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Bishops named for Gaborone and Cape Town

Pope Francis has named two new bishops for Southern Africa. Ricardo da Silva SJ writes.

On 6 June, in the official bulletin issued by the Vatican, Pope Francis made two new appointments to the Southern African episcopacy.

Fr Sylvester David OMI has been named auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Cape Town, while Bishop Frank Nubuasah SVD, presently the bishop of Francistown will move to the Diocese of Gaborone. 

The Botswanan diocese had been left vacant after the previous bishop, Valentine Seane, suddenly and surprisingly announced his resignation, citing “personal reasons.” Nubuasah has until now been serving, jointly, as bishop of Francistown and as the apostolic administrator of Gaborone. It has been confirmed that Nubuasah’s appointment to Gaborone will mean that the Diocese of Francistown is now without a bishop. According to the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the process for a new shepherd for the Diocese of Francistown will now begin.

The appointment of Durban-born David, as auxiliary bishop of Cape Town, may come as a surprise. It was announced in October last year that the then vicar general of Durban had been named the next president of the Oblate School of Theology (OST) in San Antonio, Texas, USA. The auxiliary bishop-elect told in an interview that he was expecting to move there in January of this year, where he would succeed the world-renowned spiritual writer Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI.

We will update this story as it develops. Read more about Cape Town’s auxiliary bishop-elect here:

* The opinions expressed here by Spotlight.Africa contributors and editors are their own and not official statements of the Society of Jesus in South Africa or of the Catholic Church unless explicitly stated.


  1. Bishops are human. Their’s is a challenging mission. They need stamina. We need to pray for their well being and good health.


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Ricardo da Silva SJ
Ricardo is a member of the South African region of the Jesuits and an ordained deacon of the Roman Catholic Church. In 2020, he received a master's degree in journalism from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, New York, where he was an African Pulitzer Fellow and reported on religion, mental health, housing and other social injustices. Before moving to the U.S.A., Ricardo served as acting editor of and was on the team at Jesuit Institute South Africa. His preparation for ministry as a Jesuit has taken him to study theology in Brazil, philosophy in the U.K and brief working stints in Zimbabwe and Spain. As a Jesuit, he has ministered to refugees, migrants, people experiencing street homelessness, young adults, seminarians, the elderly, and high school and university students, staff and faculty. Before entering religious life in 2007, Ricardo worked in marketing, communications, and brand management before joining the Jesuits in 2007. Ricardo holds dual citizenship, having emigrated from Portugal to South Africa at the age of six with his mother.

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