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Vicariate Apostolic of Nyassa

In Central Africa

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Nyassa, Vicariate Apostolic of, in Central Africa, bounded north by the Anglo-German frontier, east by Lake Nyassa, south by the Anglo-Portuguese frontier, west by a line running northward past Lake Bangwelo. It is under the care of the White Fathers and was founded by Father Lechaptois in June, 1889, at Mponda, Nyassaland. This region passing under British control, the missionaries moved to Mambwe between Nyassa and Tanganika in 1891, but, finding the region desolated by the slave-hunters, they proceeded to Ubemba, a high plateau to the west where the Congo rises. In December, 1894, Fr. Van Oost settled at Kaiambi in Panda, with permission of the chief Mkaca, but was expelled by Mkaca’s suzerain, Kiti-Mkulu. Fr. Dupont, however, succeeded in founding a permanent station there in July, 1895. The natives are well-built and warlike; they are being taught agriculture by the fathers. On February 13, 1897, the mission was made a vicariate Apostolic, Fr. Joseph Dupont (b. at Geste, Maine et Loire, France, in 1855) being appointed superior and consecrated titular Bishop of Tibaris. When King Momamba was dying in 1898, he asked Msgr. Dupont to become king; the bishop accepted the post temporarily to prevent the customary hecatomb following the sovereign’s death. In 1904 the southeastern part of the vicariate was formed into the Prefecture Apostolic of Shire. The population is about 1,000,000, speaking Kibemba and Kinyassa; catechumens, 30,000; baptized, 2000; missionary priests, 50; Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa, 8; catechists, 127; churches, 9; chapels, 25; stations, 6 in Ubemba and 3 in Angoniland; schools, 34; orphanages, 4.

A. A. MACERLEAN


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