Zimbabwe: date set for ordination of new Bulawayo Archbishop

The new Archbishop for  Bulawayo Diocese, Father Alex Thomas Kaliyanil, is to be ordained on 12 September,  at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair show grounds, the Zimbabwe Telegraph has reported.

A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bulawayo, Father Nigel Johnson, said the event would be attended by eight archbishops from all over the country. The Apostolic Nuncio George Kocherry from Harare will represent Pope Benedict.

Fr Thomas was appointed Archbishop for Bulawayo Diocese in June.

The Diocese has been led by Fr Martin Schupp who was appointed apostolic administrator after the resignation of Archbishop Ncube in 2007.

Archbishop Kaliyanil was born in Chananacherry,  in India in 1960. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1988 he served as a Divine Word missionary priest in Zimbabwe.

Archbishop Kaliyanil also holds a degree in Economics. Since 2001, he has been the Caritas ex-officio advisor to the Catholic Development Commission and has also served as a diocesan economist.

In 2008 Kaliyanil was appointed the regional superior for the Divine Word Missionaries in Zimbabwe.

The Catholic Church in Zimbabwe is divided into two metropolitan provinces, Harare and Bulawayo, each with three suffragan in Chinhoyi, Gokwe and Mutare, Gweru, Hwange and Masvingo.  The archdiocese of Bulawayo was established on 1 January 1995 and comprises 14 civil districts and is home to 116 000 Catholics, 40 parishes, 87 priests and 11 religious orders.