Bishop Sylvester David OMI

Auxiliary Bishop of Cape Town

• Born in Durban on 15 August 1953.

• Oblate Formation: OMI Pre-Novitiate at Cleland 1982-3; OMI Novitiate in Johannesburg in 1984 and First Vows in January 1985; Final Vows in Durban in 1988; Seminary Formation: St Joseph’s Scholasticate, Cedara 1985-1990

• Ordained a priest on 8 February 1991.

• Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Cape Town on 25 August 2019.



The Coat-of-Arms of Bishop Sylvester David

The motto

unus Deus et Pater omnium is an excerpt from Ephesians 4:6 and is translated as “one God and Father of all”. Omnium literally means everything – including the ecology. This expression was chosen as an encouragement to us to embrace to a greater extent the high calling to live as God’s children by caring for each other and for the ecology.

The shield

The shield is separated into four quadrants by the Oblate Cross. The four motifs from the top left quadrant and continuing clockwise are Heart, Holy Spirit, Apostles, and Sacred Fire. These depict the advice to the Oblates from St Eugene de Mazenod their Founder who wrote: “Your destiny is to be apostles, and so tend within your hearts the sacred fire that the Holy Spirit lights there…” (Eugene de Mazenod, Nov 17, 1851). Notice that the heart comprises fingerprints. This was the artist’s way of depicting the incarnation. The apparent repetition in the symbols of Sacred Fire and Holy Spirit derive from the writing of St de Mazenod who saw the Sacred Fire as being lit by the Holy Spirit. In other words, Sacred Fire is caused by the Holy Spirit.