His Holiness, Pope Francis, has appointed Fr Joseph Kizito, as the new Bishop of Aliwal in South Africa.
Msgr. Joseph Kizito had been the Vicar-General for the Diocese of Aliwal for many years. He had also been responsible for efforts to help stateless children, in the same diocese, acquire their identity documents so that they could access education.
Msgr. Joseph Kizito was born on 2 July 1967 in Kampala, Uganda. He studied Philosophy at St. Augustine’s Major Seminary in Roma, Lesotho, and Theology at St. John Vianney Major Seminary in Pretoria, South Africa.
He was ordained a priest on 27 September 1997, and incardinated into the Diocese of Aliwal. He subsequently held the following offices: 1997-1998: Parochial Vicar of St. Francis Xavier Parish; 1998-2003: parish priest of St. Augustine’s Parish in Dordrecht; 2003-2013: parish priest of Sterkspruit Catholic Church; and since 2008: Vicar General of the Diocese of Aliwal. Since 2013 he was the parish priest of Aliwal Cathedral.
The Diocese of Aliwal (Area: 31 200 sq. km.; Total Population: 510 000; Catholic Population: 16 174 [Source: SACBC]) began as an ecclesiastical territory entrusted to the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in 1923, and was formerly known as the Gariep Prefecture.
In 1936 the Prefecture was raised to the status of Vicariate and became known as the Aliwal Vicariate.
It was erected as a diocese in 1951, but in 1953 the Western portion of the Diocese was detached and became the Prefecture of De Aar.
The Diocese of Aliwal now comprises (parts of) the municipalities of Inkwanca, Gariep, Kopanong-Xhariep, Maletswai, Senqu and Ukhahlamba.
The Diocese of Aliwal had been without a Bishop ever since the resignation of Bishop Michael Wüstenberg in September 2017.
A spokesperson for the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, Fr Paul Tatu, said: “Let us remember Msgr Kizito during this time of his preparation to lead the Diocese of Aliwal.”