Catholic Missionary Priest Murdered in South Africa Remembered as “loving, approachable”

Late Fr. William Banda. Credit: Diocese of Polokwane

The member of the St. Patrick’s Missionary Society (Kiltegan Fathers) who was killed while preparing for morning Mass at the Cathedral Church of Tzaneen Diocese in South Africa has been eulogized as a friendly and loving person who was easily approachable. 

Fr. William Banda was shot dead on the morning of March 13 in the sacristy of the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tzaneen Diocese. 

Kiltegan Fathers announced on Ruesday, March 19 that the funeral Mass for the Zambian Priest is scheduled for Saturday, March 23 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral Tzaneen, followed by his burial at the diocesan cemetery at Ave Maria Pastoral Centre.

“He was a loving priest, approachable and friendly,” the Congregation said in a statement.

They added that from the time of his Priestly ordination in May 2016 to the time of his death, the late Fr. Banda “ministered with prayerful humility, diligence, wisdom and courage.”


Born in May 1986 in Lusaka, Zambia, Fr. Banda began his initial formation as a Kiltegan Father in 2006 at the SPS formation house in Foxdale, Lusaka.

He studied philosophy at St. Joseph's Theological Institute, Cedara, in South Africa and undertook his First Missionary Assignment (FMA) in the Diocese of Tzaneen before heading to Nairobi, Kenya, to pursue his theological studies at Tangaza University College in 2012.

He was ordained a deacon in 2015 in Nairobi and a Priest in May 2016 by Archbishop Emeritus George Telesphore Mpundu at the Cathedral of the Child Jesus of Lusaka Archdiocese

Following his priestly ordination, the Fr. Banda was appointed to work in the Diocese of Tzaneen where he served until he met his death. 

Fr. Banda was a classmate to the late Fr. Martin Kavisu, a Kenyan-born SPS who succumbed to injuries following a December 15 road accident in Malawi.

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