AFRICA/SOUTH AFRICA - Bishop of Eshowe appointed

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The Holy Father Benedict XVI, on March 11, 2008, appointed Fr. Xolelo Thaddaeus Kumalo, bursar of the diocese of Bethlehem, South Africa, as bishop of Eshowe.
The bishop-elect was born July 2, 1954, in Gogela, Diocese of Kokstad. He completed his secondary education at St. Paul’s Minor Seminary in Hammanskraal. In 1976, he entered as a postulant in the Franciscan Order, and in 1979 began his Novitiate in Besters. After a year of studies in philosophy at the Franciscan Study Centre in Wingate Park, he left the order upon his own decision and was accepted by the Bishop of Witbank, in the National Seminary of St. John Vianney (affiliate of the Pontifical Urban University), to continue his studies. In 1985, he was ordained a Deacon for the Diocese of Witbank. After some years working as a clerk in a steel factory, the Bishop of Bethlehem accepted him into his Diocese. As a Deacon he was sent to study for a Masters Degree in Pastoral Theology at Boston College in the United States. Upon his return home, he was ordained a priest on October 10, 1991 for the Diocese of Bethlehem.
After ordination, he served as follows: Parochial vicar from 1991 to 1993 in Clocolan and Phuthaditjhaba; Pastor in 1993, after which he served as Episcopal Vicar for Catechists from 1994 to 1995; Pastor and head of the John Paul II Formation Centre from 1996 to1999; Vicar General from 2000 to 2006; and bursar of the Diocese of Bethlehem since 2007. The Diocese of Eshowe, suffragan of the Archdiocese of Durban, was erected in 1951. It has an area of 26,364 sq. km, a population of 2,200,000, Catholics 76,095, priests 57, religious that are not priests 13, religious women 118, major seminarians 10. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 11/3/2008 righe 23, parole 296)