About our Archdiocese

History of the Diocese

This territory was erected as the Vicariate of Natal on 5 October 1850, extending “from the Kei River, that is, from the boundary of the Eastern Vicariate of the Cape of Good Hope to Quilimane, that is, the Eastern extremity of Portuguese territory, and interiorly to the Tropic”. It was confided to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

The vague delimitation of boundaries prompted many queries on the part of the first Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Allard, who finally interpreted them as extending northwards as far as the tropic of Capricorn and excluding Portuguese territory. On 15 March 1876 a clarification was issued to Bishop Jolivet establishing the boundaries of the Natal Vicariate as following the line of the coast from the Kei River to Quilimane, then along the 18th degree of latitude south, down the 18th degree of longitude east, and finally along the course of the Orange River and the frontier of the Cape Colony, leaving British Kafraria in the Eastern Vicariate.

This huge territory was divided soon afterward when the Zambesi Mission was confined to the Society of Jesus in 1879. There followed in 1886 the erection of the Vicariate of the Orange Free State (comprising the Free State, Basutoland, and the Diamond Fields); and the Prefecture of the Transvaal. In 1921 further divisions were made with the creation of the Vicariates Apostolic of Mariannhill, Eshowe, and Swaziland.

On the establishment of the Hierarchy on 11 January 1951, the Vicariate Apostolic of Natal became the Archdiocese of Durban. In 1958 the northern section of the Archdiocese was detached to form part of the Prefecture Apostolic of Volksrust, now the Diocese of Dundee.

The Archdiocese of Durban comprises the civil districts of Camperdown, north of the Umlaas River, (except the farms of Mariannhill, Klaarwater, Dassenhoek, Welbedag, and portion of Stockville), Durban, Estcourt, Inanda, Kranskop, Lions River, Lower Tugela, Maphumulo, Umvoti, Weenen, Bergville and part of Msinga.

Episcopal Leadership


  1. Rt Rev Marie Jean Francois Allard OMI, Titular Bishop of Samaria and Vicar Apostolic of Natal, ordained 13 July 1851 at Marseilles by the Blessed Charles Joseph Eugene de Mazenod, Founder of the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate; retired in 1873; appointed Archbishop of Taron in partibus; died in Rome in 1889.
  2. Rt Rev Charles Constant Jolivet OMI, Titular Bishop of Bellina and Vicar Apostolic of Natal, appointed 15 August 1874, ordained November 1874; died at Durban 15 September 1903.
  3. Rt Rev Henry Delalle OMI, Titular Bishop of Thugga and Vicar Apostolic of Natal; appointed 19 December 1903, ordained 2 June 1904; retired 4 April 1946; died at Durban 15
    February 1949.
  4. Most Rev Denis Eugene Hurley OMI, Titular Bishop of Turuzi and Vicar Apostolic of Natal, 12
    December 1946, ordained 19 March 1947; became Archbishop of Durban 11 January 1951; retired June 1992; died at Durban 13 February 2004.
  5. Rt Rev Bishop Dominic Joseph Chwane Khumalo OMI, Titular Bishop of Buxentum and was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Durban on 04 May 1978. Died 27 April 2006.
  6. His Eminence Wilfrid Fox Napier OFM (born 8 March 1941) is a South African prelate of the Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Durban from 1992 to 2021 and has been a cardinal since 2001. He served as Bishop of Kokstad from 1981 to 1992. On 29 March 1992, he was named to succeed Denis Hurley as Archbishop of Durban.


Province of Durban
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

His Grace
Siegfried Jwara

Siegfried Jwara was born on 1 February 1957 in Saint Nivard, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He was named Siegfried after the priest who baptized him.

After attending the Kwa-Hluzingqondo School in uMkhomazi and completing his high school studies, he entered the Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill on 1 February 1981.

He took his first religious vows on 24 September 1984 and his final vows in 1986. He completed his studies in philosophy and theology at Saint Joseph's Theological Institute in Cedara from 1982 to 1986.

He was ordained a deacon on 31 May 1986 by Bishop Mansuet Biyase of Eshowe and a priest on 14 February 1987 by Bishop Paul Themba Mngoma of Mariannhill.

He was parish vicar at the Clairvaux Mission in Mpendle in the Diocese of Mariannhill from 1987 to 1992. He obtained a diploma in Human Development, Leadership, Formation & Community Building at the Institute of Saint Anselm in London during the year 1992-1993. He was master of novices at Mariannhill Monastery, briefly rector at Merrivale, and then provincial counsellor of his order from 1993 to 1998.

In 1998 he earned a master's degree in theology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg. He has also served as superior of the Mariannhill Province from 1998 to 2002 and general counsellor at the order's headquarters in Rome from 2002 to 2004.

Next he was a parish priest in Port Saint Johns and in the Saint Patrick Mission of the diocese of Umtata, and then again counsellor from 2005 to 2006 and provincial superior of the order from 2006 to 2009. He returned to the diocese of Umtata as parish priest of Saint Patrick, diocesan consultor and dean of the eastern deanery from 2009 to 2014. He was regional superior of that diocese and again parish priest of the Saint Patrick Mission from 2014 to 2016.

On 30 April 2016, Pope Francis appointed apostolic vicar of Ingwavuma and named him titular bishop of Elephantaria in Proconsulari. He received his episcopal consecration the following 25 June from Bishop José Luís Ponce de León of Manzini, his predecessor in Ingwavuma.

He was elected by the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference as one of its two representatives at the 2018 synod of bishops on youth and discernment.

In February 2020, Jwara joined 15 Catholic bishops in the Global Campaign for Peace and Justice in Cameroon, asking President Paul Biya to accept the Swiss government's offer of arbitration to end the sectarian violence there.

On 9 June 2021, Pope Francis named him to succeed Cardinal Wilfrid Napier as Archbishop of Durban.