Paul Samasumo - Vatican City.
Pope Francis has appointed the Archbishop of Mwanza, Jude Thaddaeus Ruwa'ichi, as the new Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. He is a member of the Capuchin order.
Coadjutor Bishops have "right to succession"
Eventually, when the incumbent, Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, resigns the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Dar, Archbishop Ruwa'ichi succeed him. This is because Coadjutor Bishops have a "right to succession." According to Canon Law, this means that when the current Bishop leaves office either by death or resignation, the Coadjutor automatically becomes the new Ordinary. Catholic Bishops are expected to hand in their resignation, to the Holy Father, when they reach the age of 75 years. Cardinal Pengo is 73 years old.
An articulate preacher, Archbishop Ruwa'ichi comes from an academic background. He is also a former member of the Capuchin General Definitory; former Bishop of Mbulu, Dodoma and Mwanza Dioceses. For close to three years, he was the Apostolic Administrator of Shinyanga Diocese in Tanzania.
Promoting Small Christian Communities
During his tenure as President of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), between 2006 and 2012, Archbishop Ruwa'ichi advocated strong Christian families and a faith that is rooted in the Word of God. He is also one of the leading proponents of Small Christian Communities in the Eastern Africa region.
In Africa particularly in eastern, central and southern parts of Africa, Small Christian Communities (SCCs) or Basic Christian Communities (BCCs) -as they are sometimes known are households of Catholic families in a neighbourhood. Parishes group the houses in units known as SCCs. They meet regularly to pray, share their faith, the Word of God and to give support to each other. It is for this reason that SCCs are also referred to as the Church in the neighbourhood or the Church at the grassroots. The concept of Small Christian Communities, in Africa, is the result of a pastoral option that regional Catholic Bishops under the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) took in 1976. It has been over forty years since the AMECEA Bishops decided to make SCCs a pastoral priority in the region.
Archbishop Ruwa'ichi says that while much has been achieved through SCCs, much more can still be done to make them living instruments of evangelisation.
A place to deepen the faith
In a radio interview earlier this year, Archbishop Ruwa'ichi told Vatican News: “(The idea of Basic Christian Communities) was a momentous decision (by the Bishops) but honestly I think in many places, BCCs have either remained nominal or very weak. I think we need to go back to the drawing table and make sure that everything possible is done to enable BCCs to become the point where faith is bequeathed and deepened. (BCCS must also be) a context where people are given an opportunity to exercise works of charity; a context whereby people are given the opportunity to protect their faith,” Archbishop Ruwa'ichi said.