The Holy Spirit who always renews the Church has from the time of Pentecost planted her across the continents, and to people of different cultures and languages. Everywhere the Catholicity of the Church is earmarked by the presence of Christian believers who witness their faith in different languages.
The Roman Catholic Church in Vienna is characterized by the universality of the Church through the diversity of its members united around the local Bishop. The Swahili Speaking African Catholic Community is among several of these communities. It is so far the youngest of them. Basically, Swahili language is spoken in the East African region, i.e Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Other African countries where Swahili language is spoken is part of Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo.
Although the desire to establish such community trace many years back in the late 1990s, it remained in mind and never in reality. The long cherished desire to establish a Swahili Speaking African Catholic Community materialized on the 25th April 2010. On this day, the founding of this Community, Holy Mass was joyfully celebrated as from 3.30p.m. A total of sixteen lay people and five priests (John Njenga; Castor Goliama; David Malel; Jordan Nyenyembe; Michael Mwambegu) attended. It is currently under the leadership of Fr. Michael Kenga Mwambegu, (a priest from Mombasa Diocese in Kenya). Since its inception members have been celebrating the Holy Mass once at the last Sunday of every month, and plans are now underway to have masses twice a month. The community is grateful to God, for four more priests who have joined: Richard Kimbwi; Leopold Mlimbo; Joseph Chinguile and Sammy Kiprugut.The more than 20 lay people who regularly attend, remain the single most joy of the priests.
The Swahili African Catholic Community is under the patronage of St. Josaphine Bakhita. It is hosted currently at the Birgitta Parish. This Parish has for a long time been a home to priest’s students from Kenya. A good relationship which these priests had with the then Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Leopold Kaupeny developed into a friendship that made it possible for the community to be accommodated there. The interim Parish Priest keeps the friendship intact. The Lay members of the Parish Council also have been very positive to see the community retain a steady growth there. As a Catholic Community it is operating in cooperation with the local hierarchy. In this view, the Archdiocese of Vienna has placed this community under the Rector of ARGE, who is in-charge of the African, Asian and Latin America Catholic Communities. The Auxilliary Bishop Francis Scharl is in-charge of the diasporan Catholic communities and keeps a constant pastoral care for the community.