Pope Francis Appoints Formator of Catholic Seminary Bishop for Monze Diocese in Zambia

Mons. Raphael Mweempwa, appointed Bishop of Zambia's Monze Diocese by Pope Francis on 25 February 2022. Credit: ZCCB

Pope Francis has appointed Mons. Raphael Mweempwa who has been serving as a lecturer and formator at St. Dominic Major Theological Seminary in Zambia’s Lusaka Archdiocese the Bishop for Monze Diocese in the Southern Africa country.

The Friday, February 25 Episcopal appointment of the formator at the only Catholic Theological Institution in Zambia under the Zambian Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) was published by the Holy See Press Office.

In a memo announcing the Episcopal appointment of Mons. Mweempwa, the Secretary General of ZCCB highlights the curriculum vitae of the Bishop-elect and shares the “hearty congratulations” of the President of the Conference.

“The Bishop-elect, Fr. Mweempwa is a Diocesan Priest of the Diocese of Monze,” Fr. Francis Mukosa says in his memo addressed to the “Secretaries of Local Ordinaries, ZCCB Staff & ZCCB Institutions, ZAS, ARMZ, AZADCC and all the Catholic Faithful in Zambia.”

The Bishop-elect who will turn 48 on March 30 was ordained a Priest on 29 June 2002.


He is expected to succeed Bishop Moses Hamungole who succumbed to COVID-19 related complications in January 2021. 

The alumnus of the Rome-based Pontifical Urbaniana University where he obtained his Licentiate in Canon Law in 2010 has been assigned various responsibilities in his native Diocese of Monze.

He served as Parish Vicar of St. Mary's Choma Parish (2002-2004), and Parish Priest of the same Parish (2004-2007). 

He was a member of the Diocesan Catechetical Commission between 2006-2007, and Pastor of Our Lady of the Wayside in Manungu (2010-2012).

He also served as the Chancellor of Monze Diocese between 2011-2012.

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Other responsibilities the Bishop-elect has had include member of the Council for Economic Affairs 2011-2019), Vocations Director, Coordinator of the Formation Team of the Diocese of Monze (2012-2016), member of the Presbyterial Council and of the Catechetical Commission (2013-2019), and Coordinator of the Translation Team of the Diocese (2015-2019), among others.

In his February 25 memo, Fr. Mukosa says the ZCCB President, Archbishop Ignatius Chama, “has conveyed his hearty congratulations to the Bishop-elect for Monze Diocese and wished him God’s continued blessing as well as every success as he takes up new appointment.”

Once ordained Bishop, Mons. Mweempwa is expected to oversee the 72,000 square-kilometer Catholic Diocese that was erected in March 1962, and with a population of 418,600 Catholics, according to 2019 statistics.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.