Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Sacred Heart ESL Program alumnus Fr. Claudio Dalla Zuanna, SCJ, as archbishop of Beira in Mozambique. He is the sixth graduate of SHST's English language program to be made a bishop.
Fr. Dalla Zuanna, 53, is currently vice-general of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. He replaces Archbishop Pedro Goncalves, 75, who headed the Archdiocese of Beira since 1976 and submitted his resignation in January.
The bishop-elect ministered in Mozambique from 1985 until he was elected to the General Council for the first time in 2003. He was reelected to his current term in 2009.
“When I came to council I brought my experience of the Church and congregation from Africa,” he said in an interview in 2011. “Almost all of my priesthood had been in Africa, it is where I learned to be a priest.”
Fr. José Ornelas Carvalho, SCJ, general superior, learned of Fr. Dalla's appointment when he was in Mozambique himself, where he was concluding his visitation. Fr. Ornelas expressed both his joy on the occasion of the bishop-elect’s appointment and sadness on his departure from the general curia.
“We are well aware of what we owe him and how much we will miss him!” said Fr. Ornelas in a letter released soon after the appointment was made public. “We accompany him with a deep sense of gratitude for his dedication and his friendship.”
Fr. Dalla Zuanna was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Italian parents. As a boy he moved to Italy. He studied with the North Italian Province, professed his first vows in 1978 and was ordained in 1984.