Brief Description of the Catholic Archdiocese Arusha

The Catholic Diocese of Arusha was established on March 1, 1963 after the Catholic Diocese Moshi had been divided. It was officially registered as the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Diocese Arusha on June 17, 1965. On March 16, 1999, the diocese was elevated to the status of Archdiocese and then became the Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha. It was officially registered as the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha on 22 July 2002 as well as with the Ministry of Internal Affairs as an Association (Congregation of Christian faithful) under the number SO No. 8848. The main Office of the Archdiocese is located in the St Teresa of the Child Jesus Parish premises where the Cathedral Church is being accomplished for the time-being.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha is spread over the entire region of ​​Arusha and two administrative districts of Manyara Region in the north-eastern Tanzania. The Archdiocese is named after the City of Arusha which is located at the foot of Mount Meru the second highest mountain after Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha is the biggest of all Dioceses in Tanzania with an area of ​​about 67,340 square kilometers. It extends southwards through the Maasai Steppes to Kiteto (a district in Manyara Region), bordering the Catholic Dioceses of Morogoro and Kondoa and to the westwards through Monduli towards the Ngorongoro Valley through Olduvai Gorge, crossing the Serengeti steppes and bordering the Catholic Dioceses of Musoma and Shinyanga. It stretches towards north-west to Loliondo on the border with the Catholic Diocese of Ngong in Kenya and to the southeast bordering the Catholic Dioceses of Moshi, Same and Tanga.

Ethnic Groups

There are several ethnic groups in the Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha. The main groups are: Maasai, Arusha, Meru, Pare, Chagga, Sonjo and Iraqw. Due to the prosperity of business in tourism, mines and other similar businesses as well being the headquarters of the East African Community, there are other ethnic groups from various areas in and out of the country. Kiswahili is spoken throughout East Community as the communication language while English is used as an international language and in business.


Historically, evangelization in the Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha began in 1926 when the Holy Ghost Fathers (Priests) from the Vicariate of Kilimanjaro opened an apostolic center in a place called \”Mesopotamia\” where the main Parish of the Archdiocese, St. Theresa of the Child Jesus is situated. In 1939 the Holy Ghost Frs. opened other missions at Usa River and Monduli in 1953. In 1961 other missions were opened at Emboreet, Simanjiro and Kijungu in 1962. These mission centers formed the Diocese of Arusha in 1963 and recognized  ecclesiastically under the leadership of a Spiritan priest from America, who was the founder of Loliondo Mission Center and the first bishop of Arusha in 1963 Late Bishop Dennis Vincent Durning CSSp.

The Archdiocese leadership since its inauguration

Since its establishment, the Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha has been under the following bishops:-

i) 1 March 1963 – 6 March 1989: Rt. Rev. Dennis Vincent Durning, C.S.Sp.

ii) 6 March 1989 – 20 July 1998: Rt. Rev. Fortunatus M. Lukanima

iii) 28 November 1998 – 27 December 2017: Most Rev. Josaphat Louis Lebulu

iv) 27 December 2017 to date : Most Rev. Isaac Amani

The performance of the Catholic Archdiocese


The Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha is proud to have about 537,613 baptized Catholic Christians, 391 priests and religious

370 catechists.

Since its establishment, the Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha has witnessed several successes, including increase in the number of Catholics, and so far they have reached 537,613, which is 31.7% of all residents of the Arusha Region, which has 1,694,310 residents according to the 2012 census.

Signs of the achievements in the Archdiocese Arusha.

Baptized Faithfull  535,996  536,993  537,160  537,363  537,613    
Indigenous Priests  49  49  49  51  54      78  82
Indigenous religious  81  93  82  74  86    

At this time, the Archdiocese offers several social facilities including Education, Health, Clean and Safe water and other services for the needy. All these services contribute to a large part in the growth of the Tanzanian society from the spiritual, social and economic point of views.

The Archdiocese has established and maintained good working relations between the community and other stakeholders.

From the viewpoints of services and needs, the Archdiocese is recognized by the government, beneficiaries, development partners and all those with good will in serving the beneficiaries and those in condition of essential needs






(2018 – ….)

The Most Rev Isaac Aman was born on 10 June 1951 at Mloe Village, Mango Parish in the Diocese of Moshi. After Primary School in Mango, he attended ordinary studies at St. James Junior Seminary 1966-1969, in Moshi and later Philosophy studies (1970-1971) at Ntungamo Major Seminary in the Diocese of Bukoba. Theology studies at Kipalapala Senior Seminary (1972-1975) in the Archdiocese  Tabora

He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Moshi on 29 June 1975 and has since ministered as follows: 1975-1976: Assistant Priest at Narumu Parish; 1976-1979: Assistant Parish Priest at Moshi Cathedral Church (Christ the King); 1980-1986: Teacher and Vice Rector at St. James Junior Seminary Moshi; 1986-1989: Studies in Education and Pastoral Counselling at Walsh University, Ohio, U.S.A.; 1990-2003: Chaplain and Formator for the Diocesan Congregation of the Brothers of the Redeemer; 1999-2004: Bishops\’ delegate for religious. As from July 2003 to Nov. 21, 2007 when he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI a bishop of Moshi Diocese, he was serving as Parish Priest at Christ the King cathedral, Moshi. On Feb. 22nd 2008, he was consecrated . The Holy Father Pope Francis appointed Rt. Rev. Isaac Amani Metropolitan Archbishop of Arusha on 27th December, 2017 and was installed on the 8th April, 2018.


(2015 – ….)

Bishop Prosper Baltazar Lyimo is an Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Arusha in Northern Tanzania. He takes the second post in the Archdiocese as Auxiliary Bishop, he serves under the Ordinary Archbishop Isaac Amani. His Episcopal Ordination took place on the 15th of February 2015. Before, he was Chancellor and Judicial Vicar of the Archdiocese of Arusha. ​Bishop Prosper Baltazar Lyimo was born in Kilema in 1964 in Moshi Diocese and was ordained a Priest in July 4, 1997. He studed his Primary School studies in Maua and at Ngurdoto Primary School in Arusha. He completed his Secondary School studies at the Archdiocesan Minor Seminary Oldonyosambu. He studied Philosophy at Our Lady of Angels Major Seminary in Kibosho Moshi, and Theology at St. Paul’s Interdiocesan Seminary in Kipalapala -Tabora.​ Bishop Prosper Baltazar Lyimo studied in Rome Italy in 2007-2008, for a Licentiate (Masters) in Canon Law at the Pontifical Urbanian university and later to St. Paul College Canada in 2011-2012 for studies in Canon Law


(1998 – Dec. 2017)

The Most Rev. Josaphat L. Lebulu, born on 13th June 1942 at Kisangara Juu in the Diocese of Same. Ordained a priest on 11th December 1968; consecrated Bishop of Same on 24th may 1979. He was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Arusha on 20th August 1997 . Nominate Bishop of Arusha on 9th December 1998. Installed as Bishop of Diocese of Arusha on 31 January 1999 and the same year the diocese of Arusha was promoted as the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Arusha.​Archpishop Josaphat Louis Lebulu was inaugurated in March 2000, and since then has presided over the Archdiocese of Arusha


(1989 – 1998)

Fortunatus M. Lukanima (December 8, 1940 – March 12, 2014) was the second Catholic bishop of Arusha Diocese. After Bishop Durning retirement as Shepherd of the family of God in Catholic Diocese of Arusha in August 26, 1989; the Diocese was asumed by The Tanzanian Bishop Rt. Rev. Bishop Fortunatus M. Lukanima. who was ordained to the priesthood in 1968 and appointed in 1989 as the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha, (by then The Catholic Diocese of Arusha). He resigned in 1998.


(1963 -1989)

Bishop Dennis Vincent Durning was born in Philadelphia, USA on 18-05-1923. He was the third of five children in his family. He entered the Holy Ghost Congregation on 16-07-1937 and after several years of seminary studies, he was ordained a priest on 03-06-1949. In 1950 he embarked on a mission in Kilimanjaro Region in Tanzania. He mainly  did pastoral mission in Mashati and Rombo areas. After his six-year of pastoral mission he was transferred to serve the Loliondo Church where he served the Maasai and Sonjo Communities.