Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – The Holy Father Benedict XVI, on June 3, 2009, raised the Apostolic Prefecture of Mongo (Chad) to the rank of Apostolic Vicariate, with the same name and territory. The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Henri Coudray, S.J., current Prefect Apostolic of the same ecclesiastical circumscription, as Apostolic Vicar of Mongo (Chad), assigning him the titular see of Silli.
Father Henri Coudray, S.J. was born on June 22, 1942, in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, Diocese of Grenoble-Vienne (France). He studied philosophy in Chantilly and Theology in Lyons, later earning a Licentiate in Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome. He later earned a degree in Literature from the University of Paris-Sorbonne and a Licentiate in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Lyons. He was ordained a priest on June 30, 1973 and took solemn vows on March 2, 1980. After his ordination, he ministered as follows: 1980-1984: Parish Vicar in the Archdiocese of N’Djamena amd Professor of Arabic at the French-Arab School of Abéché; 1984-1989: Director of the new Novitiate in Abidjan, in Ivory Coast; 1989-1995: Parish Priest in Mongo; 1995-2000: Promoter of encounters between Christians and Muslims in N’Djamena and Pastor of the Parish in Marjan Daffak; 2000-2001: Bishop's Vicar for the Eastern Region of the Archdiocese of N’Djamena. Since December 1, 2001, he has served as Prefect Apostolic of Mongo.
The Apostolic Prefecture of Mongo (Chad) was created in 2001 from part of the Archdiocese of N'Djamena and part of the Diocese of Sarh. It has an area of 540,000 km sq, with 1,700,000 inhabitants, of whom 6,000 are Catholic (0.35%), with 6 parishes and 9 priests (6 diocesan and 3 religious), 5 religious brothers, 13 sisters, and 8 lay missionaries. There are 2 major seminarians. The parish church of Mongo will become the Cathedral of the new Apostolic Vicariate. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 3/6/2009)