Welcome to PARISH ALIVE!

Parish Alive! is a new and exciting programme developed by the Centre for Pastoral Development (CPD) that encapsulates the vision of the Archbishop on how PPC’s could operate to revitalise our Church through the parishes. PARISH ALIVE! will be launched on November 19 with a half day training event and all PPC members and parish priests are invited to attend and participate in this exciting event – the start of a new journey.


Click here to read and download the Invitation LETTER to PARISH ALIVE! Launch and Training >>

Click here to read and download the Invitation POSTER (see below) to PARISH ALIVE! Launch and Training – 19 November >>


REGISTRATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who has registered. The closing date for registration was 5 Nov, which was extended for a few days but the registrations are now closed. Thank you again.


Please download the pre-reading document to help you prepare for the Leadership training. Reading it and thinking about it will help everyone get more out of the event. It is also important that as we think about it, to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in this day and as we embark on this new, important and exciting journey. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PRE-READING DOCUMENT >>

Caritas Cape Town

Sharing the mission of the Roman Catholic Church 
to serve the poor, of all and no faiths,
and promote charity, justice &
environmental responsibility 
within the Archdiocese of Cape Town. Find us at https://caritas.capetown

Winter Living Theology 2022

Winter Living Theology (WLT) has not taken place in-person since the advent of the Covid pandemic. However, this year, the Jesuit Institute South Africa will again host WLT. The theme of this year’s series is Searching for Meaning. The wisdom of Thomas Merton for our times. Franciscan friar, Fr Daniel Horan, will be in Southern Africa to present the series.

Thomas Merton was one of the most influential Christian writers of the last century. In many ways he revived monastic life with the publication of his autobiography Seven Storey Mountain which sold like wildfire. But, more importantly, Merton’s commentary on contemplative life, politics, non-violence, the nuclear threat, the church and racism read as if it was written for our context today. 

Jesuit father, Russell Pollitt, interviewed Fr Horan ahead of his visit in July/August 2022. Below is an excerpt from that interview.

Can Merton still teach us something today?

In addition to his timeless contributions to Christian spirituality and contemplation, his social justice writings – especially on non-violence and racism – are resources that are still under-appreciated and may serve us well today.

What will you be covering at WLT and what do you hope the benefit will be for people in Southern Africa?

The overarching focus of this year’s WLT theme is to engage Merton’s life, thought, and legacy with an eye toward how he might assist us in addressing the pressing issues of our time in church and society. Among these key issues are non-violence and peace-making, interreligious and ecumenical dialogue, environmental justice, and systemic racism.

I hope that those already familiar with some of Merton’s writings will grow deeper in their appreciation for his relevance and insight, while also being introduced to some of his lesser-known texts and commentary. For those who know little about or are entirely new to Merton, I hope they will find a new spiritual companion and source of inspiration that helps all spiritual seekers bridge a contemplation with action, prayer and practice, and justice and peace.

The WLT lecture series will take place in Cape Town from 19-21 July (at St Francis Xavier Seminary, Athlone), Durban 26-28 July, Eswatini 30 July, Johannesburg 2-4 August and in Botswana on 10 August.

To register or for more information please contact the Jesuit Institute wlt@jesuitinstitute.org.za or call 011 482 4237. You can register on our website: https://www.jesuitinstitute.org.za/winter-living-theology/

Archdiocesan News 2 of 2022

IN THIS EDITION: Synod Closing Mass; Cape Town celebrates priestly ordinations; New PPC Statutes and upcoming elections; Youth Day Mass 2022; Surprised by the Holy Spirit; Updated Archdiocesan Directory; May they rest in Peace; Youth Mission Team; Focus on the Diaconate; Reaching out to those in need; Resorative Justice program brings reconciliation and healing; Celebrating the Mass of the Neophytes; Winter Living Theology; New APC Executive; Ocean View Golden Jubilee; Benemerenti Medal awards; A Catholic school that charges no fees; Healing the pain of abortion; World Meeting of Families; The Hidden Truth; St Joseph’s News

Please share as widely as possible on all your social networks.

2022 Archdiocesan Directory

There have been a few minor changes to the directory since our posting on 29th June. Please see update below.

For your convenience, all website and email addresses in our directory are interactive. While browsing through it on your computer, simply click – or on your cellphone, tap – the address you want to go to and it will launch the website you wish to visit, or open your default email program with the address already loaded.

We have endeavoured to ensure that the information in the directory is up to date, but should you find anything in need of correction please contact Stephen Docherty on the email below. Also, should you have any queries on navigating the document, please call 021 462 2417, or email publications@adct.org.za.

Chrism Mass 2022

Archbishop Stephen Brislin celebrated the Mass of the Holy Oils and Renewal of Priestly Commitment at 10.00 am on 14 April 2022 at Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Lansdowne. In attendance were priests, deacons, religious and laity from the Archdiocese of Cape Town.

Below are a selection of photographs – as well as Archbishop Brislin’s homily – from the liturgy.

Click on image to enlarge in gallery.



14th APRIL 2022

On a few occasions, over the past two years, I have expressed gratitude to the priests of this Archdiocese for the ways in which they have responded to the Covid crisis. They found innovative and creative ways to reach out to their congregations to continue to evangelise, give pastoral care and to sustain hope. They did this despite the difficulties and the psychological impact that the lockdown and the restrictions have had on all of us. Many of them live alone and suffered from a greater sense of loneliness and isolation. Nonetheless they did not give up but persevered in their ministry. On behalf of all, I would like to once again to say “thank you” to all the priests ministering in the Archdiocese for not only coping, but remaining faithful and dedicated to ministry.

By the same token, we are all deeply grateful to our parishioners. We could not have coped so well without the love and care that you have shown to us, not only during these difficult times, but which you show at all times. I have often said that we could never minister effectively without your support. Thank you for your goodwill, your kindness and your generosity. We are well aware of how much you yourselves have struggled and the frustrations you have experienced over the past two years. Thanks be to God, today we can gather with some semblance of normality and to celebrate God’s love and providence for his people.

This mutual care among us is indicative of the beauty and goodness of the Church. There are times when some become negative about the Church, pointing out the things that go wrong, the inadequacies and shortcomings. The Church is made up of people who are all-too-human and the brokenness of our humanity is all-too-evident in the Church. Yet, we are united by Christ and we belong to his Body – we must never be blind to the goodness and the holiness that exists within the Church. Despite all our quirks, differences and sinfulness, we struggle together – priests and people – to serve God and to serve each other with open and willing hearts. Insofar as we do so, we recognize that we are, indeed, a synodal Church, a people chosen by God who journey together, carrying each other’s burdens and sharing our gifts.

The Church is always in need of reform, and we are grateful to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, in his call for all of us to recognize the need for a renewed commitment to synodality and to embark on a synodal process of listening – listening to the Holy Spirit and listening to each other. Foundationally, the listening must be anchored in prayer and the overriding desire to know and do God’s will – a desire to be faithful to him, to be the people he wishes each of us to be individually, and to be the Church together as he wishes us to be. As we know, it is not about changing doctrine or the teaching of the Church. It is about how we relate to each other, how we respect each other 

and how we recognize the presence of God’s Holy Spirit in each other. It is a remedy to inappropriate exercise of power in the Church, and it is a remedy for clericalism.

An example of the antithesis of synodality can help us better appreciate its importance. In 1951, the apartheid government in South Africa passed a law called the “Group Areas Act”, a law that defined which racial groups could live where, and ensuring the separation of races. As with the other apartheid laws, it was discriminatory, based on racial prejudice and the myth of racial purity of so-called “Whites”. Although the law has long been scrapped, we nonetheless continue to live with the consequences of isolating people into groups and preventing interaction, dialogue and understanding among them.

In South Africa we know about prejudice. Prejudice, in its definition is, “preconceived judgment or opinion”, it is “an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge”, and it is “an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics”. Prejudice is prevalent among us, not only as South Africans but across the world. We need only think of vigilante groups in our own and other countries that have led or caused mob violence against refugees and migrants, scapegoating them for crime and unemployment. Any type of “group think”, the “us and them” syndrome, lends itself to prejudice and often a sense of superiority, labeling and dismissive of others. Groups are good and are an essential part of human social life – we all belong to some group or other, but they become negative and destructive when they become “othering”, that is, when they see other groups or individuals as a threat to their group. If would be wonderful if we could, in clear conscience, say that this does not exist in the Church. We have only to read certain blogs to know that that is not the case, that “group think”, othering and prejudice exist in the life of the Church just as in society. The vicious, uncharitable and often deceitful comments by some can never be said to belong to Jesus Christ and the Gospel. They are counter-evangelical, scare-mongering and destructive of the unity for which Christ prayed in his priestly prayer in the Gospel of St John. It is comfortable and comforting for people to fit into a “like-minded” group, and many people seek the security of being with others who are like them and who re-enforce them in their own thinking . When such groups become elitist, exclusive or inconsiderate and intolerant of other ideas or viewpoints, they set themselves up as being superior, more knowledgeable, the ones who are “right” whereas others are “wrong”. They almost become a form of the illuminati. The absence of interaction and dialogue with those of other perspectives ultimately has much the same impact as the apartheid group areas act. People no longer understand each other, they prejudge others do not listen to them, they become suspicious of each other and eventually may define the other as “other”, dehumanizing them and failing to recognize our common humanity.

Today, we priests will renew our priestly commitment. We do so at a time when we are called to willingly and openly support the synod on synodality and to give leadership in guiding the local Church to be a listening Church, open to God’s Holy Spirit speaking to us through the signs of the times. We cannot achieve such a process, and indeed we cannot even sincerely and whole-heartedly renew our priestly promises, if we ourselves are influenced by and act on prejudices, and succumb to ideologies, groupings and cliques which divide rather than unite the Church. The synod, and thus the Church itself for, as St John Chrysostom said, the Church and synod are synonymous, fundamentally recognizes the need for us to grasp the breadth and length, the height and the depth of God’s love (Eph 3:18), a love that is far beyond the imperfections and limitations of human love. No individual, individually, can grasp that love – we can only do it together as Church when we put aside prejudice and are willing to listen, to consider, to reflect, to learn and to move outwards, beyond our narrowness and navel gazing.

As priests, the synod process challenges us to rise above othering, pettiness and the myths which prejudices create, and to witness to Christ’s generosity, love and gentleness – to witness to the embrace of his outstretched arms on the Cross. We rejoice in the diversity and variety with which he has created the human race and for which his Son gave his life. We are meant to be alter Christus to be Christ for others. Our renewal guides us to re-commit to a Christ-like lifestyle, to treating others with politeness and respect, to strive to help bring out goodness in people and to accompany and encourage those we serve as they struggle with the complexities and limitations of human living. It can be easy to slip into arrogance and to allow our pride to be an obstacle to our ministry. Synodality requires humility on the part of all. In our priestly call to humble service, let us renew our lives through a Christian discipline in our lifestyle, in our prayer life, in how we use our time, in what we think and in what we say, in how we use the material things of life. We re-commit ourselves not only to ministry but to be priests in heart, soul, mind, and behaviour.

Thank you all once again. Thank you to all our parishioners, priests, deacons and Religious for your continued love and commitment to the Gospel. We are a synodal Church. Synodality is not absent in the Church, but the time has come to renew it and deepen it. We can only do so, firstly in communion with the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and secondly, in communion with each other, as diverse and as different as we are. May God bless his Church is this endeavour.

+Stephen Brislin
Archbishop of Cape Town