The Prefecture Apostolic of Zululand was erected on the 27 August 1921 and entrusted to the Benedictine Congregation of St. Ottilien. Before that time it had formed part of the Vicariate Apostolic of Natal (today Archdiocese of Durban). On 11 December 1923 it was raised to the status of an Apostolic Vicariate under the title of "Vicariate Apostolic of Eshowe" (then 32,152 km2). With the establishment of the hierarchy in South Africa it became the Diocese of Eshowe on the 11 January 1951. The northernmost part of the diocese and a part of the diocese of Manzini were made a separate entity on 12 November 1963 to erect the Prefecture Apostolic of Ingwavuma.
The diocese now comprises Zululand proper, (with the exception of the districts of Ingwavuma, Ubombo and Hlabisa), and the four Natal districts of Vryheid, Paulpietersburg, Ngotshe and Babanango. It is bound on the East by the Indian Ocean, on the South by the Tugela River, on the West by the Tugela, Buffalo, Blood and Didusini Rivers, and in the North by the Pongola and Umfolozi Rivers.
Area: 26 364 km2
Total Population in 2001: 2 200 000
Catholic Population in 2001: 80 000, i.e. 3.64% of the total population
Bishop Thomas Spreiter 1921 - 1943
Apostolic Administrator Father Theodos Schall 1943 - 1947
Bishop Aurelian Bilgeri 1947 - 1973
Apostolic Administrator Father Elmar Kimmel 1973 - 1975
Bishop Mansuet Dela Biyase 1975 - 2005
Apostolic Administrator Father Jabulani Ndaba 2005 - 2008
Bishop Xolelo Thaddaeus Kumalo 2008 - ad multos annos!
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This page was last updated on Thursday, 20 March 2008 01:04:48
Diocese of Eshowe