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Vicariate apostolic in German East Africa, separated from the Vicariate Apostolic of Nyanza by a Decree of Propaganda, 30 December, 1886. Its limits, as fixed on 10 December, 1895, were: on the N. the Vicariate Apostolic of Southern Nyanza; on the S. a line drawn from Lake Manjara (36°E.) along the mountain ridges to the N. W. of Ugago; on the S. the northern limits of Ujanzi, Ugunda, Ugetta, Uvenza, and Ujiji; on the W. Lake Tanganika and the eastern boundary of the Congo Free State to the village of Ruanda. This district was originally included in the Vicariate of Tanganika; in 1879 R.P. Ganachan of the White Fathers penetrated this hitherto unknown region and endeavoured to settle at Tabora, but was unsuccessful; two years later R.P. Guillet succeeded and opened an orphanage there, which was shortly afterwards transferred to Kipalapala one league distant; in 1844 R.P. Lourdel settled at Djiue-la-Singa, but the post was abandoned on 13 March, 1885. On 11 January, 1887, the mission of Unyanyembe was separated from Tanganika, with R.P. Girault as superior of the pro-vicariate; on 23 August, 1887, Mgr Charbonnier was consecrated bishop in the Kipalapala orphanage chapel by Mgr Livinhac of Uganda; this was the first episcopal consecration in Equatorial Africa. The station at Kipalapala was destroyed in 1889 by the natives. Two years later it was restored, and another was opened at Uchirombo. Towards the close of 1897 five Sisters of Notre-Dame d'Afrique arrived at Uchirombo. In 1900 there were in this mission 20 priests, 6 nuns, 49 catechists, 1842 neophytes, 6000 catechumens, and 150 children in the schools. A German scientist, Dr. Kandt, a Protestant, was so impressed by the good work of the Catholic missionaries that he presented his estate at Tabora to the vicar Apostolic to found a school and hospital. The present and first vicar Apostolic, Mgr François Gerboin, of the White Fathers, born in 1847 and consecrated titular Bishop of Turbubto in 1897, resides at Ushirombo.

Mission statistics (1905): 33 priests; 7 lay brothers; 6 nuns; 72 catechists; 26 schools with 966 pupils; 11 hospitals; 5 leper houses; 17 orphanages with 325 children rescued from slavery; 3,000,000 infidels; 3678 Catholics; 2889 catechumens.


LE ROY in PIOLET, Les missions cath. franç. au XIX siecle, V (Paris, 1902), 410-22

About this page

APA citation. MacErlean, A. (1912). Unyanyembe. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. MacErlean, Andrew. "Unyanyembe." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Vivek Gilbert John Fernandez. Dedicated to Catholic Missionaries around the world and the marvellous works they provide for the glory of God.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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