Iindaba # 044

15 July 2002

1. In the last month we have lost two wonderful friends of the diocese. On June the 8th Brother Jim Murtagh past away suddenly in Kokstad. The previous day Bro Jim had been in Matatiele awarding certificates to teachers who had completed courses with the Catholic Institute of Education. The previous Monday he had been in Maria Telgte explaining regarding the procedure for Bursaries. During the week he had gone to a number of schools offering the opportunity for a Bursary to the children. Brother Jim, a member of the Irish Christian Brothers will be deeply missed for he was a committed, friendly, sociable man. He had worked in Kokstad Diocese for 16 years. His first seven years was spent at Flagstaff at Sacred Heart School where he encouraged a generation of pupils in studies. We offer sincere sympathy to the congregation of the Christian Brothers and to Brother Alan and Brother Val still with us in Kokstad.

We are also sad to hear of the death of John Hanley ofm. Fr John was the director of the Franciscan Missionary Union in Dublin. As such he was a tremendous supporter financially, spiritually and in every way. We ask God to give eternal rest to this man who made our work possible and who brought the generosity of the Irish church to Kokstad. He visited here on a number of occasions and through his writings, his office work and his commitment to the individual Friars made our lives much easier. May God give him eternal rest.

The bishop attended the funeral of Bishop Reginald Orsmond, the bishop of Johannesburg on the 29th of May.

2. The diocese had the great privilege of welcoming Fr Giacamo Bini ofm the Minister General of the Franciscan Order to the diocese on May the 2nd. Fr Giacamo celebrated Mass for the whole Franciscan family gathered in the beautiful church of the Poor Clares. Mother Lilato the Sisters and the choir from Bhongweni made the liturgy a very memorable one. After Mass Fr Giacamo met Franciscans from all over South Africa .

We were honoured to have present NoNdlunkulu from Qawukeni who welcomed Fr Bini to South Africa . In the afternoon Fr Giacamo spoke with the Friars and had an evening meal here. It is a great honour to have the successor of St Francis among us. May the Franciscan family continue to grow and be blessed with many vocations.

3. One of the great occasions for the diocese this year took place in Bizana on May the 25th when Fr Vincent Bwete was ordained priest and Brother Lulama Msongelwa a deacon. There was palpable joy in the congregation in Bizana for the beautiful liturgy. Vincent had with him his Father and uncle from Uganda, while Lulama had the whole parish of Bizana behind him. It was a great day for the diocese and I thank all priests who gave such support and were present . A special word for the appreciation must go to Fr Mawethu who organised the choirs and oversaw the elaborate preparations of this great and memorable occasion. It was wonderful that Fr Rodgers Sihlobo who had always encouraged Lulama and who had just arrived back from his studies in the Holy land was present for the occasion.
4. The Bible team from Durban will give an intensive course in Bible to the leaders and people of the parish of Flagstaff from the 1st to the 3rd of August. Later in the month for a week end they will also come to Mount Ayliff. I encourage parish priests to invite this group. The diocese will help with the expenses. Our people are continually asking for help with the Bible. This is a glorious opportunity to present a Bible in an ordered way with suitable supporting texts to our people.
5. We wish to extend sincere gratitute to Bro Tabang Gabriel Letsohla and Bro SiphoZikhali ofm who did their internship in the parishes of Bhongweni and Bizana. Both had a great success and did wonderful work visiting the people, praying with them and encouraging them. The people expressed gratitude to have such young enthusiastic and dedicated men working among them. May they hurry back from their studies to the diocese.
We wish to welcome Brother Solly ofm to Hardenberg and Brothers Bheki ofm and Aaron ofm to Kokstad . They have completed their studies at St John Vianney Seminary they are now deacons and they have come to help us serve our people in the diocese. We are delighted to have them and say to them WELCOME BROTHERS!. We pray that God may continue to bless them and help them in their preparations for ordination.
6. Sister Callista is the co-ordinator of the Catechetical Department of the diocese. Sister is resident in Flagstaff and is doing wonderful work in the villages of that parish.
Sister also visited Mount Ayliff and other parishes to help them with their catechetical formation. She will be happy to help any parish who wants to assist its teachers in this most important Apostolate. Please get in contact with Sister Callista.
7. Fr Vincent Bwete conducted a youth retreat and concert at Kokstad, the 12th to the 14th of July. Fr Bwete is the spiritual director for the youth of the diocese. This is an area that until now has been somewhat neglected . We must do something to bring our youth into the church offer them guidance and formation , offer them an opportunity to play their role in church. The youth are our future, they are the children of God, and they are often the people most in need of God’s help. Congratulations to Fr Vincent for his work.
The diocese wishes to employ a fulltime youth worker . Can you suggest a lively , strong , confident and faithful, catholic person , between the ages of 29 an 49 who would have the charism to dedicate him/herself fully to the youth of the diocese. It will be a payed job.   Could you suggest somebody? Is there a sister?
8. Congratulations to Fr Jose of Franklin who organised an excellent leadership course for the leaders of the children of Mary from July the 9th to the 11th in Kokstad. 47 young people came and the team from Mariannhill offered them workshops and formation in leadership. This very successful meeting of the youth was a great joy for the diocese.
9. The Amadodana with their spiritual director, Fr George, will meet in Kokstad, Saturday the 20 of July.
10. Fr Florian , Fr Gunther of Mount Ayliff will bring 70 altar servers to the parish for the retreat on the 21st and 22nd of July. This is an excellent initiative and brings our young people into contact with the church. This is an opportunity to teach the central importance of the Eucharist , of love for the things of God, to make them participate in the life of the church and to encourage them in their christian vocation.
11. The Health committee looking after Aids sufferers in the diocese is alive and well . Fr Mawethu is the Chairperson, Miss Nogabe and Miss Qwebeba are on the team and Sr Mary Anthony looks after Sinosizo in Lusikisiki, Lerato Makhetha of Matatiele is secretary of the diocesan team . Please, priests and sisters, offer all the encouragement you can to our home-based care people. In the near future we will be offering courses for counsellors from which people may be able to get Government work in the future. Our people are suffering, do not abandon them, support our Home-based care workers.
12. The South African Catholic church has made Marriage and the Family its top priority for the next 10 years. With this in mind we have a glorious opportunity in that we have an excellent Marriage Encounter unit in our diocese. Fr Sihlobo has now returned after his extensive studies in the Holy land. Fr did wonderful work for our families and marriages with Marriage Encounter for many years. In fact, the Xhosa regional conference of bishops has requested that he foster the Encounter in our region from Bizana to Cape Town.
Could we assist him in finding couples who would be suitable candidates to attend marriage encounter. Remember that marriage encounter is not so much for solving marriage problems but to enrich all marriages and family life and sharing.
13. Remember the youth pilgrimage to Kevelear. This will take place between the 10th and the 13th of December this year. Chairperson of the organising committee is Fr Gunther. With him on the committee, Fr Bongani Mbhele , Fr Joseph, Fr Vincent, Sr Helena from Matatiele, Sr Gertrude, Sr Margaret and Mrs Setsubi.
Also remember the first Sunday after the 15th of August is the Kevelear pilgrimage each year. Many of our people like to go.
14. Recently, a parishioner of Kokstad made enquiries about becoming a Deacon in tghe diocese. This is a question we will have to discuss. Diaconate is a Sacrament, deacons must be offered full-time training. They are totally dedicated to the service of the church. They must get on-going formation. Some of our excellent catechists could be considered candidates for training for deacon, what do you think about it? Without the structure and Order of diaconate do we offer sufficient training for our catechists?
15. Through the initiative of Fr Antonio , the Bishop and Fr Antonio concecrated the parish of Mount Frere to the Sacred Heart on June the 9th . It brought a spirit of renewal and fervour. to our people. May the Sacred Heart continue to be the light and consolation of the people. There are 45 villages in Mount Frere, an area of much suffering from poverty and unemployment.
16. Thanks to the priests who promoted candidates to apply for the Bursaries offered through the Bishop’s office here in Kokstad. Mrs Lorna Wicks and Brother Jim introduced the programme at Maria Telgte . Application forms can be had from Lorna Wicks. Please encourage, promising young people who show signs of leadership, catholic and nnon-catholic to apply. There is very little time left.
17. The bishop with some of the principals of the schools in Kokstad has discussed the future of the school at the Cathedral. As you know St Patrick’s is gradually moving to a new premises being built by Governing body. What should we do with the old premises. Already the University of Port Elizabeth and University of Rhodes are using part of the building on Saturdays. Suggestions?
18. The next consultors’ meeting will take place on Monday morning the 29th of July.
19. The bishop will be away from the 21st to the 28th, August, at Mariannhill for the plenary session of the SACBC.
The bishop will also be away from the 3rd of September to the 3rd of October in Ireland. He will be on holiday and also preaching a retreat.
20. The New Technical College in Kokstad at the Showgrounds is opening on the 29th of July. Pupils and also teachers who are intrested should go there during this month of July and apply. Courses will be offered in most practical subjects as well as in Secretarial and computor work.
21. As you know Fr Bongani Mbhele is the Chairperson of the Vocations committee. Please ask young people if they are interested in the Diocesan priesthood. And if they are promising please put them in contact with Fr Bongani or Fr Vincent Bwete. It is hoped that during December and January we will have workshops and various occasions for them. But a simple question by Sister or a priest may set a young man’s mind on a decision that may be of great importance for the work of the church.
The next vocations committee meeting take place on October the 7th .
22. Please remember that the next Coolock House meeting for the priests of the diocese and deacons will take place from the 14th to the 17th of October. We gather on the afternoon of the 14th and come home on Thursday Morning the 17th.
23. As you know Fr Richard Kugbeh-Kasin, the parish priest of Matatiele is Head of the marriage tribunal for the diocese of Kokstad. People who are experiencing great problems in their marriages and have questions regading their validity should contact Fr Richard in Matatiele. All complaints if any regarding sexual abuse by church personel should be conveyed to Fr Bill Lovett who is our delegate in this diocese.

24. Congratulations to Bro Alan who has gone to help out Mariazell Secondary School with Science and Maths lecturing. They have no teachers since the beginning of the year so the work load on Alan is very heavy. Congratulations to him too in his involvement in the establishment of the home, Peter Pierce Home, near Shayamoya, for the street children. This will provide Shelter and food. The Bishop is on the Board of Kokstad Child Welfare.

25. On a wet, wild and cold day, 30th of May, Mr Jacob Zuma, Vice- President of the Republic opened a new maximum security jail in Kokstad. They are over sixty very dangerous inmates and this number will rise to one thousand four hundred and forty. It will employ about six hundred and fifty officials. It should bring a lot of money into the town. Anyone interested in getting into spiritual conversations with these fellows? There is no chapel or common refectory or hall. It is truly a penal institution based on solitary confinement. I made many representations over the years during the construction period about the danger of such a method and the need of strict control of its administration. One top official told me that they “ intend to bend them straight”.

26. Veritas radio will bring you Catholic news each day for an hour from midday, and for 3 hours- 6 to 9 each night. It can be found on short wave radio.

27. The bishop met with the Legion of Mary of Bizana, Matatiele, Hardenberg on a number of occasions . This organisation is not to be overlooked. It has been a foundational instrument in the hands of God in building up our church. It still has wonderful power in it to strengthen the faith of our people and make them into Apostoles. The Junior Legion has especially great potentiality. Please encourage the Legion and help them if you can.

27. The great work of Fr Egbert in Ntlangwini with the Amarhamente was visible in hundred members who participated in the retreat with the bishop on June the 1st. These ladies have tremendous potential, tremendous ability and commitment if we can engage them in Christ’s work. This was a day enjoyed by everybody. And we encourage our parishes to offer retreats and renewals, even for a day, for our people.

This time of Winter is also time for healing services.

28. The Catholic church continues to be attacked in the Kokstad Advertiser. However, this is an opportunity for us to rejoice in the expression of our faith.

29. Fr Jabulani Nxumalo OMI, has been appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Durban to assist Cardinal Napier.

30 August 19. Celebration of the Assumption at Cathedral with lunch afterwards in the Bishop’s House. All priests, religious brothers and sisters, are invited to attend. Would the Sisters’ executive choose and lead the singing?

Iindaba # 043

1 May 2002

1. Forthcoming Events

a. The Bishop will attend the SACBC Board meeting in Pretoria from the 6th to 11th May.

b. The Minister General of the Franciscans, Fr Giacomo Bini, will visit Kokstad on the 2nd of May. Accompanuying him will be Fr Vumile the Provincial and Fr Peter Williams the Definitor General. He will meet with the Franciscans, the Poor Clares and the SFO.

c. Fr Antonio in Mount Frere will remember his Silver Jubilee of Priesthood on May the 8th .

d. There will be recollection for the diocesan priests on May the 14th.   Contact Fr Joseph at the Cathedral.

e. The week of prayer for Christian unity runs from May the 9th to the 19th this year. Please encourage the Christians to pray for the unity of the Christian Churches, it was one of the great desires of Jesus.

f. Bro. Lulama Msongelwa will return to the diocese on May the 4th from St John Vianney Seminary having completed his studies.

g. Deacon Vincent Bwete, will be ordained priest at Bizana on the 25th May at 10. a.m.

Bro. Lulama Msongelwa will be ordained a Deacon on the same day in the same ceremony.

All are invited to attend in the church in Bizana starting at 10 am. Those who wish the new Fr Vincent to say Mass for their parish please contact him at Flagstaff.

h. The Bishop will meet with the Amarhamente in Ntlangwini on June the 1st for a parish meeting.

i. All the priests of the diocese are invited to a meeting of Priests at Maria Telgte at 9:30 in the morning on June the 3rd . This is the general meeting in the line and Spirit of Coolock House

j. On June the 8th the bishop will celebrate with the Comboni Fathers and the Umhlangano
weNtliziyo at Mount Ayliff. Fr Antonio is building a church in Emakoloneni and a shrine to Our Lady beside the dam.
k. On June the 9th the bishop with Fr Antonio will consecrate the parish of Mount Frere to the Sacred Heart.
2. We say goodbye to Fr Peter Wilson who has laboured so generously in our diocese for many years. Peter has been transferred to Sebokeng.
We congratulate and welcome two New Consultors to the diocese, they are Fr Mawethu Potolwana OFM and Fr Richard Kugbeh-Kassin.
The next meeting of the Consultors will take place at the bishop’s Office on Monday the 27th of May at 9:30 am.
 We welcome back from his studies in Jerusalem, Fr Rodgers Sihlobo, and thank God that he came home safely from that strife torn land..
3. We congratulate Fr Tom Byrne and Catechist Patrick Mkafane on their celebration of their Jubilees at Bongweni in an occasion of great joy with a very appreciative congregation.
Tom is over 50 years a priest and has worked that length of time in Kokstad diocese in dedicated service. He may not now leave having been married to the parish and annointed with inyongo.
Mr Mkafane has worked as a catechist since 1946. He related with great kindness with all. He is a man of peace, a trustworthy man, a man who has served the people and is held deservedly in very high regard by everybody.
4. The diocese congratulates Sr Marie Colette of the Poor Clare Monastery who celebrated her Silver Jubilee of Profession on the 27th April. It was a deeply meaningful celebration in the new church underlining the power of a well prepared liturgy to touch our hearts. She renewed her vows in the hands of Sr Veronica- who received her originally into the Order. The music and words of the contemplative hymns taken from the writing of St Clare made a deep impresssion. The sisters’ use of a liturgy to uplift people to God is exemplary.
5. We congratulate the parish and people of Makhoba on the transfer to them of twelve thousand hectores of land by the President of the Republic of South Africa , Thabo Mbeki.
This was the righting of an ancient wrong with restitution of land taken forcibly some forty to fifty years ago. The move will make significant changes in two of our parishes , New Makhoba  and Maria Telgte. It seems that villages will be built around the houses of the farmers.
6. The diocese was represented at the Xhosa Pastoral Regional meeting held at Umtata from the 9th to the 11th of April by Fr George Byarugaba, Fr Mawethu Potolwana, and Mr and Mrs Denge of Marriage Encounter and by the bishop. Mr and Mrs Denge gave a clear and inspiring account of the work done by Marriage encounter in parts of the diocese of Kokstad. It is obvious that this is a tremendous opportunity for us to strengthen and renew family life. Please contact the couple or Fr George or Fr Mawethu about having married couples in your parish join marriage encounter.
The movement can transform lives and homes bringing faith, peace and charity into homes. It is the intention of Marriage Encounter to make their homes, homes also for our priests. This is an excellent way to build up parishes. I highly encourage our priests to avail of this possibility.
Fr Sihlobo who initiated this process in diocese is to be congratulated.
7. On the 21st March the new convent of the Little Servants of the Immaculate at Matatiele was blessed. This building allows the sisters to use the old convent for their very successful childrens creche. The sisters, who are committed to the people, work in the parish in many ways and have now built this new building which will enable them to pursue their aostolate more readily. The diocese welcomes them with joy.
8. Remember the youth this year. We have a diocesan youth Executive. Please contact Deacon Vincent Bwete about the Youth Programes for your parish . The youth feel neglected in many areas, and there are little programmes for them after confirmation, we need to engage them and to form them as Christians.
9. There are thirteen girls and young woman from the diocese attending an excellent dress making school which offers many subjects and skills run by the Postulant Mistress at Mariannhill. This course lasts for two years. We are subsidising their presence there. Congratulations to the parish priests who were able to send girls for this course. It will enable them to earn their own living rather than remain at home in the villages. This is particularly helpful for girls whose matric results were not strong enough to allow them to continue studies.
10. Visitors:   We were very happy to welcome the Mother General of the Daughters of Charity of the Sacred Heart, Mother Genevieve from France who came to visit the sisters in four convents in the diocese. The bishop was able to express his gratitute and appreciation of the diocese for the committed, dedicated work done by the sisters , many of them daughters of this church.
Other visitors were Br Terry Dowling, the Provincial Superior of the Christian brothers.
Sister Dominic, the Provincial Sister of the Daughters of Charity of the Sacred Heart came on the 29th of April.
 A Special visitor was Sister Theodata, now aged 95 who came accompanied by Sister Melvina. Sister Theodata has been working in South Africa for 69 years. She came from Pretoria to visit her old convent of Kokstad. She also ministered in Matatiele in 1941.
A very special visitor for the Profession of Sister Maria Coletta was Mother Veronica , the Foundress of Our Monastery in Kokstad. We were very happy to have her here for a short while. And we express great gratitude to her and the Mother Monastery of Lusaka fro the sacrifices they made in sending sisters amongst us to witness to contemplative life.
11. The bishop has already been able to visit more than half the parishes regarding the parish pastoral plan for this year. Reflection with the parish priest and the parish workers is very fruitful. It allows priests, sisters and people leaders to plan together, to get a common focus and to reflect and evaluate their work. While every parish has many workers, unless we reflect with them on the Christian dimension of their work it can become simply automatic and unreflective.
We must renew the faith and the understanding of the Apostolate among our Christians.
12. The Aids committee of the diocese met on the 4th of March in a meeting chaired by Fr Mawethu. They discussed the question of financial incentives for the home-based care workers, there are 350 of them and some are truly heroic. The evaluated the work and reports of the Aids committees in the diocese. We also need to offer further training, especially in the area of counselling for those able to benefit. We are begining to examine the orphan problem.
We hope that during this year some of the better volunteer workers will be sent for counselling training. The priests’ support for this whole programme is essential. A lot of our workers spoke of stress involved in caring for dying people and in caring for the families. It would be a great act of apostolic service to spend some time each month with the group of volunteers, even if only simply listeneing to them and praying with them briefly. This would be an ideal work for religious sisters, and would be truly in line with the will of founders who did all they could to alleviate the poor of their time.
 There is soup available from the bishops house and this should be distributed by the people. However, it is very expensive, about 170 rand per 25 kilo bag. The person in charge must be responsible.
13. It is extremely important that young people be invited to serve the diocese as priests, brothers and sisters. Reference should also be made to contemplative vocation. There are young men who if encouraged and if their vocation is nursed will become great Ministers of the church in this diocese.
Our young people are very generous but we meet to pay attention to them. There is a group of yongboys in Bongweni who go around the area praying and singing and witnessing. Father Bongani is the chairperson of Vocation committee in the diocese.
There will be a program by which young people will be invited to come and meet the Seminarians through the vocations committee in Kokstad. Please keep contact with Fr Bongani..
14. May is the month of Mary, it is an excellent time to encourage people to pray the Rosary in the family . We have to support the family in every possible way, spiritually and physically.
Congratulations to the parishes which have the pilgrim statue and who are taking it from place to place. This is also a way to renew the faith and devotion of people regarding the role of Mary in the church.
15. We have continued to assist in the erection of a Technical college for Kokstad. Because of building delays it will only now open in September this year. It is hoped that by August those who want to do various trades like motor mechanics, computors, Secretarial work, Electrical training will be able to enrole.
16. The bishop hopes to visit Hardenberg, Makhoba, Bizana, in order to discuss with the leaders and the  priests the pastoral vision for the year. We have yet to fix dates for these meetings.

17. The tremendous role that confession can play in the spiritual life of people was again evident in the ceremony of the Last Words in Bizana. The parish was crowded with enormous numbers of people wanting to go to confession. This Sacrament is a healing Sacrament. Many of our people feel that they are not being cared for personally in their own spiritual difficulties and in their health problems. We should really emphasise the sacrament of confession and make it available , we should also offer some kind of healing especially now as we approach Winter and while people are terrified by Aids. With so many people sick we have to show that the Christian faith is more than just words. We must listen for our peoples needs and lay hands on them in healing. God will listen to our prayers without doubt.

18. Catechetics continues to be top priority. The chief responsibility is on the parish priest in his parish. If there is no catechetical programme or motivation of the catechism teachers then many of our young people will simply join other churches or leave all faith behind. This continues to be one of the most important responsibilities of a parish priest. Some parishes are already availing of the help of the sisters. Priests must get all the help they can. With many excellent sisters and religious in our diocese we can call on help. Of particular mention is Sister Callista in Flagstaff who diocesan secretary of Catechetics and is available to advise, visit and motivate our catechism teachers. The RCIA for adults is of fundamental importance.

19. Radio Varitas is now broadcasting in South Africa for three to four hours a day . This is a catholic radio station from Johannesburg for catholics and is on short wave.

We should bring it to the attention of our people and from the media, especially the Southern Cross, find out the times and the wave-lengths.

20. Tha Amadodana had their election under the baton of Fr George and chose Mr Denge as president and Mr Mthuthayana as vice president.

Now that Fr Peter has gone it is hope that Fr Antonio, in spite of all his work, will act as Spiritual Director of the Umhlangano weNhliziyo. Fr Mawethu will look after the SFO in Pondoland and Fr Teddy in the rest of the diocese.

21. The INKWENKWEZI is now selling very well, very few copies left unsold. However, in some parishes we are not making a full scale effort to get this catholic news into the hands of our people. Please try and get parishioners involved in selling it. The ‘Lives of the saints’ are also available in XHOSA and it would be a very important thing that each sodality in the parish have one copy of this book. It cost R30 from the diocese.

Iindaba # 042

  1st March 2002

On the 14th of February  Fr Wilfrid Byrne OFM was laid to rest at La Verna. Fr Wilfrid came to South Africa in 1947. He spent some 40 years in Kokstad Diocese at Mount Frere, Bizana and in the Cathedral in Kokstad. A warm and jovial person he served this Church and its people with dedication, zeal and humanity. Born in Wexford in Ireland in 1913 Fr Wilfrid joined the Franciscans in1933 and was ordained priest in Rome in 1940. After 7 years apostolic work in Ireland he came to Kokstad.

Fr Wilfrid was a very regular religious, he loved the brothers and was deeply devoted to the Eucharist and to preaching God’s word. He supported the Legion of Mary in those great years when it laid the foundations of the modern Bizana parish. May God grant eternal rest to this stalward of our church.

2.  We welcome to the diocese Fr Teddy Lennon who has come as Postulant Master in Kokstad. Staffing the postulancy with him are Peter Wilson and Tony Hardiman.

We welcome Fr Sizwe Nkonza who will be working in Hardenberg.

We welcome back Sister Callista with her degree in Theology. She will be Catechetics secretary for the Diocese but stationed in Flagstaff. Those wishing for catechetical help should consult her there. We also welcome Brother Thabang Letsohla and Brother Sipho Zikhali who will do their pastoral internship.

3. We say congratulations and welcome to Vincent Bwete who was ordained a Deacon on the January 8th at Mount Ayliff. May God bless him in his apostolate and in his service of the people here. He is stationed in Flagstaff.

4.  At the bishops plenary session in Pretoria many issues came up for discussion.

a. The Bishops Conference will support Saint Augustine’s as a Catholic University and its move to Victory Park convent. This has been assisted by money from the German church.

b. The Conference will issue a document A journey towards wholeness dealing with Liturgical enculturation.
c. The Conference has requested the Department of Catechetics and the Lumko Institute to co operate in producing a new cathechism series called Our Christian heritage.
d. The Conference intends to sell Khanya House because of lack of office space and will acquire the old Land Bank building in Paul Kruger street if financial agreement can be reached.
e. The department of Justice and Peace of the Conference is taking up the challenge of the Government to participate in the Moral Regeneration process . They will initiate discussion throughout the country in the near future.
f. The conference is interested in purchasing the Oakford Priory and moving Saint Peter’s Philosophy Seminary there.
g. The Conference discussed negotiations with the Department of Education regarding the government’s proposed policy of religious instructions in Government schools.
h. The conference adopted the plans of the Natural Family Planning group who have a new programme which accords with Catholic moral teaching. It should be welcomed to the diocese. They will come on invitation, Ms Pat McGregor.
i. Because of new Government taxations the church is meeting with its legal advisary committee to adopt a plan of action.
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J. The conference agreed that the SACOP and the bishops spend some time together to discuss areas of mutual concern between priests and bishops.
4. The Aids committee of the diocese will meet at the bishops house on March the 4th . The supervisors in the parishes find that they are alone in the work they are trying to do. We have trained almost 350 volunteers. Some of these are extremely courageous and doing wonderful work. But unless the priests and sisters of the parish and the agencies of the parish support the supervisors and the volunteers their work will fail. We will have to personally take an interest in the Aids apostolate, to ensure its success.
5.  The Xhosa regional pastoral meeting will take place from the 9th to the 11th of April. Representing the diocese will be Father Mawethu , Fr George, the Bishop and a Marriage Encounter couple from Bizana. It will be in Umtata this year.
The Sotho pastoral region will take place from the 24th to the 27th of April at Bethlehem and we will be represented by Fr Bongani and two other delegates.
6.  Sister Maria Colette at the Poor Clares will celebrate 25 years Silver Jubilee on the 27th of April. In gratitude for a life of service and humble prayer for the church and for our diocese you’re encouraged to join with Sister in this day of thanksgiving to God.
7.  Remember the Chrism Mass with the blessing of the oils and renewal of priestly promises on the 27th of March at 11 in the morning. All priests, religious and parishoners are invited to attend. There will be light lunch for everybody afterwards. Members of the Bhongweni choir will lead the singing with some hymns from the Cathedral people.
8. Let us remind people to pray the stations of the cross during Lent. We must also encourage the Sacrament of reconciliation  especially coming up to Holy Week.
9.  The new convent in Matatiele will be blessed by the Bishop on the 21st of March at 10 in the morning.
10. Priests, please remember the meeting from  11th. March in the evening until the 14th morning at Coolock.  We continue to discuss our pastoral life in the diocese and share together in co-operating and celebrating our priesthood. On the 1st day Fr Stuart Bate, OMI will speak, Fr Vincent Mdabe CMM will speak briefly on inculcuration. We will also discuss the Aids programme, vocations, the sodalities, pastoral practice.
11. The bishops conference has through its Department of Ecumenism initiated an anti-corruption drive. We will have to discuss in Coolock the form this drive will take. The idea is to speak about corruption in public life and get people, especially professionals, to sign a pledge or commitment to avoid all corruption in their profesional duties.
12. The next consultors meeting will take place on the 8th of April and Fr Bongani from the vocations committee and Br Vincent from the Youth will give a short report at the meeting.
13. The religious sisters and brothers of the diocese met at Coolock from the 3rd to the 6th of February to discuss the religious life and their work in the diocese. This was a very wonderful celebration of our common commitment to serve Christ in the Gospel. The sisters and brothers renewed their commitment to the church. Many issues, especially the Aid Crisis were discussed and the document Integrity in Mission was presented to each house. Since then another copy was sent to each house. This Integrity in Mission is compulsory reading for every religious in the diocese as it lays down what the church expects of us in our professional and ethical activity.
In discussing the aids crisis affecting our people many excellent suggestions arose:
a. How to form youth in the avoidance of aids.
b. How to talk to people already suffering from the disease or whose relatives are suffering to the disease, and
c. How to encourage volunteers who have been traumatised by their experience.
Sister Callista was elected as the co ordinator of Religious in the diocese and her assistant will be Sr Chrysanta Mnqambi from Maria Telgte.
14. We welcome the postulants Ruben, Fabian, and Ricky to the postulancy in Kokstad. Fr Vumile the provincial , gave them an inspiring address when receiving them into their new commitment.
15. The diocesan pastoral council met in Kokstad on the 16th of February and was chaired by Fr Bill Lovett. There were 45 delegates from most parishes present. Elections took place and 10 members were elected to be part of a diocesan executive. They will meet again in May to select the various offices of the executive.

16. Nurses of the diocese were invited to the cathedral to pray for health carers and for the sick on February the 9th . About 50 nurses attended and they renewed their nurses pledge, they confessed failures and re- commited themselves to bringing Christ into the lives of the sick. It was an exellent day.

17. Archbishop Spita of Kasama in Zambia came to visit the Poor Clares, some of whom come from his Archdiocese in the very North of Zambia.

18. The Superior General of the Comboni Missionaries came to visit his brothers at Mount Frere and Mount Ayliff and in January paid a courtesy visit to the bishop.

On May the 2nd the Minister General of the Franciscans will meet with all Franciscans 1st , 2nd and Third Order at the Poor Clare convent and celebrate Mass and their common vocation on May the 2nd.

Mother General and her Secretary of the Daughters of Charity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus called for discussions on a visit to Kokstad on February 27th.

19.   The Youth executive will meet in Kokstad on March the 11th, – will be chaired by Bro Vincent.

20. St Patrick’s dance will take place on the 16th of March in Kokstad.

21. The diocese expresses gratitude to Father Liam McDermott who has been recalled to Vereniging to work there. Fr Liam was with us for one year. And we were delighted to have him and appreciated his presence.

22. Remember that our priorities in the diocese are the training of our leaders in the parishes, the improvement of family and marriage institutions, and the formation of Youth.

We want all sodalities to be trained in givng their members tasks each month and being expected to report back on these activities next month. The Glenmore, Lumko team are available for skills training. The parish pastoral council need to have a parish vision and real responsibility in caring for the people.

The next Priests day of recollection will take place on the 16th of April at Franklin.

Iindaba # 041

16th December 2001

1. I wish everyone working in the Diocese a very happy Christmas.

During this year I was filled with admiration and appreciation for the apostolic commitment of the personel of Kokstad diocese. How often the poor turned in desperation to the Church and you were there for them. In you they found welcome and hope, God’s presence.

I realise that almost everybody in the diocese is overstretched and overworked. So I hope you have a peaceful and restful Christmas and New Year.

Then we can strive to train our people to share with us the joyful labour of serving Christ.

2. Financial matters: The diocese of Kokstad is not a wealthy diocese in resources and finance. The only regular income we have is the money sent annually from the Pontifical Mission Societies in Rome. This amounts to US $ 32,000.00. When you realise that a large percentage of this is consumed paying for the education of our seminarians, you can appreciate how little money the diocese actually has. The cost of seminary training for a student per annum is Rand 23,000.00.

When your know that the diocese must subsidize almost every parish, buy all cars, pay wages, invest in medical aid, help the poor through development, provide money for insurance, buildings and holidays, finance Aids ministry, provide educational assistance and minister its own affairs then you see how little money there is.

Admittedly, many of our people are poor. But it must be said that we could and must do more to make the diocese self-supporting. We simply cannot continue much longer financially at our present pace.

Using conservative estimates let me say that for each kilometer we travel by car we cost the diocese R1,20. Thus a return trip to Harding would cost in the region of 140.00 rand. A round trip to Durban, 500 Kilometers, would cost the diocese 600.00  rand. In the light of this it must be emphasised that diocesan vehicles are for the pastoral ministry. Long car trips outside the diocese for personal reasons can only be tolerated at all when paid for out of our own personal money. Trips for pastoral reasons, of course, will be funded by the diocese.

Having cellphones and other expensive equipment, though admittedly common amongst our non-functioning civil servants who regard it as part of their unifrom, is something that we must pay for ourselves.
I just want to emphasise again that the diocese is struggling financially and we must be very honest in our use of money . All income should be faithfully accounted for and sent in quarterly returns. The faithful should be encouraged continually to finance the parish and the diocese. I do hope that over the next four year subsidies will gradually melt away.
3. Youth: We need to do something to help our youth. It is true that we are helping the smaller children and some of the girls with the Children of Mary and the Amasotshanyana. There is also the Jufra and Choirs and some Youth groups. There is a large group between the ages of 18 and 30 who define themselves as youth and who need to partcipate in the life of the church. A small, very small, executive of youth leaders, encouraged by the priest can do a lot to make these good people belong.
Thirty five youth participated in the leadership course from the 3rd to the 7th of December. They were facilitated by the Home and Family Youth National Team. This National team is available to come to parishes or diocese to help.
That diocesan youth executive is also a small group who hopefully will help the priest with this work. Their first meeting will be at the bishop’s house on January the 16th .
4. Diocesan Pastoral council: The next DPC will be at Kokstad on February the 16th . Three members of the parish Pastoral councils are invited to attend. The religious of the diocese should select two representatives. Each deanery will have a priest representative.
The meeting will be attended also by the chairpersons of the St Anne’s, the Catholic Women’s League, the Sacred Heart society, Amadodana, Franciscans, two members of the Diocesan Youth Executive. Would the spiritual directors inform the relevant persons.
The main task of the first meeting will be the election of a diocesan executive. We will elect a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Vice Secretary, and treasurer.
Also to be debated will be the topic for the DPC meeting of October 2002. We will select a priority issue within the life of the diocese as a subject for reflection and planning together.
5. The next Coolock meeting will take place from the 11th to the 14th of March 2002. Fr Steward Bate, Professor of Pastoral Theology at Cedara, will be the guest lecturer. On the second day we will finalise statutes for pastoral policy of the diocese. Drafts will be circulated in the next few weeks for reflection.
6. Fr Mawethu from Bizana will conduct a day on Aids counselling for priests at Kokstad on January the 21st . We will begin in the afternoon at 3 pm.
7. Br Vincent Bwete will be ordained a Deacon in Mount Ayliff on the 8th of January.
Encourage youth who may be interested in priestly vocation to attend, at 10 a.m. Br Vincent will be appointed to assist Fr Lemau in Flagstaff.
8. There will be a Christmas lunch at the bishop’s house for priests and brothers on December the 31st .
9. The priorities of the diocese for the year 2002 can be gleaned from the Inkwenkwezi, December issue, page 4.
10. Catechetics: Sister Callista of the Daughters of the Charity of the Sacred Heart will be the diocesan secretary for catechetics. She has just completed a Theology Degree at Cedara. As diocesan secretary Sister will visit parishes to see where she can be of help for your programmes. She will work within the programmes already in operation in your parishes. However, I do encourage you to invite her to offer motivation, prayer opportunities and reflection with all your Catechism teachers. Like everybody else they need a formation, recognition and prayer.
11. The Catholic community of Bizana have taken a decision to establish a school on the mission. This is not a diocesan Catholic school as such but its ethos will be catholic. Fund raising, wages etc will be the responsibility of the parents and Governing body. The diocese however, has helped in providing two classrooms. The Catholic Institute of Education will also work with teachers in establishing a program.
12. Ecumenical Anti-corruption campaign: The Catholic Bishops Department for Ecumenism, headed by Bishop Hirmer of Umtata, will supply material for an Anticorruption campaign to be launched on February the 3rd, 2002. This material will be distributed in all parishes and to all parish priests.
a. They ask pastors to introduce the project from the pulpit and in meetings.
b. They ask us to encourage teachers, officials, policemen, business men and church leaders to take part in this anticorruption commitment service.
c. They ask us to get in contact with the pastors of other Christian communities in the area and get members of all denominations to celebrate the proposed commitment service together. The whole campaign should show the country of South Africa how Christians from different traditions have an important contribution to make in restructuring the moral fibre of the Nation. Launching, Sunday the 3rd of February.
13. Suggestions for a ceremony to commission catechists during January or February 2002.
You will find at the back of this Iindaba a draft ceremony for commissioning catechists at Sunday Mass. Of course, you can formulate your own ceremony from the hymn book “Bongani Inkosi”.
14. The Government wishes to bring in new laws governing income tax. This will also affect the church during the year 2002. As you know anybody earning 1200.00 rand a month or above is taxable. Overseas money will not be taxed, all local income will. It is also possible that even church collections will be of interest to the government taxman.
 
15. During this year please try and do the following:
a. Make sure that we look for vocations. There is a vocation team and hopefully during January the seminarians will be available to speak on vocation.
Young man in form 4 or 5 and have real interest in vocations should come to the bishop’s house and live with the seminarians from the 6th to the 12th of January. The seminarians will be available to parishes for the rest of that month.

b. Do also invite the Aids team to train your Youth and volunteer workers.

c. Brother Herman can offer assistance with micro Agricultural projects.

d. The Glenmore team can also come if you invite them to motivate and train the local church leaders, funeral leaders, those who lead the services on Sundays.

e. Buy religious objects, cheaply, from Bro Erich.

16. On the 11th of December the CIE National Office came to salute Brother Jim Murtagh for his wonderful work in Education at this office in Kokstad. During the year 2001 the team dealt with teachers who are teaching 70,000 children in our area.   They offer many different courses and in-service training.

Brother Jim is retiring as a full time member of the CIE office in Kokstad. However, he will continue in a part- time capacity to facilitate the present team. Their concentration in the year 2002 will be particularly in Bizana area where they are working with 10 schools.

The National team also came to express the appreciation for Mrs Nakin from Hardenberg who worked so zealously for the last five years as a member of the team.They gave her an award of Rand 10,000,00. The whole diocese appreciates their achievemnets.

17. Please pray for Felicitas Nomsolwana who is quite ill. She has worked for the diocese 50 years and offered hospitality to all of us in different forms over these years in a most hospitable, friendly and faithful manner.

18. Fort coming events:

a. December 23rd , Confirmation – St Callistus.

b. December 25th, Midnight Mass – Cathedral.

c. December 31st Christmas lunch with priests – Bishop’s house.

d. 8th of January , Diaconate Ordination , Bro Vincent Bwete – Mount Ayliff.

e. 13th of January , Confirmation – Hardenberg.

f.   20th of January, Day of appointment of Catechism teachers in each parish.

g. 21st of January, Study day for priests with Father Mawethu on Aids.

h. 23rd to 31st of January, Bishop at SACBC, Pretoria.

i.   27th of January, Witbank Ordination of Bishop Paul Khumalo.

j.   February the 9th , Catholic Nurses meet at the Cathedral for day of prayer, 9 am.

k. February 10th , The World Day of the sick. On this Sunday have a service for the sick in all churches if possible.

19. On December 18 at Matikwe convent Sr Jane Nomvulo Mtambo from Flagstaff will take her vows as a Daughter of Charity. Two other girls f rom the diocese, Nosisa from Lusiki and Nomsa from Flagstaff will enter the novitiate.

We congratulate Sr Paulus Maria Mngcwabe who will celebrate her silver jubilee on January 5 at Glen Avent. Sr Paulus has done a great lot for our children and youth and we pray God to bless her now and always.

Iindaba # 040

 1st November 2001

Events

1. The bishop will visit the following schools on Catholic property to speak with Governing bodies regarding the maintaining a Catholic ethos.

Maria Telgte  – October 30th

St Pauls (Franklin) – October 31st

TigerVlei – October 31st

Tafeni – November 1st

Glen Edward –  November 1st

2. Holy Hour and prayer celebrating St Francis with the Daughters of St Francis of Assisi.

Maria Telgte at 6 pm November 1.

3. Funeral of Mr Clement Daki in Bizana November 3rd . He is the father to Sister Annacleta FMM and a well known Catholic Educationalist.

4. Father Mawethu, Ms Nogabe , Ms Qwebeba will travel to Port Elizabeth on the 2nd and 3rd of November to represent the Diocese in a conference regarding the problem of Aids orphans.

5. Bishop will lead Mass at Lusikisiki and Ngozi on the 4th of November.

6. Visitation of Oakford Orientation Seminary on the 6th of November.

7. The Board of Bishops meet in Pretoria from the 7th to the 9th of November.

8. Bishop will have Mass at Cerdaville and Upper Mvenyane, November the 11th

9. Father Tom , Fr Egbert will celebrate their Golden Jubilee of Priesthood in Kokstad on the 12th of November. With them will be Fr Richard Kugbeh-Kasin who will celebrate his Silver Jubilee of Priesthood.
 
There will be concelebrated Mass to which all priests are invited on the 12th of November at 11am.
All brothers , sisters and priests of the diocese are invited. Lunch afterwards in the Bishop’s House.
10.   The parish celebration for the Silver Jubilee of Fr Richard Kugbeh-Kasin will take place at Matatiele on the 18th of November.
11. The Diocesan Pastoral council will meet on the 24th of November in Kokstad. The Chairperson is Fr Bill, the meeting will begin at 9 am in the morning Saturday. Each parish should send three deligates. On the Agenda will be the election of Diocesan Pastoral Executive Council and a discussion of Catholic Marriage and family.
12. November the 25th Mr Mafunda, long-time Catechist of Bizana and Mount Frere will celebrate 50 years of Jubilee service in the diocese.
13. The Bishop will attend a meeting of Donors for Aids programmes at Esselen Park in Johannesburg on the 26th of November.
14. The Franciscan Chapter of Mats will take place in La Verna from the 26th to the 29th of November. Bishop will attend 27th to the 29th of November.
Blessing of St Francis Church December 2 at 10.00.
15. Youth Leadership training course. This will take place from the 3rd to the 7th of December at the Cathedral . Each parish is invited to send three participants. These participants should be Youth Leaders preferably coming from the same place. This will enable them to work together and animate the parish.
16. The youth retreat will take place from the evening of the 7th to the morning of the 10th of December at Cathedral.   Each parish should try and select around 15 participants. Bizana will have its own retreat as the numbers there are big.
17. The next consultors meeting will take place at Kokstad on the 10th of December.
18. Cardinal Napier will visit His home diocese on Sunday the 16th of December . The whole diocese is invited.
The Cardinal will be met at the railway line at the town entrance beginning at 9 o’clock on Sunday the 16th of December. There would be a civic reception at 10 o’clock and Mass at 10: 30.a.m.     The Liturgical reception will be followed by Lunch at 12:30.    All priests and people are invited. It would be the good idea to have early Mass at those missions which can then get to town in time.
19. The Kevelear Youth pilgrimage will take place from the 17th to the 21st of December. Fee R35. As well, they will come to Kokstad at return from there at their own expense.
21. Confirmation at St Calistus in Hardenberg on the 23rd of December.
22. Brother Vincent Bwete will be Ordained Deacon at Mount Ayliff on the 8th of January. People, especially youth are welcome.
 Vicar General of the Diocese
In the absence of Fr Sihlobo who has gone to the Holy Land for a year’s studies the bishop has asked Fr Bill Lovett , the Parish priest of Hardenberg, to act as Vicar General of the diocese in the interim.
Meeting of Priest at Coolock House 8th to the 11th of October.
1. From the excellent discussions arising from the presentation of Fr Charles Ryan, professor of moral Theology at Cedara the following points arose.
a. That while it is easy to state church morality regarding marriage and family and all related issues we must also take serious responsibility for the support of our youth. We must do so by giving them moral as well as verbal guidance. A Warm and welcoming emotional environment means that youth will have a better chance of living the ideals of Catholic living.
b. To determine the health life of a parish Fr Ryan says we must count how many healthy Catholic marriages do we have in the parish. We then discussed pastoral polices and also the Imihlangano of the diocese.
Sacred Heart are doing good work in contributing to the life of the diocese but they must also be alerted to their responsibility to contribute to the diocese financially. They should focus on Aids.   Mr Michael Khumalo of Bhongweni was elected as Chairperson this year.
Saint Anne’s:   Fr Tony reported that the new excecutive had been elected after many years. The new Chairperson was Mrs Joel from Makhobas. We should offer them calculated spiritual help and make them aware of parish and diocesan policy. We need to offer them formation in the parishes. They should specially be concerned for the Apostolate of Vocations, care of the sick, rearing children.
The young people:   Father Jose in Franklin and Sister Paulus Maria Mncwabe are the contact persons.
We must encourage each parish and outstation to have a programme for children during holiday time. They should be instructed regarding Aids. It is now a question of life and death.
Amasotshanyana had many workshops. There is a team which train our local leaders. This team can come at week-ends. And also should have a holiday time programme.
4. The Aids training : Fr Mawethu is the chairperson of the Diocesan Aids committee. The full time team is Ms Nogabe and Ms Qwebeba. There are also excellent leaders in Lusikisiki, Sister Anthony and Mrs Dweba, in Matatiele we have Lerato who is animating the programme.
There are certain funds available for this work . We also wish to train counsellors in the parishes and should select suitable candidates who knows English.
Training takes about two weeks and many Government jobs are opened to trained counsellors. Please contact Fr Mawethu or the team at the Bishop’s house regarding organising suitable people.
It is recommended that the priests call together those who are involved in Volunteer Aids work and reflect and pray with them. This will animate a great contribution to their work.
The Aids team will go to all parishes in the diocese, if invited. They also present Certificates . These has been accepted by the Government in giving people paid work on occasion.
It was suggested that Fr Mawethu give the priests a course dealing with counselling of Aids victims. This is to be arranged.
Justice and Peace
Fr Richard Kugbeh-Kasin and diocesan team attended National programs. They have worked on gender issues . They have a dynamic participatory group. The diocese needs to work out and state a clear policy on wages and working conditions of employees.
The Youth
The youth leaders training is now being re-animated. We did not have a diocesan program during this year. The present team, however, is at Ad Hoc team. We need to train full time youth leaders. We need two people from the diocese who could be properly trained to animate our youth. The contact person is Vincent Bwete.
Sacop
Fr Lemau reported: We are asked to remember that there is a priest’s course of renewal in Coolock each year. Priests interested can be assisted to attend.
Vocations: Fr Bongani Mbhele at the moment is co- ordinating. The team comprises himself, Fr Richard, Fr Florian in Mount Ayliff, Sr Partricia, Sr Beauty and Sr Margaret and can be invited to speak on a Saturday or a Sunday to the Youth of the parish.
We have nobody new beginning Seminary studies this year. So we must encourage and keep contact with prospective candidates.
Diocesan Pastoral council these will meet on November the 24th at Kokstad .
Marriage Encounter
Fr Mawethu and Fr George spoke of excellent results in Bizana, Flagstaff and Lusikisiki areas. Please contact Fr George at Lusikisiki to institute programmes for Marriage Encounter in your parish.
Development
Brother Herman and Brother Erich were doing wonderful work in developing Micro-Agricultural projects. Bro Erich was engaged in many building and water projects.
The CIE led by brother Jim was concentrating on Bizana this year with 10 schools in the district receiving helpfor their the teachers.
Finance: The bishop thanked the diocese for the great improvement in the Lenten contribution.
Bursaries  are available through Brother Allen and Lorna Wicks. There is a program of application and interview before these bursaries are given. They do not come from the church as such but are channeled through our agency.
The Aids money available for programs and for courses in your parish.
It is pointed out that the cash cheques are now very expensive.
Soup is available for hungry children through the diocese.
The diocese thanked the people of Cape town who contributed money for the poor in Mount Frere.
But we are reminded that the diocese can do much more to help support itself. Money is becoming more and more difficult to obtain. So, encourage people to give more.
Renewal of Mandates
All Parish Priests have the faculty to appoint and renew the mandate of Assistant Ministers of the Eucharist. We recommend that this appointment be for one year, renewable for five successive terms only. The mandate should be given in writing.
Mandates for Lay Ministers to conduct Communion Services must be applied for to the Bishop.
The term of office for all Assistant Ministers of the Eucharist and Lay Ministers conducting
Communion Services ends a week after the feast of Christ the King each year.
Glenmore Team. 
 
The 11 members of the team conduct skills training and will also offer parish renewal sessions.

Cardinal Napier’s visit

Cardinal Napier will visit his home diocese on December the 16th .

The planning committee at the Cathedral have come up with these suggestions. If you have commons to make please make them before the 12th of November, next meeting.

The Cardinal will be met at the railway line in Kokstad at 9:30 on Sunday morning. He will drive through the town on double cab bakkie. The people from Bhongweni will lead the procession infront. All are invited to be in flags and banners.    Behind the Cardinal’s vehicle there will be a procession of cars.

Having arrived at the Cathedral drum majorets will take over and lead the Cardinal to the sports ground behind the cathedral. Children dressed in white and Amasotshanyana will escort him.

Having arrived at the grounds there will be a ceremony of welcome. Involved here there will be the Mayor of Kokstad Mr Mathe, the Bishop, the Chairperson of the Diocesan Pastoral Council.

The various gifts will be presented to the Cardinal.

a. A gift of a Blanket. This will be made by one of the Parish choirs.

Then in the presentation the Cardinal will be asked to share about his childhood in Kokstad in a few words.

b. The Cardinal will then be presented with a trench coat, and this will be done by another parish choir. Cardinal will be asked to share about his school days and his vocation to the Franciscan Order and Priesthood.

Then the Cardinal will be presented with a painting of Kokstad, Mount Currie. Again this will be done by another parish and the Cardinal will then share regarding his life here as a priest and his memory of the church of Kokstad.

Finally the Cardinal will be presented by a gift of a Vestment in Red. And scarlet flowers. This again will be done by another choir. The Cardinal at this stage will asked to share a little on what it means to be a Cardinal and who a Cardinal is.

When this welcoming ceremony is complete the Cardinal will lead us in Holy Mass.   Then we will invite various choirs to lead this including the Cathedral choir in Kokstad.

At the end of Mass Lunch will be served by all and will be the responsibility of the Cathedral parish in Kokstad.

All the parishes are asked to make a collection. Sometime in November or early December and send what they can to the central committee at the bishop’s house. This money will be used for the gifts mentioned above and for the food for the day.

Do encourage all the people to attend, and all the priests are invited to a concelebrate.

There will be special accomodation for the Sisters and also for the Napier family.

Iindaba # 039

August 15 2001

1. From October 2, afternoon to October 5 there will be a Training course for leaders, men and women, here in Kokstad. It will be led by the Glenmore, Lumko team. This is suitable for those conducting services in the parishes and it is better if a parish sends a few who work together for a particular place, so as to biuld up this work as team ministry r ather than individual property. Could each participant pay Rand 5.

2 Day of Recollection for priests, Kokstad, September 25.

3. All invited to celebrate the Feast of St Francis at the Poor Clares on October 4th, it will be a getting to know the Contemplative life for all who come. Hopefully those engaged in the Training course will be there and also all Secular Franciscans.

4. Bishop will be away until September 21.

Engagements;

Confirmation Zazingeni, September 23

Youth leaders meeting, Kokstad September 29

Confirmation Nqabeni, September 30

Feast of St Francis, Poor Clares, October 4 at 10. Am

Blessing of new Church, Thembukazi October 7th

Coolock House with Priests , October 8-11.

Next Consultors meeting, October 8, Coolock at 3 pm.

School teachers’ retreat with CIE, Hardenberg October13

Confirmation, Franklin October 14th.

School tachers’ retreat, Kokstad, CIE October 17th

Confirmation, Matatiele, October 21.

Pretoria, Seminary Department, October 25.

Confirmation, Cathedral, October 28.

Confirmation, Lusikisiki December 9th

5. Youth.

Youth leadership course (Three leaders from each parish) December 3-7, Kokstad

Youth Retreat ( 10 from each parish) Kokstad December 7-10.

Pilgrimage to Kevelaer , December 17-20 December.

6. Cardinal Napier’s reception in diocese, December 16, Sunday.

7. Remember, Meeting of Priests in Coolock, October 8-11. To arrive before evening meal on Monday.

8. Invite Vocation team to diocese.

9. Make sure to have Home Based Carers trained by diocesan team of Ms Nogabe and Ms Qwebeba. Contact, Fr Mawethu, diocesan chairperson.

10 The diocese expresses appreciation and sympathy to the Franciscans on the passing away of Bro Eugene who worked very hard here and contibuted to the life of the diocese. He was most obliging and generous.

11. Vocation diocesan team to meet in Kokstad, Monday, October 1.

Iindaba # 038

1st June 2001

1. Forthcoming events:
 
June 3   Kokstad    Prayer for Christian unity at the Griqua Church.
June the 4th   Diocesan Consultors meet at Kokstad
June the 12th at bishop’s house. Day of recollection for priests of diocese.
Bishop will be away from the 12th to the 21st of June, preaching a retreat .
Saturday 23rd June.   National pilgrimage of the Sacred Heart sodality at Centocow, June 25th,   10 o’clock   Aids diocesan committee will meet in Kokstad.
June the 25th at 3 pm. Priests’ meeting in Kokstad    Evening meal at the Bishop’s House.
8th of July Bizana Confirmation.
July 24th to the 30th South African Bishops’ Conference Plenary session Pretoria.
July 31st to August 8th   Imbisa Meeting of Bishops at Harare.
 11th of August   Feast of St Clare celebrated. All priests and sisters and Franciscan branches are welcome.
June the 22nd Our Seminarians will arrive for holidays in the diocese.
Please have some youth programme ( pilgrimage?) during holidays.
Abantwana bakaMaria will have the retreat in Kokstad in July, contact Sr Paulus Maria Mncwabe in Mount Frere.
Please see that the Amajoni, Masolanyana have a programme for their holidays.
2. The Diocesan Aids committee met in Kokstad on the 23rd of May and adopted an interim constitution. In the elections which ensued Fr Mawethu Potolwana was chosen as Chairman of the Diocesan Sinosizo Health Committee. Ms Nomvano Qwebeba was elected as Vice President. Lerato Niklaas Makhetha from Matatiele became Secretary and Ms Patience Nogabe Treasurer. Representatives were elected from the parishes.
Monies are available for training. The Government are looking for Volunteers who in some instances will be paid by them. We must see that many of ours are ready. All parishes must have an Aids programme.
The Training is in Home-Based Care. Contact Miss Nogabe at the Bishop’s House or phone her cell;.

 

We will also train councillors. This will be a two to three week programme, will be conducted by Government. These will work with victims in their homes. It is likely that they will be paid. Encourage young people with Matric who are good Catholic youth to become involved in these programmes. Some will find openings in the future for employment. To neglect this opportunity is to fail the Aids people.
3. The Octave for Christian unity in Kokstad will conclude on June the 3rd. The Catholic Church service was held at Bhongweni on May the 30th . It was led by the Bishop, the preacher was Rev. Patrick Coltman of the Griqua Church.
4. The CIE team are extremely busy this year presenting the Whole School programme. They concentrate on the Bizana area, on ten large schools in the district.
5. We welcome Mother Mpanga , Mother Abbes of the Poor Clares in Lusaka who is visiting the Monastery at Santa Chiara at the moment. The new buildings are almost complete. We hope for many vocations. People who are sick , in need of prayer, should also be encouraged to call and receive help.
6. The Justice and Peace Committee of the Diocese and its Chairperson Fr Richard Kugbeh-Kasin organised an exellent weekend on gender issues. It was held at Umzintlava Centre on the 11th and 12th of May. Though the Facilitator, Miss Ntombi Tshangase, was involved in a car accident and absent, the team presented an excellent programme for discussion and awareness. About thirty people attended from all parishes except Flagstaff , Bizana and Kokstad.
7. The Xhosa Pastoral region meeting took place at Palotti Farm near Queenstown. Father Sihlobo, Fr George and the Bishop represented the Diocese. The discussions centered on inculturation and discussed the recent doctoral thesis of Fr Sithembile Sipuka, Rector of St John Vianney, on the meaning of sacrifice in the old testament, in Xhosa traditional practice and in the Mass.
8.   Visitors who celebrated a liturgy in the Cathedral during April; on the 18th the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Cape Town;   on the 26th the Syrian Orthodox bishop from Kerala in India, Thimotheus, had a full church of Indian teachers for Mass.
9.   For Holy Week there was an excellent turn-out for the Mass of the Chrism. Thanks to all the priests and many religious who are present for the occasion. The Children of Mantlaneni near Lusikisiki must be commended in that they learned the Gospel of St John by heart to recite the Gospel in the Good Friday service. In Mount Frere the Pascal Candle went in procession to the Hospital, to the Police Station, to the Magistrate’s Office, to the National road where accidents takes place, to the Schools, bringing the light of Christ to all.
10. A team of twelve from Kokstad will attend the Called to Serve program in Durban for a month. This is a programme presented by teachers from Lumko to form Christian leaders.
11. We said goodbye to two outstanding people during the Month of May. We were very sad to part with Fr Bernadine Dore who has retired to Ireland after 55years in Hardenberg, Tabankulu and Cedarville. His contribution in Catechetics, Parish Administration , in religious leadership was a great support for many. Fr Bernadine is 89 and feels it is time to retire. At a festive lunch at the Bishop’s House, May the 15th, we said goodbye to him.
We also said goodbye to Fr Chico the Acting Parish Priest of Mount Frere who was called to do formation and promotion work with his congregation. We appreciated his presence here, we will miss him. May God bless him in his New Apostolate.
12. The Bishop is working with the Committee to establish a Technical College in Kokstad. The Administrative staff for this College will come in September. It will offer basic skills training in office management , Educare, in Typing and Computer Work, in Motor Mechanics , in Engineering, in Electricity and also in Maths and Languages.
A Technical college accepts students who have passed Form III. It offers courses from N1 to N6. It will cost much less that University and Technikon but of course its Qualifications are relatively basic. However, people who because of lack of qualifications cannot get into other Institutes will get a good foundation which will help later when applying for more advanced third level Education. About 3 million rand is being spent coming from the Peace Initiative of KwaZulu Natal and from Municipality of the Town.
13. Mrs Lorna Wicks will take over Brother Val’s work as the Administrator of Bursaries. This is an important ministry. If priests assist Lorna we could get good assistance for our people. Priests should suggests only good Matric students. The Bursaries will come from the European Union and they will be substantial. The scrutiny will involve interviews of the applicants, and the assistance will help them to register, to find accomodation, and to have someone in each unversity who will be a mentor for them. Advertise this programme but so that only good Candidates apply and not every mammy’s darlings.
14.   The Interdiocesan Tribunal Durban
There may be amny good people in our diocese who find themselves barred from the sacraments due to marriage irregularities. Some of them can be helped. Our tribunal is with Durban and our contact person is Fr Richard Kugbeh-Kasin in Matatiele.
What it is
The other day someone asked the question “What exactly is the Interdiocesan Tribunal?” Broadly speaking a tribunal is a body set up to assist a Bishop in matters pertaining to the violation of ecclesiastical law governing the administration of the Sacraments, property matters as well as other contentious issues. These are set out in the Code of Canon Law. Canon Law is the Church’s fundamental legislative document based on the juridical and legislative heritage of revelation and tradition. The aim of Canon Law is to achieve order in the life of the ecclesial society and of the individual persons who belong to it.
Who is on it
For the most part the Interdiocesan Trubunal Durban deals with matters affecting the validity of marriages.
The tribunal consists of a Judicial Vicar and an Associate Judicial Vicar, a Defensor Vinculi or Defender of the Bond, various judges, a notary and a secretary. Part time assistants to the tribunal are auditors some of whom are appointed in their parish to help with marriage nullity inquiries.
What it does.
The tribunal, while it is a court, is not a civil court. Nor does it operate like a civil court with a plaintiff and a defendant. In a marriage nullity case there is a petitioner and a respondent. The tribunal is not there to apportion blame to any party, but rather to examine the quality of the marriage of the spouses at the time of the marriage, for example that the consent was according to the Church’s teaching.
 
How it works
In order to assess a case fairly and justly a large amount of information is required. Not only documents of baptism, marriage and divorce but also statements from both petitioner and respondent and various witnesses nominated by both sides.
All this information is gathered and presented to the judges who scrutinize each case in the light of Canon Law and who will ultimately reach a decision for or againts the validity of the marriage.
Who checks on it
Once a decision in favour of nullity has been established, the case is sent to a court of appeal commonly known as the court of Second Instance. This is a tribunal in another part of South Africa. A new panel of judges examines the case and either rejects or ratifies the decision given by the court of First Instance. Only once a case has been passed by both courts is a Decree of Nullity issued. This Decree frees one or both parties to marry in the Catholic Church.
15. Fr Antonio Benetti will be a diocesan consultor.
Br Erich is Chairperson of the diocesan Building committee and should be consulted reg all buildings in the diocese before construction begins.
16. The Bishop would like to hold pastoral review meetings in these places with the priests starting at 10.30 a m;
Wednesday 27 June, Taylorville and Makhoba at Chibini.
Bizana, 28 June.
Flagstaff and Lusikisiki at Flagstaff, June 29.
Matatiele and Cederville , July 3
Hardenberg, St Anton’s at Hardenberg on July 4.
Kokstad, Bongweni, Franklin on July 5 at Kokstad.
17. Fr Liam McDermott represents the Bishop at days of recollection and discussion for religious, please invite him in good time.
18 Enclosed find the proposed Constitution of the Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) and the minutes of the March meeting. Please give/make copies for your parish pastoral council because we wish to elect an executive in the October diocesan meeting. Use the minutes to continue the discussion on Marriage and the Family with the parish.
19. Hearty congratulations on the great effort for the Lenten appeal, up Rand 6,000,00 on last year at Rand 33,000.00. Thanks very much to Brother Val on co-ordinating.
20 Congrats to Fr Bill on the very successful Parish mission conducted by the Redemptorists.

Iindaba # 037

21 February 2001

 1. The Diocese of Kokstad rejoices at the nomination of our former bishop, Archbishop Napier, as Cardinal by the Holy Father on the 23rd of February. We hope to have a church and civic reception for this son of our diocese to celebrate with him and invoke God’s blessing on his Ministry.
2.   The priests’ meeting at Coolock House takes place from the Evening of March 12 until the morning of March 15. As usual there will be a time for recollection and prayer. During this time we will reflect on the document Intergrity in Mission.
During the session we hope to reflect on our personal and diocesan programme of Evangelization. We will try to examine the effectiveness, the direction, the aims and results of our efforts at evangelization. Each will share on how he endevours to Evangelise.
3.   The sisters and religious brothers meeting will also take place at Coolock House from the evenning of March 19th until the morning of March 22nd.   This will be a celebration of religious life. It will look at religious life its meaning, its challenge and its vocation. Each congregation\family is asked to bring a symbol of the congregation with a few words about its Founder or Foundress, and the charism and mission of the congregation.
4. On the 18th of March at Flagstaff the teachers are invited from Lusikisiki and Flagstaff to attend a day of retreat, prayer and motivation. The bishop and the CIE team will address all teachers be they in Catholic or Government schools, be they Catholic or Non-Catholic. They are invited from Mass time until 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
5. All Government teachers are again invited to attend at Mount Frere where again the bishop and CIE team will speak to them on Sunday after Mass the date is March 25th.
Here all teachers are invited from Mount Frere, Tabankulu and Mount Ayliff.
6. The Diocesan Pastoral Council meeting will take place on March the 24th Saturday at 9:30 in the morning. Each parish is invited to send four or five parish councillors; it is hoped that they will have debated the question of married life, family life in our diocese. We will share on that topic under the Chairmanship of Fr Bill.
7. We extend sincere congratulations to Sister Patricia in Bizana on the occasion of her silver Jubilee of religious life , which she celebrated on the 6th of January in Glen Avent. We also congratulate Sister Hermanigild who is the Provincial of the Sisters of Precious Blood and who celebrated on the same day. Sister Herminigild has been a good friend of the diocese. We extend our sincere sympathies on the tragic death of her mother.
8. It is with great joy, we welcome to the diocese these experieced Missionaries, Fr Antonio Bonetti, Fr Francisco Alberto Almeida De Medeiros, we also welcome Fr Liam McDermott, the former Provincial of Franciscans is very welcome to the diocese. We welcome with gratitude Mother Lilato, the Abbess of Lusaka who has come to be part of the community of Santa Chiara.
We say a word of sad farewell to a great missionary of the diocese, Fr Giorgio Mccj who has gone to do formation work after 6 wonderful years labouring in Mount Ayliff.
9. We are delighted in Kokstad that the Franciscan Postulancy has returned to the diocese with seven postulants now living in Kokstad. We extend our sincere congratulations to Bro Siphelele Gwanisheni from Bizana who made his first vows in Besters on the 4th of January.
10. There will be confirmations in Bizana on the first of April.
        Confirmations at St Anthonys on the 22nd of April,
        Confirmations at St Francis on the 29th of April.
We had wonderful celebrations at the confirmation in Cedarville where Fr Richard and Fr Bongani and Sister Angela prepared the people for a wonderful day. The Liturgy was particularly notable with Mrs Mfene playing a leading part.
11. The next diocesan counsultors meeting will take place at the Bishop’s House on April the 2nd .
12. A day of recollection for the diocesan priests and for others who may wish to attend will take place at Maria Telgte Misson on April the 3rd. If you are not a diocesan priest please let us know in advance of your interest in coming . You are welcome.
13. The Chrism Mass will take place in Kokstad on Wednesday of Holy week, Wednesday the 11th of April with Mass beggining at 11 a.m. Please bring some parishioners. We will pray also for the sick on that day and all will be invited to lunch.
14. The Xhosa Pastoral Region meeting will take place at Palotti Farm, Queenstown. The diocese will be represented by Fr Rodgers Sihlobo, the Vicar General, Fr George and Sister Paulus Maria with the Bishop. The meeting takes place from the 24th to the 26th of April.

 

15. We now have a group of people trained by Lumko at Glenmore last year who will continue their training this year. They are available to go around with the bishop to offer week end retreat to your parish during the course of the year. This will aim at speaking to all the groups in the parish both Sodalities and religious groups. In will involve the healing service , confession and prayer and Mass .
16. Please invite the vocation team to speak in your parish this year. And invite all the Secondary school youth to such meetings. We must do a lot more to encourage vocations which are present in our diocese. Contact Fr Joseph or Fr Richard Kugbeh-Kasin or Fr Bongani.
17. We have a diocesan health desk which provides excellent courses in Home-Based Care and Behaviour Change. Please contact them and make sure they visit your parish and even        outstations during this year. Their visit will be financed by the diocese . It is simple necessary just to organise and invite them. The contact person is Fr Joseph at the Cathedral.
18. Let us remember in our prayers Fr Aloysius Kelly who lived for three years at Tabankulu. Fr Aloysius was buried in Besters having died suddenly at an advanced age in January. May Lord have Mercy on His soul.
19. It was wonderful to see that in various places that the youth are taking up the idea of foot pilgrimage. The youth of Mount Ayliff, Mount Frere and Tabankulu had a wonderful three day session at Mount Ayliff renewing their faith and learning of health matters. They made a long procession to the mission of Mount Ayliff through the country side and on the National road.
Also in Bizana on at least four occasions the youth organised pilgrimages from village to village. This is a great witness and a great character building for our youth.
20. On the the great Apostoles of Medjegorie, Wayne Weiber, visited our Cathedral and spoke to the people on the message of Mary and the call to Repentance.
21. Building at the moment; the church and Monastery at the Poor Clares. We are about to build a parish church at Bhongweni , there is also hope to begin soon at St Anthonys. We hope to extend the Priests House in Lusikisiki.
22. Remember the Lenten collection. Last year we were down very much. Get the envelopes out fast and draw attention to the meaning of charity and giving for others. This diocese itself is very reliant on outside financial help. We must try to give something back. Contact Bro Val for assistance.
 Lent is a time for Confession and for Healing services, a time for the Way of the Cross.
23. The Catholic Institute of Education are very busy with programs of in-service training. They will concentrate on Bizana schools this year, already 10 schools have invited them.
24. Congratulations to Felicitas Nomsolwana on receiving the Papal decoration, Benemerenti, in recognition of many faithful years service to the diocese of Kokstad.
25. This year is the year of the Family. The excellent Marriage Encounter group of Bizana with up to 50 couples are willing to help all who invite them. They have already addressed Bongweni, Flagstaff, and Lusikisiki.

Iindaba # 036

8 December 2000

1. The celebration of the Jubilee of the Diocese on November the 26th was a day of great joy. Thanks to all the priests, the choirs and Fr Joseph and the Parish council of St Patrick’s

It is with great joy we welcome to the priesthood of the diocese, Fr Bongani Dominic Mbhele. As the first diocesan priest born in Kokstad and ordained for the diocese of Kokstad we welcome him with particular joy. His ordination was an occasion of historic importance for the whole diocese. It marks a new stage in the maturity of our church. Bongani will be available to visit various parishes and say Mass for the people on invitation.

On December the 3rd in scenes of great celebration and joy Bongani celebrated his first Mass at his home parish of Hardenburg.

2. We welcome seminarians back to the diocese for their Christmas holidays. During January they will be available to visit your parish and speak on vocations at various stations. Vocations to the diocesan priesthood and to the religious life are a very high priority in our diocese. Please encourage the vocation committee, invite them to speak every year in your parish. Also, invite and welcome the seminarians

3. Diocesan youth pilgrimage by foot to Kevelear will take place between the 12th and the 16 of December. We have not encouraged the large group this year. We find smaller group easier to organise. However, it is an occassion for religious experience for our youth. Leaders and those with real potential for Christian role should be sent on this pilgrimage or encourage to go. It gives a sense of church, a sense of joy , a sense of pilgrimage, a sense of commitment to Christ.

4. The children of Mary have the retreat for diocesan leadership during December. Sr Paulus Maria and her team are to be congratulated. Holiday periods are a special time for the children of Mary and Masotshanyana kaKrestu uKumkani. Our youth, we must take a particular care for them during holiday time. During this time the youth are sitting around, they have little work to do, they are available to meet and to pray.
5. We congratulate Fr Giorgio and Fr Gunther with Brother Erich for the construction of a beautiful new church at Mazeni. It is being opened on the 11th of December.
6. We had joyful beautiful celebrations of Confirmations in a number of parishes. In Makhoba’s we had 240 for confirmation. The children at the Cathedral had been very well prepared over a two year Catechetical period . The young people in Telgte came with their own characteristic joy for the Confirmation and for first Holy Communion. And in Lower Mnceba at Tabankulu Sr Marwega and Lucella had prepared the people with care for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
7. Fr John Kerr, thank God, is recovering and back in Maria Telgte. His health gave great concerned to the whole diocese and all of us remembered him in our prayers. We welcome him back with joy and hope he gets well soon.
8. The collection with the diocesan envelopes should be brought to the Bishop’s office during this month of December. Otherwise, get the envelopes from Fr Joseph.
We want to invite the people to support the diocese as such.
9. The Poor Clares have begun the construction of their chapel and the extention of the Monastery at Santa Chiara. This Monastery is a place of prayer for us. Do encourage girls who are serious about Christian life to visit during holidays. We expect with joy the coming of the Abbess of the Monastery of Lusaka, Sister Lilato, to join the community here. But please pray for vocations.
10. Our team, trained by Lumko gave a special course for funeral leaders and priestless service leaders from the 25th to the 28th of October. One hundred and twenty people attended this excellent session. We will have another have another training session in February in 2001. The team of Sr Chrysanta, Sr Constantia, Sr Beauty, Sr Helena, Mr Dweba, Mr Qhwesha, Mr Ncedo, Mr Jojo, are now a team which will help to deepen the skills and the spirituality of our leaders in the diocese. They will complete their Lumko training in Glenmore in 2001 from June 3 for four weeks. They will be joined by Mr Michael Kumalo from Bhongweni. If you have a suggestion of other experienced local leaders who would benefit from training please suggest them. The idea is that they become with their priests the trainers of others.
11. For the past two weeks in Kokstad we have seen an football-field size tent which offered Assembly of God kind services. Someone who attended noted that they attacked the catholic church with particular venom and other main line churches. The fact that the tent was flattened by lightening and wind on Saturday was noted by Fr Bruno and his parishioners. While one deplores the negative elements of their message we do see the opportunity which they afford young people to pray and sing. If we could have at least one renewal session during holidays for our youth!
12. It is very encouraging to see the work done by our Aids group headed by Fr Joe as Chairperson, with Brother Sydney and Sister Anthony on its board. The two operation officers, Ms Nogabe and Miss Nomvano Qwebeba are excellent presenters of behaviour change and home care training for our sick. They have already conducted very inspiring courses in Flagstaff, Bhongweni, Hardenburg, Lusikisiki, Umzongwana and soon they will be going to Mount Ayliff. In each place they have trained zealous, young people who are now visiting and encouraging the sick. This is a wonderful work that needs the support of the full church, the parish and the priests. Here is an opportunity to get our St Annes doing something really useful and being skilled and trained for it. The Sacred Heart Society and all Societies should be trained. Aids will take half of our young people over the next seven years and leave 5,000,000 orphans in South Africa.
13. Re the various collections in the church during the year.
 
Holy Childhood – First Sunday in February
Lenten Appeal    – Sacrificium    – Every Sunday of Lent
Holy places     –    Good Friday
Peter’s Pence –    Sunday, nearest 29 June
Peter the Apostle   –    Opus Sancti Petri.     First Sunday of August.
Mission Month    – in October
Only Kokstad and Matatiele have been required to take up the collections for Holy Childhood and Peter the Apostle.
The main Church of each parish is asked to contribute to Peter’s Pence.
The intentions for Holy Childhood and Peter the Apostle are included in the Mission Month Collection for the other parishes.
Holy Childhood is directed to needy children
Sacrificium supports many projects e.g diocesan seminaries, feeding schemes, CIE, Lumko Institute – at least 40 different charities.
Mission Month helps the mission work of the Church especially major seminaries.
Peter the Apostle helps in the education of local clergy
Holy Places: helps in the upkeep of holy places in the Holy Land as well as maintenance of pastoral activities there.
Peter’s Pence:   supports the Pope’s special charities.    (Bro Val).
14. The Catholic Institute of Education, CIE had an extremely fruitful year in the area of the diocese. We thank sincerely Bro Jim and Sister Mary Anne Ndzimande, Mr Bereng , Mrs Nakin and Mrs Napier for their outstanding work.
During this year they conducted many Whole School Development programmes. This involves all teachers , training and planning together. They offered workshops for teachers in various subjects like Mathematics, languages sciences etc..
They invited NGOs to deepen the skills training of our teachers. Their National office sent a team to conduct courses for teachers on HIV and Sexuality. The religious Education courses were presented by Paul Faller , the author of an excellent book for teaching the faith in schools. The CIE are also involved in training Governing bodies of schools. Here we could encourage catholics to join Governing bodies as they will have a very direct say in the future content and Education in all schools. They also train school management teams.

 

Early in the year 2001 the bishop will go with the CIE to conduct motivational and prayer days for all teachers, Catholic and non- Catholic. We generally go to six centres, Hardenburg, Kokstad, Bizana, Mount Frere, Flagstaff and Lusikisiki.
15. In January, Tuesday 16, we will have a meeting of all the priests of the diocese. This will be a follow up on the Coolock programmes. Among the issues we must discuss is how to benefit from the good experience of the Holy Year Programmes. Where the Cross was taken from house to house many people came back to the church, prayer and devotion were encouraged. People felt lonely when the Cross left them, they felt a new desire for Christ. We also need to follow up on pastoral policy and practice.
16. Fr George Byarugaba has graciously agreed to become chaplain for the Amadodana. He will plan training and organisation for the year 2001.
17. During March we intend to have a diocesan pastoral council meeting . This will discuss the issues raised by the Mariannhill National Convention in August. High on the Agenda will be the state of families and the programmes regarding the reconstitution of marriage and the family. Please have parish councils in every parish so that representatives are easily available for these various encounters. The laity too must feel the ownership of the diocese and that their voices are necessary for the future of the diocese. Fr Bill will continue to chair the pastoral councils.
18.To help with retreat facilities and meetings of the societies we have constructed a shower\ toilet block at the cathedral premises.
19. At Coolock House in relation to marriages we spoke about the situation of Sanatio in Radice for cases where one partner absolutely refuses to co-operate in celebration of Church marriage. This is dealt with in Canons 1161 to 1165. In the present Canon Law it is called Rectroactive Validation. It says that Rectoactive Validation of an invalid marriage is its validation without renewal of consent, granted by the competent authority. It involves a despensation from an inpediment if there is one and from canonical form if it had not been observed.
Sanatio takes place from the moment the favour is granted. It must be probable that the parties intended to persevere in conjugal life. Again it is granted even if one or both parties is unaware of it. It is granted only for a grave reason.    And it can be granted by the diocesan bishop in individual cases.
20. From Coolock House; applicants for the St Annes, Udodana, Sacred Heart etc must have their marriages blessed in church before reception into the Society.
21. The payment of people involved in the pastoral apostolate is controlled by the parish priest. Expenses incurred in this ministry, e.g. travel, can be paid. The usual stipend can be accepted by the minister from the family involved. Nothing however will be paid by the diocese. If the minister uses his own vehicle then petrol money should be given him.
22. Priests’ meetings during the year;
A). We will celebrate two diocesan feast days together during the year. The bishop’s day of concecration, February the 21s,t and another day. We can also use these days for reflection together.
B). We will make a list of dates for recollection for the year. It is essential that all diocesan priests have a monthly day of recollection except on the month of their annual retreat. The religious priests and brothers have their own arrangements.
C) The bishop will invite diocesan priests for special celebrations each year, for example, St John Vianney, and other such days at the bishop’s house. .
23. Regarding infant baptism the meeting in June at Kokstad came up with following resolutions.
 Regarding children up to the age of seven. Before baptising such a child the Minister must ascertain that there is real hope of a catholic up-bringing for this child. The mother and the father if possible and even the grandmother should be interviewed before the child is accepted for the baptism. If there are no parents present for some reason then the child can only be baptised if there is a demonstrably strong family attachment to the faith and to the church.
When adults comes asking for a child to be baptised we must see if the other children in that family have been baptised, if they are now making confession, if they have received Holy Communion and are preparing for Confirmation etc. If the other children of the family are not been sent to church then it is almost impossible to have security in baptising yet another child.
We should take our time before baptising and ensure that people attend instructions and prepare for the sacrament and it’s obligations.
If a priest is on supply in a parish he should not change parish policy or baptise unless the resident priest has already approved.
In the case of outstations there must be somebody apart from the parent who is seen as responsible or in charge and who is prepared to recommend the child for baptism.
When a priest is transferred he must as out going priest pass on all the information to the incoming priest who must note the policy regarding sacraments. Confusion appears sometimes in that some priests are strict regarding baptism while others baptise everybody.
In instructions parents must understand something about the person of Jesus, his death and resurrection and his sending of the Holy Spirit. The must know how baptism clothes us in Christ. (Romans 6) The absolute demands of Christian living, the commandments of Christ, love of God and love of neighbour are absolute. They must know and pray the Our Father and the Creed.
 We are now working on a Catechetical syllabus for the diocese.
As regarding adults.

They should be prepared for baptism and confirmation at the same time.

Converts can be instructed with Catechumens in preparation for baptism or reception in the church.

We follow the RCIA program. Though Catechumens may be received or ready by June of the previous year before the following Easter’s baptism. They must attend every week in the mean time.

24. On December 18 the diocesan priests will celebrate Fr Bongani’s ordination at the Bishop’s House. The 19th will be a day of Recollection.

A very Happy Christmas to everybody. May God bless all the dedicated work done by all priests and sisters in this diocese this year.

Iindaba # 035

12 August 2000

1. A Course for training and up-dating of leaders of priestless services and funerals will take place at the Cathedral from evening October 25th to 28th.
 Please send people for training, both men and women. Also send groups, if for example you wish leaders for a particular outstation to be trained, please send at least two, and if possible three, from that place.
2   This course will be conducted by our diocesan team who have just come back from a month at Glenmore when they studied Lumko materials. On the team are Mr Qwesha from Mount Frere, Mr Dweba and Ncedo from Lusikisiki, Patrick Jojo and Sr Chrysanta from Maria Telgte, Sr Helena from Matatiele, S Beauty from Hardenberg and Sr Constantia from Tlangwini.
In their studies they paid special attention to Small Christian Communities, the RSIA program, the formation of leaders, the Church as a family of teams. Let us give them every opportunity to play a full role in the church, working with the priests and the parish councils.
3. Our diocese was very well represented at the National Forum during the Bishops’ conference at Mariannhill. With the bishop on the team were Fr George, St Natalia, Mr Jojo and Mrs Jwaqu and Mrs Godlo.
Bro Michael Burke, a Christian Brother who conducted the day, presented the assembly from every diocese in the Conference with the findings of the national survey on developments since launch of the Pastoral Plan in the late 1980’s to today. Clear advances were evident in much increased lay involvement in the Church and in the Catholic awareness of the role of the Bible in Christian life.
The challenges facing the Southern African Church today were exactly those highlighted at our own diocesan pastoral council in May, viz. Family and Marriage life is in a disasterous plight, the Youth are being touched only superficially, and leadership formation must be radically prioritized. These clearly are the areas where we must be over the next number of years.

 

Please prepare for the next Diocesan Pastoral Council in November by ensuring that each parish has a functioning parish council and representatives to send to Kokstad.
4. The bishop will be overseas from 18th of August to 18th of September, preaching in Austria and on holidays in Ireland. Fr Sihlobo leaves on a Sabbatical in September, his program will take him to Rome and Israel.
5. Mrs Patience Nogabe and Nomvano Qwebeba, who have had special training in Home care of the sick, especially in the care of Aids victims, have conducted three very succesful courses in the diocese. Please invite them as soon as possible to your parish and provide them with a group of good people who can engage in home visitation. They feel that what they have done so far has been very succesful.
Three of their ‘pupils’, three secondary schools boys, gave a presentation to 700 of their fellows in Langa High School in Flagstaff with resounding success. The home visitors, especially those in Lusiki, are doing very valuable work. Please engage our youth and people. Contact the team through Fr Joseph or Brother Sydney.
6. Dr Miriam Duggan, the Franciscan sister spend an excellent week working with 50 youth leaders in Kokstad from July 31th.   She has trained these teams to offer Behaviour change to our youth. Her programs are credited with outstanding work in Uganda , Zambia and elsewhere. She was very pleased with our Kokstad youth. Thanks to the parishes who sent these youth.
Let us continue to meet with youth, even informally, encourage them. As those in Lusikisiki who are engaged in this work have said themselves, they have seen people who had given up all hope of living rise up and begin life again. Here we have a wonderful chance to offer youth a challenge which will do more for their human and spiritual growth than anything else. It is amazing how good young people are if called upon.
7. The youth pilgrimage, by foot, to Kevelaer will take pace from December 12th for four days this year. Please announce. Each one will pay Rand 50. Last year we had a wonderful experience. The few who were not serious were small girls who paid nothing and were just sent from some parishes to fill up numbers. There will be a big crowd this year and we want serious pilgrims only who can walk and who want to do something for God and to pray in this Jubilee Year.
8. The diocesan celebration of the Jubilee will be a Sunday event, November 26th. Please advertise in time. It will take place here in Kokstad and involve a march past with all parish groups trouping together. All priests are invited to Kokstad for that Sunday, invite the people to make this Jubilee effort.
9. On the same day and as a highlight of the Jubilee in the diocese Bro Bongani Mbhele will be ordained a priest, the first Kokstad born diocesan priest for this diocese. A team led by Fr Giorgio will meet to plan both Jubilee and Ordination liturgy. On the team will be Srs Natalia and Margaret and Paulus Maria; Mr Leonard Mokoena, Mrs Jwaqu and Mrs Godlo, Bro Bongani Mbhele with Fr Joseph and Mr Anthony Napier.

 

10. Coolock house for clergy, please note dates; October 16 (evening) to October 19 (morning). It will include a Jubilee theme for priests, led by Fr Joe Slattery and Fr Mkheseni Xulu.
11. Catholic Nurses International have their conference at Esselen Park, Johannesburg from 18 to22 September. Bishop will preach. Is it too pious a wish that a few nurses attend?
12. Many groups and professions have pilgrimages to Rome this Jubilee Year. The dioceses are invited to use the same dates to have celebrations for these groups at home. Of note is October 8, the Jubilee of Families. Could we have renewal of marriage vows, prayers, sermon etc on that day through out the diocese?
13. From the Bishops’ Conference, August 2000;
Fatima House to be bought for extension of seminaries. Will house some of the post-internship students who attend St John Vianney Seminary.
Fr Sithembele Sipuka appointed Rector of St John Vianney Seminary to succeed Bishop Pius Mlungisi Dlungwana.
Special representations to be made to the government on behalf of Angola and Sudan which were visited by groups of bishops. Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo who recently incurred President Mugabe’s ire attended a session to thank the Conference for its support.
A delegation of bishops to finally have a meeting with the Minister and Directors of Dept. of Home Affairs regarding the throny and troublesome question of visas, permits and residences of Church workers from abroad.
Review of the Aids desk in Khanya house and the difficulty of gaining access to funds.
Issues dealing with the use of Church land. While certain government figures had tried to say that churches owed 7% of the Land of the country the inventory drawn up by the Catholic Church shows in fact that the area owned by all churches together come to a percentage of 1%. Sizeable Catholic farms in the country are only 17. And 80% of church holdings are of less than 1 hectare.   Experience shows that handing over, free, a large peice of land for sustainable agriculture could cost the Church One million rand.
In the light of new tax legislation the dioceses have to draw up lists of moneys and property which will be considered exempt under the category of non profit organisation.
The church will attend the Amnesty application by Eugene de Kock and friends for their burning of the Secretariat at Khanya House in 1988.
The bishops were briefed on the declaration on Justification made in conjunction with the Lutheran Federation.
Besides the Saturday Forum, the Bishops celebrated the consecration of Bishop Dlungwane at Mariannhill on Sunday, 6th , and the Wednesday Jubilee celebration at Kingspark Stadium. Sr Paulus Maria , our representative on the Inculturation committee of the Metropolitan area brought about 100 people from here. The new study book on Inculturation for use in all parishes was launched and soon will be available.