Immaculate Heart of Mary Cleric Appointed Bishop in DR Congo

Fr. Félicien Ntambue Kasembe appointed Bishop of Kabinda Diocese in DR Congo on July 23, 2020.
Credit: Public Domain.

A member of the Religious Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, also called the Scheutists, has been appointed as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Kabinda in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

On Thursday, July 23, Pope Francis appointed Fr. Félicien Ntambue Kasembe to shepherd the people of God in DRC’s Kabinda Diocese, which has been vacant since October 2018 when Bishop Valentin Masengo Mkinda died at the age of 77.

The 49-year-old Bishop-elect who has been serving as one of the General Councilors of the Scheutists since 2017 is expected to become the fourth Local Ordinary of Kabinda Diocese.

Following the news of this latest episcopal appointment, members of the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo (CENCO) have congratulated the Bishop-elect, wishing him a fruitful ministry, Radio Veritas Kabinda reported. 

A native of Lomami Province in DRC, Fr. Félicien was ordained a Priest in August 2001.

He obtained a Baccalaureate in Civil Law from the Jesuit Notre Dame de la Paix Catholic University in Namur, Belgium in 2009.

He also holds a Master’s degree in Civil Law from the Catholic University of Louvain-la- Neuve and a Master’s degree in Human Rights from the Faculty of Law Saint Louis in Brussels in 2011.

In his 19 years of priesthood, the Congolese Cleric has served in various capacities including Provincial Secretary and Rector of the Scheutist Missionaries in Kinshasa; Director of the Pedagogical Research Center in Kinshasa; and Secretary of the Provincial Commission for Finance of the Scheutists, among other responsibilities.

The Bishop-elect had his missionary and pastoral internship in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Mongolia.

He will be administering Kabinda Diocese that was erected as the Apostolic Vicariate of Kabinda in 1953 before Pope Pius XXIII elevated it to Kabinda Diocese in 1959. 

Located within the Ecclesiastical Province of Kananga, the Diocese has a population of 629,520 Catholics according to 2017 statistics.

ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
[email protected]