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Vicariate Apostolic of Nyassa



Vicariate Apostolic 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 Lubemba, a high plateau to the west where the Congo rises. In December, 1894, Fr. Van Oost settled at Kayambi in Mpanda, with permission of the Chief Makasa, but was expelled by Makasa's suzerain, Chiti-Mukulu. 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 13 February, 1897, the mission was made a Vicariate Apostolic, Fr. Joseph Dupont (born at Gesté, Maine et Loire, France, in 1855) being appointed superior and consecrated titular bishop of Tibaris. When Chief Mwamba was dying in 1898, he asked Mgr Dupont to become king; the bishop accepted the post temporarily to prevent the customary hecatomb following the sovereign's death. In 1904 the south-eastern part of the vicariate was formed into the Prefecture Apostolic of Shire. The population is about 1,000,000, speaking Chibemba 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 Lubemba and 3 in Angoniland; schools, 34; orphanages, 4.

PIOLET, Les Missions francaises, V (Paris), 422-26; DUFF, Nyassaland under the Foreign Office (London, 1906).

A. A. MacErlean.








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