Archdiocese of MWANZA

Area Sq. Kilometres  19,062 (7,362 Square Miles)

Population      1, 893,000    

No. Catholics  269,000

Lay Catechists 568


Historical Notes

The Vicariate of Nyanza which was under Bishop. Leon Livinhac (Missionaries of Africa) since 1884 comprised the all area around Lake Victoria (Buganda, Bukoba, Mwanza, Eastern Rwanda, Musoma and western Kenya).

From 1890 to 1894, Bishop John Joseph Hirth ministered to the Vicariate.  Then the vast Vicariate was divided into Nyanza North (Buganda) and Nyanza South (Bukoba, Eastern Rwanda, Mwanza and Musoma). Bp. John Joseph Hirth became the first Vicar of Nyanza South until 1912.  Then Eastern Rwanda which was part of South Nyanza) became part of Kivu Vicariate with Bp. John Joseph Hirth as its first Apostolic  Vicar.  Under Bp. Joseph Sweens since 1912 the old name Nyanza Vicariate was used again because Nyanza North was now named Rubaga and Buganda.

The division which was effected in 1894 should not be dismissed, because it laid the ground to the Vicariate of the British Uganda and to the Vicariate in the Southern part of the lake, the latter being part of the then German East Africa, what is now the Metropolitan area of Mwanza.

On the 10th April, 1929, Nyanza vicariate   was divided into Bukoba vicariate and Mwanza vicariate. Bp. Anthony Oomen ministered to the Mwanza vicariate until 1948.  In 1949,  Bp. Joseph Blomjous was appointed to minister to the vicariate and later on, from the 25th March, 1953, the diocese of Mwanza. From 1966, Bishop Renatus Butibubage was Ordinary of the diocese of Mwanza until he retired in 1987.

On 18th November, 1987, Mwanza became a Metropolitan See then with Suffragan Dioceses: Bukoba, Shinyanga, Musoma, Geita and Rulenge. His Grace Anthony Mayala was installed as the first Archbishop on the 28/02/1988.  Before that, he had served as Bishop of Musoma since 1979.  His Grace Anthony Mayala ministered to the Archdiocese of Mwanza until his death on 19th August, 2009.

On the 10th November, 2010 saw the appointment of His Grace Jude Thaddaeus RuwaÔÇÖichi,OFMCap as Archbishop of Mwanza.  He was installed Archbishop of Mwanza on 9th January, 2011.

On the 27th November, 2010, Ukerewe Island (comprising six parishes and one quasi parish) was dismembered from the Archdiocese of Mwanza to form part of the newly created Diocese of Bunda.

Before the creation of the Diocese of Bunda, the Archdiocese of Mwanza covers an area of 19ÔÇÖ592 square kilometers comprising Ilemela, Magu, Nyamagana, Kwimba, Misungwi and Ukerewe Districts.

After the dismembering of Ukerewe Island, from Mwanza, the Archdiocese of Mwanza now covers an area of 19ÔÇÖ062 square kilometers, comprising 5 districts, 5 deaneries (Nyamagana, Ilemela, Misungwi, Kwimba and Magu) and 33 parishes.

Today the Metropolitan province consists of the following Suffragan dioceses: Shinyanga, Musoma, Bukoba, Geita, Rulenge-Ngara, Kayanga and Bunda.



St. Anthony of Padua house, Kawekamo,

P.O. Box 1421, MWANZA

Tel: 255-28-2501029 Fax: +255-28-2501029




Archdiocese of Mwanza,

P.O. Box 1421, MWANZA.

Tel: 255-28-2501029 Fax: +255-28-2501029




Jean-Joseph Hirth, M. Afr. ÔÇá (13 Jul 1894 Appointed - 12 Dec 1912 Appointed, Vicar Apostolic of Kivu)

Joseph Franciskus Marie Sweens, M. Afr. ÔÇá (12 Dec 1912 Succeeded - 12 Nov 1928 Resigned)

Anton Oomen, M. Afr. ÔÇá (18 Mar 1929 Appointed - 13 Jun 1948 Retired)

Joseph Blomjous, M. Afr. ÔÇá (24 Jun 1950 Appointed - 15 Oct 1965 Resigned)

Renatus Lwamosa Butibubage ÔÇá (18 Dec 1965 Appointed - 18 Nov 1987 Resigned)

Anthony Peter Mayalla ÔÇá (18 Nov 1987 Appointed - 19 Aug 2009 Died)

Jude Thadaeus RuwaÔÇÖichi, O.F.M. Cap. (10 Nov 2010 Appointed - )


Read more