Apostolic Administrator of Tanzania’s Morogoro Diocese Appointed Diocesan Bishop

Fr. Lazarus Vitalis Msimbe who has been appointed Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Morogoro in Tanzania/ Credit: Courtesy Photo

Msgr. Lazarus Vitalis Msimbe who has been serving as the Apostolic Administrator of Tanzania’s Catholic Diocese of Morogoro since February 2019 has been appointed the Bishop of the same Episcopal See.

The Monday, May 31 appointment of Msgr. Msimbe was made public by the Holy See Press Office and announced by the leadership of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC).

The member of the Society of Divine Savior (SDS – Salvatorians) is expected to take over from Bishop Telesphore Mkude who retired in December 2020 at the age of 75 after having been at the helm of the Tanzanian Diocese since April 1993. 

Born in December 1963, Msgr. Msimbe took his perpetual vows as a Salvatorian in December 1994. Four years later, he was ordained a Priest of the Rome-founded Religious Order. 

The alumnus of Our Lady of the Angels Major Seminary, Kibosho in the Diocese of Moshi and St. Charles Lwanga Major Seminary, Segerea in the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Dar-es-Salaam obtained his Doctorate in Civil and Canon Law from Heythrop College that was, until 2018, a constituent college of the University of London.


Until his February 2019 appointment as the Apostolic Administrator, the Tanzanian-born Clergy had served as the Vice-Superior Provincial of the Salvatorians in the East African nation for two years.

He had also served as Parish Priest, formator of the Salvatorians at the Jordan University College in Morogoro, and the Bursar of the community, among others services.

The leadership of the Salvatorians in Australia has described Msgr. Msimbe’s episcopal appointment as “a blessing” to the Society “especially in this year of thanksgiving for the beatification of Blessed Francis Jordan” who founded the Religious Order 8 December 1881.

“Congratulations to Bishop elect Lazarus Vitalis! Blessed Francis Jordan, pray for him!” say the Salvadorian leadership in Australia in the May 31 Facebook post.

Msgr. Msimbe is expected to serve as the fourth Local Ordinary of the Tanzanian Diocese located within the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Dar-es-Salaam. 

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The Diocese has an estimated population of 735,570 Catholics spread across 43,380 square kilometers, according to 2019 statistics.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.