Newly Appointed “Archbishop ad personam” in Botswana Says Elevation “was a surprise”

Archbishop-elect Franklyn Nubuasah of the Catholic Diocese of Gaborone, Botswana who was recently elevated to Archbishop ad personam/ Credit: Courtesy photo

The Local Ordinary of Botswana’s Gaborone Diocese has said his last week’s elevation to the rank of an Archbishop “was a surprise.”

Bishop Franklyn Atese Nubuasah was, on July 5, appointed “Archbishop ad personam”, a rank that the Holy Father confers on some Bishops who are not Local Ordinaries of Archdioceses.

In a Tuesday, July 13 message posted on his Facebook page, the member of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) says he feels “unfit” for the new title. 

“For me, it was a surprise. All I have wanted to do in life is to be faithful in my service of God and the church,” the 72-year-old Ghanaian-born Archbishop-elect says, adding, “It is not as if I sat for an examination and excelled. I did what I was called to do and nothing more.”

“Unfit for anything in the household of the Lord, I am grateful that God has remembered me,” he says, and adds, “Talk of a square peg in a round hole, and you would have described me to perfection.”


He has been serving as the Local Ordinary of Gaborone since August 2019. Previously, he served as the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Francistown in the Southern African nation. 

In his July 13 Facebook post, the Archbishop-elect expresses gratitude to the people of God who have sent him good will messages following the appointment. 

“I would like to thank all of you who have been sending me messages or calling me. The Lord has visited my hut and brought joy to all of you. Your words have been heart-warming and supportive,” he says. 

He goes on to challenge the people of God to extend a helping hand to the needy members of the society.  

“Each of us has a vocation to fulfill on earth,” the Local Ordinary of Gaborone says, adding, “So, if you have money, you can fly for a few hours to space and return. Is that all there is to life? Children go to bed hungry in every country on this planet. Why are we so blind to reality? When will we open our eyes to see that the person next door is our brother or sister? When?”

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Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.