Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Fr. Raphael Mweempwa as the new Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Monze.
Fr. Mweempwa’s appointment comes after the death of Bishop Moses Hamungole in January, 2021, who was incharge of Monze Diocese.
Vatican Ambassador to Zambia Archbishop Gianfranco Gallone and Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) President Archbishop Ignatius Chama have confirmed Fr. Mweempwa’s appointment separately.
“Your Lordship, I wish to communicate to you that His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Fr. Raphael Mweempwa, Formator and Lecturer at St. Dominic’s Major Seminary in Lusaka, as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Monze,” Archbishop Gallone revealed in a communication to Catholic Bishops in Zambia.
The Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) has since congratulated the bishop-elect and wished him God’s continued blessing as well as every success as he takes up the new appointment.
“The Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) President, Most Rev. Ignatius Chama, has conveyed his hearty congratulations to the bishop-elect and wished him God’s continued blessing as well as every success as he takes up the new appointment,” announced the ZCCB Communications Office.
The bishop-elect, Fr. Mweempwa, a Diocesan priest of the Diocese of Monze, was until this appointment serving at St. Dominic’s Major Seminary in Lusaka as Formator and Lecturer.
He is a Professor of Canon Law.
Fr. Mweempwa was born on 30th March 1974.
He did his Primary education at St. Mary’s Primary School and completed his Secondary education in 1993 at Canisius Secondary School in Monze.
In 1994 he was accepted at Emmaus Spirituality Centre in Lusaka to begin his seminary formation.
In 1996 proceeded to study philosophy at St. Augustine’s Major Seminary in Mpima, Kabwe and in 1998, he proceeded to St. Dominic’s Major seminary in Lusaka for his pastoral and Theological studies where he graduated with a degree in Theology in 2002.
In 2002 he continued his studies at Lumko Institute, in South Africa, obtaining a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry and another in Catechesis and then in Zambia for a Certificate in Psychological Counseling (2005-2006).
He was ordained priest on 29th June 2002.
From 2007 to 2010 he obtained a Licentiate in Canon Law at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome and, in 2016, he attended some courses at the Apostolic Signatura and the Roman Rota. On June 29, 2002 he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Monze.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Canon Law from the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome, Italy.
Fr. Mweempwa has worked in various pastoral assignments in the Diocese of Monze.
He has held the following positions: Parish Vicar (2002-2004) and Parish Priest (2004-2007) of St. Mary’s Parish in Choma; Member of the Diocesan Catechetical Commission (2006-2007); Parish priest of Our Lady of the Wayside in Manungu, in the same Diocese (2010-2012); Diocesan Chancellor (2011-2012); Member of the Council for Economic Affairs (2011-2019); Vocational Director, Coordinator of the Formation Team of the Diocese of Monze (2012-2016); Member of the Presbyterial Council and of the Catechetical Commission (2013-2019); Coordinator of the Translation Team of the Diocese (2015-2019).
Since 2019 he has been Professor of Canon Law and Formator at the St. Dominic Major Theological Seminary in Lusaka.