Catholic Schools Office 200 Years
Bi-centennial heritage Poster

Celebrating 200 Years


Catholic Faith


Southern Africa

We are standing on the shoulders of the ones who’ve gone before us.

The 200th birthday of the Catholic Church in South Africa gives us the opportunity to celebrate our Catholic heritage and remember some of the brave women and men who have built our faith communities.  Through their efforts we have hundreds of churches, schools, hospitals, skills centres and other ministry sites. Almost all the founders of the Church in South Africa were missionaries - bishops, priests, religious sisters and religious brothers. Many of these people came from distant lands to serve the people of South Africa. On this 200th anniversary the Holy Spirit is inspiring the Youth of 2017 to continue in the

footsteps of our Church founders and to be the servant leaders that our world so desperately needs.


Catholic Church in South Africa 

Although Catholicism dates back over 2000 years to the first Pentecost, it is still very young in South Africa. We know that the Portuguese explorers, Bartholomew Diaz and Vasco da Gama, celebrated Mass off the coast of SA in the late 1400’s. Da Gama even gave Natal (Portuguese for ’Christmas’) its name as he sighted it on Christmas day. These explorer did not, however, come ashore. Catholicism was actually outlawed when the Dutch and British governed the Cape. It was a time of religious suspicion and persecution and many missionaries were forbidden entry or expelled.

On 7 June 1818 Pope Pius VII established the Vicariate of the Cape of Good Hope, but the first two Vicars were not allowed to set foot in South Africa and resided in Mauritius. Bishop Griffith was the first appointee who actually lived in Cape Town but it was still a struggle for the Catholic Church to exist. 

The missionaries who arrived often had to do so secretly and moved into the areas that many did not want to work or live in.  During the Apartheid era, Church leaders like Archbishop Denis Hurley challenged the injustices of the government.  As a result many Catholic organizations lost funding and many schools, hospitals and care centres were forced to close down. Despite the oppression that the Church faced in South Africa, many great deeds have been accomplished.  Religious congregations (like the Dominican Sisters, Christian Brothers, Marist Brothers, Holy Cross Sisters, Pallottine Sisters, Redemptorist Fathers, Oblates of St Francis de Sales) built many schools, children’s homes and hospitals – and largely for the most vulnerable. The mission of the Church continues to evolve and today you will also find the church active in Justice and Peace, HIV/ Aids Education, Skills Centres, Prison Ministry and Early Childhood Development.

Through this heritage project, we invite you to be part of the Church’s unfolding story.









cordially invites you to participate in a roundtable discussion on
"What about the Boy Child?"

Too many boys in our country are in trouble. They lack solid role-models and fall victim to all kinds of social pathologies – gangsterism, violence, dysfunctional relationships, ...... (read more)

Date:      Tuesday 22nd August 2017

Time:      09h00 for 09h30 – 13h00

Venue:   St Mary’s Cathedral Hall

Please RSVP before Thursday, 17th August 2017
to Lois Law
or telephone (021) 461 1417

Celebrating 70 Years

Immaculata R.C. High School

is turning seventy years old


Fr. Hugh O'Connor will be celebrating mass on Sunday, 27 August 2017, and Immaculata RC High School cordially invites everyone to join them at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Wittebome, for thanksgiving and praise, to commemorate this auspicious day. 

Six-year-old a Grade 5-level reader, speaks

four languages

St Anthony's RC Primary School
Keith Mashiane of St Anthony’s Primary School

Grade 1 pupil Keith Mashiane of St Anthony’s Primary School in Heathfield has honed his reading skills to such an excellent level, impressing among others his teacher, Nina Benjamin.

What sets 6-year-old Grade 1 pupil Keith Mashiane apart from his peers is a passion for reading, which has enabled him to fluently read up to Grade 5 level words and to speak four languages - Sepedi, English, Afrikaans and Zulu.

So impressive is Keith’s reading skills that St Anthony’s Primary School in Heathfield principal Colleen Rustin recently asked him to read to an assembly of 250 of the school’s Grade 4 to Grade 7 pupils.

“And they said, ‘wow!!’ and applauded him spontaneously,” said Rustin. “He is an eloquent and confident speaker and commands the attention of people when he speaks.”

Keith’s single-parent mother Nosipho Ngwende, from Wynberg, said he was born in Johannesburg, where she had enrolled him in Grade R at the age of 3.

“He was already speaking Sepedi, English, Afrikaans and Zulu,” said Ngwende, who subsequently enrolled him in Grade 1 in Zimbabwe when he was4.

After he passed, she enrolled him in Grade 2 at the age of 5 this year at St Anthony’s Primary, where Rustin decided it would be in his best interest to re-do Grade 1. 

“At his age - having turned 6 in April - he should have been in Grade R this year, but he would have been bored,” said Rustin.

Ngwende said when Keith was a year old, he loved picking up papers to read and later started reading all kinds of books, including the Bible.

Keith’s teacher, Nina Benjamin, said she had successfully tested Keith on the Fry List’s 600 words for Grade 3 last week and he had also started working on the Grade 4 list.

“It’s words that cannot be sounded out; you have to be able to look at them and recognise and read them.”

Recently Benjamin got him to read 100 words from the Fry List for Grade 5 during an interview with the Cape Times.

“From the first day he walked into my classroom, the first thing he does daily is to pick up a book and read. It’s lovely to see a child with a love and passion for reading.”

News / 22 August 2017, 10:56pm / Raphael Wolf

Celebrating 70 Years

of Excellence

Immaculata R.C. High School

Immaculata 70 Years

Staff of Immaculata RC High School

Fr. Hugh O'Connor celebrated mass on Sunday, 27 August 2017, at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Wittebome, giving thanks and praise to commemorate this auspicious day. Congratulations to all Immaculata Staff, Pupils and parents on this outstanding achievement. Here is looking forward to another wonderful 70 years !

Immaculata 70 Years

See our Gallery 17 for more Photographs

Well Done

Class of 2017!

 All eight Catholic Schools, including our two schools for deaf learners, achieved very good results in 2017.

Immaculata 70 Years

 Springfield, once again, was placed within the 'Top Five'!

Immaculata 70 Years

Immaculata Matrics rejoice about their good results.

Breadline Africa

Breadline Africa

true to their



Breadline Africa Director Mrs Marion Wagner

Breadline Africa Director

Mrs Marion Wagner : Right.

"Open Imagination" and "Enabling Futures", that is what it says on Breadline Africa's website, and true to this they delivered again, this time at St Joseph's Home for chronically ill children. By sponsoring a brand new classroom, and possibilities of another in the future, this will go a long way to enabling the future of pupils at St Joseph's School.

At a ceremony hosted by the principal of St Joseph's School, Mrs C. Paulse and program director Mrs E. Swartz, the classroom was blessed by Fr. Ricardo Smuts. The new classroom was then opened with a cutting of ribbon by Mrs Paulse and two learners from the school, Mario and Michelle.  

Breadline Donate Classroom to St Joseph's RC Primary

The cutting of the ribbon by Mrs Paulse and learners from the school, Mario and Michelle.  

Mrs Paulse then delivered a fitting vote of thanks to Breadline Africa.

Thanks to Breadline Africa for a worthy and generous gift to St Joseph's School.


Read More about Breadline Africa on their website

For more photographs see Gallery 15 

Choir Festival

Church bi-centennial celebration draws record breaking attendance at this years Catholic Schools Choir festival

Catholic Choir Festival

A record-breaking crowd attended the bi-centennial choir festival at the Cape Town City Hall on Sunday 27 August.  Fifteen Catholic school choirs as well as a forty-strong Archdiocesan liturgical dance troupe participated in the celebration. A number of parishes, clergy and religious joined the schools’ community for a wonderful afternoon of entertainment.  Archbishop Stephen Brislin delivered a bi-centennial address in which he lauded the founders of Catholic Schools for their selfless contribution to building the Church over the past 200 years. The highlight of the afternoon was the massed choir of 400 children delivering a Disney medley. This was conducted by Alison Dunn and accompanied by Adolf Thelen and Andrew Bentley.

See our Gallery 16 for more Photographs


Read the July Edition of "Catholic Education" Magazine

Published by the Catholic Institute of Education

Catholic Education Magazine

Many Catholic schools took part in the bi-centennial procession through the streets of Cape Town on 4th February. It began at Holy Cross Church, District Six and ended with Benediction at St Mary's Cathedral, given by Archbishop Stephen Brislin.

Celebrating 200 years of Catholic faith

Echoing the Word

See our Gallery 42 for more Photographs

servant, leadership

7 August 2017

St Michael's Church Rondebosch


Seventy Five Grade Tens gathered at St Michael’s for the Annual Servant Leadership Programme.  

CBC, Dominican School for Deaf Children, Holy Cross, Immaculata, Marian, Springfield and St Joseph’s Marist participated in the day.

Gr. 10 Leadership Day

The 2017 theme was ‘A Society with a more Human Face’ and the learners were encouraged to ‘connect, advocate and inspire action.’  Fr Peter-John Pearson, the Edmund Rice Justice Desk and Sean Lategan facilitated the day. The Gr 10’s will now return to their schools and initiate social action projects. We look forward to following and reporting on their progress.

See Gallery 14 for more Photographs

For more up coming events

see our Dairy and Events Page

High Court Judgement on Religion in Schools.

Dear Colleagues


There have been a number of queries about the possible impact of the recent High Court Judgement on Religion in Schools.


This does not pertain to our Public Schools on Private Property as there is a Deed of Agreement (Sections 14 & 57 of SASA) which give the PSPP the right to maintain its distinctive religious character. (Brief)


Should departmental officials or parents express concern, please refer them to the booklet, ‘Partnership for the Common Good’.


We also need to ensure that our Religion Policy is clear and based on Fostering Hope. (Religious Education Policy for Catholic Schools)

Should you require any support in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Blessings and strength for the time ahead.

Evona Rebelo



"Eat honey, my child, since it is good; honey that drips from the comb is sweet to the taste: and so, for sure, will wisdom be to your soul: find it and you will have a future and your hope will not be cut short."

Proverbs 24:13-14

SOFA Quiz Catholic Schools Office

Sofa Quiz Northern Suburbs

15 schools participated in the annual ‘Sharing Our Faith’ quiz which was hosted simultaneously in two venues – St Joseph’s Marist College and Holy Cross Bellville. The quiz categories included a scripture and Southern Cross search as well as questions drawn from the RE Curriculum. The children were placed in mixed school teams in order to facilitate social connectivity.  It was an afternoon of deepening our Religious knowledge and building bridges. 

SOFA Quiz Catholic Schools Office

Sofa Quiz Southern Suburbs

Date:                                              7 September 2017

Venues:               Holy Cross Sisters' School Bellville 

St Joseph's Marist College

See our Gallery 22 and Gallery 23 for more Photographs

Triumph of the Cross 14 September 2017

Dear Friends,


We celebrate the Feast of the Holy Cross,

in the midst of death situations.

We believe: In the Cross is salvation.

We wish you, your staff and learners 

a Happy Feast of the Cross.


With love

Sr Monica and Sisters of the Southern African Province

Holy Cross
Holy Cross Sisters
The Cross
Daily Calendar 14 September

Catholic Schools Coordinating Council


12 September 2017

Reimagine SA
Peter Jones 1 Million Strong

Paul Jones addresses the CSCC and other Catholic Stakeholders.

A Catholic Schools Coordinating Council (CSCC) Plenary was held on the 12 September 2017 at St. Michael's Catholic Church, Rondebosch. The Catholic Schools’ Coordinating Council is a constituted body, representing all areas of Catholic Education within the Archdiocese of Cape Town. Dr, Ramphele was the key-note speaker at the CSCC Plenary. She encouraged us to ‘reimagine’  South Africa      and     to     work     towards    the

realisation of the aspirations espoused in the preamble of our Constitution, “to heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights.”
Through our networking events the CSCC goes a long way to achieving this ideal.  We were delighted by the wonderful attendance and generous support of the CSCC. 

CSCC Plenary Attendees

From Left to Right:

Sr Kathy Gaylor OP (National CBE Chair), Dr. M Ramphele (Reimagine SA), Stephen Meehan (RE Forum Chair) Fr Hugh O’Connor (Episcopal Vicar for Education), Alison Dunn (CSCC Chair), Paul Jones. (Brand Manager ‘1 Million Strong’)


     Pathfinding  Conference

St Joseph's Marist College 


First Quarter CBE Meeting at 

St Joseph's Marist College

24 February 2018

Aids Awareness

Holy Cross Nile Street raises awareness for HIV/AIDS

Holy Cross District Six

An entertaining and thought-provoking cultural presentation was held at Holy Cross today.  Through traditional dance, choral and violin renditions a powerful message of compassion was shared. The parents and guests were treated to a scrumptious lunch after the concert.

7 September Holy Cross RC Primary District Six

See our Gallery 21 for more Photographs

Echoing the Word

Echoing the Word Award Ceremony held at St Mary's Primary School, Cape Town on the 21 October 2017.

Echoing the Word

See our Gallery 34 for more Photographs

The Owners Reps Annual Meeting

The Owners Reps Annual Meeting took place on 1 November at St Mary's Primary School in CT. Fr Hugh O'Connor (Vicar for Education) and Sr Kathy Gaylor (Chair-person National CBE) thanked the reps for the important role that they play in representing their respective owners on Boards and Governing Bodies. The meeting was concluded with a festive meal.

Echoing the Word
Roots & Wings

Latest Edition!

Read the "Roots & Wings" Magazine

Published by the Catholic Institute of Education

Roots & Wings Publication
Echoing the Word

The year got off to a great start with the Catholic Schools' Principals Conference held at Houw Hoek Inn on 2-3 February 2018.

Principals' Conference

See our Gallery 41 for more Photographs

Catholic Schools Office 200 Years


 Heritage Project Entries &


Echoing the Word

A large number of posters, essays, poems and projects have been submitted which tells the proud story of Catholic Education in the Archdiocese. These will be displayed at the Annual Teachers Mass on 25 January 2018. There is still time to get your entries in, so please hurry!

See our Gallery 39 for more Photographs

Echoing the Word

            CSCC Plenary 

           19 July 2018

St Augustine's Wittebome

Holy Cross Cape Town 
Ms Nomthandazo Zweni
Commissioning Servive

        St Joseph's Home

    blesses their OT Room!