Pope Francis appoints Indian priest as bishop of Botswana in South Africa

Bishop Anthony Pascal Rebello

Pope Francis has appointed Father Anthony Pascal Rebello, a Divine Word missionary priest from India, as new bishop of Francistown in Botswana in South Africa.

The diocese has been without a bishop since Bishop Franklyn Nubuasah was transferred to the Diocese of Gaborone in June 2019.

Father Rebello has been parish priest of the Holy Cross parish in Mogoditshane, until his appointment as bishop.

Born on March 18, 1950, in Nairobi, Kenya, Father Rebello entered the Society of the Divine Word congregation in 1969. He completed his novitiate in Khurda, Madhya Pradesh.

He finished his priestly formation at the Divine Word Seminary in Pune and was ordained a priest in Goa on May 10, 1977.

He got a licentiate in Spiritual Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1981 and went on to serve as a missionary in Botswana, where he was parish priest in Palapye until 1984.

In Kenya, he also held the office of provincial superior of the congregation, and in Antigua, where he exercised his ministry in a rural parish and then in the Holy Family Cathedral until 1990.

In Angola, he was parish vicar, parish priest, and master of novices. He returned to India and continued his pastoral ministry until 2002.

Since 2003, he has served as a missionary in Botswana, in the diocese of Gaborone.

Father Tony Menezes, a Goan SVD priest described Father Rebello as “a missionary in the true sense, often volunteering to work among the poorest and those on the peripheries of society.” - RVA News