Pope Francis appointed Bishop Mandla Siegfried Jwara as the new Archbishop of South Africa’s Archdiocese of Durban, the Vatican announced on Wednesday, 9 June. Jwara replaces Cardinal Wilfred Napier, 80, who occupied the position for 30 years before his retirement.
BISHOP JWARA TO REPLACE CARDINAL NAPIER
According to the Vatican, Napier tendered his resignation in 2016 when he turned 75. Pope Francis, however, asked him to stay on as Ordinary of the Archdiocese. Napier’s would-be successor Archbishop Abel Gabuza died of COVID-19 on 17 January, which created some uncertainty for the church.
“On that day ‘everything seemed to go black! Question after question flooded in. The most frequent was: Lord why now? Why just months away from taking over?’” said Napier, reflecting on Gabuza’s death in his message to the Archdiocese.
“Today, with the announcement of the appointment of Bishop Siegfried Mandla Jwara, CCM., as the new Archbishop of Durban, we see the manifestation of God’s thoughts and ways,” added Napier. “He has taken from the Order of men who have a long history of going into the unknown territory to sow the seeds of faith.”
Jwara’s appointment took effect from 12:00 on Wednesday.
WHO IS THE NEW ARCHBISHOP OF DURBAN?
Mandla Jwara was born on 1 February 1957 in St. Nivard, KwaZulu-Natal, in the Diocese of Marianhill. He attended schools in Kwa-Hluzingqondo, uMkhomazi and completed his secondary school education in 1980.
Thereafter, Jwara entered the Congregation of the Missionaries of Marianhill and was a novice at the Marianhill Monastery. He was ordained as a priest on 14 February 1987 after completing his philosophical and theological education at St. Joseph’s Theological Institute in Cedara.
Jwara was appointed as Vicar Apostolic of Ingwavuma, South Africa by Pope Francis on 30 April 2016. Prior to this appointment, the Bishop was the Pastor and Regional Superior of the Missionaries of Marianhill in the Province of Umtata.