Iindaba # 010

15 September 1995

1.   With this news letter I am sending out a draft of the
     proposed Statutes for the Dioceses of Kokstad.
     Please read them so that we can comment on them together
     and formulate what really suits us here. These Statutes
     are based very strongly on the Canon Law Code.
2.   I am also sending you 2 pages from Bishop Lobinger regarding
     the use of the new translation of the Xhosa Bible in our
     Liturgy. Please make some comments to Father Bill.
3.   Also included in this News Letter is a photostat of the
     various collections made in the Dioceses of South Africa.
     While we are doing well, it is obvious we could make a
     greater effort in some areas.
4.   While negotiations have not been finalised it is safe to
     announce that Precious Blood Sisters of the Umtata
     Province will start a little community Bizana, giving us
     Sisters for the Parish Apostulate. We celebrate this news
     with great joy. The area is enormous, and the amount of work unlimited. We are also aware of the wonderful work
     done by these Sisters in Mount Frere. Many of the Precious
     Blood Sisters are from this Diocese, 6 Sisters are from the
     Parish of Bizana itself.
5.   We welcome with great joy to the Poor Clare community in
     Kokstad, Sisters Chimwemwe and Sister Bernadette, They have
     Come from the founding Monastary in Lusaka and will join our
     community here. They came with Mother Lilato, the Abbess of
     the Lusaka Monastary. They are most welcome. There life of
     Prayer and silence and union with Christ will bear great
     fruit in this local Church. The Sisters express their gratitude to all helped them on their vocation day in August
     when 60 girls from the Diocese attended.
6.   The Youth of the Diocese have now elected their own executive. They are busy putting a constitution into place.
     Father Giorgio from Mt. Ayliff will act as Diocesan Youth
     Chaplin. The Youth team will continue to visit all areas
     of the Diocese in the next 6 weeks. Please give them your
     full co-operation.   Sister Natalia must be highly commended
     for getting the Youth this far so fast. We hope to have our
     Retreat in December for the Youth of the Diocese at a date to be later determined.
7.   At the Marionhill Bishops conference in August the Bishops
     considered their relation of the Church to the new R.D.P.
     It was felt that the general drive of this policy document
     of the present Government is to highly commended in that it
     tries to distribute the wealth of the Country to all citizens and especially to advantage the poor. The Bishops
     however also warned that we should not make it a Church  document as such, we should support it but in a critical
     way. As this is a political programe it is bound to be
     opened to be opened to exploitation and dissolutionment.
     We should do all in our power to make sure that it works
     but not take responsibility for any corruption involved in
     its implementation.
8.   At the Bishops Conference also we were reminded that the
     R.C.I.A. programme is mandatory for the Church in South
     Africa. It would be good if we began to utilise this
     programme more fully in all our Diocese for the formation
     of people. I see it as being the formation programme for
     the adults of our Diocese. A new Catechism is also being
     written in all the languages by Miss Hadebe. I am asking
     for 2 or 3 parishes to volunteer to use the proposed new
     text in Xhosa. Lumko, the publishers of the new Catechism,
     wanted tried out. It is obvious athat this new Catechism
     will be adopted in most Diocese of South Africa, so it
     would be good for us to be able to make critical comments,
     before the final drafts are written. So would 2 or 3  parishes please contact Father Ansilem in Lumko and agree
     to work with him in this project.
9.   Also at the Bishops Conference it was discussed regarding
     Holy Days of Obligation during the year. The Vatican has
     asked that we retain Christmas Day, Ascension and one
     Marion Feast on a non transferrable basis. The other Feast
     days may be transferred. A final decision has not yet been
     made on this. But it would seem that Ascension Thursday will remain a Holy Day of Obligation, on the Thursday.
10. Did some thought and even prayer to reflecting on a date
     and place for a Diocesan Shrine. This Shrine would then
     be our place of pilgrimmage.
11. Remember that vocations to the Diocesan Priesthood is our
     top priority. Please continue to encourage the young men
     and invite them to work for God in this Diosese. We also
     need to decide on a place where young men could live while
     they complete their secondary school education before going
     to the Seminary. We have many young people who have the
     elements of Vocation. However these elements never blossom
     because they do not get enough encouragement or      accompaniment. Let us do all in our power to encourage
     Vocations. Please remind the young men that the next
     vocations workshop will be held in Bizana in December.
     The dates are December 7 – 10 th.
12. I have an offer from Gorta, an Irish Agricultural    Development Group, who are willing to help in Agricultural
     Development projects in the Diocese. Any ideas?
13. I will be away from South Africa, from September 22nd until
     November 15th. For the first four weeks I will be Rome  doing a course for New Bisops. Then I will take 3 weeks
     Holidays with my parents in Irelend.
14. Let us keep up our work consciontising our people regarding
     the proposals of the New Abortion Act. This is still in
     discussion, but unless we speak now the following provisions
     will become law for South Africa.
     1.   That abortion on demand must be allowed up to the first
          14 weeks of pregnancy.
     2.   That no minor under the age of 18 needs the consent of her parents or guardian to have an abortion, nor need
          she even notify them.
     3.   That all public Hospitals and Clinics must provide
          abortion facilities, even those that are not entirely
          subsidised by the State.
     4.   That women demanding abortions will be treated on the
          same scale of benefit as all other medical conditions,
          and therefore their abortion will be subsidised by the
          Taxpayer.
     5.   That the only requirement for abortions on demand in
          the case of minors under 18 is that they are counciled
          as to options, risks, and abortion proceedure.
     6.   That in the case of situations where there is a severe
          shortage of Doctors, that Bill intends “that no women be denied the privilage of having a abortion”.
     7.   That anyone preventing an abortion (including a spouse,
          parent or guardian) and anyone obstructing access to
          abortion facilities shall be guilty of an offence,
          on conviction of which the guilty party shall be  subjected to a fine not exceeding R100,000. or to
          imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or both the fine
          and imprisonment.
     In his recent encyclical the Pope makes a plea for then unborn “no one more absolutely innocent could be imagined.
     In no way could this human being ever be considered an
     aggressor. Here she is weak, defenceless, even to the
     point of lacking that minimal from of defence consisting
     in the poignant power of a newborn baby’s cries and tears.
     The unborn child is totally entrusted to the protection and
     care of the women carrying him or her in her womb. And yet
     it is sometimes precisely the mother herself who makes the
     decision and asks for the child to be eliminated.
     The Pope readily admits there often extenuating
     circumstances in the case of procuring an abortion.
     But these reasons can never justify the deliberate killing
     of an innocent human being.
15. Please continue to ensure that, as we agreed in our Clergy
     meeting in May, we institute financial councils in all our
     Parishes. It is hoped too that Parishes will have Pastoral
     Councils, so that next year we will begin to put in place
     some of form of Diocesan Pastoral Council.
16. EVENTS.
     We had a wonderful day on the 19th August when we blessed
     the new Church of St.Clare at Luyangweni in the Parish of
     Mt. Frere. This Church which is a monument to the industry
     and generosity of Brother Eric, was opened in scenes of
     great joy and prayer. Father Bernard who was present with
     his family. The people showed great joy in welcoming
     Bernard who had worked so fruitfully with them in the
     previous years. Our tourop. had organised everything
     for the day and it was a day befitting a beautiful
     new Church, a new place of prayer for God.
     Sister Calisto with her valiant teachers, Mrs.Yolwa,
     and Mrs.Mbhele, gave another weekend to the catechism
     teachers of Thlwangeni.
     Sister Melvina and Sister Mary who ran a new in service
     training course for teachers here in Kokstad in August.
     64 Teachers from our schools attended and found the course
     excellent. It was run by Shell.
     We had a wonderful day at Maria Telgte on the 26th August
     when we had a day of prayer for Clergy. Father John did us
     royally, and used the day to celebrate the Centenary of the
     old mission of Telgte. It was a day of prayer, joyfull
     get together, and celebration.
     Many buses went from the Diocese at the weekend after the
     Assumption to the annual pilgrimmage of Kevelaer.
     We had a lecture which was attended by over 100 people in
     the hall in Kokstad on August 22nd. We hope as next year
     on falls to have a theology study circle in Kokstad with
     occasional lectures during the year for the public. We
     hope to cover the main themes of the Christian Religion.
     Father Bill and Father Peter were extremely busy on the
     weekendof the 1st – 3rd September at Bhongweni for the
     annual Sacred Heart Retreat. Father Tom and his Parish
     have prepared the place and so a great number of women and
     men from all over the Diocese spent a few days in devout
     prayer. They seemed to be extremely happy with this years’
     Retreat.
17. FORTHCOMING EVENTS
     1.  Please remember in the farm areas, the children’s
          Cathecetical week will be held at Maria Telgte Mission
          from October 2nd – the morning of the 6th. Encourage
          the children from the farm areas to be there. On the
          same conditions as last January’s course.
     2.   The Holy Cross Sisters will leave Kokstad after 107
          years on the 30th November this year. Needless to say
          our hearts are filled with sorrow to lose this great
          bond with our history and our past. However what the
          Sisters have done will always live in the hearts and
          minds and souls of the people. We hope to have a
          Thanksgiving Mass on Saturday evening 25th November
          at the Cathedral.
     3.   About 100 people from the Diocese will go to  Johannesburg for the Popes visit.
     4.   Father Paul Manci, will be at Mt. Frere from the
          evening of 17th November – 19th to conduct a work-
          shop with conductors of Parish choirs.
     5.   Dates for Confirmation, Kokstad Cathedral 19th
          November :
          Lowa Nceba on the 26th November.
          Bhongweni on the 3rd December.
          Tabankulu on the 17th December.
     6.   The next C.I.E. event for in service training for
          teachers will be on the subject of school readiness
          for teachers of the younger children in Std.A,b, and
          1 and will take place at the usual centre here in
          Kokstad from 23rd – 27th October. It will be run by
          Itec and is a 2 day course. So there are 2 two day
          courses.
     7.   Remember that in November, December Sister Priscilla
          Dlamini from Eshowe will come to train women, not
          nurses, on educating the youth for marriage and life.
     8.   Kokstad Parish will have a mission for the first time
          in a number of years. The Redemtress Fathers are
          sending Father Bafana Hlatshwayo, and Ivan Dawson who
          will preach here from the 14th October – 29th.
          The first week is mainly concerned with house visitation and home masses, and the second week is the
          Preached Mission in the Cathedral.
18. There is a new Society being initiated by the Seminary
     Department of the South African Bishops Conference.
     It will be called the St. Augustine Society. It is
     based on overseas Societies which encourage people to pray,
     support, and finance vocations to the Priesthood in the
     Church. All the materials, posters, booklets, membership
     cards are available in Kokstad. So if you would like to
     start small groups of people who will meet once a month and
     pray together and finance vocations, please encourage this
     St. Augustines Society.
19. The Aids epedemic is progressing rapidly throughout South Africa. It is estimated that there will be almost 1.2
     million people infected at the end of 1994. Every day
     approximately 500 more people get infected. Worse affected
     are young adults in the 20 to 29 year age group. A national
     survey of women attending ante natal clinics in November 1994 revealed that 7.57% of women overall are infected
     compared with 4.25% one year earlier. The percentages were
     highest in Kwa Zulu Natal – 14.35% and in Eastern Transvaal
     12.16%   It is expected that in the year 2000 6.0% of the
     total population will be infected and 12.0% in the year  2010. According to official statistics more that 10,000
     people have died of Aids as a result of HIV infection.
     It is estimated that there will be 132,000 deaths from Aids
     in the year 2000 and more than half a million in the year
     2010. This would mean that every fourth person dying in the
     year 2000 will dy of Aids, and every second person in the
     year 2010.
     We are trying to initiate a programme to conscientise and
     prepare people for this epidemic. Misereor, from the German
     Bishiops conference have offered to come and talk with us.
     We would hope to begin to prepare people to nurse Aids
     victims in their homes. Do speak to the people about it
     so that volunteers will eventually come forward.
20, New Matatiele phone no. 0373 737.3515.
21. There will be a Legion day for the diocese on a date in December.
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