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.