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.

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.

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 effected. 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.

Right Reverend Hugh Boyl 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.

Below is the church’s unusual Baptismal Font.

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

Fr. W. Conway

Joined the Parish in 1960

Fr. J. Nobrega

Joined late in 1970

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.

His gracious Blessing

After Blessing the separate aisles the Bishop returns to the Altar and prays to the Victim of propitiation to command that “the polished surface of this stone … be enriched with the fullness of His gracious Blessing”

Altar sprinkling

The Bishop sprinkles the Altar with Gregorian water and the Altar is incensed.
The rite of Internment begins. The Relic, reposing on the Tabernacle Altar, is incensed and carried in procession to the Sepulchre in the Main Altar.

Sealing the Sepulchre

The Relic is placed and the Sepulchre sealed.

“O God … Grant that we may ever be helped by the merits of those whose relics we here venerate with Pious affection”

The Tabernacle

The Tabernacle – Abode our Lord and therefore the very nerve-centre of our Faith within the Parish, here shown in detail, is an exquisite composite of the newness of our times and old-world thinking. In design and conception it is both singularly meaningful and an expression of the nature of Christ the Man; in symbolism it is simply descriptive:
“JESUS CHRIST – GOD, SON and SAVIOUR."

Five Crosses

The five crosses on the Altar table and the two Altar pillars are annointed with Holy Chrism:

“May this Altar be signed, hallowed and consecrated, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: in honour of God, and of the Blessed Virgin Mary. AMEN"

Incense over the crosses

Five crosses made of tapers and incense are placed over the crosses in the Table and lit:
“COME HOLY SPIRIT, FILL THE HEARTS OF THY FAITHFUL AND KINDLE IN THEM THE FIRE OF THY LOVE." “Upon this Altar, therefore, let there be the worship of sinlessness, and may pride, lust and all evil inclination be destroyed. May the pure sacrifice and the spotless sacrament be offered up. “

Blessing the Church

The Church is Blessed. It is Dedicated and the Altar is Consecrated. Sister Mary Alfonso, O.P. dresses the Altar for the first ever Mass in our new church. It is the culmination, the fulfillment of a labour of love over many years. “The House of the Lord is well  founded on a firm rock.”

The Mass is con-celebrated by Bishop Boyle with Fr. de Nobrega, Fr. Hogan, Father Paddy Abell, our beloved Parish Priest who sought no honour, and Fr. Kevin Bugler.

Final Blessings

The Mass is ended. The Bishop offers his blessings to a grateful people of the Parish

At the reception provided by the St. Rose's Convent PTA in the Convent Hall a tireless and devoted Mr. Don de Vaux offers his Parish Council’s acknowledgements and thanks.

With Mr. de Vaux are (left to right) Msgr. A. Kelly, Vicar General, Father P. Hogan,

Transvaal Oblate Provincial, Bishop Boyle, Mr. A.J.C. Voorvelt, the architect and Mrs Voorvelt.

Sealing the Sepulcher

The Relic is placed and the Sepulcher sealed.

“O God … Grant that we may ever be helped by the merits of those whose relics we here venerate with Pious affection”