Welcome to the Website of the Roman Catholic Church in the South Atlantic Ocean. The vast territorial area of the jurisdiction covers about one sixth of the world's surface. In that area there are, in fact, two ecclesiastic jurisdictions. The first is the Apostolic Prefecture of the Falkland Islands and the second is the Independent Mission (missio sui iuris) of the Islands of St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.
The history of the Church, in these Islands, can be traced back as far as the eighteenth century. The early mission began in a rather tentative way but gradually developed over the years, especially under the dedicated priests and religious brothers and sisters of the Salesian Order (1888-1952) and the Mill Hill Missionaries (1952-2002.) Since 2002 the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales has taken on the responsibility to provide for its pastoral needs of the people of the South Atlantic.
This Apostolic Prefecture, and the three Missions Sui Iuris that make up the Church in the South Atlantic, are under the direct jurisdiction of the Holy See.
At the moment we have one full time resident priest, Fr Peter Norris SFO, serving as Parish Priest of St Mary’s Church, Stanley, in the Falkland Islands. Initially, he applied to fill the vacancy that had been advertised in his diocesan Newsletter of Southwark Archdiocese. Father Peter has also served as Officiating Chaplain to the Military and as Chaplain to the Navy Cadets in the Falkland Islands. However, after eight years of dedicated service he is due to return to his diocese in January 2013.
We still hope to have a resident priest in each of the Island communities. In the meantime, we believe that this website will not only be a constant source of information to the Islanders of the South Atlantic, but also to the world-wide community - many of whom I know, have an abiding interest in what is happening in this part of the world.
We hope that our periodic updates will be enjoyed by all.