Establishment of the Diocese of Kigoma.

The Missionaries of Africa arrived at the lakeshore of Tanganyika, Ujiji on 20th January 1879 with the mandate of evangelizing the Great Lakes region of which Kigoma forms a part. This date marked the beginning of the later evangelization of this region. The Vacariate Apostolic of Kigoma was created on 10th May 1946 with Msgr Jan van Sambeek as its first Bishop. The first mission was established at Kigoma, the railhead on Lake Tanganyika in 1914. The second mission, Mulera, was founded in 1926.

With the decree of 25th March 1953, the Catholic Diocese of Kigoma was erected. Bishop Jan van Sambeek became the first ordinary of Kigoma Diocese and was replaced by Bishop James H. Siedle in 1958. In 1970 Kigoma Diocese got its first indigenous bishop in the person of Bishop Alphonce D. Nsabi. He was later succeeded by Bishop Paul Ruzoka in 1989. Upon the nomination of Bishop Paul Ruzoka to the Archdiocese of Tabora in 2007, Holy Father Benedict XVI appointed Msgr Protase Rugambwa new bishop of the Diocese of Kigoma in 2008. In 2012, Archbishop Ruzoka was appointed Apostolic Administrator of Kigoma following papal appointment and transfer of Bishop Rugambwa till to date.

3. Pastoral approach and methods of evangelization.

The Diocese of Kigoma has the scope and duty of fostering the mission of Christ geared towards the realization of a holistic human development of all the people within its areas of operation for the noble and ultimate goal of salvation. It aims, by and large, at making sure that all the people in the diocese have access to the pastoral and socio-economic services rendered by the diocese. In order to carry out its plan of evangelization and thus achieve its pastoral and socio-economic goals, the diocese has its Vision and Mission:

The Vision of the diocese: The Catholic Church of Kigoma, a responsible and caring family of God committed to the building of His Kingdom.

The Mission Statement: Moved by the compassion and love of Christ, we are committed to strengthen and foster the evangelizing mission of our Lord in all the spiritual, socio-political, and economic realms of life in the spirit of service. “For the Son of man himself came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mk. 10:45.

4. Management and organizational structure

For the effective and efficacious way of carrying out of its services and mission, the diocese of Kigoma has developed an organization structure that defines relationships and assignment of roles. In the diocese of Kigoma guided by Christian values (love, peace, justice, equity, caring, stewardship and partnership) has always operated through 9 diocesan departments namely the Pastoral department, Finance, Caritas, Catechetical, Communications, Education, Health, Liturgy, Lay Apostolate, Vocations department, 1 programme of the Pastoral Refugee Services and the Commission of Justice and Peace. Since diocese’s purpose is both to evangelize and promote integral human development, this in itself creates two arms or offices of pastoral and development nature that are hierarchically coordinated by diocesan pastoral council. While pastoral office deals with spiritual and pastoral services, the development office is concerned with promotion of socio economic services.

The departments, commissions and designated offices, serve five (5) Deaneries, which have 22 parishes scattered all over the diocese, with 275 outstations and average number of 15 outstations each.

The Organogram of the Catholic Diocese of Kigoma

The Pastoral Department, under the direction of the bishop, has a special role to play in safeguarding the mission of the diocese, and ought to advocates the pastoral solicitude and love in whatever is done in the diocese. This department exists to support, facilitate, coordinate and develop ways of strengthening and revitalizing the pastoral service for the People of God in the diocese and encourages action on behalf of mission. It furthermore assists parish communities in developing a shared vision with an extensive network programs and advocacy. It encourages all approved diocesan approaches and programs by means of formation and training. Moreover, it has the duty to see to it that all the established socio-economic departments and related institutions are moved, in their operations, by the spiritual and pastoral solicitude and love. It is worth noting that the pastoral department works very closely with some departments’ offices and commissions that are more pastoral oriented such as the catechetical, lay apostolate, liturgical, ecumenical and the youth office.

Without going into details concerning the above-mentioned departments, offices, commissions and other organs that were established for pastoral and social services, I wish briefly to say something regarding the Lay Apostolate Department which is related to what is being proposed, viz, collaboration with Catholic workers Association (KBA). My brief presentation of the department can surely orientate towards the possibility of establishing the partnership which is being conceived.

The Lay Apostolate department which is amongst the old pastoral organs in Kigoma diocese, is operating under the guidance of the diocesan bishop, the diocesan Pastoral Council and has a priest who is the Director of the same assisted by a secretary who is a lay person. The chief duty of this department is to coordinate the activities of the Laity with special emphasis on the promotion of the lay apostolate at all levels. It, therefore, facilitates the strengthening of the Christian faith and values amongst the laity, through organized structures designed to foster the formation of the laity. The structure of Small Christian Communities is of particular importance in the promotion of the lay apostolate.

The Lay apostolate department advocates ways for members of each diocesan community to seek “the Kingdom of God ” by engaging in spiritual as well as temporal affairs. This ministry has to ensure that the role of the laity is understood and provides an opportunity for laity to have an input on issues that are pertinent to Church and society. This department coordinates ecclesial movements like Catholic Women Association (WAWATA), Catholic Youth Organisation (VIWAWA), Catholic Students (TYCS), Holy Childhood, pious movements, sodalities and other associations. The department provides direction, training, encouragement and it promotes the moral, intellectual and material welfare through formation programs and by elevating their capacity to concretely contribute to the social welfare from the grassroots level. The Diocese is trying to find ways of consolidating this functional department as the key for both evangelization and for tapping both human and material resources for successful development delivery.

DIOCESAN CURIA

Helps the Apostolic Administrator in the governing three areas namely "Pastoral, Administration and the Juridical Power".

SNO NAME DUTY
1 Most Rev. Paul RUZOKA Apostolic Administrator
2 Very Rev. Sebastian NZABHAYANGA Assistant Apostolic Administrator
& Moderator of the Curia
3 Fr. Kilian TEREBA Chancellor and PSRS Director
4 Fr. Esperius HAMENYANDE Treasurer General
5 Fr. Ferdinand BARUGIZE Pastoral Directorate
6 Arnold NTULAMA Development Directorate
7 Fr. Castus RWEGOSHORA Catechesis Department
8 Fr. John MBIVILILA Lay Apostolate
9 Fr. Gaspar BALIKUMTWE Liturgy
10 Fr. Lucas MASHANYA Vocations
11 Fr. Sabas BANSHIRAHE Pastoral Communication
12 Fr. Patrick MAHINJA Education
13 Fr. Gratian MADUGU Executive Secretary
14 Mr. Benedict GWIMO J & PC
15 Sr. Philipine RUBAVU Health Department