Archdiocese of Cape Town
From the time of discovery of the Cape, ecclesiastical jurisdiction over it appertained to the Portuguese missionary authorities. After the settlement of the Cape in 1652, the practice of the Catholic religion was prohibited by the civil authorities. Then an Ordinance on 25 July 1804 by the commissioner, declared that all religious societies would enjoy equal protection from the laws and in 1805three Dutch priests arrived in the Cape. The following year they were ordered to leave by the military authorities.
In February, 1818, Pope Pius VII erected the Vicariate Apostolic of the Cape of Good Hope and adjacent territories. On 6 June 1837, Pope Gregory XVI constituted the Cape of Good Hope a separate Vicariate. In 1847, the Vicariate of the Cape of Good Hope was divided into the Vicariates of the Western District and Eastern District of the Cape of Good Hope. In 24 May 1872, the Prefecture of the Central District of the Cape of Good Hope was detached from the Western Vicariate.
On 13 June 1939, the name of the Western Vicariate was changed to the Vicariate of Cape Town. On 11 January 1951, Pope Pius XII set up the Ecclesiastical Province of Cape Town comprising the Metropolitan Church of Cape Town, with the suffragan sees of Aliwal, Oudtshoorn, Port Elizabeth, Queenstown and De Aar.
Read more on the history of the Archdiocese
The archdiocese's motherchurch and thus seat of its archbishop is the Cathedral ofSt. Mary of the Flight into Egypt. The new Archbishop of Cape Town is His Grace Stephen Brislin. He succeeds Archbishop Emeritus Lawrence Patrick Henry.
The Archdiocese is bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, on the north by Vredendal and the southern boundaries of the Van Rhynsdorp district. On the east by the western boundaries of the Calvania, Ceres, Tulbagh, Worcester and southern boundaries of the Robertson and Swellendam districts and on the south by the Indian Ocean.
The civil districts within the ecclesiastical area are: Bredesdorp, Hermanus, Caledon, Strand, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Kuils River, Belleville, Mitchell’s Plain, Wynberg, Simons Town, Cape Town, Paarl, Wellington, Malmesbury, Moreenburg, Piketberg, Hopefield, Vredenburg and Clanwilliam.
Total Population: 3 700 000 (Estimate)
Catholic Population: 235 000
Archbishop of Cape Town
Most Reverend Stephen Brislin
The new Archbishop of Cape Town is His Grace Stephen Brislin. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on Friday, December 18, 2009 and was installed on February 7, 2010, on the Solemnity of the Flight into Egypt, the patronal feast of the Archdiocese of Cape Town. He succeeds Archbishop Emeritus Lawrence Patrick Henry.
Born in Welkom on 24 September 1956. Schooling at St Agnes' Convent, Welkom and CBC, Welkom. Seminary: Philosophy at St John Vianney, Pretoria and Theology at the Missionary Institute, London. Ordained a priest on 19 November 1983. Ordained Bishop of Kroonstad on 28 January 2007.
News From the Archdiocese
Archdiocese Offers a Theology Course
This is available for every Catholic Christian in the Archdiocese.
Every Wednesday @ 7:00 - 9:00 pm
At the Chancery.
Click here to visit the website of the Archdiocese of Cape Town.
The Archdiocesan Library, which is housed at the Chancery, is open on the first Saturday of each month from 10.00 – 12.00.