Ennis Hyacinth ,
Antonianum, 69/4 (1994) p. 588
On Saturday 19 February a former student of the Antonianum, Fr. William (Liam) Slattery o.f.m., was ordained Bishop of Kokstad in South Africa. Fr. William was born in Port Laoise, Ireland on 6 September 1943. After schooling locally in Tipperary he went to Gormanston College run by the Irish franciscans. Later in 1962 he joined the Irish friars at their novitiate at Killarney. On the completion of a B.A. course at Galway University in 1966 he was solemnly professed. He then took up residence at St. Isidore's College in Rome in order to attend lectures at the Antonianum. He obtained the S.T.B. (1968), the S.T.L. (1970) and a Diploma in Christian Archaeology at the Antonianum. The then Rector of the North American College in Rome, Bishop (presently Cardinal-Archbishop of Washington) James Hickey, ordained him to the priesthood in Rome.
In 1971 Fr. William went to live and work as a missioner in South Africa. He has done pastoral ministry there in many places in the Transvaal and Natal. He was Novice Master in Besters from 1975 until 1984. For a short period (1984-1985) he was Custos of the irish friars in South Africa.
He was appointed Rector of St. John Vianney Seminary in Pretoria and lectured there in Church History from 1985 till 1991. In the meantime he completed a degree course in anthropology at the University of South Africa (UNISA). He also published some books and articles in English, Zulu and Sesotho. He was appointed Bishop of Kokstad in December 1993.
The principal ordaining prelate at his episcopal ordination was his confrere and predecessor (in Kokstad), Archbishop Wilfrid Napier o.f.m. of Durban, who was in turn assisted by yet another confrere, Bishop Paschal Rowland o.f.m. of Dundee (South Africa). Kokstad is a diocese of roughly 17,635 sq. km. and a Catholic population of about 54,000.