Cardinal Wilfrid Napier



How to help




rom the splendour of the Emmanuel Cathedral in the centre of Durban, South Africa – to humble rural villages without running water, our  Archdiocese is home to a diversity of culture, race and resources.

Covering an area of over 20 000 kilometres, the Archdiocese of Durban serves more than 240 000 Catholics, many of whom live in extreme poverty in remote rural areas.

Since apartheid was abolished in 1990, the new struggle is to overcome our Country’s history of discrimination and deprivation – and outreach programmes are offered to all people in need, regardless of their beliefs.

After the government, the Catholic Church is the largest provider of services to the poorest, especially in education, health-care and social services. Without the Church’s schools and clinics, South Africa’s education and health-care systems would likely crumble.

Along with providing spiritual guidance, Catholic priests and sisters living on the remote outstations strive to alleviate poverty and uplift the Zulu people – whether it’s by starting food gardens and sewing groups, teaching new skills, or creating co-operative workshops.

Despite limited resources, the Sisters also provide education, nursing and care facilities of an extremely high standard. Your support helps make their work possible. Please consider making a donation right now online if you can. Thank you.

If you are planning a visit to Durban, why not email zulumissions@iafrica.com or telephone +27 31 303 1417 to arrange a visit to one of the Missions?

Meet our leader, Archbishop Siegfried Mandlenkosi Jwara


Overseas visitors to the Missions share their experiences of time spent visiting our projects and meeting the Cardinal, clergy and Mission people.

Map of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

Durban, on the east coast of South Africa, is the busiest port in Africa and famed for its golden beaches, washed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

Our Archdiocese spreads inland from the coast to the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains, where people still live as they did centuries ago … their days spent tending livestock, working the fields, and collecting firewood and water from the river.

Please click the map above for a larger diagram of our Archdiocese and its parishes.


Sharing the Gospel with the people of South Africa is our primary focus. God’s message of love, forgiveness, reconciliation, redemption and eternal life, is often all that the Zulu people have to give them hope and strength in their daily struggle.

Part of this mission to evangelise is to promote by example traditional Christian values of loving, caring, forgiving and helping others.

Will you work beside us, and support the Zulu Missions with your gift today? Click here to donate online.

When a starving man turns to us and says, ‘It’s only your soup that keeps me alive’, we know how grave the situation is, and how much more support this outreach needs.

Hunger is a daily reality for our people – in both rural and city communities. We see the face of Jesus Christ in every hungry person, and through our soup kitchens and food parcels for desperate families, child headed households (where children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS) and the aged, we ‘give Him to eat’.

Whilst hunger demands an immediate response, we are strong proponents of the believe that ‘if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for life.’

The Archdiocese supports many self-help initiatives including community food gardening and sewing/handcrafts projects which enable people to feed themselves and earn an income, however small.

Many of our Catholic schools have been forced to close, or been taken over by the Department of Education. The few that remain exist on meagre budgets with limited facilities and teaching resources.

Right now, the Archdiocese of Durban is assisting several rural schools in establishing libraries. Funds to stock newly installed shelves in fledgling school libraries is an ongoing challenge.

If you believe as we do, that education is the key to a better life, you may wish to support our education fund.

No child deserves to grow up on the street – without love, guidance and material necessities.

Our St Theresa’s, St Philomena’s and St John Vianney Homes provide loving care and shelter for abandoned and orphaned children, whilst the Streetwise rescue and rehabilitation project is aimed at reuniting street children with their families, or placing them in good foster homes.

The sisters depend entirely on outside funding to continue their work, and would so appreciate any help you might be able to give them.

From the moment of conception, to the moment of death, life is a gift from God, to be protected, cherished and nurtured.

When abortion was legalised in South Africa, our response was to create the Mater Vitae Home for women in pregnancy crisis. Today there are seven Mater Homes, offering a refuge for vulnerable women and their babies.

Some of the women have suffered rape or abuse, while others are affected by HIV/Aids. Project coordinator, Father Massimo Biancalani has always believed that it is not enough to expect vulnerable women to reject abortion without providing them with support through pregnancy and birth.

We reject euthanasia, abortion and whatever devalues or destroys human life.

The need for practical support, advice and encouragement for people affected by HIV/AIDS  and their families, and the ever-increasing needs of orphans and vulnerable children are a critical focus of our work.

Sinisizo is the Archdiocese of Durban’s flagship project and specializes in home-based care of the sick and dying and all it involves. When families can no longer cope, there is the Mater Consolans Hospice to turn to. Here, terminally ill patients can live out their last days with dignity, surrounded by love, prayer and peace.

Youth Ministry Committee encourages young people, through a behavioural change programme, to embrace personal morals to avoid becoming infected with the HIV virus.

Orphans & Vulnerable Children (OVC) Programme operates at parish level and offers welfare and emotional support for orphans.  Child-headed households, where younger children are being cared for by older siblings are of particular concern.

Parish Nurse Committee is a new programme that is designed to combine medical and material support with sacramental and spiritual care.

These are just a few of the programmes we support, ranging from large, well-established projects in urban areas to smaller, simpler initiatives deep in rural communities.   The needs are real and God’s love is present in them all.

Imagine in this day and age losing a baby to a common childhood disease that could be prevented by inoculation. In the deepest rural areas of our Archdiocese, this is not uncommon. Clinics run by the mission sisters make all the difference.

The promotion of justice is an integral part of the work of spreading the good news of salvation. Previously, the Department of Justice & Peace concentrated mainly on fighting against apartheid and redressing the wrongs of the past. Now it focuses on human rights issues.

We raise awareness of the causes of suffering and poverty and of the social implications of our faith. The department is also actively involved in the debate on climate change, gender issues, human trafficking, international trade and land issues.

In honour of the late Denis Hurely, former Archbishop of Durban and anti-apartheid struggle champion, the new Denis Hurley Centre has been built adjacent to the Emmanuel Cathedral in the heart of Durban.

The Centre provides Inner City Outreach Programmes including: Refugee Pastoral Care, Nkosinathi (feeding scheme), Usizo ‘Lwethu (clinic), Justice, Peace and Development (paralegal support and job-related training).

It is  beacon of hope in a challenging neighbourhood nd the realisation of Archbishop Hurley’s vision of the Church as a “community serving humanity”.

For more information, please visit the Denis Hurley Centre website.

Southern Africa has more than its share of refugees and displaced people. They arrive here from all over Africa, but especially from Zimbabwe and the conflict regions of DRC, Rwanda and Somalia.

We provide information to migrant people and liaise with the Department of Home Affairs on issues affecting refugees and migrants. We also provide education and awareness aimed at preventing xenophobic attacks.

Be part of our work in South Africa


Educational toys donated

“I was impressed by the friendliness of the Zulu people. I was touched by the warmth of their welcome, especially meeting Deacon Lawrence’s grandchildren in his home over a cup of tea! It was such a privilege to be there.

“I have never before swung and swayed so much at a celebration of Mass – it was fantastic and the singing was out of this world. The faces of the children were so full of excitement and happiness as presents were given out after Mass on Christmas day.

“I felt proud to be a Mission Patron and to share in a Zulu Christmas. I guess my role was something like that of the Magi who brought gifts to the infant Jesus, and I was grateful to be part of this experience in Africa.”
– Tony Watkins, UK

“It was a great day which left us with many indelible images. We really enjoyed being with our new-found Catholic friends and felt a genuine unity with them. It was wonderful to see their commitment to the Zulu people, to witness their care and God’s love in action.”
Margaret and Paul Lodge, UK

“Our visit was an eye-opener, heart-rending and a deeply emotional experience. Everything we saw touched us in different ways, and showed us that the prayers and effort we and our friends put in is really worthwhile. Every cent counts. And we’d encourage more people to join in, and those who already give to the missions to increase their efforts to support Cardinal Napier in his work.”
William and Mai Wallace, Ireland

“One of your letters mentioned the need for blankets. How horrible that someone should be cold. It broke our hearts. We live in the Catskill Mountains and are used to severe winters, but we simply turn up the thermostat or add another blanket to be comfortable.”
Mrs N, USA

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