Roman Catholic Diocese of Port Elizabeth

Diocese of Port Elizabeth
Dioecesis Portus Elizabethensis
Country South Africa
Metropolitan Cape Town
Area 71,828 km2 (27,733 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2004)
98,800 (3.7%)
Rite Latin Rite
Current leadership
Bishop sede vacante;
James Brendan Deenihan (apostolic administrator) [1]

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Port Elizabeth (Latin: Portus Elizabethen(sis)) is a diocese located in the city of Port Elizabeth in the Ecclesiastical province of Cape Town in South Africa.



On July 30, 1847, an ecclesiastical territory was established as the Apostolic Vicariate of Cape of Good Hope, Eastern District from the Apostolic Vicariate of Cape of Good Hope and adjacent territories. Later the Eastern Vicariate was itself subdivided three times.

On 27 December 1847, Dr. Aidan Devereux was consecrated, in Cape Town, Bishop of Paneas and first Vicar Apostolic of the Eastern Vicariate, by Dr. Griffith, under whom he had worked for nine years. Through the Dhanis family of Belgium the new vicar Apostolic received the first considerable funds to start work. But his life was spent in the turmoil of wars, and was a struggle with poverty and the dearth of priests. His successor, Dr. Patrick Moran, had been curate of Irishtown, Dublin, and arrived in the colony in November, 1856. He was a man of energy, and a strenuous opponent of the grant of responsible government. The Sacred Congregation of Propaganda appointed him first Bishop of Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1870. Next year, the Rev. James David Richards was consecrated bishop at Grahamstown, as titular bishop of Retimo, by the Vicar Apostolic of Natal, Dr. Allard. Dr. Richards had already spent twenty-two years in the country and, whether as a writer, or lecturer, or pastor, had left his mark in the land. He founded the Cape Colonist, a paper which had campaigning views on purity in public life and on the native problems. In 1880 he brought to South Africa the first contingent of Trappists, as teachers. About two years before Dr. Ricards's death a coadjutor was appointed in the person of Dr. Peter Strobino, who, however, became an invalid soon after the death of Dr. Ricards. Dr. Strobino was succeeded in 1896 by his coadjutor, the Rt. Rev. Hugh MacSherry, formerly administrator of the diocese of Dundalk in Ireland, who had been consecrated a few months before.[2]

  • June 13, 1939: Renamed as Apostolic Vicariate of Port Elizabeth
  • January 11, 1951: Promoted as Diocese of Port Elizabeth

Special churches

  • The cathedral is Cathedral of St. Augustine in Port Elizabeth.


  • Bishops of Port Elizabeth (Roman rite)
    • Bishop Michael Gower Coleman (1986.03.21 - 2011.08.20))
    • Bishop John Patrick Murphy (1972.05.06 – 1986.03.21)
    • Bishop Ernest Arthur Green (1955.04.19 – 1970.12.27)
    • Bishop Hugh Boyle (1951.01.11 – 1954.07.18)
  • Vicars Apostolic of Port Elizabeth (Roman rite)
    • Bishop Hugh Boyle (1948.12.09 – 1951.01.11)
    • Bishop James Colbert (1939.06.13 – 1948.12.09)
  • Vicars Apostolic of Cape of Good Hope, Eastern District (Roman rite)
    • Archbishop Hugh McSherry (1896.10.01 – 1939)
    • Bishop Peter Strobino (1893.11.30 – 1896.10.01)
    • Bishop James David Richards (1871.01.13 – 1893.11.30)
    • Bishop Patrick Moran (1856–1869.12.03)
    • Bishop Aidan Devereux (1847–1854.02.11)

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed (1913). "Eastern Vicariate of the Cape of Good Hope". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.