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.