Pope Francis sent today, April 20, his “heartfelt condolences” for the April 17 death of Cardinal Sebastian Koto Khoarai, OMI, Bishop Emeritus of Mohale’s Hoek in Lesotho. The Pontiff sent the telegram to Bishop of Mohale’s Hoek, John Joale Tlhomola of the Servants of Christ the Priest. Here is the Vatican-provided English text of the Pope’s message, followed by a Vatican-provided biography of the late cardinal:
THE RIGHT REVEREND JOHN J. TLHOMOLA
BISHOP OF MOHALE’S HOEK
HAVING LEARNED WITH SADNESS OF THE DEATH OF CARDINAL SEBASTIAN KOTO KHOARAI, I EXTEND MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES TO YOU AND TO THE CLERGY, RELIGIOUS AND LAITY OF THE DIOCESE OF MOHALE’S HOEK. WITH GRATITUDE FOR CARDINAL KHOARAI’S WITNESS OF CONSECRATED LIFE AS AN OBLATE OF MARY IMMACULATE, HIS LONGSTANDING COMMITMENT TO THE PROMOTION OF VOCATIONS TO THE PRIESTHOOD AND HIS DEDICATION TO THE CHURCH’S EDUCATIONAL APOSTOLATE IN LESOTHO, I WILLINGLY JOIN YOU IN PRAYING THAT OUR HEAVENLY FATHER MAY GRANT HIM THE REWARD OF HIS TIRELESS LABOURS AND WELCOME HIS NOBLE SOUL INTO THE JOY OF HIS ETERNAL KINGDOM. TO ALL WHO MOURN THE LATE CARDINAL’S PASSING IN THE SURE HOPE OF THE RESURRECTION I CORDIALLY IMPART MY APOSTOLIC BLESSING AS A PLEDGE OF CONSOLATION AND PEACE IN JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR.
[Original text: English]
Here is the Vatican-provided biography of the late cardinal:
KHOARAI Card. Sebastian Koto, O.M.I.
Cardinal Sebastian Koto Khoarai, O.M.I., Bishop emeritus of Mohale’s Hoek, Lesotho, was born in Koaling, in the diocese of Leribe, Lesotho, on September 11th, 1929.
He entered the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and was ordained a priest on December 21st, 1956.
He was raised to the episcopate on November 10th, 1977 as ordinary of Mohale’s Hoek, receiving consecration on April 2nd, 1978.
In May 2006 he submitted his resignation upon reaching the age limit, but remianed as apostolic administrator of the diocese untill February 2014.
From 1982 to 1987 he served as president of the Episcopal Conference of Lesotho.
He is Lesotho’s first Cardinal.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 19 November 2016, titular church of San Leonardo da Porto Maurizio ad Acilia.
Cardinal Sebastian Koto Khoarai, O.M.I., died on 17 April 2021.