Iindaba # 002

29th JUNE 1994.

1.It is with great joy that we welcome Father Giorgio MCCJ who has come to the Diocese and taken up residence in Mount Frere. At the moment Giorgio is learning “Xhosa”. Benvenuto !

2.Vocations Committee:

Congratulations to the Vocations committee on organizing an excellent week-end for Diocesan vocations at Mount Frere. I thank the committee and Father Arturo and Brother Eric for their work in making everyone welcome for the week-end. About 50 young men attended, of whom 17 indicated that they had interest in going ahead for the Diocesan Priesthood. Most have quiet some time to complete studies. At a follow up vocations committee meeting in Kokstad on June the 27th the following points were made.

a. A Brochure would be printed in Xhosa and Sotho in the near  future.

b. A newsletter would be sent out to keep contact with the  young men who attend our vocation workshops. These will be distributed through the priests. The newsletter would be issued every 2 months and would contain news about the Diocese, information on vocations, scripture reflections, and questions for discussion.

c. It was suggested that a quiz be organized on Biblical themes to engage the young people in the various youth clubs.

d. Sister Natalia of the Daughters of Charity in Hardenburg  was appointed as resource person for vocations in the Diocese.

e. It was suggested that there be Parish vocation workshops  in the next six months. Sister Natalia if given sufficient notice would attend in the parishes. These     should perhaps take place on a Saturday or a Sunday from about 9 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon.

f. It was decided that there would be another Diocesan vocation workshop during the December holidays, at a place and time to be decided later. As well we would endeavour to have a live-in with those in form 5 and form 4 who are expressing serious intention . This would be in Bizana.

3.Sister Natalia was asked to act as youth co-ordinator for the Diocese. This week-end Sister is in Flagstaff where a large number of youth from the Parish and neighboring Parishes will attend general workshop. She will also be available for other parishes again if given invitation in sufficient time.

Sister Natalia will call a meeting for July, Saturday the 30th for youth organizers, or adults who wish to work with youth,in the various Parishes.  If each Parish could send 1 or 2 persons to this meeting we might be able to begin a concerted Diocesan policy for youth.

4.It is hoped to have a Diocesan choir competition for our youth choirs throughout the Diocese during the coming Christmas holidays. The idea would be that the Parishes in the meantime organize a youth competition for the outstations of the individual Parishes. The winners would then hopefully take part in a Diocesan final in January. This is necessary to get the youth involved in the Parish, with each other, to give them a programme and to encourage on-going contact with the church. Many of our youth are drifting, they have no real challenge within the church and it is hoped that this initial contact would lead to greater opportunity for work among them.

5.The Diocese wishes to send greetings for the Feast day of the Sacred Heart to those congregations in the Diocese dedicated to the Heart of Christ. We congratulate in a particular way the Sacred Heart Sisters in Hardenburg, Taylorville and Lusikisiki. We also send special Feast day greetings to the Comboni Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.

6.It is with great joy that we realize that the Poor Clares of the Monastery of St Clare in Lusaka in Zambia will send a founding community to Kokstad later in this year. Mother Veronica the foundress of the Monasteries of Lilongwe and Lusaka and Sister Intulo from the same community came to look at various sites in the Diocese during this month of June. We have decided on a site which they like very much and which we are in the process of buying. We welcome the contemplative Sisters in a special way for we know their tremendous importance in the spiritual life of the church. Their witness is to the first and great law, to love God with all our hearts, our souls, our minds and our strength. All of us are working for the glory of God and his Kingdom, but we continually need to be reminded that it is faith which is the root of our vocation and it is God who is the goal of our work. The presence of these Sisters among us will not only be a source of great spiritual energy, they will be a reminder to us to continually purify our work so that it is work flowing out of and building up faith. Sincere tahnks to the Holy Cross sisters who offered warm hospitality.

7.Happenings in these months of June and July:

Sister Natalia will be meeting with the youth of the area in Flagstaff on the week-end of the 1st to the 3rd July.

We are happy that the youth mass on Sunday evenings has begun once again in Kokstad.

We try to have vigils in the Cathedrtals before the Major feasts. People are coming.

We thank God for the very successful vocation workshop in Mount Frere.

We thank Father Francis Mlaba of the Diocese of Mariannhill who gave the young men great input on the first day.

We thank in a special way Father Rodgers who organized the meeting, Father Arturo and Brother Eric who offered hospitality and Father Peter and Sister Natalia who worked with the youth during the time.

Church unity week took place in Kokstad during May and a great crowd of Catholics attended at the Methodist and Anglican churches. We played host to the other communities on the Wednesday of Unity week.

The St Annes Retreat at Bongweni was very well attended this year. Father Tony as Spiritual Assistant guided proceedings. These annual retreats are of great importance in offering formation to the laity to make them our sincere co-workers.

The Faith alive course is very well attended in the Parish of Kokstad with up to 25 present every Tuesday evening. Sister Ambrose from the Precious Blood Community in Mount Frere attended the Lunko course on healing during the month of May on behalf of the Diocese.

Confirmation in Maria Telgte was a wonderful experience with people coming from all the neighboring farms to be confirmed. The ceremony was at midday, as the people are very busy all Sunday mornings. Unfortunately they had to leave immediately after the service to get back to their work on the farms. The liturgical dance and the singing conducted by the children of the school at Maria Telgte gave a great lustre to the occasion.

Confirmation in Flagstaff was an occasion of great Parish joy. The people who came forward for confirmation were examined 3 weeks previously by the Bishop on the wise instructions of the parish priest. And so those who came on the day of confirmation itself were very well prepared in the tradition of that local Pastor. One felt a great sense of unity and devotion, and willingness to work for the church among many people in Flagstaff and in Telgte. Again it is our challenge in the diocese of Kokstad to enable our people to contribute their enormous gifts for the building up of Gods family here.

We had two wonderful days of prayer and devotion in Hillside in the Parish of Tlangwini, tremendous crowds came from all the small neighboring out – stations and gathered for a day of prayer, liturgy, confession and celebration. Again later in the month we went to Thembukazi where people who live very far away from any of the bigger centres of the Parish had occasion to come together and celebrate their own day. It was a day of wonderful joy with the people.   They had prayed the whole night previously preparing spiritually for the day. In the tents erected on top of the hills looking down over the great valleys of Lusikisiki we prayed for the needs of the community.

Sister Dionys of the Precious Blood Sisters in Mount Frere is running a week-end 1st to the 3rd of July, in Mount Frere for all the Catechism teachers. Those of the whole Parish and indeed from Tabankulu hope to attend. We deeply appreciate Sister’s work in the Diocese and hope that more and more people will avail of her wonderful gifts.

As Sister Theodata has gone on holidays to Germany with Sister Teresilla Franklin has lost is curate. At 87 Sister is an inspiration for her zeal and devotion to her work. The work  done in catechetics in the parish of Kokstad by the sisters      is untiring and exemplary.

Sister Clara in Hardenberg has gathered a group of people who wish to develop a project to make clothes, school uniforms etc    on the local level.

8.Augustine Njovane has decided to go ahead for teaching.

9.We were very happy in the Diocese to welcome the National Director of the C.I.E who came with Brother Murtagh to see the Catholic schools of the Diocese. Sister Brigid Rose spoke about the various policies of C.I.E. and how they wish to contribute to the catholic schools. They will act as Advisors, offer inservice training and upgrading, they will help in the area of religious education and advise regarding the policies of local school boards. Brother Murtagh of the Christian Brothers is our local representative and he has been very busy trying to contact catholic teachers all over the Diocese. I encourage the Priests to help Brother Murtagh in every way to make contact with teachers. Many of these teachers actually have received great help from the church in the past, even financially, and now we seem to be loosing contact with most of them. We seriously need to call on these people and allow them to be christian teachers, catholic teachers dedicated to the church and to the good of the children. It is hoped that at the next clergy meeting at the end of September Brother Murtagh will speak about the C.I.E.

10.A faxed document came from the South African Catholic Bishops conference encouraging us in our Diocese to take up a collection for the victims of violence in Rwanda. If some Parishes will be so kind as to offer their people the opportunity of making a financial contribution for our Brothers and Sisters in the Catholic church in Rwanda, this money could be forwarded to help. The majority of people of this tragic land are catholics. We continually see and read of people being slaughtered on Catholic Missions and in Catholic Churches. Up to 40 Priests seem to have been killed and many Sisters have disappeared. If we could contribute something for our Brothers and Sisters if will be an act of great charity.

11.The Catholic Bishops at their May meeting in Pretoria issued a Pastoral letter expressing their gratitude for the success of the South African elections. The Bishops in a special way expressed appreciation for all those who work for justice and for a peaceful election. I would want to add my words in particular to these expressions of appreciation, and to express our gratitude and to congratulate those in our Diocese of Kokstad who worked so generously for the education of our people in election procedures and who acted as Monitors and helpers in any capacity during that traumatic yet blessed time in our country’s history.

12.The Bishops go on to encourage all christians now that we are aware of new-found rights and freedoms, to engage ourselves in new responsibilities. We are particularly challenged to contribute to the common good of society, through activities inspired by the gospel. Some Catholics have already taken up the burden of public office at National or Provincial level. The bishops congratulate them and urge them to work for the good of all. We cannot remain aloof and criticise. We must work for a more just society. Our congratulation then goes out to those people, catholic people of our Diocese who have worked and who will continue to work for the good of the New South Africa.

13.Brother Eric MCCJ of the Comboni Fathers in Mount Frere has very kindly agreed to act as small projects officer for the Diocese. By small projects we mean social and economic projects which might help the people in our areas. There is quiet a lot of money available for such small projects, but we must work through a small projects officer. Those who donate such monies want their money to be spent wisely. They want assessment before and after the project. They want the local community to be engaged fully. They basically want projects to aim at the education of people in self-help. Projects can include anything from small farm projects, poultry projects, sewing projects, educational projects, skills projects e.t.c. I encourage the Priests,as we can see in our Diocese enormous numbers of people are unemployed, to watch for some way we may be able to help.

14.This is the International Year of the Family chosen by both the United Nations and the Pope as a year for helping communication in Family life. Again we are very vividly aware of the enormous breakdown in family values in our land. During the course of this year we should make plans to offer a greater religious service to families. We can do so by preparing young people for married life. We can preach continually about the necessity of seriousness when it comes to sexual and family matters. We can prepare people, good married couples in our parishes to become guidance couples for those preparing for marriage. Indeed in some parts of the Diocese, Flagstaff, Lusiksiki and Bizana couples are being prepared through marriage encounter groups to take over this enormously important Apostalate. We could also have liturgical services in which people renew their marriage vows, or we could have days of prayer dedicated to the family. Preaching and insistence upon family prayer and family values is of the utmost importance. This is a special year of grace for the catholic family. We can scarcely offer a better service to our people then to offer them the support, the religious support necessary for happily married life.

15.Sister Dionys of the Precious Blood Sisters in Mount Frere attended the Lumko discussion “Ministry in the year 2000”, on behalf of the Diocese. Its report has now come to hand assessing the South African situation.

Among the many points of interest are the following:

a. The church is not meeting the needs of the people.

The sodalities are owned by the people but they are not moving forward. There is serious question regarding the quality of the training and ongoing formation of the laity.

Inculturation, we need more public reflection on the roll of women.

There is no common vision among priests in ministry and problems arise when one priest succeeds another.

Training programmes often fail to train the participants to be trainers in their own local community. Priests and Sisters take over the work of the laity and feel insecure when laity want to do what their baptism sends them to  do.

Small christian communities often do not come into existence because of Pastoral Paternalism “They will not work among my people”, and Pastoral dominance.

There seems to be great confusion between Priestless service and the Mass.

Catechesis is hindered by conflicts over content, method  and books etc.

All over the country youth ministry seems to be dead- locked.

16.The United Nations International day against drug abuse was June the 26th 1994. While we were not able to observe that day for various reasons, we should not for that reason abstain from helping this campaign. There is no doubt that alcohol abuse is one of the great problems of our diocese. Perhaps during the course of this year we might have a Sunday dedicated to that theme. This will make the people aware, invite the people to pray, maybe establish some organisation which will help us to deal with this problem.

If any Parish does some work for drug abuse or alcohol abuse please let this office know, as we wish to try and initiate something in this area.

17.The Lenten appeal this year is higher than ever. For the first time we have received over R20 000,00. I wish to congratulate all the priests and people of the diocese and in a particular way our co-ordinator of the appeal Father Lawrences O’Shea. Not only were the people very generous in their giving but they also seemed to ask for nothing back. Most Dioceses send in many applications for assistance coming from the Lenten collections. We don’t seem to need anything! Do we want nothing?

18.It is with great joy the Diocese expresses our congratulations to Father Fiachra ofm, Provincial of the Irish Province of Franciscans on his appointment as auxiliary for Dublin in Ireland. The contribution of the Irish Province and its Provincials to the building up of the church in Kokstad is a outstanding. And surely we in Kokstad rejoice on this great day when for the first time in 170 years an Irish Franciscan has been appointed as Bishop in Ireland. We rejoice with the Franciscans of Ireland, we offer our congratulations and the assurance of our prayers to Father Fiachra ofm in his new ministry.

19.We continue to support Father Finbarr Russell in his prayers for his mother. She is very sick and we appreciate the sacrifice of Finbarr in living here among us while his mother lies ill in Ireland, we assure him of our prayers and support and we continue to pray for his mother.

20.. Many nurses in our diocese are Catholics, taking over a tradition which for decades was the field of labour of religious in caring for the sick. It would be good if we had some diocesan guild where they would have opportunity for spiritual reflection, sharing and formation.

Such a guild could deal with circulars coming from Khanya house etc and avail of services offered by the Health department of the Bishops’ conference.

21. Is there anybody interested in liturgical texts? Again we get new suggested texts for evaluation. It would be good if someone would read over these and make suggestions.

22. We have also had a reminder from Rome regarding our cultural treasures, need for libraries and archives! Do any parishes  keep chronicles? It would be good if photoes, films, books,  chronicles of historic interest be carefully annotated and preserved.

23. Delighted with a visit from Fr Sandri, Provincial of Comboni missionaries. When Fr Bernard comes back in July the community in Mount Frere will take on the pastoral care of Tabankulu.

Indaba # 001

1.   Reasons for a newsletter:

 It is hoped that on a monthly or bi – monthly basis a  newsletter will go out from the Diocesan office here in Kokstad.

The idea is to inform the Priests, religious and the leaders of the Diocese about note-worthy events. Through a newsletter it is hoped that we will share in the  life and concerns of the diocese more fully. It is also an opportunity to remind people of events of common interest. Continually letters and information of all kinds comes to the  Bishop here in Kokstad and the newsletter will be a means by which this information can reach some of the people of the         Diocese. Reading the newsletter will also help you to become more aware of the common concerns of the Diocese, our  problems, the challenges we face.

 

2. General Meeting in Kokstad on 21st March 1994.

A Meeting of the Bishop, Priests and Brothers of the Diocese was held on the 21st March to consider some of the needs of the Diocese in the years ahead. Fifteen peculiar needs of the Diocese were listed, and from these five priorities were selected. The five priorities underlined by the meeting for  the Diocese were:

a) Catechetics.

b) Diocesan vocations.

c) Formation of laity for ministry.

d) We need a diocesan vision and a diocesan policy.

e) We need pastoral structures in the Parish and the Diocese, to bring the laity and the religious into the planning and servicing of our church.

The Diocese will have to take urgent steps to meet these grave needs.

 

3. Catechetics.

It was decided at the Councillors meeting in Kokstad to print 5 000 new Xhosa catechism books. While it is seen that this book with its questions and answers is not the ideal catechism at least it is something we can immediately put into the hands of the teachers. It was further decided to set up a catechetical community to plan the future of our catechetical programme in the Diocese. Father Bill Lovett was appointed as Convenor with Sister Natalia and Sister Callista of the Daughters of Charity as members of the committee. It is also hoped that Sister Dionys and Father Egbert and Sister Senan will act as advisors to the committee. This committee will try and examine the catechetical situation in the Diocese and make recommendations to help us to form our teachers better,to give them material in hand, and to evaluate our catechetical programmes in the life and knowledge of the children. It is admitted that this is a long term project but  we must begin to ensure that our children receive the faith in which we glory.

 

4. Vocations.

A Vocation committee was established by the Council. Father Rogers Sihlobo was appointed as Convenor with Father Arturo and Sister Natalia as members. It is hoped that Father Peter Wilson and members of the other religous congregations in the Diocese will act as advisors to the committee. This committee will try and examine the question of vocations, particularly  to the Diocesan priesthood in this Diocese. Hopefully they will be able to plan seminars and workshops and youth meetings where people will be made aware of the need of vocations, and the nature of vocation itself.

A number of young men have expressed keen interest in becoming Diocesan priests for Kokstad. Already three of them are living with Father Sihlobo in Bizana. There, there will be a programme of prayer, pastoral work and community life to help prepare them for the Seminaries. Among them we are happy to welcome Augustin Njovane, who comes from Lusikisiki.  He completed his studies with a B.Th degree in St John Vianney Seminary in 1992 and has offered to join his home Diocese of Kokstad. Augustin is working with Father Rodgers in Bizana, helping in the Parish ministry.

 

5. Sacred Heart Society.

Father Peter has been appointed as the Spiritual Director for the Society of the Sacred Heart in the Diocese. We thank Father Lucas Bambezela for all his work for this Society during his years in Flagstaff. We wish Peter every success in forming the members of this Society in the Diocese.

 

6. May, the month of prayer for vocations.

I often noticed during my time as Rector in St John Vianney Seminary an information work in general in South Africa, that  many of the young religious and priests came to their vocation through societies of our Lady. And so I am asking all of you to make this month of May, a month of prayer for vocations to the Diocese and to religious life. We were not able to observe the days set aside by the Pope in March as vocation day, but let us make Pentecost Sunday the 22nd May as our special day for prayer for vocations.  The prayer which the Holy Father suggested is as follows;

“Let us pray, Oh Holy Family of Nazareth, community of love of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, model an ideal of every Christain family, to you we entrust our families.

Open the heart of every family to the faith, to welcome in the word of God, to Christain witness, so that it become a source of new and holy vocations. Touch the hearts of parents, so that with prompt charity, wise care and loving devotion be for their sons and daughters sure guides towards spiritual and eternal values.

Stir up in the hearts of young people a right conscience and a free will, so the growing in wisdom age and grace they might welcome generously the gift of a divine vocation.

Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that all of us contemplating and imatating the Assidous prayer, generous obedience, dignified poverty, and virginal purity lived out in your midst, we might set about fulfilling the will of God and accompanying with far sighted sensitivity those among us who are called to follow more closely the Lord Jesus, who has given himself for us. Amen”

 

7. Service of the 7 last words.

On Good Friday morning Father Rodgers Sihlobo organised a service of the 7 last words in his Parish of Bizana. The idea is to take the words of Jesus one by one and to read scripture text which relate to that word. These are followed by hymns and prayers and by a sermon which explains the significance of these words in the Lord”s Passion.

We heard confessions for eight hours!

 

8. Year of the Family, 1994.

In his letter for the Year of the Family the Pope writes

“The church joyfully welcomes the decision of the United Nations organisation to declare 1994 the International Year of the Family”. This initiative makes it clear how fundemental the question of the family is for the members  states of the United Nations. If the Church wishes to take part in this initiative, it is because she herself has been sent by Christ to all the Nations. I hope in the end of May to summarise very briefly the Popes very long letter for this the Year of the Family and to send it out to the individual Parishes. It is obvious that the Family in the world today is under severe pressure. Everyone of us is very aware that in our own Parishes all over the Diocese among our friends and among the people among whom we work their are severe pressures on their family life. The family is the domestic church, the basic unit of society and we must think together how to evangelise and strengthen it.

I hope later in the year to summarise the Pope’s letter and to send it out to the individual Parishes.

 

9. Necrology.

As we are a family, a community, a church it is very important that we in Kokstad remember the significant members of this family who have laboured here in the past and laid the foundations of our Church. In order to better remember those  who have died and have laboured in this Diocese over the years I would like to put together a Diocesan Necrology. And so I would like to get the names of all Priests, Brothers, Sisters and Leading Catecists who have worked in this Diocese over the years. I would like to get their names with the name of the Parish where they worked or convent, with also the day of their death. We will then put together a little booklet which will  be distributed to all the Churches of the Diocese so that people could remember these our ancestors in the faith when they come to pray. I ask all the Sisters congregations and the Parish priests to help me.

10. Youth.

It is obvious as one travels anywhere in the Diocese that the  number of youth in our area is enormous. One does not have to go far in the Kokstad area to know that 50% of the population here as elsewhere in Africa is under 15 years of age. And so we must give particular emphasise to the Apostolate for youth. I wish to thank all those who have laboured over the years and continued to labour to reach the youth in our schools, in our churches and in our youth clubs. Again I hope to hear from people with ideas how we can put together a programme that will reach the youth in their needs. As this year proceeds we hope to formulate a programme by which we can bring the church and the word of the gospel into the lives of our youth. We hope to be able to bring to them people who can guide them in the particular problems of their life. In a         particular way I would ask those who can help to establish church organisations for the junior youth. By that I mean young people between the ages of 9 and 15. It is often in these years that a young person becomes aware of a call. It  is in these years, if the young people get encouragement, affirmation and instruction that they emerge as leaders. The leaders in parishes are often people who found their voice, their charism in groups like the Junior Legion etc.

11. Building Committee.

It was established at the recent Diocesan Council meeting to establish a building committee which will access and advise on all building plans and needs in the Diocese. The convenor  of this committee will be Father Tom Byrne v.g.and members will be Brother Eric and Mr Jack Davies. It is hoped that as time goes by this committee working with the local priests, the finance committee of the Parish and the Parish Council will facilitate the establishment of adequate buildings throughout the Diocese. They will also advise on sites, plans, finance e.t.c.

12. General Election.

You have heard a million times by now that on the 27th April this year we will have our general election. I am sending out short pastoral letter encouraging catholics of the Diocese to participate fully in this political process. I          ask that this letter be brought to the attention of the people. It was suggested by the South African Catholic Bishops conference that each Bishop issue a short letter on the occasion of this our first universal general election.

13. Charism Mass, March 30th.

It was wonderful to see many people present at the Mass of the charism on Wednesday morning at the Cathedral in Kokstad. I think this is a very important Mass in that in a special way it celebrates the Priesthood. I encouraged the Priests that in the years ahead that they will bring as many laity as possible to this Mass, for it is a Mass in which the people are made aware of their Priests and their needs. It is a Mass in which the Priests renew their commitment to the Church.

 

14. Requests for Confirmation.

As there is nobody in these months working in Tabankulu as Priest I go out there myself on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. On the other Sundays I will be free to go to any Parish where there is a particular service or confirmation or retreat.

15. Retreats.

I think retreats are an extemely important part of the life  of all Christain people. I hope as time goes by that we will establish a whole programme of retreats so that in some way or another all our christain people each year will have an  opportunity for some spiritual reflection. It maybe only for a day but it is important that all groups should have some time to reflect on their vocation and to listen to God in more depth. Retreats are ideal before reception of any of the  Sacraments, for example before 1st confession, before 1st Holy communion, before confirmation. Retreats are essential to for all the societies of the Diocese and each one should attempt to have a serious retreat each year. We the Bishop and Priest should make every effort to facilitate these possiblities. But beyond that we need to think of the need of teachers, nurses and any other vocational groups in the Diocese. Study days or prayer days would be moments of particular significance for these people. Father Roger Sihlobo and Augustin Njovane are keen to become involved in this Apostolate and I’m sure if they are free will make themselves available to help the people in these particular needs.

16. Visits to Parishes.

Beyond Pastoral visitation and confirmation I would hope to get out to many of the smaller stations of these Diocese over the years ahead. I know this is more or less impossible at week-ends at the moment but later I hope to be able to go Sundays. But even now I would like to go on a week-day to visit a Station which is not generally visited by a Bishop. I would like to spend the day there praying with the people, preaching and celebrating the Eucharist with them.

 

17. Collections and statistics.

Let me remind all the Pastors to send into Kokstad as soon as possible now the Lentan. I hope too, that the Parish statistics can be got into this office as soon as possilbe as we must send them to Rome by the end of April.

 

18. The Synod for Africa.

On April the 10th the Holy Father in a Special Mass opened the assembly, the Synod of African Bishops. This is a very important event in the life of the Church in Africa. I hope that we can make the people aware that this event is taking place in spite of the general elections and other events. I hope too that we can encourage the people to pray and to show interest and to await news from this African Synod. According to the various working papers that I have come accross there seems to be five main themes at this Synod;

a) Evangelisation, Proclamation of the gospel. Because of the rapid changes in society, not least here in Africa itself there is a continual need for christains ourselves to be continuously evangelised. We continually need to discover the meaning of the gospel for life in African today.

b) Inculturation. The theology of inculturation is nowadays Univerally recognised as something necessary and urgent. It has its theological foundations in the mystery of the incarnation when son of God became in all fullness the son of man. Today we know through the mystery of the incarnation that faith and culture have to contract a kind of marriage which has to bear evangalised culture or an inculturated gospel in such a way as to give birth to an African christianity in Africa.

c)  Dialogue. The Churches wishes to enter into this problem of dialogue to establish an openess of heart among people to create an ever deeper communion and to fulfill the unity of the human family according to Gods original plan. This dialogue will of course involve dialogue with other christian churches. It has always been a scandal that the christian message came to Africa as a divided message. The dialogue must also take place with African tradition religion which is today recognised as a partner in the religious life of the african soul.

d) Justice and peace. The situation concerning justice and peace is very serious in Africa of today; social injustice, political instability, corruption wars, natural disasters, bad administrtion of public goods, epademic diseases are all part unfortunately of the experience of life of so many people in Africa. The church has played a decisive role in the recent move towards democracy in many parts of Africa. And while we seem multi-party democracy emerging even in South Africa itself we must remember that democracy is not far into Africa. The difference is that multi party democracy stresses opposition and conflict as guiding principal while democracy in traditional Africa stresses consensus as a guiding principal of discussions. The dialogue must not only take place in politics but also on the extremely important question of the situation of women. African women has to be liberated in a particular way.

e) Means of social communication. The church cannot do without the modern means of social communication, radio, TV, video and press. This is all the more necessary since Islam is investing massively in the field of Mass media in order to propagate its religion. We have to make a great effort to penetrate these media.

19. Small development projects.

There are monies available for small development projects in this Diocese. But to avail of this finance we must make proper application. I have asked Brother Eric from Mount Frere to act as overseer of these projects. There is money available for these and with proper application we can help our people to help themselves in many wonderful ways.

 

20. Catholic Universities – Students.

Sister Teodula, who works at Unitra in Umtata has asked that we send her the names of Catholic students who are studying at that University. This will facilitate Sister and the Chaplains to make contact with them.

 

21. Daniel Comboni.

We wish to congratulate the Comboni Fathers on the announcement that the Holy Father will soon beatify Daniel Comboni the founder of the congregation. Here was a man who dedicated his life to the Mission particularly the Mission of the Church in Africa. Also we must congratulate them on the fact that this year is the 70th anniversary of their 1st arrival in South Africa.