First African Catholic Archbishop of CAR’s Bangui Archdiocese Dies in France at 88

Late Archbishop Joachim N’Dayen, first African Catholic Archbishop of Bangui Archdiocese in the Central Africa Republic (CAR) who passed on 13 June 2023 in Paris, France. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Archbishop Joachim N’Dayen, the first African Catholic Archbishop of Bangui Archdiocese in the Central Africa Republic (CAR), has passed on in Paris, France after a protracted illness. He was aged 88.

Archbishop N’Dayen died on Tuesday, June 13, the Local Ordinary of the Metropolitan See, Dieudonné Cardinal Nzapalainga, announced in a statement.

In the June 13 statement shared with ACI Africa, Cardinal Nzapalainga urges members of the Clergy, women and men Religious, and the Laity to “remain in prayer” for the repose of the soul of the late Catholic Archbishop who had started his Episcopal Ministry in January 1969 as a Coadjutor Archbishop at the age of 34.

“Holy Mass will be held every day in the family of the deceased,” the Cardinal in CAR says, adding that “a press release will be issued at a later date to fix the date of burial.”

The member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost Fathers/Spiritans/CSSp.) implores, “May the Virgin Mary accompany him in the Glory of her Son.”


Born in December 1934 in Loko, the late Archbishop N’Dayen was ordained a Priest in July 1961.

He was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Bangui in September 1968, and Consecrated Bishop in January 1969, having been assigned the Titular See of Culusi

In September 1970, he succeeded Archbishop Joseph Cucherousset as the fifth Local Ordinary of Bangui Archdiocese. 

The late Catholic Archbishop resigned in July 2003 at the age of 68 due to poor health and was succeeded by Archbishop Paulin Pomodimo.

On social media, Archbishop N’Dayen is being eulogized as a man of peace.

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“The death of Archbishop emeritus Joachim N'dayen should encourage us all to cultivate peace. He was a man of peace,” Gérard Doulpanga says in a Facebook post.

Lêmbo GniGbia Lêmbo has posted in reference to the late Archbishop, “He is gone, the pioneer, the builder of the foundation of the Catholic Church in Central Africa, Monsignor Joachim Ndayen. Rest in peace, brave servant of the Most High.”

“A great man of faith has just left us. Let us pray for the eternal repose of his soul,” Peniel Gobolo says in a post.

On his part, William Dehou  expresses condolences to “the family of Monsignor Joachim Ndayen”, saying, “We, Catholic Christians of the Central African Republic, pray to God the Father, his son our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary to welcome you into his kingdom.”

William Dehou adds, “You have completed your sojourn, you are returning to the eternal glory of the Almighty Creator, rest in peace.”


Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.