Pope Francis Appoints National Major Seminary Rector in South Africa Auxiliary Bishop

Mons. Masilo John Selemela, appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Pretoria in South Africa on 16 July 2022. Credit: Archdiocese of Pretoria

Pope Francis has appointed the Rector of St. John Vianney National Major Seminary the Auxiliary Bishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Pretoria in South Africa.

The appointment of Mons. Masilo John Selemela who has been assigned the titular see of Nachingwea was published by the Holy See Press Office on Saturday, July 16.

Bishop-elect Selemela has been serving as Rector of the Pretoria-based Major Seminary since 2019. 

Born in January 1972 in South Africa’s  Diocese of Tzaneen, Mons. Selemela started his Priestly studies with the preparatory year at St. Paul’s Minor Seminary in Hammanskraal in 1991.

He was ordained a Priest in 1999 having completed his Priestly studies in Philosophy and Theology at St. Peter’ s Major Seminary in Hammanskraal and St. John Vianney National Seminary respectively. 


As a Priest, the Bishop-elect has served in various capacities including Parish Vicar, Diocesan Youth Chaplain, Diocesan Director of Vocations, Coordinator of the Education for Life program, Vice President of the Diocesan Committee for Finance, and Chaplain of St. Brendan’s School, among other responsibilities.

The alumnus of the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome where he obtained a Licentiate and Doctorate in Dogmatic Theology has also worked as a Professor and Trainer.

Once ordained Bishop, Mons. Selemela will assist 62-year-old Archbishop Dabula Anthony Mpako shepherding the people of God in the 16,579 square kilometer Metropolitan Archdiocese with an estimated population of 249,510 Catholics, according to 2019 statistics

Established in April 1948 as the Apostolic Vicariate of Pretoria, the South African Episcopal See was elevated to a Metropolitan in January 1951. Its Ecclesiastical province comprises five Suffragan sees: Francistown, Gaborone, Polokwane, Rustenburg and Tzaneen.

Sheila Pires is a veteran radio and television Mozambican journalist based in South Africa. She studied communications at the University of South Africa. She is passionate about writing on the works of the Church through Catholic journalism.