11 MAY 1998
1. Sister Theodula , professor of religious studies at UNITRA will be at the Cathedral on Monday 18th May to speak with Catechism teachers. Just two from each parish are invited. Lectures will be in English.
2. Marriage and family issues will be dealt with at the Cathedral hall on Saturday June the 13th. Mrs Dweba from Lusikisiki, Sister Ambrose from Mount Frere, Mr and Mrs Denge from Bizana and a team from Mariannhill centre for Home and Family will address family and marriage issues. All those whom we wish to be involved in youth and marriage issues should attend.
Marriage encounter, three couples from the diocese attended, 8th to the 10th of May at Glenmore. They found the weekend a wonderful experience. Those who wish to send good marriage couples for further sessions should contact Mr Sikhekane who is arranging the next meeting in July and the following one in August. The contact phone no. is 0331 66545, and best phone in the afternoons. It costs R300 per couple per week end. They have to provide their own transport, the meetings are held in Durban. We firmly recommend this opportunity as it gives our couples confidence in their own marriage and in speaking in about family matters.
3. The Inkwenkwezi now is also being sold in Queenstown and in Umtata diocese. Priests or sisters who want to contribute articles of a formative, religious and inspirational nature should send them to the Bishop’s office.
4. The Ntlangwini church and Priest’s house are now under repairs as ia the Franciscan Postulancy in Kokstad.
5. The Xhosa pastoral region is reviving and held a consultative meeting in Queenstown in April. The bishop, Father Sihlobo, Father Peter Wilson and Father George represented the diocese.
The next meeting will in October when a formal structure will be established. The aim is to discuss common problems and approaches, to unite our efforts and to give a strong Xhosa voice to the Catholic church.
Bishop Hirmer of Umtata is editing a new National Constitution for the AMADODANA.
Fr Peter Wilson represented us at the Sotho Pastoral region held in Marseilles in the Free State.
Frs Richard Kugbeh-Kasin and Joseph attended the Justice and Peace regional meeting in Newcastle.
6. We applied for over two hundred development projects in the diocese. If finance comes we will be able to help developmment.
7. A pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima will come to visit the diocese. Those who want the statue to visit the homes of the faithful should contact the bishop’s office or Father Robert Stewart ofm.
8. The new head of the diocesan vocation team is Father George Byarugaba. Please invite the vocation team to visit your parish and to speak to the youth and parents. We have a diligent team who make a lively presentation. They have already spoken in a number of parishes.
9. The Youth headed by Sister Khumbuzile, Sister Natalia and Father Georgio are also available to help your youth in the parish. The next meeting for the diocesan youth executive is in Kokstad on the 22nd of June.
The Youth Talent Show of the diocese will take place on July the 3rd. All youth clubs should participate and all will receive prizes or awards.
10. Formation courses in spirituality, theology and skills is in preparation for leaders among the laity. Those people who carry so much of the work in the parishes should be encouraged to participate. These will be ongoing courses offered at occasional week ends six or eight times a year.
11. Rev. Father Richard Kugbeh Kasin is replacing Rev. Father Tony at Lusikisiki while the latter is on holidays. Rev. Father Jose Chackalackal is replacing Rev. Father Maximo in Mount Frere.
12. We are very sorry to loose Father Arturo, at least for the time being, from the diocese. He has done marvelous work in the diocese since he came here both on parish level and with diocesan vocations. Father Arturo has to attend a Comboni congregational programme which has been arranged in Mexico. Hopefully he will come back at the end of 12 months.
In the meantime Father George Byarugaba has been appointed as consultor of the diocese in place of Father Arturo.
13. The Coolock meeting, 17th to 20th of March of all the priests of the diocese was enjoyable and the sharing and discussions were rich and helpful for all. Many areas of the
diocesan life were reveiwed, plans were made together, questions were faced which are common throughout the diocese. We looked at such questions as when Sangomas return to the church, questions of penalty against the parents of girls who get pregnant and boys involved in elopement etc. It was strongly felt that people being refused the Sacraments was an extreme measure and more common in the minds of the laity than in the actions of the priests.
14. Small Christian communities are the theme work for the diocese for this year of the Holy Spirit 1998. Please check that the small christian communities are active in your parish.
On the 20th of June at the Cathedral there will be a full day meeting for the leaders of small Christian communities. We ask the following people to report on what is happening in their parishes in the small Christian communities;
Lusikisiki Mr Dweba, in Flagstaff Sister Khumbuzile and Mrs Zwezwe, in Bizana Mrs Mjelo and Sister Paulus Maria, Mount Ayliff Mrs Ngwadla, Tabankulu our representative is Sister Marviga, Mount Frere is Miss Hela or Mr Mdutyana, Bhongweni is Mr Michael Khumalo, from the Cathedral is Mrs Wicks, Cedarville is Mrs Mfene, Matatiele is sister Angela and Mrs Setsubi, Hardenberg is Mr Kolman or Mrs Mbhele, Makhoaseng is Mrs Mjwara, for Makhoba is Mr Kheswa, Umzongwana Sister Anastasia and Mrs Langa, Franklin, Henry the Catechist. However,the priests may know people more active or involved than the above who could do the task better.
15. We welcome sister Mary Anne Ndzimande of the Daughters of St Francis of Assisi to the diocese. Sister is living now in Kokstad and working with the CIE. The CIE are offering many enriching programmes throughout the diocese.
There will be retreats for catholic teachers, and for all school teachers interested, in parishes of Lusikisiki, Bizana, Hardenberg, Kokstad, during the month of August. Perhaps, some priests might remind the nurses that they should organise study days and retreats for themselves. The diocese will help.
And why not the police?
16. At Coolock we felt that a lot of attention be given to the formation of members of all societies. It is a delight to see many young people and children in societies, we ask the sisters involved to give special attention to their formation.
Before receiving members of the Sacred Heart, St Annes and Amadodana we ask the priests to make sure that they are properly motivated and informed.
The Justice and Peace day at Coolock House was very rich.
17. Healing services have been held in a number of parishes, the response has been very positive.
18. The Lentan appeal has risen over 25% this year. Congratulations to all.
19. We congratulate Bongani Mbhele who is doing his internship at Flagstaff during the first six months of the year. In August, Bongani must return to the seminary. But his enthusiasm for work with the people, his initiative, his visitation of the homes was a blessing for the parish. We wish Bongani every blessing in his new seminary year.
20. Sisters born in Bhongweni returned for a special celebration on the 26th of April. The parish council and Fr Tom felt that the youth need to see models of success, perseverence, idealism and service. These sisters and the celebrations and liturgy at Bhongweni will inspire.
21. The diocese rejoices with Sister Chrysostoma Kolman from Hardenberg and Sister Mary Jane Sosibo from Bizana, both sisters of the congregation of the Precious Blood, who made their first profession at Glen Avent Convent on the 1st of May. May God bless them in the service of Jesus.
22. We welcome Mother Namoyo, the foundress of the Monastery in Kokstad who has come to visit the sisters and spend some time with them. Again we remind priests and sisters to bring groups of young girls to visit the Poor Clare monastery and let them see this beautiful Christian way of life.
23. The executive and office bearers of the St Anne’s society
will meet in Kokstad on the 22nd of May.
24. On the 26th of May the week of Christian unity will be marked in a special way at the Cathedral with a vigil service for Christian unity. Christians of all the churches are invited to attend. We invite all parishes to make special prayers coming up to Pentecost for the unity of the Christian churches.
25. The bishop will be in Swaziland for the Imbisa meeting of all Southern African bishops from the 6th to the 12th of June.
26 Corpus Christi-the feast of Blessed Eucharist, is on 14th June this year. Perhaps, through Holy hours processions and other devotions we can highlight this great Eucharistic feast.
27. We congratulate the daughters of the Charity of Sacred Heart of Jesus who celebrate 50 years in South Africa this year and celebrate one hundred and seventy-five from their foundation. And we also rejoice with sister Gertrude who celebrates her Silver Jubilee of profession-most of that time spent in this diocese.
28. The Sacred Heart society have their annual National
pilgrimage at Centecow Mission at Umzimkulu on the 27th of June. The bishop is one of the preachers.
29. Congratulations to the Cathedral parish who have reached the target of R200 000 in less than two years. This was an enormous effort of the whole parish and allows us to preserve the Cathedral.
The highlight in the later stages of the fund-raising was the visit of the Drakensburg boys choir to the Cathedral. Great numbers attended and appreciated a wonderful night of music.
It must also be noted the effort of the Cathedral to establish a choir. The effort of many people to provide catechism for every child in the parish is also exemplary.
They wish to produce Christmas cards for the diocese based on the crib scene in the Cathedral.