Augustinian Regional Vicar in DR Congo Appointed Bishop for Buta Diocese

Mons. Martin Banga Ayanyaki, apointed for the Catholic Diocese of Buta in DR Congo on 15 April 2024. Credit: Jean-Baptiste Malenge

Pope Francis has appointed Mons. Martin Banga Ayanyaki, a member of the Order of Saint Augustine (OSA), who has been serving as the Religious Order’s Regional Vicar in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as Bishop for the country’s Catholic Diocese of Buta.

The Episcopal appointment of the Congolese-born Augustinian Priest to the Diocese that has been vacant since May 2021 when Bishop Joseph Banga Bane resigned at the age of 66 was made public by the Holy See Press Office on Monday, April 15.

Bishop Jean-Bertin Nadonye Ndongo of Lolo Diocese, a member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (OFM Cap), has been overseeing Buta Diocese as an Apostolic Administrator. 

Born in December 1972 in Dungu, DRC’s Haut-Uélé Province, Bishop-elect Banga took his solemn vows as an Augustinian on 30 November 2002, and ordained a Priest on 28 August 2003 after completing his philosophical and theological studies at St. Augustine’s Institute of philosophy and St. Eugène de Mazenod University, respectively.

As a Priest, Mons. Banga served as an Assistant Parish Priest in the Diocese of Doruma-Dungu. He has also served as an advisor of the Vicariate of the Augustinians, Parish Priest, and Pastoral Collaborator at the Convent of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome.


At the time of his Episcopal appointment, the 51-year-old Bishop-elect was serving as a Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at St. Augustine University of Kinshasa.

Mons. Banga holds a doctorate in Sociology from the Rome-based Pontifical Gregorian University.

Once he is consecrated, the Congolese Bishop-elect will be at the helm of the 60,000 square-kilometer Diocese with 226,000 Catholics according to the 2022 statistics.

The Episcopal See has a total of 22 priests including eight diocesan priests, one Premonstratensian, two members of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), three members of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus (MCCJ), four Augustinians and four fidei donum Priests from the Archdiocese of Kisangani and Dioceses of Lolo, Isiro-Niangara and Mahagi-Nioka.  

Buta Diocese is part of Kisangani Ecclesiastical Province.

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