Cardinal Monsengwo was born in Mongobele on October 7, 1939.
He was ordained a Priest for Inongo, Congo (Dem. Rep.) on December 21, 1963. On February 13, 1980 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Inongo, Congo (Dem. Rep.) and Titular Bishop of Aquae Novae in Proconsulari. His ordination as Bishop took place on May 4, 1980.
On April 7, 1981 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Kisangani, Congo (Dem. Rep.), and a few years later, on Septempber 1, 1988, was appointed Archbishop of Kisangani, Congo (Dem. Rep.). On December 6, 2007 he was appointed Archbishop of Kinshasa, Congo (Dem. Rep.), and his installation there took place on February 2, 2008.
He was elevated to Cardinal on November 20, 2010 and appointed Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria “Regina Pacis” in Ostia mare. He was installed on January 22, 2011.