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Pope appoints Rev. Fr Noel Rucastle as Bishop of Oudtshoorn

The Holy Father has appointed Rev Fr. Noel Andrew Rucastle, of the Cape Town clergy and previously parish priest of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Bellville and judicial vicar, as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Oudtshoorn.

The Bishop-elect will succeed Rt. Rev. Bishop Francisco de Gouveia who retired on 2 July 2018. 

The Rev. Noel Andrew Rucastle was born on 22 April 1968 in Upington, in the diocese of Kimberley. After attending St. Patrick’s Christian Brothers’ College in Kimberley, he studied Civil Law at the University of the Free State.

In 1993 he entered St. Francis Xavier Propaedeutic Seminary in Cape Town. He studied philosophy at St. Peter’s major seminary in Garsfontein (1994-1995) and theology at the national major seminary, St. John Vianney, in Pretoria (1996-1998). Subsequently, he completed his theological training at the Archbishop’s Seminary of Cape Town, obtaining a baccalaureate from the St. Joseph’s Theological Institute of Cedara, Kwa-Zulu Natal in 1999.

He was ordained a priest on 14 July 2000, and was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Cape Town.

He carried out the following offices and further studies:

  • – 2000-2003: Parish Vicar of Corpus Christi Parish in Wynberg;
  • – 2003-2006: Parochial administrator of the St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Kraaifontein;
  • – 2006-2010: Studies for the Licentiate in Canon Law at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada;
  • – 2010-2012: Parochial administrator of St. Mary’s Cathedral and, at the same time, Judicial Vicar of the Archdiocese of Cape Town (from 2011 to today), where he was in charge of the Marriage Tribunal.
  • – 2012-2018: Parish priest of St. Anthony’s Parish in Hout Bay;
  • – from 2018: pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Bellville.

Bishop-elect Noel Rucastle has also served two terms as President of the Canon Law Society of Southern Africa.

Spokesperson for the SACBC, Archbishop William Slattery, said: “We congratulate the Bishop-elect for his role as the new shepherd of the faithful of Oudtshoorn and also we congratulate the Catholic Church in Southern Africa for this new shepherd of the people of God.”

Details regarding the ordination of Fr Noel Rucastle as the Bishop of Oudtshoorn will be announced at a later stage, the SACBC reports.

* 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.


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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. He is responsible for the website and technical aspects of and occasionally finds time to write on Church issues. He is also a part-time lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St Augustine College of South Africa.

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