Parish Pastoral Council Members and Ministry Representatives
Get to know who does what on the Parish Pastoral Council
Parish Priest & Deacon
|Parish Priest||Fr Robert Bissell|
|Parish Deacon||Mike Brooks|
|Parish Secretary||Deborah Jordan &
Parish Pastoral Council
|President||Fr Robert Bissell|
|Vice Chairperson||Barry Smith|
|Discipleship (Existing)||Louis Spaan|
|Discipleship (Development)||Luke Holderness|
|Social Justice||Barry Smith|
|Snr Catechism||Fr Robert Bissell|
|Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary||Sr. Iona MacKenzie|
|Child Safeguarding||Alison Killick & Lara Colananni|
|Finance Chairperson||Mike Brooks|
|Folk Choir||Julian Springer|
|Care Group||Fran Robertson|
|Altar Servers||Alan Corbello|
|Head Sacristan||Sonja Davids|
|Sunday School||Orlanda Butler|
Contact: Put a face to the name!
Meet the people who work on the various ministries in the church (listed alphabetically by name below). They welcome people contacting them to say hello, to find out more, or to get involved!
Rev. Richard Aguirre, an American, arrived in Johannesburg in the 1970s to start up a business.
He was ordained a Deacon in 1998. After a stint as a missionary Deacon in the Canary Islands from 2000 to 2004, he came to Constantia where he assisted Father Andrew. He was married to Isabel who was Spanish and with whom he had 8 children, none of whom live at home.
Fr. Robert Bissell
I was born in East London. I attended boarding school at Dale College and then went to University of Stellenbosch where I attained a BSc and LLB.
I then studied to become a priest at the Seminary at St Francis Xavier in Athlone and was part of the first group to finish all my studies at that Seminary. I was ordained as deacon on 14 May 2004 and as priest on 7 June 2005. From 2004 to 2006. I served as assistant priest in Somerset West; then was Parish Administrator in Kraaifontein from 2006 to 2010; and Parish Administrator in Elsies River in 2011.
I spent time in Rome from 2011 to 2016 where I studied Canon Law and obtained a M. Juris JCL and JCD.
Returning to South Africa I then became parish priest in Strand from 2016 to 2017.
I have been the Parish Priest at Constantia Catholic since 2017.
I serve in different capacities within the Archdiocese: Defender of the Bond, Promoter of Justice and Episcopal Vicar for Property, to name a few.
I do not have much spare time in my day but I like a good book and enjoy good wine and good food.
Parish Deacon, Finance Chairperson, member of PPC and Outreach Committee
I was born in Johannesburg, attended St John's College and thereafter the University of Cape Town where I completed under and post-graduate degrees in accounting. I am a registered Chartered Accountant and have a Masters in Finance from Manchester Business School.
Having been blessed with incredible parents, I have been equally blessed in marriage. I am married to Diana and have two wonderful children, Matthew and Emma. We have lived in Cape Town for 22 years and have been a member of the Constantia parish for most of that time.
I have been involved in Investment Banking all my professional life and currently am a founding partner in a group that owns and manages private equity, structured finance and investment initiatives. My main focus is on renewable energy and infrastructure investment.
I was ordained a Deacon in 2018.
Information coming soon!
Born and bred Capetonion, a cradle Catholic, being one of seven children, with a Catholic school upbringing, matriculating at Star of the Sea Convent St James. I have two grown daughters and two beautiful grandsons. My business career is in Short Term Insurance Broking. My Catholic roots have allowed me to explore and question throughout my life, bringing me home to the beauty, goodness and truth found in the fullness of Faith within the Catholic Church.
Information coming soon!
I was born in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape where my family were active members of the Queenstown Catholic community. I matriculated at Queenstown Girls' High School and then studied law at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. One turn of events lead to another and I found myself doing articles at Fairbridge Arderne and Lawton Inc in Cape Town and have lived here for just over 15 years. Craig and I were married in the Kommetjie Catholic Church in 2000. In the same year I became a partner at Fairbridges, which is the oldest law firm in Africa.
I have been blessed with two boys, Quinn and Gus, who remind me of God's power and grace everyday. On Holy Saturday in 2013, Father Barry Matthews baptized and confirmed Craig, who is now Catholic too! Quinn received his First Holy Communion at the hand of Father Frank Conlisk in 2013 and Gus will do his First Confession at the end of 2014.
I now practice with my husband under the name and style GUTHRIE COLANANNI ATTORNEYS. I specialize in commercial property law and conveyancing. We have offices in Fish Hoek and at the Steenberg Office Park.
I started teaching Catechism in 2013 and absolutely love it. The children in our parish are filled with God's wisdom, grace, mercy and humor. They teach me so much more than I teach them. We are blessed to have the future of our parish in the hands of so many special souls.
I was born and raised in Rondebosch my parents had 7 children,we all attended St.Micheals in Rondebosch where I was trained to be an Altar Server (Boy ) .
I attended St. Columbus Catholic School and married Ruth in 1972,we had 2 children Gary and Sherri-lyn and have 2 children Zephyr and Luna.I have always active in the church,at the last Parish I was the M.C. trained all the Altar Servers,belonged to the S.V.P.,Minister of the Eucharist and also had to handle that portfolio.I served on the Parish Council for a number of years. At one stage I also sang in the choir.
Information coming soon!
Head Sacristan & Catechism
Information Coming Soon!
Born in Benoni, and bred in various towns around Southern Africa. Finished my high school at St Teresa’s Convent, Rosebank, Johannesburg. I joined Constantia Parish in 1983 and have been involved with various ministries over the years. I have a daughter, Nicky and a son, Ross, both of whom live in Cape Town.
First and foremost I am a faithful follower of Christ and mother of two beautiful teenagers. A Capetonian born and bred. I enjoy being a reader at Mass and recently completed my second Alpha. The most recent one as a facilitator. I am currently running a weekly Alpha faith sharing group. I work for a Physio practice at Constantiaberg Mediclinic and run Airbnb listings as my day job. I am also a fitness and health fanatic who loves the outdoors and God’s beautiful creations.
Born in Cape Town and raised in Simon's Town in a Catholic family, I went to school in Fish Hoek, matriculating in 1993. After a brief stint as an officer in the South African Navy, my career turned to the IT industry and I am now a cloud computing architect. I currently live in Tokai with my wife Melanie and two daughters, Erin and Charlotte.
Information coming soon!
Justice & Peace
Having spent my childhood in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng & Western Cape, I matriculated from Westerford High in Cape Town and obtained degrees from UCT in Maths, English & Computer Science. I taught Maths in the early 1990's and have experience in the outdoor media industry, but my primary work experience has been as a software developer and systems analyst.
My children and family remain a priority as well as addressing problems relating to social ills and injustices in society, seeking to understand and tackle root causes rather than symptoms. The Justice & Peace Commission which I joined in 2013 was a good vehicle for this through its affiliation to CPLO (the Catholic Parliamentary Liason Office). Following the encyclical Laudato Si’, the area of environmental justice has received increased focus (especially in relation to the effect on our poorest communities). This is an area of particular importance to me.
Sr. Iona Mackenzie
Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary
Information coming soon!
Born and raised in Nigeria, and married to Dr Alexander Ochem with two children, I hold Nigerian but also Italian nationality, a country where we got married and spent the greater part of our family and work life before relocating back to Africa in 2008.
I am the founder and chief executive officer of the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), a pan-African women’s economic empowerment organisation and business network that promotes and supports female innovation, technology and entrepreneurship across Africa. I am an entrepreneur and an award-winning international development specialist with more than two decades of international management experience in Europe and Africa, working for UN agencies.
I have done a pioneering and extensive work in creating and building Africa’s largest female entrepreneurship platform, making impact and helping to build young women as successful business owners all across the continent. Over the years, I have travelled extensively and speak in international fora with a strong focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and women’s economic empowerment.
I hold bachelor’s and postgraduate degrees from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and the University of Trieste (Italy), and an MBA in international management from University of London (UK). I also have postgraduate qualifications in project management, gender and trade.
I speak four languages and participate widely in international meetings on women and gender.
Life with Alex and our two children has been good, fun and “global”.
Buildings / Maintenance
Information coming soon!
I was born in Baghdad, Iraq where my parents lived for several years before moving to Lebanon and finally Switzerland our country of origin.
In 1952 my family immigrated to South Africa. I was educated at Notre Dame Convent and after matriculating trained as a Registered Nurse and Midwife. Later I trained as a Marriage Counsellor, particularly doing pre-marital work. I worked at FAMSA for several years.
I met Brian when we were both working in the same hospital and married 47 years ago. Brian is a Child, Adolescent and Adult psychiatrist. We lived 4 years in Montreal and still travel extensively, often work related.
In 1991 Catholic Welfare asked us to draw up a course to train Carers in all the Parishes in the Archdiocese of Cape Town. This project is still running but now by Catholic Welfare.
Brian and I run Alpha Marriage courses when requested. We have 3 wonderful daughters and 8 energetic grandchildren with whom we are very involved.
Vice Chairman PPC, Social Justice
"Although I was born in Cape Town many, many years ago, I was schooled at Christian Brothers Colleges in Pretoria (primary school), and Kimberley (senior school), the latter as a boarder because the family was living in South West Africa (now Namibia) at the time. In fact, I spent most of my adolescent and early adult years in Namibia and, accordingly, often think of myself as Namibian rather than South African.
I studied and graduated from Universities of Stellenbosch, South Africa and Harvard, primarily in the quantitative sciences - which is somewhat embarrassing as I can no longer do basic arithmetic!
My working career spanned diamond mining, wholesaling and brewing, the latter with SAB (later SABMiller) with whom I was employed for 26 years (monthly allocation of free beer, that's why). SABMiller not only transferred my family across South Africa but also to Poland, USA (New Jersey and Wisconsin) and, ultimately, to Colombia. All in all, very interesting and exciting but at times difficult for wife and family.
I am married to Margaret (35 years) and we have a married son in USA, a daughter in Cape Town, and another son in Johannesburg - two out of three relatively close by which is most fortunate considering they all completed high school and university in foreign lands.
Margaret and I are now retired in Cape Town and have been members of both Hout Bay and Constantia parishes for the past six years. Life is no less busy than when I was gainfully employed but happy nonetheless. We have much for which to be grateful".
Information coming soon!
I was born in Johannesburg to German parents as the eldest of seven children. My entire schooling was at Holy Cross Convent in Victory Park, Johannesburg. I am a dietitian by trade, and had my own private practise for 25 years in various cities and towns in South Africa, moving as my husband’s work demanded. I have authored 12 nutrition related recipe and nutrition books and done many lectures and workshops related to the books. Eight years before moving to Cape Town at the end of 2014, I closed down my dietetic practise and started a nutrition and food labelling consultancy for the food industry. I love the work that I now do in the food industry, having a positive impact on the nutrition and ethics of food products. I have been blessed with two grounded, loving, kind and successful daughters, one living in Doha, Qatar and the other here in Cape Town where I have unlimited access to my two grandsons who bring me much joy. I have been a parishioner, reader and choir member at Constantia Catholic Church since moving to Cape Town.
Chairperson, Webmaster, Communications
I was born and brought up in Johannesburg and Middleburg (Mpumalanga). I matriculated at Brescia House convent and graduated from Wits with B.Economic Science. I started my career with IBM in the early days of computing (long before PC's, the internet, cell phones and Facebook!). I met my husband, Godfrey, while at university and we married in 1981, and spent a year travelling around the world.
Shortly after returning home, my husband was transferred to Switzerland and what started as a 3 year assignment turned into 12 years in Switzerland, 5 years in the UK and 8 years in Washington DC. During this time I had the pleasure of having some interesting jobs and projects in the chemical, broadcasting, new media/internet and hospitality industries.
While in the US, we stayed in a little town called Clifton, VA which fell under the Archdiocese of Arlington. I assisted with the Rooted in Faith fundraising initiative in our parish, was active in the Legion of Mary and volunteered as a counsellor in a pregnancy crisis clinic which was situated right next door to an abortion clinic.
After 25 years abroad, we are delighted to be 'home' and closer to family. My husband and I started a digital strategy consultancy and training company which has taken the lion's share of our time and energy. I've been in the Constantia parish since 2008 and have been involved in the Mater Domini home. More recently its been a privilege and pleasure to develop the Constantia website and serve as its webmaster. I am also a Eucharistic Minister and Sacristan - both of which I consider to be great honours. My husband and I dont have children - but we do have a very dear, somewhat eldery and idosynchratic but well travelled cat (born in the UK, brought up in the USA, and now blissfully retired to Cape Town!).
I joined Constantia Parish in 2005 after 17 years in Hout Bay where we were very involved as a family while our two daughters were growing up. Attending Ecclesia seasons, going on a Pilgrimage, joining a Rosary prayer group and doing the Alpha program, has led me to the realisation that the only way to grow in a relationship with God is to open up when Jesus knocks and seek him more through prayer, scripture and interacting with like-minded people. I would like to see Constantia Parish as a 'home from home', where all parishioners use our collective gifts, building a caring, bonded community dedicated to deepening our relationship with God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
By day I am a freelance Advertising Accounts Manager for a Media company. I am a soon to be granny and spend my down time with my two beautiful daughters and their husband's. I love being outdoors running and swimming enjoying the natural surroundings we have been blessed with.
I was born and bred in East London in the Eastern Cape where I attended Hudson Park High School where I matriculated in 2008. I was involved in St Patrick’s church there as part of the music group, and later part of the Young Adults group.
I then moved to Grahamstown to study Computer Science and Information systems at Rhodes University, where I also attended another St Patrick’s church believe it or not, and was involved as a Minister of the Eucharist as well as a committee member of ACTS (Association of Catholic Tertiary Students) for 2 years.
I moved to Cape Town in 2013 with my BSc Honours and became a software developer focusing on web application development. I currently run the Life Teen music group Faith Jam, am a core team member for Life Teen itself, am a Eucharistic Minister and a Sacristan.
I grew up in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, studied at UCT, and worked in Joburg and London before settling in Cape Town fours ago. My wife Taryn and I have three little boys aged 7,5 and 3.
I have been part of the Constantia parish for 3 years now but have only really become actively involved in the parish through the Alpha programme this year. I look forward to continuing the growth in faith and sense of community that Alpha initiated, and getting to know my fellow parishioners better over the coming years.