Catholic Bishop of Malawi’s Zomba Diocese Appointed Archbishop for Lilongwe

Archbishop-elect George Desmond Tambala. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Pope Francis has transferred the Local Ordinary of Malawi’s Zomba Diocese to the country’s Lilongwe Archdiocese where he will serve as Archbishop.

The Holy See Press office published the appointment of Archbishop-elect George Desmond Tambala on Friday, October 15.

The secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) also publicized this latest Papal appointment, making reference to the representative of the Holy Father in Malawi.

In his statement shared with ACI Africa, Fr. Henry Saindi states, “His Excellency Archbishop Gianfranco Gallone, Apostolic Nuncio to Malawi and Zambia is pleased to announce that His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Right Reverend George Desmond Tambala as the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Lilongwe.”

The Malawian Archdiocese has been vacant since 14 December 2020 following the passing on of Archbishop Tarcisius Gervazio Ziyaye.


The Archbishop-elect has been at the helm of Zomba Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination on 30 January 2016. He will remain at the helm of Zomba Diocese as Apostolic Administer until he “takes canonical possession of the Archdiocese of Lilongwe”, Fr. Saindi says in his October 15 statement.

Credit: Episcopal Conference of Malawi/Fr. Henry Saindi

The ECM Secretary General adds, “We have every reason to rejoice and congratulate the Archbishop-elect as through is appointment we witness yet another indication of divine providence and the pastoral care of Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd.”

The member of the Religious Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCD) who will turn 53 next month is a native of Zomba.

He made his first Religious profession in the OCD that was founded by St. Teresa of Avila alongside St. John of the Cross in 1991; and perpetual profession on 15 August 1995.

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The alumnus of Nairobi-based Tangaza University College was ordained a Priest on 13 April 1996 at Chiphaso Parish of Malawi’s Lilongwe Archdiocese. 

The Archbishop-elect who holds a licentiate in Theology from the Faculty of Northern Spain has served in various ministries, including Parochial Vicar of Kapiri of Lilongwe Archdiocese, Postulants Master and a teacher of Spirituality, and Superior of the house of Spirituality in Malawi’s Blantyre Archdiocese.

He had been at the helm of OCD in Africa and Madagascar before he was appointed Bishop on 15 October 2015, on the feast of St. Teresa of Avila.

He is expected to administer the 24,025 square Kilometre Metropolitan See that was elevated to Archdiocese in February 2011; it has an estimated population of 1,830,750 Catholics constituting 30.6% of the total population, according to ECM.

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