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Pope appoints Rt. Rev. Zolile Peter Mpamabani SCJ as Archbishop of Bloemfontein

Pope Francis has appointed Zolile Peter Mpamabani SCJ as the Archbishop of Bloemfontein. The archbishop-elect has been working as the Bishop of Kokstad since 2013.

In a press release from the Vatican at noon on 1 April, the Holy See announced that the Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Jabulani Adatus Nxumalo of Bloemfontein. At the same time he has appointed Zolile Peter Mpambani, who up until now was the Bishop of the Diocese of Kokstad.

Archbishop-elect Mpambani was born on 20 February, 1957, in Umlamli in the diocese of Aliwal. He made his religious profession in the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Dehoniani) on 28 January, 1982. He studied philosophy and theology at the Major Seminary of St Joseph, in Cedara.

He was ordained a priest on 25 April, 1987.

After ordination he carried out the following tasks:

  • 1987-1990: parish vicar in the parish of Sterkspruit;
  • 1990-1993: parish priest in Burgerdorp;
  • 1994-1997: Master of the pre-novitiate of the SCJ Province;
  • 1998-2003: General Councilor for Africa and Madagascar of the Central Government of his Institute, in Rome;
  • 2004-2005: Sabbatical year;
  • 2005-2010: Master of the pre-novitiate, local superior of the Community in Bethulie and Director of the Dehonian House , in Scottsville (Pietermaritzburg);
  • 2011-2013: Ministry (together with the vicar general) in the parish of Sterkspruit, in the diocese of Aliwal;
  • From February to May 2013: Provincial Superior in the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Dehoniani) of South Africa.

The Holy Father appointed him as Bishop of Kokstad on 6 May, 2013, and he received the Episcopal Consecration on the 3 August of that same year.

The Archbishop-elect is currently responsible for the Office for Formation, Life and Apostolate of the Laity in the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC).

* 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.

Matthew Charlesworth SJ
Matthew Charlesworth studied information systems and management at Rhodes University for several years before entering the Society of Jesus in 2005. After studies in London, Nairobi and Toronto he was ordained and ministered at Holy Trinity Parish in Braamfontein before joining the staff of and the Jesuit Institute.

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