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Pope Francis Appoints Bishop for Bunda, Tanzania’s Third Youngest Catholic Diocese

Fr. Simon Chibuga Masondole, appointed Bishop of Tanzania's Bunda Diocese by Pope Francis on 5 April 2021.

Pope Francis has appointed a Bishop for Tanzania’s Bunda Diocese, the third youngest Catholic Diocese in the East African nation.

The appointment of Bishop-elect was announced Tuesday, April 6 and published by the Holy See Press Office.

“Today, 06.04.2021, the Holy Father has appointed Fr. Simon Chibuga Masondole of the Catholic Diocese of Bunda to be the new Bishop of Bunda Diocese,” the Secretary General of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), Fr. Charles Kitima announced in a statement obtained by ACI Africa.

The Tanzanian Bishop-elect is expected to become the second Bishop of Bunda Diocese, which was erected in November 2010, thus the third youngest in Tanzania after the Diocese of Ifakara that was established January 2012 and that of Kondoa, erected March 2011.

Located within the Ecclesiastical Province of Mwanza, Bunda Diocese has been vacant since February 2019 when its first Local Ordinary, Bishop Renatus Leonard Nkwande, was transferred to the Archdiocese of Mwanza

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Until his appointment, Bishop-elect Chibuga has been serving as Parish Administrator, Director of St. Francis of Assisi Nursery and Primary School, and President of the Priests’ Union in Bunda.

He was born in October 1972 in Bukiko in Ukerewe island, within the Diocese of Bunda. 

The Bishop-elect was ordained a Priest for his native Archdiocese of Mwanza in July 2006. He served as a Parish Assistant at Kahangala Parish in the Archdiocese of Mwanza and later at Nansio Parish in the Diocese of Bunda. 

The Tanzanian-born Cleric who also served as Deputy Director for Liturgy in the Archdiocese of Mwanza is an alumnus of the Santa Giustina Institute of Pastoral Liturgy in Padua, Italy and the Rome-based Pontifical Athenaeum Sant'Anselmo.  

He is expected to administer the 5,500 square kilometre episcopal see with a population of 50,000 Catholics including 31 Diocesan Clerics, 30 Religious women, 10 Religious Priests, and 384 Catechists serving in the Parishes and various departments of the Diocese, according to the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC).

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