Pope Francis Appoints Congolese Cleric to Propaganda Fide, Namibian Priest Administrator

Fr. Linus Ngenomesho (left) appointed Apostolic Administrator of Namibia's Apostolic Vicariate of Rundu and Fr. Godefroid Manuga-Lukokisa (right) named member of the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
Credit: Public Domain

The National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) has been appointed to the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (CEP), whose members are responsible for coordinating the church’s missionary work. 

In a message published Tuesday, November 17 by the Holy See Press Office, Pope Francis announced the appointment of Fr. Godefroid Manuga-Lukokisa alongside six others to the Vatican-based Congregation that is also known as Propaganda Fide.

A member of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) Missionaries, Fr. Godefroid has been serving as the National Director of PMS under the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo (CENCO) since 2011.

Other PMS National Directors appointed to Propaganda Fide November 17 include Fr. José María Calderón of Spain and the Guadalupe Missionary (M.G) Fr. Antonio de Jesús Mascorro Tristán of Mexico.

Others appointed to the centuries-old Congregation include the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Spanish Comboni Missionary Miguel Ángel Ayuso Cardinal Guixot; archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church, José Tolentino Cardinal de Mendonça; and the President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, Archbishop Joseph Marino.

The Holy Father also appointed Archbishop George Antonysamy of India’s Madras-Mylapore Archdiocese to the Congregation.

Established on 22 June 1622 by Pope Gregory XV, the task of the Congregation’s members is the transmission and dissemination of Christian faith across the globe with a “specific responsibility” of coordinating and guiding all the Church's diverse missionary efforts and initiatives.

The initiatives include the promotion and the formation of the Clergy and of local hierarchies, encouraging new missionary institutes, and providing material assistance for the missionary activities of the Church.

With this mandate, the Congregation “became the ordinary and exclusive instrument of the Holy Father and of the Holy See in its exercise of jurisdiction over all of the Church's missions and over missionary cooperation.”

Meanwhile, Pope Francis on Monday, November 16 appointed the Secretary General of the Namibian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (NCBC), Fr. Linus Ngenomesho as the Apostolic Administrator of the country’s Apostolic Vicariate of Rundu.

The appointment follows the Holy Father’s acceptance of resignation from the pastoral care of the Vicariate presented by 72-year-old Bishop Joseph Shipandeni Shikongo of the Religious Order of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI)

Erected on March 14, 1994, Namibia’s Apostolic Vicariate of Rundu has a population of 106,275 Catholics spread across 140,046 square kilometers, according to 2018 statistics.

The 26-year-old Vicariate, which is under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary falls under the Ecclesiastical Province of Windhoek.

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