St. Patrick's La Rochelle

About Us

Our Mission

Building our lives in the image of Christ through worship and prayer and growing our Parish by spreading the Gospel.

Our Vision

Be a welcoming and united faith community that thrives to serve others through compassionate personal outreach.

Our Beliefs

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

The Church

The church of St. Patrick’s, La Rochelle depicted just prior to the completion of the building operations. It stands possibly as a monument to two fine, upright and dedicated servants of God.

Father P J Abell O.M.I. who, by God’s grace, lived to see a dream established. Father Paddy Abell’s sudden death 21 days after the Opening shocked not only the Parish, but the Diocese and beyond; and Mr. D H de Vaux, Parish Council Chairman, whose great zeal and inspiration are mirrored certainly in the inner church’s greatest charm – its simplicity, oneness and warmth. Under his direction the Council were a devoted group of persons.

Father P J Abell O.M.I.
Mr. D H de Vaux

The keynote

Simplicity is the Church’s keynote.

Its opulence is reflected in the heavy timbered ceiling, its marble Sanctuary, Tabernacle and Altar. Its great beauty is its warmth of feeling and the closeness of the priest at the Altar with his congregation.

The old church​

An interior view of the old church taken about 1929/30

The Photo was taken shortly after additions to the original church has been affected. This view shows the old church almost exactly as it was when pulled down to make way for the new church. Father L Peron O.M.I. is the priest at the altar rail.

Links have been maintained with the old church in such forms as the marble Holy Water fonts at the entrances, the very beautiful Crucifix now hanging in the new Sanctuary (far left), Candlesticks, Chalices and so on.
The Chalice shown (left) is possibly also the embodiment of the life of the Parish. Father Abell observed at the time of the Opening of the new church that this Chalice has been in continuous use in La Rochelle from the beginning of the Parish.

Right Reverend Hugh Boyle D.D., Bishop of Johannesburg quite emotionally referred to the church as a ‘Gem’ during his homily at the first ever Mass on the the 1st May 1971.

Right Reverend Hugh Boyle D.D

The Oblate Fathers assisting Father Abell at the time of the Opening were:

Father W. Conway

Joined the Parish in 1960

Fr. J. Nobrega
Father J. Nobrega

Joined late in 1970

Fr. K. Bugler
Fr. K. Bugler

Joined early in 1970. Fr. Bugler previously served the Parish in 1961/2 when Fr. J. Brady, O.M.I., was Parish Priest.

The Opening

The Bishop, with his Ministers – Father P. Hogan, Transvaal Oblate Provincial and Father P. Abell, Parish Priest at La Rochelle, begins the Ceremonies by Blessing the exterior of the church.

The Procession enters the church and the people follow. The Bishop sprinkles Holy Water on the walls and the Litany of the Saints is said.