Provincial Directory - Religious Communities

Angola (Missionary Diocese)  Society of the Sacred Mission (South Africa)

Christ the King  Order of the Holy Paraclete

Diocese of the Free State (formerly Bloemfontein)  Community of St Michael & All Angels

Diocese of the Free State (formerly Bloemfontein)  Community of the Holy Name (Lesotho Province)

Grahamstown  Community of the Resurrection of Our Lord

Grahamstown  Order of the Holy Cross

Lesotho  Society of the Precious Blood (Lesotho)

Mpumalanga  Oratory of the Good Shepherd

Natal  Society of St John the Divine

Port Elizabeth  Community of the Resurrection

St Helena  Oratory of the Good Shepherd

Swaziland  Order of the Holy Paraclete

Zululand  Community of the Holy Name (Zulu Province)

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SSM - Society of the Sacred Mission (South Africa) 

Re-founded September 2004

Founded in 1893 by Father Herbert Kelly, the Society is a means of uniting the devotion of ordinary people, using it in the service of the Church. Members of the Society share a common life of prayer and fellowship in a variety of educational, pastoral and community activities in England, Australia, Japan, Lesotho, and South Africa.

Contact Details

Name: Michael Lapsley SSM  (Provincial, assumed office September 2004)
Address: 33 Elgin Road , Sybrand Park, Cape Town, 7708, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)21 696 4866
Email: Email

Other Addresses:

Address: SSM Priory, PO Box 1579, Maseru 100, Lesotho, South Africa
Tel: +27 22 315 979
Fax: +27 22 310 161
Email: priorssm@ilesotho.com


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OHP - Order of the Holy Paraclete 

Founded 1915
Registered Charity : No. 271117

Founded as an educational Order, the Sisters have diversified their work in the UK to include hospitality, retreats and spiritual direction, hospital chaplaincy, inner city involvement, preaching and mission, and development work overseas. The Mother House is at St Hilda's Priory, Whitby. Some Sisters work in the adjacent Sneaton Castle Centre, which caters for a wide variety of day and residential groups. Other UK houses are in York, Rievaulx, and Hull.

Overseas, the Order's long-standing commitment to Africa has been extended in exciting new developments: raising awareness of Aids and providing a home for abused girls in Swaziland, and fostering vocations to Religious life in Ghana and South Africa. In response to perceived local interest and support, two new convents have been built, one in Jachie, Ashanti, where there is also an Eye Clinic run by a Ghanian member, the other in Johannesburg alongside St Benedict's House, the retreat and conference centre run by the Sisters.

Central to the Order's life in all its houses are the Divine Office and Eucharist, and a strong emphasis on corporate activity.

Contact Details

Address: St Benedict's Retreat House, PO Box 27, Rosettenville, 2130, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 435 3662
Fax: +27 (0)11 435 2970
Email: Email


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CSM&AA - Community of St Michael & All Angels 

Founded 1874

The Community of St Michael and All Angels was founded by the second Bishop of Bloemfontein, Allan Becher Webb, for pioneer work in his vast diocese, which included the Orange Free State, Basutoland, Griqualand West and into the Transvaal. The sisters were active in mission, nursing and education.

Sister Henrietta Stockdale became the founder of professional nursing in South Africa. The South African Synod of Bishops has placed her on the CPSA Calendar for yearly commemoration on 6 October. In 1874, the sisters established St Michael's School for Girls in Bloemfontein, which still exists today as one of the leading schools in South Africa.

Today, the sisters are only three in number, perhaps indicating that their work is nearly done. It would seem that the call has been answered. They are now living at the School but the postal address is the same.

Contact Details

Name: Sister Mary Ruth Brewster CSM&AA  (Revd Mother Emeritus, sister-in-charge, assumed office 25 October 2002)
Address: St Michael's House, PO Box 79, Bloemfontein, 9300, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)51 401 5721

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CHN - Community of the Holy Name (Lesotho Province) 

Founded 1865 in UK and 1962 in Lesotho

The Basotho Community of S. Mary at the Cross was founded in Leribe, Lesotho, in 1923, under the Community of St Michael & All Angels, Bloemfontein. In 1959, CHN Sisters were invited to take over this work and started at Leribe in 1962. They had invited the Sisters of S. Mary at the Cross to become members of CHN and the full amalgamation of the two communities was completed in 1964. As a multi-racial community, the witness against racism at a time when apartheid was in the ascendant in South Africa was an important strand of the Community's vocation. New members have joined the Community in succeeding years, and they have continued the evangelistic and pastoral work which is also an important part of the CHN vocation. Sisters are involved in youth work, prison visiting, as well as helping in both Lesotho and South Africa. This work is enabled and strengthened by the daily round of prayer, both corporate and private, which is at the heart of the Community's Rule. A daily Eucharist at the centre of this life of prayer is the aim, but in some houses this is not always possible owing to a shortage of priests.

Ten Sisters in Leribe run a hostel for secondary school students who live too far from home to travel daily.

Contact Details

Name: Sister Angelina CHN  (Sister Provincial, assumed office December 2001)
Address: Convent of the Holy Name, PO Box 22, Ficksburg, 9730, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)22 400 249

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CR - Community of the Resurrection of Our Lord 

Founded 1884

This Community was founded in 1884 by Bishop Allan Becher Webb and Cecile Isherwood to undertake pastoral and educational work in Grahamstown. These two types of work, and later Social Welfare work, have predominated in the Community's undertakings throughout its history. The regular life of monastic Offices and personal prayer and intercession has always been maintained, both in the Mother House (Grahamstown) and all branch houses, wherever situated. It is still maintained in Grahamstown, the only centre where the Community life continues, our numbers being now much reduced, with a high proportion of elderly and infirm members.

Two Retreat Centres established by this Community have been taken over by other Communities: St Peter's Bourne in north London; and Hillandale, near Grahamstown, which has been taken over by the Order of the Holy Cross, an Anglican Benedictine community for men, based in the USA.

Two schools, staffed entirely by lay teachers, remain under the management of the Grahamstown Community, the Bethlehem Pre-School being the Community's Centenary Project.

Contact Details

Name: Mother Carol CR (priest)  (Mother Superior, assumed office 13 November 1998)
Address: PO Box 72, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)46 622 4210
Fax: +27 (0)46 622 4210

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OHC - Order of the Holy Cross 

Founded 1884

The Order of the Holy Cross is a contemporary Benedictine monastic community open to both clergymen and laymen. The principles which govern the Order's life are in two documents: The Rule, written by James Otis Sargent Huntington, the founder of the Order, and the Rule of St Benedict.

The liturgical life of each house centers around the corporate praying of the Daily Office and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Members also spend time in private prayer and meditation.

The work of the Order is varied, as members are encouraged to find ways to use their own unique talents in ministry. Houses of the Order vary from traditional monastic retreat/conference centers of hospitality to active inner-city urban houses. Members of the Order are engaged in preaching, counseling and spiritual direction, in teaching, in parish work, in evangelism, in retreat work, and in ministry to alcoholics, addicts and those with AIDS. The Order has a special ministry of building the monastic life in the Anglican Church in Africa.

Contact Details

Address: uMariya uMama weThemba Monastery, PO Box 6013, Grahamstown, 6141, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)46 622 8111
Fax: +27 (0)46 622 6424

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SPB - Society of the Precious Blood (Lesotho) 

Founded 1905

Five Sisters of the Society of the Precious Blood at Burnham Abbey came to Masite in Lesotho in 1957 to join with a community of African women, with the intention of forming a multi-cultural contemplative community dedicated to intercession. In 1966, this community at Masite became autonomous, although still maintaining strong ties of friendship with Burnham Abbey. In 1980, a House of Prayer was established in Kimberley in South Africa, which has developed a more active branch of the Society.

Contact Details

Name: Sister Elaine Mary SPB  (Prioress, assumed office 24th September 1997)
Address: Priory of Our Lady, Mother of Mercy, PO Box 7192, Maseru, Lesotho, 100, South Africa
Tel: +266 58 859 585

Other Addresses:

Address: St Monica's House of Prayer, 46 Green Street, West End, Kimberely, 8301 South Africa
Tel: +266 53 832 7331


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OGS - Oratory of the Good Shepherd 

Founded 1913

The Oratory of the Good Shepherd is a society of priests and laymen founded at Cambridge (UK), which now has provinces in North America, Australia, Southern Africa and Great Britain.

Oratorians are bound together by a common Rule and discipline; members do not generally live together in community. The brethren are grouped in 'colleges' and meet regularly for prayer and support, and each province meets annually for retreat and chapter. Every three years, the General Chapter meets, presided over by the Superior of the whole Oratory, whose responsibility is to maintain the unity of the provinces. Consecration of life in the Oratory has the twin purpose of fostering the individual brother's personal search for God in union with his brethren, and as a sign of the Kingdom. So through the apostolic work of the brethren, the Oratory seeks to make a contribution to the life and witness of the whole Church.

In common with traditional communities, the Oratory requires celibacy. Brothers are accountable to their brethren for their spending and are expected to live simply and with generosity. The ideal spiritual pattern includes daily Eucharist, Offices, and an hour of prayer. Study is also regarded as important in the life. During the time of probation which lasts one or two years, the new brother is cared for and nurtured in the Oratory life by another brother of his College. The brother may then, with the consent of the province, make his first profession, which is renewed annually for at least five years, though with the hope of intention and perseverance for life. After five years, profession can be made for a longer period, and after ten years a brother may, with the consent of the whole Oratory, make his profession for life.

Contact Details

Name: Thami Shangi OGS  (Provincial, assumed office 1999)
Address: PO Box 54890, Umlazi, 4031, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)31 908 1066
Email: Email


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SSJD - Society of St John the Divine 

Founded 1874

The Society has never been a large community, with just sixty professions over a century, and has always worked in Natal. Originally the community ran schools and orphanages, but handed the last of its institutions to the diocese in 1968, and moved from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. The Sisters still have a presence on the Board of St John's Diocesan School and St Martin's Home for Children. For a time after 1968, the Sisters were involved in parish work, and then in retreat work. After the death of the older Sisters, the remaining members moved to the present house.

Mother Margaret Anne and Sister Mary Evelyn are lay ministers, licensed to preach in any parish of the diocese. In our own parish, Sister Mary Evelyn takes sick communions, and is involved at the hospice and with AIDS patients. Sister Sophia visits a hospice for homeless women. Mother Margaret Anne is a member of the Diocesan Synod.

Contact Details

Name: Sister Margaret Anne SSJD  (Sister in charge, assumed office May 1994)
Address: Cottage 252, Umdoni Retirement Village, PO Box 300, Pennington, Natal, 4184, South Adrica
Tel: +27 039 975 3194
Email: Email

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CR - Community of the Resurrection 

Founded 1892
Registered Charity : No. 232670

The Community consists of priests and laymen living together as brothers a life devoted to prayer and worship, work and study. They undertake a wide range of pastoral ministry, both in the UK and South Africa. Their work includes a theological college at Mirfield and retreat houses, together with evangelism and counselling.

Contact Details

Address: St Peter's Priory, PO Box 991, Southdale, 2135, South Africa
Tel: +27 (11) 434 2504
Fax: +27 (11) 434 4556
Email: Email

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OGS - Oratory of the Good Shepherd 

Founded 1913

The Oratory of the Good Shepherd is a society of priests and laymen founded at Cambridge (UK), which now has provinces in North America, Australia, Southern Africa and Great Britain.

Oratorians are bound together by a common Rule and discipline; members do not generally live together in community. The brethren are grouped in 'colleges' and meet regularly for prayer and support, and each province meets annually for retreat and chapter. Every three years, the General Chapter meets, presided over by the Superior of the whole Oratory, whose responsibility is to maintain the unity of the provinces. Consecration of life in the Oratory has the twin purpose of fostering the individual brother's personal search for God in union with his brethren, and as a sign of the Kingdom. So through the apostolic work of the brethren, the Oratory seeks to make a contribution to the life and witness of the whole Church.

In common with traditional communities, the Oratory requires celibacy. Brothers are accountable to their brethren for their spending and are expected to live simply and with generosity. The ideal spiritual pattern includes daily Eucharist, Offices, and an hour of prayer. Study is also regarded as important in the life. During the time of probation which lasts one or two years, the new brother is cared for and nurtured in the Oratory life by another brother of his College. The brother may then, with the consent of the province, make his first profession, which is renewed annually for at least five years, though with the hope of intention and perseverance for life. After five years, profession can be made for a longer period, and after ten years a brother may, with the consent of the whole Oratory, make his profession for life.

Contact Details

Name: The Rt Revd John Salt OGS  (Superior, assumed office 1996)
Address: PO Box 62, St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean
Fax: +290 4330
Email: Email
Website: www.ogs.net

Other Communities


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OHP - Order of the Holy Paraclete 

Founded 1915
Registered Charity : No. 271117

Founded as an educational Order, the Sisters have diversified their work in the UK to include hospitality, retreats and spiritual direction, hospital chaplaincy, inner city involvement, preaching and mission, and development work overseas. The Mother House is at St Hilda's Priory, Whitby. Some Sisters work in the adjacent Sneaton Castle Centre, which caters for a wide variety of day and residential groups. Other UK houses are in York, Rievaulx, and Hull.

Overseas, the Order's long-standing commitment to Africa has been extended in exciting new developments: raising awareness of Aids and providing a home for abused girls in Swaziland, and fostering vocations to Religious life in Ghana and South Africa. In response to perceived local interest and support, two new convents have been built, one in Jachie, Ashanti, where there is also an Eye Clinic run by a Ghanian member, the other in Johannesburg alongside St Benedict's House, the retreat and conference centre run by the Sisters.

Central to the Order's life in all its houses are the Divine Office and Eucharist, and a strong emphasis on corporate activity.

Contact Details

Address: St Hilda's House, PO Box 1272, Manzini, Swaziland, South Africa
Tel: +268 505 3323
Email: Email


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CHN - Community of the Holy Name (Zulu Province) 

Founded 1865 in UK and 1969 in Zululand

The Community of the Holy Name in Zululand was founded by three Zulu Sisters who began their Religious Life with the Community in Leribe. All three Provinces of CHN have the same Rule of life, but there are differences of customary and constitutions to fit in with cultural differences. The daily life of the Community centres around the daily Office, and the Eucharist whenever the presence of a priest makes this possible.

The Sisters are involved extensively in mission, pastoral and evangelistic work. The Zulu Sisters have evangelistic gifts which are used in parishes throughout the diocese at the invitation of parish priests. Several Sisters have trained as teachers or nurses. They work in schools or hospitals, where possible within reach of one of the Community houses. Their salaries, and the handicrafts on sale at the Convent at Kwa Magwaza, help to keep the Community solvent.

Contact Details

Name: Mother Bonakele CHN  (Provincial Superior, assumed office 2002)
Address: Convent of the Holy Name, Pt. Bag 806, Melmoth, Zululand, South Africa
Tel: +27 3545 02892