Province of Johannesburg
Patroness: The Immaculate Conception


Appointed Archbishop of Bloemfontein on 13 January 1999 and ordained and installed Archbishop of Bloemfontein on 10 April 1999. He was transferred to the Diocese of Johannesburg 8 April 2003 with the title of Archbishop-Bishop of Johannesburg. He was installed as Bishop of Johannesburg on 29 June 2003 at Ellis Park Rugby Stadium. On the 5thJune 2007 when Johannesburg Diocese became the Archdiocese, he was appointed the first Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg.


Coat of Arms and Motto


Called to Serve


  1. Rt. Rev. William Miller OMI DD, consecrated Bishop of Eumenia and Vicar Apostle of the Transvaal 20 November 1904. Resigned 1912 died 8 November 1927.
  2. Rt. Rev. Charles Cox OMI DD, Ordained Bishop of Dioclea, appointed Vicar Apostolic of the Transvaal Vicariate 28 October 1914. Resigned 1924, Died 9 March 1938.
  3. Rt. Rev. David O’Leary OMI DD, Ordained Bishop of Phesseitan, appointed Vicar Apostolic of the Transvaal Vicariate 8 September 1925. Retired 8 December 1950 died August 12 1958.
  4. Most Rev. William Patrick Whelan OMI DD, Ordained Bishop of Legia appointed Coadjutor Bishop of the Transvaal Vicariate 27 May 1948. Succeeded as Vicar Apostolic 8 December 1950. Appointed Bishop of Johannesburg Archdiocese 11 January 1951. Transferred as Archbishop of Bloemfontein July 1954. Died 10 February 1966.
  5. Rt. Rev. Hugh Boyle, DD, appointed Bishop of Port Elizabeth 11 January 1951 and translated to the See of Johannesburg 18 July 1954. Resigned 2 May 1976. Died 12 December, l986 at Holy Cross Old Age Home Lady Selbourne Pretoria.
  6. Rt. Rev. Peter Buthelezi OMI DD. Ordained Bishop of the Titular See of Elephantaria in Proconsular 22 October 1972 at Johannesburg, and appointed Auxiliary to Bishop H Boyle DD. Translated to the See of Umtata 1975 and on the 27 April 1978 translated to the Metropolitan See of Bloemfontein where he died on the 10 June 1997.
  7.  Most Rev Archbishop Joseph Patrick Fitzgerald OMI Consecrated Archbishop of Bloemfontein 18 October 1966 translated to the See of Johannesburg 2 May 1976 retired 4 November 1983. Died 16 February 1986.
  8. Rt. Rev. Reginald Joseph Orsmond Ordained Bishop of Assura and appointed Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop J. P. Fitzgerald on 14 May 1983 in the Cathedral of Christ the King. On 4 November 1983 appointed Apostolic Administrator “sede plena” of the Diocese of Johannesburg. On 25 July 1984 he was appointed by Pope John Paul II Bishop of Johannesburg and installed as Bishop of the Diocese at Ellis Park on 23 September 1984. He died 19 May 2002.

History of the Diocese

The territory of the Transvaal was under the jurisdiction of the Vicar Apostolic of Natal, Msgr. M. F. Allard OMI as from 5 October 1850. As early as the year 1854 Holy Mass was celebrated at Mooi River, now called Potchefstroom, by a travelling priest.
According to the law then in vogue “no other religion but that of the Dutch Reform Church was allowed within the South African Republic”; but occasional visits were made by priests from Natal and the Free State, until in 1869, Rev. Le Bihan, OMI was appointed to that area. He was immediately responsible for the abolition of this law and subsequent freedom of Catholic worship
In 1886, the Transvaal was separated from Natal and erected into an ecclesiastical Prefecture, under Rt. Rev. O. Monginoux, OMI (1886-91), (died 28-11-1917). He was succeeded by Rt. Rev A. Schoch OMI (1892-1898) who died in April 1898. The Rev. John De Lacy, OMI acted in the interim until 1902, when Bishop Matthew Gaughren, OMI Vicar Apostolic of Kimberley, also served as Administrator of the Transvaal.
The Transvaal became a Vicariate in 1904, with Bishop W. Miller OMI as first Vicar Apostolic. The territory has since been subdivided first in 1910 when the northern part was confided to the care of the Benedictines then in 1923, when the Lydenburg Prefecture was formed under the Missionary Sons of the Sacred Heart then in 1948 when the Pretoria Vicariate was erected and finally in 1965 when the Prefecture of the Western Transvaal was handed over to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate of the Belgian Province.
It comprises the following civil districts: Johannesburg, Alberton, Balfour, Benoni, Boksburg, Brakpan, Delmas, Germiston, Heidelberg, Kempton Park, Krugersdorp, Nigel, Oberholzer, Randburg, Randfontein, Roodepoort., Springs, Vereeniging, Vanderbijlpark and Westonaria.
With the creation of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy in the Union of South Africa on 11 January 1951, the Vicariate was raised to the status of a Diocese. In 2005, 29 June Pope Benedict XV1 raised Johannesburg Diocese to the status of Archdiocese.

The Archdiocese is bounded on the West by the Diocese of Klerksdorp, on the South by the Vaal River, on the East by the Lydenburg-Witbank Diocese and the Diocese of Dundee, and on the North by the Archdiocese of Pretoria.

Area: 14 517 sq. km.

Total Pop: 9 220 000

Cath Pop: 918 456

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