Vatican City (Fides Service) - The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II has, 7 April 2004, appointed Bishop of the diocese of Sakania-Kipushi (Democratic Republic of Congo) Reverend Father Gaston Kashala Ruwezi, S.D.B., Vicar of the Salesian Inspectorate for Central Africa.
The Bishop elect was born in Lubumbashi 14 April 1961. He studied in Congo, Rwanda and Italy in Turin and then in Rome, obtaining a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture at the Biblicum College. He was ordained a priest on 14 July 1990. He has since been: Professor of exegesis at the St. Paul College of Theology at Lubumbashi; Director of the College community and councillor and vicar of the Salesian Inspectorate for Central Africa.
The diocese of Sakania-Kipushi is situated in south of the province del Katanga, a rich mining region. The area was evangelised by the Salesians in 1915. It has an area of 40.000 sq., km, a population of 204,000 including 110,000 Catholics gathered in 8 parishes looked after by 41 priests (20 diocesan and 21 religious, mostly Salesians), and 46 women Religious. In the diocese there are about 19,000 Christians of Protestant denominations. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 15/5/2004; Righe 13, Parole 165)