Pope Francis has appointed the Tanzanian born prelate, Archbishop Novatus Rugambwa, as Apostolic Nuncio to New Zealand and Apostolic Delegate to the countries of the Pacific Ocean.
The Pontiff had appointed Archbishop Rugambwa a few days ago to represent the Holy See in New Zealand and the Pacific Ocean countries after serving Sao Tome and Principe, Angola, and Tagaria – all in Africa.
Ranking takes place among African nationals serving the Holy See in different capacities.
Archbishop Rugambwa was born in Western Tanzania in 1957 then ordained a priest in 1986 and Archbishop in 2010.
He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1991 and has served in Nunciatures in Panama, Republic of Congo, Pakistan, New Zealand, Indonesia, Angola, and Honduras.
For a period of time, he was also Under Secretary of the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
Archbishop Rugambwa has diplomatic experience in Panama, the Republic of Congo, Pakistan, Indonesia and he previously served as secretary to the Apostolic Nuncio in Wellington, New Zealand. He holds a degree in Canon Law.
He replaces the previous nuncio Archbishop Martin Krebs who last year was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Uruguay.
President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference, Bishop Patrick Dunn, said: “We’re delighted with the appointment of Archbishop Rugambwa and warmly welcome him back to our shores in his new role. Our prayers are with him as he prepares for his move and we look forward to working with him in the years ahead.”
Archbishop Rugambwa entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in July 1991 and then served in the Pontifical diplomatic missions in Panama, Republic of Congo, Pakistan, New Zealand, and Indonesia.
He was named Sub-Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants in June 2007, then elected Titular Archbishop of Tagaria, and at the same time named Apostolic Nuncio to São Tomé and Príncipe in February 2010, the position he served before moving to New Zealand.
The Catholic Church has been among key partners in tourism, playing a pivotal role to attract visitors from other parts of the world to visit Africa in different missions.
The Church in collaboration with other churches are promoting and organizing pilgrimage trips to Holy places mostly in Israel, Spain, Rome, and North Africa.
Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran missionaries are counted the first travelers who entered Africa then opened routes to the modern tourist industry which African countries are working hard to develop.