Diocese of Keimoes-Upington

Bisdom van Keimoes-Upington


Patrons: The Immaculate Conception & St. Francis de Sales



Suffragan Diocese of the Province of Bloemfontein - Republic of South Africa

[Home] [Welcome] [Map & History of the Diocese] [Administration] [Necrology] [Diary] [Schools] [Parishes] [Clergy] [Days of Prayer, Collections, etc.]

[Bishop's Coat of Arms & Photo] [Institutions & Religious Houses]

Welcome to the web page of the Diocese of Keimoes-Upington. I hope that through this means we will have the chance to get to know each other and that one day you will have the chance to come to discover that the desert which comprises most of our diocese has a life of its own.

One of the patrons of the diocese is St. Francis de Sales. The pioneer missionaries in this diocese were devoted to making known St. Francis de Sales' way of living the Gospel. Here are some of his words with which you are welcomed:

"Wandel altyd naby God, want die sagmoedigheid (streling) van sy skadu is meer heilsaam as die helderheid van die son"

"The same life-giving Father who cares for you today, will tomorrow and each day take care of you. He will preserve you in suffering and he will give you his unfailing strength to endure it." Every blessing on you and your family and friends.

+Edward Risi OMI

Bishop Keimoes-Upington


Letter of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

to the People of God


Dear sisters, dear brothers,

As the proceedings of the first session of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops draw to a close, we want to thank God with all of you for the beautiful and enriching experience we have lived. We lived this blessed time in profound communion with all of you. We were supported by your prayers, bearing with you your expectations, your questions, as well as your fears. As Pope Francis requested two years ago, a long process of listening and discernment was initiated, open to all the People of God, no one being excluded, to “journey together” under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, missionary disciples engaged in the following of Jesus Christ.


The session in which we have been gathered in Rome since 30 September is an important phase of this process. In many ways it has been an unprecedented experience. For the first time, at Pope Francis’ invitation, men and women have been invited, in virtue of their baptism, to sit at the same table to take part, not only in the discussions, but also in the voting process of this Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Together, in the complementarity of our vocations, our charisms and our ministries, we have listened intensely to the Word of God and the experience of others. Using the conversation in the Spirit method, we have humbly shared the wealth and poverty of our communities from every continent, seeking to discern what the Holy Spirit wants to say to the Church today. We have thus also experienced the importance of fostering mutual exchanges between the Latin tradition and the traditions of Eastern Christianity. The participation of fraternal delegates from other Churches and Ecclesial Communities deeply enriched our discussions.


Our assembly took place in the context of a world in crisis, whose wounds and scandalous inequalities resonated painfully in our hearts, infusing our work with a particular gravity, especially since some of us come from countries where war rages. We prayed for the victims of deadly violence, without forgetting all those who have been forced by misery and corruption to take the dangerous road of migration. We assured our solidarity and commitment alongside the women and men all over the world who are working to build justice and peace.


At the invitation of the Holy Father, we made significant room for silence to foster mutual listening and a desire for communion in the Spirit among us. During the opening ecumenical vigil, we experienced how the thirst for unity increases in the silent contemplation of the crucified Christ. In fact, the cross is the only cathedra of the One who, having given himself for the salvation of the world, entrusted His disciples to His Father, so that “they may all be one” (John 17:21). Firmly united in the hope brought by His Resurrection, we entrusted to Him our common home where the cries of the earth and the poor are becoming increasingly urgent: “Laudate Deum!” (“Praise God!”), as Pope Francis reminded us at the beginning of our work.


Day by day, we felt the pressing call to pastoral and missionary conversion. For the Church’s vocation is to proclaim the Gospel not by focusing on itself, but by placing itself at the service of the infinite love with which God loved the world (cf. John 3:16). When homeless people near St. Peter’s Square were asked about their expectations regarding the Church on the occasion of this synod, they replied: “Love!”. This love must always remain the ardent heart of the Church, a Trinitarian and Eucharistic love, as the Pope recalled on October 15, midway through our assembly, invoking the message of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus. It is “trust” that gives us the audacity and inner freedom that we experienced, not hesitating to freely and humbly express our convergences, differences, desires and questions.


And now? We hope that the months leading to the second session in October 2024 will allow everyone to concretely participate in the dynamism of missionary communion indicated by the word “synod”. This is not about ideology, but about an experience rooted in the apostolic tradition. As the Pope reminded us at the beginning of this process, “communion and mission can risk remaining somewhat abstract, unless we cultivate an ecclesial praxis that expresses the concreteness of synodality encouraging real involvement on the part of each and all” (October 9, 2021). There are multiple challenges and numerous questions: the synthesis report of the first session will specify the points of agreement we have reached, highlight the open questions, and indicate how our work will proceed.


To progress in its discernment, the Church absolutely needs to listen to everyone, starting with the poorest. This requires a path of conversion on its part, which is also a path of praise: “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children” (Luke 10:21)! It means listening to those who have been denied the right to speak in society or who feel excluded, even by the Church; listening to people who are victims of racism in all its forms – in particular in some regions to indigenous peoples whose cultures have been scorned. Above all, the Church of our time has the duty to listen, in a spirit of conversion, to those who have been victims of abuse committed by members of the ecclesial body, and to commit herself concretely and structurally to ensuring that this does not happen again.


The Church also needs to listen to the laity, women and men, all called to holiness by virtue of their baptismal vocation: to the testimony of catechists, who in many situations are the first proclaimers of the Gospel; to the simplicity and vivacity of children, the enthusiasm of youth, to their questions, and their pleas; to the dreams, the wisdom and the memory of elderly people. The Church needs to listen to families, to their educational concerns, to the Christian witness they offer in today’s world. She needs to welcome the voice of those who want to be involved in lay ministries and to participate in discernment and decision-making structures.


To progress further in synodal discernment, the Church particularly needs to gather even more the words and experience of the ordained ministers: priests, the primary collaborators of the bishops, whose sacramental ministry is indispensable for the life of the whole body; deacons, who, through their ministry, signify the care of the entire Church for the most vulnerable. She also needs to let herself be questioned by the prophetic voice of consecrated life, the watchful sentinel of the Spirit’s call. She also needs to be attentive to all those who do not share her faith but are seeking the truth, and in whom the Spirit, who “offers everyone the possibility of being associated with this paschal mystery” (Gaudium et Spes 22), is also present and operative.


“The world in which we live, and which we are called to love and serve, even with its contradictions, demands that the Church strengthen cooperation in all areas of her mission. It is precisely this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium” (Pope Francis, October 17, 2015). We do not need to be afraid to respond to this call. Mary, Mother of the Church, the first on the journey, accompanies our pilgrimage. In joy and in sorrow, she shows us her Son and invites us to trust. And He, Jesus, is our only hope!


Vatican City, October 25, 2023


Brief van die XVI Gewone Algemene Byeenkoms van die Sinode van Biskoppe aan die Volk van God

Dierbare susters, dierbare broers,

Soos die verrigtinge van die eerste sessie van die 16de Gewone Algemene Byeenkoms van die Sinode van Biskoppe tot ‘n einde kom, wil ons saam met u God dank vir die wonderskone en verrykende ervaring wat ons kon beleef. Ons het hierdie geseënde tydjie in diep verbondenheid met u deurgebring. Ons is gesteun deur u gebede, soos ons die draers was van u verwagtinge, u vrae, asook u vrese. Soos pous Franciskus twee jaar gelede versoek het, is daar met ‘n lang proses van luister en onderskeiding begin, iets wat oop was vir die hele Volk van God, niemand uitgesluit nie, om onder leiding van die Heilige Gees “saam te reis”, as sendeling dissipels in navolging van Jesus Christus.

Hierdie sessie wat op 30 September in Rome begin het, is ‘n belangrike fase van dié proses. Op soveel maniere was dit ‘n ongekende en ongehoorde ondervinding. Vir die eerste keer, op uitnodiging van pous Franciskus, het mans en vroue op grond van hul doop by die dieselfde tafel as biskoppe gesit en nie net aan die besprekings deelgeneem nie, maar ook aan die stemmery in hierdie Byeenkoms van die Sinode van Biskoppe. Saam, verbonde deur die manier hoe ons roepinge, charisma’s en bedieninge mekaar aanvul, het ons intens na die Woord van God en ander mense se ervaringe geluister. Deur gebruik te maak van die ‘gesels in die Gees metode’, kon ons in nederigheid deel in die rykdom en armoede van ons gemeenskappe uit elke kontinent, om te probeer onderskei wat die Heilige Gees vandag aan die Kerk wil sê. So kon ons ook ervaar hoe belangrik dit is dat daar wedersyds tussen die Latynse tradisie en die tradisies van die Oosterse Christendom wisselwerking plaasvind. Ons besprekings is verryk deur die deelname van afvaardigings van ander Kerke en Kerklike Gemeenskappe.

Dit is teen die agtergrond van ‘n wêreld in krisis dat ons byeengekom het, ‘n wêreld waarvan die wonde en skandelike ongelykhede pynlik in ons harte weerklink het en ‘n erns aan ons werksaamhede verleen het, veral aangesien sommige van ons afkomstig is uit lande waar daar oorlog woed. Ons het vir die slagoffers van dodelike geweld gebid, sonder om diegene te vergeet wat deur ellende en korrupsie gedwing is om hulle op die gevaarlike pad van migrasie te begewe. Ons het ons solidariteit en verbondenheid bevestig met al die vroue en mans wat oor die wêreld heen vir geregtigheid en vrede werk.

Op uitnodiging van die Heilige Vader, het ons tydens die Sinode verrigtinge ‘n beduidende ruimte vir stilte geskep om ons te help om na mekaar te luister en ons begeerte te versterk om met die Gees onder ons in kommunie te wees. Tydens die ekumeniese waakdiens waarmee die Sinode geopen is, het ons ervaar hoe die honger na eenheid groter word wanneer ‘n mens in stille kontemmplasie die gekruisigde Christus oorpeins. Feit is, dat die kruis die enigste katedra oftewel leerstoel is van Hom, wat Homself oorgelewer het vir die redding van die wêreld en sy dissipels aan sy Vader toevertrou het sodat “hulle almal een mag wees” (Johannes 17:21). Innig verenig in die hoop wat sy Opstanding ons gee, het ons aan Hom ons gemeenskaplike tuiste toevertrou waar die noodkreet van die aarde en die armes al hoe angstiger word: “Laudate Deum!” (“Loof God!”), soos pous Franciskus ons aan die begin van ons werk herinner het.

Dag vir dag, het ons die dringende oproep tot pastorale en missionale bekering gevoel. Want die Kerk se roeping is nie om die Evangelie te verkondig deur op haarself  te fokus nie, maar deur haarself diensbaar te stel met dieselfde eindelose liefde waarmee God die wêreld liefhet. (cf. Johannes 3:16). Toe hawelose mense naby St. Pietersplein gevra is wat hulle verwagtinge is van die Kerk tydens hierdie Sinode was hul antwoord: “Liefde!”. Hierdie liefde moet altyd die vurige hart van die Kerk bly, ‘n Drie-enige en Eucharistiese liefde, soos die pous ons op die 15de Oktober daaraan herinner het toe hy oor die boodskap van Sint Thérèse van die Kind Jesus gepraat het. Dit is “vertroue” wat ons die waagmoed en innerlike vryheid laat beleef, wat ons in staat stel om vrylik en met nederigheid uit te praat oor dit waaroor ons saamstem, verskil, verlang en bevraagteken.

En nou? Ons hoop dat die maande wat die tweede sessie in Oktober 2024 voorafgaan, almal die kans sal gee om op konkrete wyse deel te neem aan die dinamiek van die missionale kommunie wat deur die woord “sinode” aangedui word. Dit gaan nie oor ideologie nie, maar oor ‘n ervaring gewortel in die apostoliese tradisie. Soos die pous ons by die aanvang van die proses herinner het, “kommunie en missie loop die risiko om ietwat abstrak te bly, tensy ons as Kerk nie maniere vind om die konkrete realiteit van sinodaliteit uit te leef nie (...) deur die werklike deelname van ieder en elk” (Oktober 9, 2021). Daar is veelvoudige uitdagings en talle vrae: die samevattende verslag van die eerste sessie sal punte uitlig waarop ooreenkoms bereik is, asook watter vraagstukke nog onbeantwoord is, en hoe ons werk verder sal voortgaan.

Om met onderskeidingsvermoë vooruit te gaan, is dit absoluut noodsaaklik dat die Kerk na almal luister, en by die armstes begin. Dit gaan bekering verg, en bekering beteken om ‘n weg van lofprysing in te slaan: “Ek loof U, Vader, Here van hemel en aarde, dat U hierdie dinge vir slim en geleerde mense verberg en dit aan kindertjies bekend gemaak het” (Lukas 10:21)! Dit beteken om na hulle te luister wat die reg ontneem is om in die samelewing hul stem te laat hoor of hulle wat uitgesluit voel, selfs deur die Kerk; om na mense te luister wat slagoffers is van rasisme in al sy vorme – veral in sommige gebiede waar inheemse volke se kulture geminag is. Bo alles, is dit die plig van die Kerk van ons tyd om met ‘n gees van bekering te luister na hulle wat slagoffers is van misbruik deur lede van die kerklike liggaam, en om haarself op konkrete wyse en met die nodige strukture in plek daartoe te verbind dat sulke dade nooit weer sal gebeur nie.

Dit is ook nodig dat die Kerk na die leke sal luister, vroue en mans, wat almal op grond van hul dooproeping tot heiligheid geroepe is: na die getuienis van kategete, wat in soveel situasies die eerste verkondigers van die Evangelie is; na die eenvoud en lewenskrag van kinders, die geesdrif van die jeug, na hul vrae, en hul versoeke; asook die drome, die wysheid en die geheue van bejaarde mense. Die Kerk sal na families moet luister, na hul bekommernisse oor die opvoeding van hul kinders, na die Christelike getuienis van hulle wat by die lekebedieninge betrokke wil raak en wil deelneem aan die strukture waarbinne die onderskeiding- en besluitnemingsprosesse plaasvind.

Om verdere vooruitgang in die sinodale onderskeidingsproses te bewerkstellig, sal die Kerk in die besonder die woorde en ervaringe van haar gewyde bedienaars in ag moet neem: priesters, die primêre medewerkers van die biskoppe, wie se sakramentele bediening onontbeerlik vir die lewe van die hele liggaam is; diakens, wat deur hul bediening, tekens is van die ganse Kerk se sorg vir die weerloses en kwesbares. Die Kerk sal haar ook moet laat bevraagteken deur die profetiese stem van die Godgewyde lewe, die waaksame wagter altyd op die uitkyk na die Gees se oproep. Die Kerk sal ook aandag moet skenk aan hulle wat nie haar geloof deel nie, maar ook soekers na die waarheid is, en in wie die Gees, wat “almal die moontlikheid gee om hulle aan dié Paasgeheimennis te verbind” (Gaudium et Spes 22, 5), ook aanwesig en werksaam is.

“Die wêreld waarin ons lewe, en waarin ons tot liefde en diens geroep word, vra, selfs met al sy teenstrydighede, dat die Kerk samewerking in al area’s van haar sending sal versterk. Dit is juis hierdie weg van sinodaliteit wat God van die Kerk in die derde millennium verwag” (Pous Franciskus, Oktober 17, 2015). Ons moenie bang wees om op hierdie oproep te reageer nie. Maria, die eerste op hierdie reis, vergesel ons op ons pelgrimstog. In vreugde en smart, wys sy ons haar Seun en nooi sy ons uit om Hom te vertrou. En Hy, Jesus, is ons enigste hoop!

Vatikaanstad, Oktober 25, 2023



A call from the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference


Thirty years after the elation of our democratic elections, we remain grateful that our democratic structures have withstood numerous attempts on the part of some to weaken them. The separation of powers has stood firm and respect for the rule of law has prevailed. We are encouraged by the good will of many leaders and fellow citizens, in the face of the numerous crises which bedevil our country.


It is now the time to reclaim the dream.


Our faith in God and in the inherent goodness of our fellow citizens urges us to work together in protecting the poor and vulnerable, in giving new hope to so many who have lost hope and in winning the confidence of our youth.


The ever growing gap between those who have and have not, the deteriorating infra-structure, rampant corruption on the part of self-serving citizens – we do not allow these to rob us of the hope that together we can salvage our vision of a country which is home to all.


As Catholic leaders we call on all our fellow citizens to work for a better future for our country. There is no future in paralysing disillusionment and despair. This only leads to greater hopelessness, discouraging our youth in particular from taking their rightful place in the democratic institutions which are the fabric of our hard won democracy.


We salute the work of the State Capture Commission and we find it disheartening that we are slow to recognise the damage of cadre deployment and nepotism in that it robs old and young, those who are ably qualified, from making their rightful contribution to society.


As church leaders we wish to hold ourselves accountable as well as call for accountability and transparency in the exercise of power and use of resources. We recognise that the crisis we face as a country is not only political. It is also a spiritual and moral crisis. Therefore, we add our voice to those who justly denounce the greed of the few who enrich themselves at the expense of the many. Any form of corruption, nepotism, vandalism or dereliction of duty weakens the fabric of society and works against the common good.


Our Catholic faith urges us to promote the common good.


We humbly call on political leaders, public officials, civil servants, members of the judiciary, senior executives in the corporate sector, business people and all members of the public to recognise in the current situation an opportunity to reawaken and reclaim the dream of every South African.


We truly appreciate those brave brothers and sisters who at great risk denounce wrong doing and break the conspiracy of silence. We give them our support and commit ourselves to stand by them and to protect them. We recognise that they too are motivated to work for a better life for all.


Striving for the common good should motivate each and every one: the executives, tempted to reward themselves with obscenely high salaries as well as those who are impoverished, tempted to petty thieving. Working for the common good affirms the dignity and equal rights of everyone and promotes equal opportunities for all.


Reclaiming a sense of belonging, transcending barriers of race, class, age or gender promotes the restoration of our shattered dream.


God bless South Africa and all her citizens.


On behalf of the Bishops:

+ Sithembele Sipuka
SACBC President
29 Augustus 2023 




Suider-Afrikaanse Katolieke Biskoppe Konferensie

‘n Oproep van die Suider-Afrikaanse Katolieke Biskoppe Konferensie



Dertig jaar na die vreugde van ons demokratiese verkiesings, bly ons dankbaar vir die feit dat ons demokratiese strukture heelwat pogings om hulle te verswak deurstaan het. Die skeiding van magte staan nog vas en respek vir die oppergesag van die reg is nog steeds algemeen. Die welwillendheid van talle leiers en ons medeburgers gee ons moed in die lig van die vele krisisse waaronder ons land gebuk gaan.


Nou is dit die tyd om ons droom terug op te eis


Ons geloof in God en in die inherente goedheid van ons medeburgers moedig ons aan om saam te werk om die armes en kwesbares te beskerm, deur nuwe hoop te gee aan hulle wat wanhopig geraak het en veral deur die vertroue van ons jeugdiges te wen.


Die al hoe groter wordende kloof tussen diegene wat het en hulle wat nie het nie, die verval van infrastruktuur, die verregaande korrupsie van burgers wat daarop uit is om hulleself ten koste van ander te verryk – ons gaan nie toelaat dat hierdie dinge ons van die hoop beroof dat ons nog steeds ons visie van ‘n land wat ons almal se tuiste is kan red nie.


As Katolieke leiers, beroep ons ons op al ons medeburgers om te werk vir ‘n beter toekoms vir ons land. Om deur ontnugtering en wanhoop lamgelê te word, bied geen toekoms nie. So ‘n houding lei net tot meer wanhoop en dit ontmoedig veral ons jongmense om hul regmatige plek in te neem in die demokratiese instellings wat die grondslag vorm van ons hard gewonne demokrasie.


Ons prys die werk van die Kommissie wat die Staaskaping ondersoek, en ons vind dit jammer dat dit so lank geneem het voordat mense die skade wat kader ontplooiing en nepotisme berokken raakgesien het. Dit beroof oud en jonk, hulle wat voldoende gekwalifiseer is, om hulle regmatige bydrae tot ons samelewing te lewer.


As kerkleiers, wil ons onsself aanspreeklik hou en vra ons ook dat hulle wat mag uitoefen en hulpbronne bestuur aanspreeklik en deursigtig te werk sal gaan. Ons erken dat die krisis wat ons land in die gesig staar nie net polities van aard is nie, maar ook geestelik en moreel. Dus verenig ons nou ons stem met hulle wat met reg die gierigheid aanspreek van die enkeles wat hulleself ten koste van die meerderheid verryk. Enige vorm van korrupsie, nepotisme, vandalisme of verontagsaming van pligte verswak die hele samelewing en werk teen die algemene welsyn.


Ons Katolieke geloof dryf ons ALMAL om die algemene welsyn te bevorder


In alle nederigheid versoek ons politieke leiers, staatsamptenare, regslui, senior uitvoerende beamptes in die korporatiewe sektor, sakelui en alle lede van die publiek om in die huidige situasie ‘n kans raak te sien om die droom van elke Suid-Afrikaner weer wakker te maak en op te eis.


Almal van ons moet saamwerk om ons land te herstel.


Ons waardeer opreg die pogings van ons dapper broers en susters, wat die risiko geneem het om wanpraktyke aan die lig te bring en die sameswering van stilte te verbreek. Ons ondersteun hulle en verbind onsself om by hulle te staan en hulle te beskerm. Ons gee erkening aan die feit dat hulle so gemotiveerd is om vir die algemene welsyn te werk.


Om die algemene welsyn na te strewe behoort ons almal se beweegrede te wees: die uitvoerende beamptes wat in die versoeking val om hulleself met buitensporige hoë salarisse te beloon, en die armoediges wat in die versoeking kom om ‘n bestaan te probeer maak deur kleinskalige diefstal en die vernietiging van infrastrukture. Om vir die algemene welsyn te werk beteken om die waardigheid en gelyke regte van almal te respekteer en gelyke kanse vir almal te bevorder.


Die terugwen van ons sin van samesyn wat alle grense van ras, klas, ouderdom en geslag te bowe gaan sal die herstel van ons stukkende droom aanmoedig.


God seën Suid-Afrika en al sy burgers.


Namens al die biskoppe:

+ Sithembele Sipuka
SAKBK President
29 Augustus 2023 


Please make contact with us through our e-mail address:


[Home] [Welcome] [Map & History of the Diocese] [Administration] [Necrology] [Diary] [Schools] [Parishes] [Clergy] [Days of Prayer, Collections, etc.]

[Bishop's Coat of Arms & Photo] [Institutions & Religious Houses]

This site is best viewed in 1024 x 768 pixels