Historical Background


The Diocese of Musoma owes its first evangelization to the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers). Having established Bukumbi as their center for missionary expansion and evangelization of the Lake Victoria Region in the year 1883, they first landed at Nyakatende - Musoma in the year 1897. It wasn’t up until the year 1911 when the first catechumen from the area was baptized.

On 11th April 1946, the Holy See erected the Apostolic Vicariate of Musoma - Maswa under the Most.Rev. Joseph Blomjous, M. Afr as its Apostolic Vicar. However, Musoma - Maswa was entrusted to Maryknoll Missionaries for its evangelization. Four years later, on the 24th June 1950 the Apostolic Vicariate of Musoma -Maswa was split. Maswa remained an Apostolic Vicariate and Musoma was raised to a Prefecture Apostolic under Msgr. Gerard Grondin, M.M as its Prefect.

On 5th July 1957 Musoma was elevated into a Diocese. The first bishop of Musoma, John Rudin, M.M was consecrated and installed on the 3rd October 1957. He was succeeded by Bishop Anthony Mayala from the year 1979 to the year 1987 when he was made the first Archbishop of Mwanza. He was followed by Bishop Justin Samba from the year 1988 till his death on the 23rd August 2006. Bishop Michael Msonganzila was consecrated and installed on the 20th January 2008. He is the fourth bishop of Musoma.


  • Bishop Justin Samba
    Bishop Justin Samba was born on 12th December 1950 in Mkuu - Rombo, Moshi. He was ordained Priest of the Diocese of Musoma on 21st June 1974 and consecrated Bishop on 06th January 1989 in Rome by St. Pope John Paul II. He was installed Bishop of Musoma on 26th February 1989. He served as bishop of Musoma for 17 years till his death on 23rd August 2006.
  • Archbishop Anthony Mayala
    Archbishop Anthony Mayala was born on 23rd April 1940 at Ibindo - Kwimba in Mwanza. He was ordained priest of the Diocese of Mwanza on the 20th December 1970. On the 12th January 1979 he was appointed Bishop of Musoma to succeed Bishop John Rudin who was retiring. He was ordained and installed as Bishop of Musoma on the 22nd April 1979. On the 18th November 1987 the Holy See elevated the Diocese of Mwanza into the Metropolitan Archdiocese and appointed Bishop Mayala as its first Archbishop. He served as Bishop of Musoma for 8 years. When his successor (Bishop Justin Samba) died in 2006, he was appointed the Diocesan Apostolic Administrator, the task that he undertook till 20th January 2008 when a new bishop was consecrated and installed. He served as the Archbishop of Mwanza from 1987 till his death on the 19th August 2009.
  • Bishop John Rudin, M.M
    Bishop John Rudin was born on 27th November 1916 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts USA. He was ordained Priest on 11th June 1944 in the Missionary Society of Maryknoll Fathers. When the Diocese of Musoma was formed on the 5th July 1957, he was named its first bishop. He was consecrated Bishop on 03 October 1957 by Bishop Joseph Blomjous (by then bishop of Mwanza. Principal co - consecrators were Bishop Edward Aloysius McGurkin (of Shinyanga) and Bishop Maurice Michael Otunga (titular of Tacapae). He served as bishop of Musoma for 22 years till 12th January 1979 when he retired. He died on 14th June 1995 in the USA.
Location: Mara Region, Tanzania - East Africa. Suffragan Diocese in the Ecclesistical province of Mwanza
  • Area: Square Kilometers 25,150 equivalent to 9,714 Square Miles.
  • Total Population: 1,381,579. Catholics: 299,
  • Parishes: 34 (including 2 Quasi Parishes)
  • Incardinated Priests: 48
  • Missionaries working in the Diocese: 24
  • Religious Sisters and Brothers:
  • Catechists: 365
  • Diocesan Hospital (1), Health Centres (7), Dispensaries (5).
  • Diocesan Nursery and Primary Schools: 18
  • Diocesan Secondary Schools:
  • Diocesan Junior Seminary: 1
  • Colleges (Teachers Training and Vocational Education): 4