Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, on 1 May 2010, elevated the Apostolic Administration of Comores (Indian Ocean) to the rank of Apostolic Vicariate, with the new name of Archipelago of the Comores but with the same territorial configuration. The Holy Father also appointed as first Apostolic Vicar of Comores (Indian Ocean), Fr. Charles Mahuza Yava, S.D.S., until now Provincial Superior of the Salvatorian African Province, assigning to him the titular see of Apisa Maggiore.
Fr. Charles Mahuza Yava, S.D.S. was born on 29 July 1960 in the territory of Sandoa, in the diocese of Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of Congo. He is a member of the Society of the Divine Saviour. He completed his Novitiate in Tanzania, and was one of the first Congolese members of the Institute. He attended secondary school and high school in Sandoa, and then continued his secondary and humanistic studies as well as philosophy and theology in Kolwezi at the Jean XXIII Scholasticate, of the Franciscan Fathers. He made his Perpetual Profession in Kolwezi on 8 September 1991. He was ordained a priest at Kolwezi 8 May 1993. Since his ordination he has served as follows: 1993-1994: Assistant priest at Sacred Heart parish at Ntita, Kapanga; 1994-1995: Studies at the Sèvre Centre in Paris for a special course of Spirituality; 1995-2000: Novice Master in Kolwezi and later in Lubumbashi; 1997-2003: Provincial Vicar; 2000-2003: Rector of Scholastics; 2003-2006: Provincial Superior of the Congolese vice-Province; 2006-2009: Provincial Superior of the Salvatorian African Province; since 2010: parish priest at Moroni Parish(Grande Comores).
The new Apostolic Vicariate of Comores has an area of 2,033 sq. km., and a population of 800,000. There are 6.000 Catholics, gathered in 2 parishes, served by 6 priests (5 Salvatorians and 1 is a member of the Paris Foreign Missions Society). The new Vicariate can also count on the collaboration of 2 religious Brothers and 12 women Religious. The Apostolic Administration of Comores (1975) was entrusted for several decades to the Friars Minor Capuchin. In 1998 due to scarcity of apostolic personnel, the Apostolic Administration was entrusted to the Society of the Divine Saviour (Salvatoriani). (SL) (Agenzia Fides 03/05/2010)