Mamelodi - Pretoria 4.1.1972
ETÀ: 44 anni
Fr. Nel Sello Matlala was born on the 4th January 1972 at Mamelodi East. He was the third in the family of Georginah Maggie Matlala. As a young man, he was inspired by the Missionary Priests and so he felt that God was calling to serve him as a Religious in the congregation of the Sacred Stigmata our Lord Jesus Christ. In order to respond favorably to his Vocation Nel Matlala began his formation to Stigmatine Life on 10th January 1992 at Jericho for a period of one year of Orientation. In 1993 to 1994 he was sent to Wildwoods so that he could undergo his Philosophical Studies at the Franciscan House of Studies at the Kraal here in Pretoria. On the 28th August 1994, while still at Wildwoods, Fr. Nel Matlala became a Postulant. He successfully completed his studies in Philosophy and was admitted into the Novitiate. On the 23rd January 1995, Fr. Nel became a Novice and was sent to Notwane in Gaborone Botswana, which is a beginning of Religious Life in the Church. On the 23rd January 1996, Fr. Nel Sello Matlala made his first Religious Profession in the Stigmatine Congregation, thereby becoming officially a member of the Stigmatine Family.
Since Fr. Nel Matlala had expressed the desire to become a Stigmatine Priest, he was sent to St. John Vianney Seminary for his Theological Studies.
In 2002, Fr. Nel Matlala was ordained deacon and 21st December 2002 he was ordained to the Priesthood by his Archbishop George Daniel, the Emeritus of Pretoria Archdiocese. As a Stigmatine, he was known to be a joyful Religious, who loved community life and dedicated himself for its growth. He was known as a “Happy Priest” by the young confreres. Fr. Nel Matlala has been known as the apostle to the youth of the Archdiocese of Pretoria. As a brother, he loved youth ministry with all his heart. He was talented in organizing retreats, seminars for the youth. He knew how to approach the youth by using their language to the point that they loved together around him listening to him. He dedicated his priestly life to the formation of the young people especially the Altar Servers. He formed all the altar servers of our deanary especially those in Winterveldt and Soshanguve area. Fr. Nel loved to serve the most disadvantage areas; he never looked for his glory but the glory of God as he served the people of God. He was a very outstanding organizer and Parish Administrator, with a burning desire to serve the people entrusted to him. He was available to serve wherever the superior sent him and he was always ready to give the best. Fr. Nel served in the following areas: He has been a councilor from 2009-2012; and from 2012-2015, 2015-2016; He has was councilor in the Province of Most Holy Redeemer at the time of his death. The council will miss his outstanding presence and contribution.
In 2003-2004, Fr. Nel worked as Vocations’ Promoter for our Congregation in the Southern part of Africa. During this time, he brought into our Congregation a number of candidates who are present up to now. During this same, Fr. Nel was the Chaplain of the Altar Servers and the Youth. He worked tirelessly in organizing youth retreats, rallies, sports and during this time many youth decided to come back to Church. In 2005-2006, Fr. Nel was appointed parish Priest of Jericho area and in 2007, he became Parish Priest of Brits Area. As usual he continued to dedicate his time and energies to Parish and Youth Ministry.
In 2012, Bishop Kelvin Dowling invited the Stigmatine Fathers to serve in his diocese for the first time. Fr Nel Matlala was appointed as Parish Priest of Bapong. While at Bapong, he committed himself to rebuild the community and to reach out to the youth who were somehow far away from the Church. He led the parish community in renovating part of the house and in completing the project of building the wall. In all these years, he served without fail every week, to prepare the Bulletin for all Stigmatine parishes in South Africa and Botswana. He also loved to prepare booklets and programs for Stigmatine liturgical cerebrations In his last lap of earthly life, Fr. Nel experienced breathing challenges, On 29th February 2016, his confreres rushed him to the hospital. However, he could not make it out of his condition. On the early hours of the 3rd of March 2016, at about 01:00hrs,Fr. Nel received the call to return to the Father who is in heaven and surrendered himself to him. May his soul rest in peace.