The Catholic Archdiocese of Mwanza is building a magnificent Cathedral whose capacity will be 7,000 (seven thousand) upon completion. According to the Archbishop of Mwanza, Most Rev. Jude Thaddaeus Ruwa’ichi, the new Cathedral which is dedicated to St. John Paul II is ideally expected to be complete by next year 2017, however he said that realistically it will probably be completed in 2019.
It is a hefty budget, costly project, but the Archbishop who is very excited about is says that it is a once and for all project that is worthwhile. He explained that the faithful of the Archdiocese of Mwanza are simple people, you can even say poor but in their poverty and simplicity, they own themselves as the church and where there is unity, what seems hefty to an individual is easily a bond by the entire community.
He said that the beautiful churches in Europe were not build by rich people but by people who loved God and wanted to do something beautiful for God and that is the spirit of the people of Mwanza.
“So far we have not received help from anyone outside Mwanza. And that is not strange because project regarding the construction of Churches are not very appealing nowadays,” Archbishop Ruwa’ichi told AMECEA Online News in an exclusive interview with him in Mwanza; adding that they are moving with their own force and trying at the same time to rally the people together and use the construction of the cathedral as a motive for the construction of the faithful.
“I keep stressing that I don’t want us to end up with building a church of stone. The process of building the Church of stones must at the same time spring from building the Church of living stones, the faithful.”
Why the new Cathedral is dedicated to St. John Paul II?
According to Archbishop Ruwa’ichi, there are three reasons why the Archdiocese decided to dedicate the new Cathedral to the Patronage of St. John Paul II. The first reason is that when St. John Paul II visited Tanzania Mwanza in 1990 he celebrated the Mass at the site and blessed the foundation stone. Secondly, of all the sites where St. John Paul II celebrated Mass during his visit in Tanzania in 1990, the site in Mwanza is the only one remaining in the hands of the Church and therefore to keep his memory, it is only worthwhile to have the Cathedral build right there.
The third reason why Archdiocese of Mwanza is dedicating its new Cathedral to St. John Paul II is that he is the Pope who left a big impact on the Church in Africa, in Mwanza and in the world and it is worthwhile to keep his memory. “He is strongly a Marian Pope; he taught us about the Lord and also about love and commitment to the mother of God. Joining the one who said Totus Tuus (Totally Yours) to the virgin Mary is not bad,” Archbishop Ruwa’ichi explained.
By Pamela Adinda, AMECEA Online News