Bishop-elect in South Africa Pledges to Assist Archbishop in “realizing pastoral plan”

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

The newly appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Pretoria in South Africa has said he will strive to assist the Local Ordinary of the South African Metropolitan See realize the pastoral plan that was launched in June.

In a Wednesday, July 20 interview, Mons. Masilo John Selemela whose appointment was  published by the Holy See Press Office on July 16 said that as Auxiliary Bishop, he will seek to empower the people of God in the South African Archdiocese. 

“My contribution first of all to the Archdiocese of Pretoria as Auxiliary Bishop is to bring my gifts and talents and experiences throughout my journey as a Priest,” Mons. Selemela said, adding that he will endeavor “to be of assistance to the Archbishop in realizing the pastoral plan of the Archdiocese of Pretoria.”

The 50-year-old Bishop-elect told ACI Africa that he will seek to collaborate with the "formidable team" that has been charged with implementing the Archdiocesan Pastoral plan. 

He went on to emphasize the need for collaboration in implementing the pastoral plan, saying, “It's not a one man show; both the Priests and the lay people in the Archdiocese are to work together as a team."


The Bishop-elect who has been serving as the Rector of the Pretoria-based St. John Vianney National Major Seminary said that he will support Archbishop Dabula Anthony Mpako in ensuring that members of the Clergy in Pretoria Archdiocese “are well cared for and that they are enthused in their own vocation to be able to serve God and the people.”

“The Laity must also be supported in their various missions, to be able to respond to God’s call and to make their own contribution towards the building of the Kingdom,” the member of the Clergy of South Africa’s Tzaneen Diocese told ACI Africa during the July 20 interview.

He pledged to support the initiatives the Archdiocese is making in empowering the Laity, saying he will “immensely contribute to the empowerment of the lay people… especially the youth who are very close to my heart."

“The youth are part of the Church; they should not be treated as those who are on the periphery of the Church or who are needed in the Church whenever there is something happening or where we dump things that we do not want to do ourselves”, said Mons. Selemela.

He added that young people are "an integral part of the Church and also its own future”.

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The Bishop-elect promised to be part of the ongoing initiatives in reaching out to young people in Pretoria Archdiocese, and added, "My own contribution to the youth would be to see what is already happening in the Archdiocese, and to reinforce established programs.”

“I come to seek to find ways to empower young people, by giving them formation, not only spiritually but also to equip them with the social skills necessary for them to be able to survive spiritually”, Mons. Selemela told ACI Africa July 20.

Once ordained Bishop, Mons. Selemela will assist 62-year-old Archbishop Mpako in 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

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.