In a letter to our Parish Pastoral Council Chairperson, Cecile Heather, Bishop Vincent Zungu OFM this week announced the appointment of Fr Joe Slattery as the Priest-in-Charge of the Kouga Catholic Communities of Sts Francis and Clare of Assisi.
We thank the Bishop for this appointment, and extend the hand of welcome to Fr Joe.
A little bit about our new Parish Priest:
Fr Joe is a native of Dublin, Ireland, ordained at All Hallows Seminary, Dublin, in 1966, for the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, USA.
He completed his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC in 1980.
Until 1990 he spent most of the time working in parishes in Virginia (USA), except for two years he spent in charge of youth ministry in the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, and teaching summer school at the Catholic University.
(He says he never wanted to be a full-time academic but seems to have spent a substantial proportion of his career at teaching institutions!).
He came to SA in 1988 on a sabbatical year to teach at the seminary in Pretoria. He was invited to come back and returned there in July 1990.
In 1992 he became pastor of the Catholic Communities in Grahamstown and taught for a year in the Theology Department of Rhodes University.
In 1997 he was appointed Director of Ministry to Priests for the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops’ Conference. This covered South Africa, Swaziland and Botswana, and continued until 2002.
After teaching for a year in the Seminary in Windhoek, he returned to the US where he was a pastor in Virginia (Virginia Beach) for six years, ending in 2011. At that time he became eligible for retirement and chose to come back to SA, where he accepted the position of Director of Religious Education for this diocese. He currently resides in a flat in Summerstrand.
Fr Joe, although he does not look it, is 76 years old, and has come out of semi-retirement to Minister to the Kouga. We are deeply grateful to him for his acceptance of the Bishop’s appointment to our Parish, and we trust that his time with us will be happy, blessed and stress-free.
Fr Joe, you are most welcome in the Kouga!