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Protase Rugambwa (born 31 May 1960) is a Tanzanian prelate of the Catholic Church who has been the secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples since his appointment 9 November 2017. He previously served as that congregation's adjunct secretary and president of Pontifical Mission Societies since his appointment on 26 June 2012.

Protase Rugambwa
Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed9 November 2017
PredecessorSavio Tai Fai Hon
Ordination2 September 1990
by Pope John Paul II
Consecration13 April 2008
by Polycarp Pengo
Personal details
Birth nameProtase Rugumbwa
Born (1960-05-31) 31 May 1960 (age 59)
Bunena, Tanzania
Previous post
  • Bishop of Kigoma (2008-12)
  • Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (2012-17)
Alma materPontifical Lateran University
Styles of
Protase Rugambwa
Mitre plain 2.png
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleMonsignor
Posthumous stylenone


Rugambwa was born in 1960 at Bunena, in the diocese of Bukoba. After his primary and secondary schools in various seminaries and Minor Katoke Itaga, he studied philosophy at Kibosho Senior Seminary and theology at St. Charles Lwanga Segerea Senior Seminary.

He was ordained priest on 2 September 1990 in Dar-es-Salaam by John Paul II during his pastoral visit to Tanzania, and incardiated the diocese of Rulenge.

After ordination he held the following offices: 1990-1991: Parish Vicar in the parish of Mabira, 1991-1994: Teacher in the Minor Seminary of Katoke, in charge of the Liturgy and Diocesan Chaplain of the hospital Biharamulo, 1994-1998: Studies for a doctorate in pastoral theology at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, 1998-1999: Trainer of the Year seminarians spiritual, Director of Vocations in the Diocese of Rulenge, Executive Secretary of the Department of Pastoral Care, 2000-2002: Vicar General of the diocese Moderator of Rulenge and Personnel; 2002-2008: Official of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

On 18 January 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of the Diocese of Kigoma, Tanzania.[1] He received his episcopal consecration on 13 April.

On 26 June 2012 Rugambwa was appointed adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and concurrently president of Pontifical Mission Societies, replacing Archbishop Piergiuseppe Vacchelli, who had reached the retirement age. He was at the same time appointed archbishop ad personam.[2]

On 9 November 2017 Pope Francis promoted him to secretary of the Congregation.[3]


  1. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 18.01.2008" (Press release) (in Italian). 18 January 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 26.06.2012" (Press release) (in Italian). 26 June 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2017. Includes a biographical sketch.
  3. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 09.11.2017" (Press release) (in Italian). 9 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Paul R. Ruzoka
Bishop of Kigoma
18 January 2008 – 26 June 2012
Preceded by
Piergiuseppe Vacchelli
Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
26 June 2012 - 9 November 2017
Succeeded by
Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso