Catholic Bishop in Botswana “badly injured, still weak” after Attack by Robbers

Bishop Anthony Pascal Rebello of Botswana’s Francistown Diocese who was “badly injured” following an attacked by robbers on the night of Friday, April 29. Credit: Francistown Diocese /Facebook

The Catholic Bishop of Botswana’s Francistown Diocese is reported to have been “badly injured” following an attacked by robbers the night of Friday, April 29.

In a Saturday, April 30 Facebook post, officials of the Catholic Diocese confirm the April 29 attack on Bishop Anthony Pascal Rebello and, without providing details of where the 72-year-old Catholic Church leader was attacked, say that he is “still weak to walk unaided”.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters, it is with sadness to let you know that the Bishop of the Diocese of Francistown, Rt. Rev Anthony Rebello was attacked by thieves last night and he was badly injured,” officials of Francistown Diocese say in the April 30 statement.

They add in reference to the Kenyan-born member of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), “He is seeking medical health at the moment but is still weak to walk unaided but is able to talk about the robbery but can’t remember much.” 

“Please Pray for Him and his Diocese through this difficult moment imploring the mercy of God upon him,” officials of the Diocese implore in the April 30 Facebook post, without indicating if the robbers made away with any items.


In July 2021, Bishop Rebello was appointed Local Ordinary of Francistown Diocese that had been vacant since June 2019, when Archbishop Franklyn (Frank) Atese Nubuasah was transferred to the Diocese of Gaborone.

The native of India who was born in Nairobi was ordained a Priest of the SVD, also called Divine Word Missionaries, in May 1977.

He was among the three pioneer SVD members in Kenya in 1984; they opened their first mission in Kayole in Kenya’s Nairobi Archdiocese and later, Galba Tulla mission in Meru Diocese.

An alumnus of the Rome-based Pontifical Gregorian University, Bishop Rebello previously served as the Provincial Superior of the SVDs in Kenya and Parish Vicar in Angola.

Prior to his appointment as Bishop, he served as the Parish Priest of Holy Cross Mogoditshane Parish of Gaborone Diocese.

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He is serving as the second Local Ordinary of the Motswana Diocese with a population of 26,500 Catholics, according to 2020 statistics.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.