Bishop Victor Hlolo Phalana was born on 3 April 1961 in Erasmus, Odi, North West Province, South Africa. He was raised by his mother’s uncle: Clovis Phalana and Victoria Phalana. They were full time catechists and teachers in Catholic Schools. His adoptive parents received Papal Medals: Bene Merenti and Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice respectively. Both of them collaborated in introducing the Sodality and of the Sacred Heart and the Sodality of St Anne to the Archdiocese of Pretoria. Victor did his primary school studies at Sjambok School in Eramsus under Mr Michael Tshetlo. He completed his Matric studies at Tsogo High School under the Mercy Sisters. The principal was Sister Majella Quinn, in Mmakau, Dewildt. He was an altar server under Fr Guiliano Melotto CSS, a Stigmatine. He attended the Vocational Centre in Mmakau under Fr Michael D’Annucci, who also became his chaplain and mentor in the Chiro Movement of South Africa. May he Rest in Peace! He started his seminary formation in Hammanskraal, St Peter’s Orientation – under Fr Sebastian Mahara. He studied philosophy and theology at the major seminary of St John Vianney in Pretoria, under Fr Myles Russell OFM and Fr William Slattery OFM. He was ordained to the priesthood on the 14th May 1988 in Medunsa, by Archbishop Emeritus, G.F. Daniel where he was also incardinated to the Archdiocese of Pretoria. Following his ordination, Father Phalana served as parochial vicar of St. Camillus in Hammanskraal (1988-1989) and later as Pastor of Christ the King, Mabopane (1989-1992). From 1992-1993 he was Professor at the Propaedeutic Seminary of Hammanskraal and Cape Town. He received his Licentiate in Spiritual Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1995. In 1999 he undertook studies in African Culture at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi.
His Lordship, Bishop Victor, known to many as ‘bro V’ or ’Mavee’, has been a Catholic priest for 27 years. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Pretoria as a Diocesan Priest, where he served as a Vicar General to Archbishop William Slattery, OFM. He has spent his ministry working in Pretoria, Cape Town and Germiston.
His Lordship Bishop Victor has served the church in various capacities: Parish Priest, Chaplain of the Chiro Youth Movement, Vicar for Evangelisation, Vocations Director and Dean of the North West Deanery. Fr Victor served as a formator at St Paul’s Orientation Seminary in Hammanskraal; St Francis Xavier Orientation Seminary in Cape Town; St Peter’s Philosophicate in Garsfontein (Tshwane); and also in his Alma Mater, St John Vianney Seminary in Waterkloof (Tshwane). He was also a workshop facilitator/trainer on behalf of Lumko Institute in Germiston.
As a facilitator he had to visit every corner of the Republic of South Africa. He did some ministry in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Italy, Lugano in Switzerland and Zambia.
He served as Secretary of the Southern African Council of Priests (SACOP).
He served on various committees of the Southern African Bishops Conference: Committee of Liturgy and Inculturation; Committee of Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Dialogue; Committee for Culture.
He was Chairperson of the Board of the Oukasie Development Trust; Deputy Chairperson of the Tshwane Leadership Foundation and a Board member of Yeast Housing in Tshwane.
He continues to be involved in community projects. One of those community based projects, Hectorex, is presently promoting IT training and IT networking; Maths and Science Training for Educators and High School students; Science Week and Girl Learner Training. These projects are based in the Madibeng Municipality, Oukasie and Hartebeespoort.
Bishop Victor is passionate about South Africa. He would like to see our South African story being a success story; not a story of disastrous failure! He is concerned about all those who criticise without putting forward possible solutions to the challenges facing us. He believes that co-operation and collaboration are the best tools for success and development. He, like most of us, would like to be a part of the solution, not part of whiners and reactionaries.
We are faced with challenges: some of those challenges are pollution; lack of development; unemployment and a high crime rate; lack of infrastructure; poverty, HIV/Aids and chronic illnesses; lack of skills; disintegrating family life; substance abuse and moral decay; nepotism and corruption; political and economic instability in the neighbouring countries; xenophobia, racism, tribalism, charlatans and scams especially self-declared prophets, apostles and pastors in the New South Africa; drug dealers and gangs; prostitution and human trafficking; road accidents; witchcraft, witch-doctors and satanism; rebellious youths, unemployed youths, angry youths; and the challenges posed by immigrants and refugees. The list goes on and on. We cannot resolve all these issues at once. We need one another to come up with strategies, and innovative mechanisms to deal with them. The government alone cannot do this. Faith-based communities have a big role to play.
He was ordained bishop of Klerksdorp on the 25th of January 2015 by Archbishop William Slattery, OFM. His Motto is “JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!”