The Catholic Church in Southern Africa will celebrate 200 years of existence for a whole year beginning this month.
An inaugural Mass of Thanksgiving will be held in Cape Town’s St Mary’s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Flight into Egypt on June 25, which will begin the celebrations.
On June 7, 1818, Pope Pius VII erected the Vicariate Apostolic of the Cape of Good Hope and Adjacent Territories, which constituted the formal presence of Catholicism in Southern Africa.
The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference released a statement saying that during the celebratory Mass a tribute would be paid to the “selfless contributions” of early missionaries.
“We owe an immense debt of gratitude that can never be expressed adequately to so many religious congregations for their establishment of schools in our archdiocese and throughout South Africa as a whole,” the statement read.