By Paschal Norbert
MAPUTO, SEPTEMBER 22, 2023 (CISA)- Pope Francis has appointed Fr Osório Citora Afonso, IMC, as the second auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Maputo and assigned him the titular see of Putia in Numidia, the Holy See Press Office announced on September 21, 2023.
The 51-year-old bishop-elect and a member of the Consolata Missionaries from Mozambique until his appointment was serving in the Vatican’s Dicastery for Evangelization in the section for first evangelization and the new particular Churches.
He becomes the second auxiliary of Maputo after the appointment of Bishop Tonito José Francisco Xavier Muananoua as the first auxiliary on March 1, 2023.
Bishop-elect Osório Citora Afonso was born on May 6, 1972, in Ribaue, Nampula, Mozambique. On June 17, 2001, he took his solemn vows at the Consolata Missionary Institute in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
After completing his studies at the Christ the King Seminary in Matola, Mozambique, he studied philosophy at the St. Augustine Philosophical Seminary of Matola, and theology at the Institut Saint-Eugène de Mazenod in Kinshasa.
He was ordained a priest of the Consolata Missionaries on November 3, 2002. After ordination, he first served as parish vicar and bursar of St. Hilaire parish in Kinshasa (2002-2005) and regional counsellor for DRC (2005-2006).
After attaining a licentiate in sacred scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome (2006-2010), he continued his studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2008-2009) and L’École Biblique et Archéologique of Jerusalem (2010-2011).
Fr Citora Afonso went on to hold the roles of member of the Board of the General House in Rome (2008-2010); local collaborator at the apostolic nunciature in Kinshasa (2011-2013); formator and bursar of the Theological Seminary of Kinshasa (2011-2013); superior of the Missionary Centre of the diocese of Vittorio Veneto (2014-2016); superior of Casas Milaico in Treviso (2014-2016); regional counsellor for Italy – Treviso, Veneto (2016-2017); and formator in the International Theological Seminary of Bravetta, Rome (2016-2017).
He joined the Dicastery for Evangelization in 2017 as an official in the section for first evangelization and the new particular Churches.
Fr Citora Afonso is also known for championing the causes of sainthood of the martyred lay Mozambican catechists and the families ‘the Martyrs of Guiúa’ killed during the persecution of the Church on March 22, 1992, while they were participating in a formation course at the diocesan Catechetical Center of Guiúa, managed by the Consolata Missionaries.
In the September 21 announcement, Pope Francis also appointed Fr Habila Tyiakwonaboi Daboh, rector of the Good Shepherd Major Seminary in Kaduna as bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Zaria, Nigeria.
The Nigerian diocese of Zaira, which is in Kaduna State has been vacant since the death of the pioneer bishop, Rt Rev George Jonathan Dodo on July 8, 2022.