Angola: Diocese of Kwito-Bié celebrates 80th anniversary

The Diocese of Kwito-Bié in Angola, this week, celebrated the end of year-long festivities marking the 80th anniversary of its establishment.

English Africa Service -Vatican City & Anastácio Sasembele – Luanda

“The responsibility of evangelisation must be assumed by all those who are baptised,” declared the Bishop of Kwito-Bié Diocese, José Nambi. The Bishop was speaking, this week, at the closing ceremonies of the year-long 80th diocesan anniversary. He underscored the importance of ongoing evangelisation in a society and Church that is continually changing.

Evangelisation not the sole preserve of the clergy

Bishop Nambi told the faithful of the Diocese of Kwito-Bié that the responsibility for evangelisation was not the exclusive preserve of the clergy but preferably one that should be embraced by all baptised Christians.

“Let us all be united and work together as one people. That way, our diocese will become more and more a place that fulfils its mandate of facilitating Salvation for humankind … the diocese was created in 1940 with the view to better evangelise the people of this region,” said Bishop Nambi.

Speaking on behalf of the local diocesan clergy, Father Alberto Sambuale, who is Rector at Kwito Seminary, reiterated the importance of unity among a clergy united with the people of the diocese.

Government considers diocese a partner

The occasion was graced by the presence of various civic leaders led by Provincial Governor, Pereira Alfredo. He congratulated the Diocese on its milestone and said he hoped that the Catholic Church would continue to be a vital government partner in the social sector.

Diocese was first known as the Diocese of Silva Porto

Erected on 4 September 1940 by the Papal bull, Sollemnibus Conventionibus, of Pope Pius XII, the Kwito-Bié Diocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Huambo, in Angola. It was first established as the Diocese of Silva Porto from the Diocese of São Paulo de Loanda in 1940.  On 16 May 1979, it was renamed as the Diocese of Kwito-Bié.

The Ovimbundu ethnolinguistic group

 The Diocese of Kwito-Bié covers an area of 70,000 km². It is in central Angola and serves the entire Province of Bié. The population of the diocesan territory comprises various ethnic tribes though the Ovimbundu speaking people, who inhabit the Bié Plateau, are the majority. The Ovimbundi are, inicidentally also, the largest ethnolinguistic group in Angola. They speak Umbundu.