Benedictine Monks have lived and worked in Limpopo Province (formerly: Northern Transvaal) since the mid-1890’s. They together with lay religious congregations initially also from Belgium, began establishing the groundwork for the church, building schools, churches, clinics and hospitals. The work ranged over an immense area and eventually the province was divided into two dioceses : Tzaneen and Pietersburg (Polokwane).
About 35 years ago the Monks moved to Laatstehoop and established St Benedict’s Abbey, Subiaco, on property owned by the Diocese.
The Subiaco settlement consists of the Monastery, two convents, a pre-school, primary school and high school, a pastoral centre, skills training centre, furniture making workshops and various agricultural buildings.
The Monks have a good and close working relationship with the villages that surround it. Although many of the villagers are not Catholics, they have come to know they can rely on the Monks for help, support and advice.
The monastery works closely with the local village headman and with the local Tribal Authority.
Some important Dates linked to the History of the Diocese:
- Prefecture Apostolic of Northern Transvaal December 1910
- Territorial Abbey of Pietersburg June 1939;
- Diocese of Pietersburg December 1988
- Change of Name to Diocese of Polokwane September 2009
- 96 600 Catholics (2013)
- Cathedral of the Sacred Heart