The diocese of Dundee was formerly known as the prefecture apostolic of Volksrust. It was erected by the Bull “In Similitudinem” of Pius XII dated 23 June 1958, and entrusted to the English Province of the Order of Friars Minor. The Prefecture was created a Diocese under the title, Diocese of Dundee, by the Bull of Pope John Paul II “Quandoquidem Ecclesia” dated 19 November 1982. Michael Paschal Rowland OFM was ordained the first bishop of the diocese on the 17 September 1983.

The boundaries of the territory are: Lydenburg Diocese to the North, Johannesburg to the North-West, Bethlehem Diocese to the West, Manzini Diocese to the East and Durban Archdiocese to the South.

Chancery in Newcastle

The Prefecture comprised the following Districts: Ermelo, Standerton, Bethal, Piet Retief, Amersfoort, Volksrust, Wakkerstroom in Mpumalanga and Newcastle, Utrecht, Dundee, Ladysmith and Msinga districts (as bounded by the Tugela River) in KwaZuluNatal.

The diocese now covers an area of 51 867 km² and has a population of 1 706 000 of whom 94 484 are Catholic in 29 parishes served by 30 priests. The diocese is twinned with Brentwood diocese in Essex, England, since 1985.

The First Mission was established at Maria Ratschitz in 1889. St Anthony’s Orphanage started in 1963 in Pomeroy, before moving to Blaauwbosch, where today 70 children are accommodated.


In 1966, the first Zulu diocesan priest was ordained for the Prefecture at Maria Ratschitz.

In 1968, there was the beginning of what years later was to become St Antonine’s Old Age Home at Amakhasi Mission.

Consolata priests were sent to work in the Prefecture from 1971.

In 1972, the curia of the Prefecture moved from Volksrust to Dundee.

From 1985, Fidei donum priests and Mercy Sisters came to work in the Diocese.

In 1993 we began the building of the Pax Christi Pastoral Centre at Newcastle.

The Spiritan priests, now 4, arrived from 2004.

In 2009, the Diocese moved from Dundee to Newcastle. The cathedral is still in Dundee.