The Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha is situated in the Northern part of Tanzania. The Archdiocese of Arusha covers 6 districts. The districts in Arusha region are Arusha municipal, Arumeru, Monduli and Ngorongoro in Manyara region are Kiteto and Simajiro.
According to the 2013 statistics, Arusha region alone, the population is 2,552,853. The number of Catholics is approximately 500,000. The rest belongs to other Christian denominations and to non Christian religions, those who follow the traditional religion (traditionalists) and Muslims.
Arusha is the third largest town in Tanzania having a population of 282,712 inhabitants at the last census in 2002. Arusha is situated at the foot of Mount Meru and is an important centre of activity in Northern Tanzania. The International Conference Centre, the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda, tourism, business connections and industrial activities attract many people from various backgrounds and tribes to the area. Some areas in the town are very overcrowded, with poor living conditions, housing and sanitation. Several projects are targeted towards street dwellers, street children and orphans.
The surrounding volcanic areas and savannas are inhabited by Maasai speaking non-Bantu population, with a dominantly pastoralist lifestyle. The main source of wealth and income derives from cattle. Some agriculture has been introduced recently.
Fortunatus M. Lukanima (December 8, 1940 – March 12, 2014) was the second Catholic bishop of Arusha Diocese.After Bishop Durning retirement as Shepherd of the family of God in Catholic Diocese of Arusha in August 26, 1989; the Diocese was asumed by The Tanzanian Bishop Rt. Rev. Bishop Fortunatus M. Lukanima. who was ordained to the priesthood in 1968 and appointed in 1989 as the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha, (by then The Catholic Diocese of Arusha). He resigned in 1998.
Durning was ordained to the priesthood on the 23rd of June 1949 and in Philadelphia (USA). In September 1950 Bishop Dennis Vicent Durning C.S.Sp (by then Father) arrived by ship through the port of Mombasa to the District of Kilimanjaro where he was assigned as assistant Parish Priest in Mashati Parish (1950 - 1954), and from 1954 to 1956 he was pastor in the same parish.
In 1963 Rome created the new Diocese of Arusha and nominated Father Durning to be its founding Bishop.
Bishop Durning started shepherding the enourmous diocese of Arusha, starting with only four (4) established parishes namely; Arusha, Usa River, Monduli and Loliondo. He started with one diocesan Priest, Fr. Simon Sirikwa, twelve Holy Ghost Frs. and four (4) Precious Blood Sisters.
Bishop Durning served the Arusha Catholic Diocese (now Archdiocese) for 26 years before retiring officially in 1989, and went to work as pastor of Bashay Lambo in Mbulu Diocese where he ministred the family of God until his death on Feb. 21st. 2002 in KCMC hospital Moshi. He was burried in the Holy Ghost Parish Church of Ngarenaro. His body will be removed to the Cathedral, which is currently under construction at St. Theresa Parish.
His Excellency the Most Rev. Francisco Padilla Apostolic Nuncio to Tanzania during inaugural Mass at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Olasiti after its bombing more than a year ago.
HATIMAYE Kanisa la Mtakatifu Joseph Mfanyakazi la Olasiti jijini hapa lililopigwa bomu Mei 5 mwaka 2013 na kuahirishwa uzinduzi wake, limezinduliwa na Balozi wa Papa na Mwakilishi wa Vatican nchini Tanzania, Askofu Mkuu Francisco Padilla.
An attack on St. Joseph the Worker Roman Catholic Church in Olasiti-Arusha during its inaugural Holly Mass on Sunday MAy 5, 2013. Three people were killed and at least 50 people were wounded in the attack.