The Missionaries of Africa arrived at the lakeshore of Tanganyika, Ujiji on 20th January 1879 with the mandate of evangelizing the Great Lakes region of which Kigoma forms a part. This date marked the beginning of the later evangelization of this region. The Vicariate Apostolic of Kigoma was created on 10th May 1946 with Msgr Jan van Sambeek as its first Bishop. The first mission was established at Kigoma, the railhead on Lake Tanganyika in 1914. The second mission, Mulera, was founded in 1926.
With the decree of 25th March 1953, the Catholic Diocese of Kigoma was erected. Bishop Jan van Sambeek became the first ordinary of Kigoma Diocese and was replaced by Bishop
Bishop James Holmes SIDLE
James H. Siedle in 1958. In 1970 Kigoma Diocese got its first indigenous bishop in the person of
Bishop Alphonce D. Nsabi. He was later succeeded by Bishop Paul Ruzoka in 1989. Upon the
nomination of Bishop Paul Ruzoka to the Archdiocese of Tabora in 2007, Holy Father Benedict XVI appointed Msgr Protase Rugambwa new bishop of the Diocese of Kigoma in 2008. In 2012, Archbishop Ruzoka was appointed Apostolic Administrator of Kigoma following papal appointment and transfer of Bishop Rugambwa to Propaganda fide offices in the Vatican. in July 2014 Msgr Joseph Mlola was appointed to be the fourth indigenous Bishop of Kigoma, the office he holds to date.
Arch Bishop. P. Rugambwa
3. Pastoral approach and methods of evangelization.
The Diocese of Kigoma has the scope and duty of fostering the mission of Christ geared towards the realization of a holistic human development of all the people within its areas of operation for the noble and ultimate goal of salvation. It aims, by and large, at making sure that all the people in the diocese have access to the pastoral and socio-economic services rendered by the diocese. In order to carry out its plan of evangelization and thus achieve its pastoral and socio-economic goals. The diocese has its Vision and Mission:
The Vision of the diocese: The Catholic Church of Kigoma, a responsible and caring family of God committed to the building of His Kingdom.
The Mission Statement: Moved by the compassion and love of Christ, we are committed to strengthen and foster the evangelizing mission of our Lord in all the spiritual, socio-political, and economic realms of life in the spirit of service. For the Son of man himself came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mk. 10:45.