Iindaba # 067

13 June 2009

 

  1. 1.     We give thanks to God and we thank all who prayed for him that Fr John Kerr has recovered from recent illness.  Fr John was two weeks in the ICU in Port Shepstone.  He is now back in Telgte and recovering.  He thanks everyday for their prayers.

 

  1. 2.     We congratulate Fr Rogers Sihlobo who celebrated his Silver Jubilee of Priesthood at Lusikisiki on the 17th of May.  The people of Lusikisiki were proud of the achievements of Fr Sihlobo both as an academic and as a pastoral priest.

We remember with gratitude his many years working in the diocese.  Many friends came to congratulate Father, some of them speaking about his youthful years at Mfinizweni, others remembering his ministry in various parishes.

Fr Sihlobo studied at the Biblicum in Rome where he got his licence/Masters degree in Biblical Studies.  This is a rare achievement.  Fr Sihlobo is now a parish priest of Driefontein.

 

  1. 3.     We congratulate  Fr Vincent Zungu ofm, the Provincial of the South African Province of Franciscans, who worked in our diocese for five years on his election as a Definator General of the Franciscan Order.  This means Fr Vincent will move to Rome as an assistant to Fr General.

 

  1. 4.     The Diocese took part in the recent celebration of the Centenary of the death of Abbot Franz at Emmaus.  Emmaus is very close to close to Kokstad and here the Abbot lived the last 15 years of his life.  Very died on the 24th of May 1909.

 

 

Fr Abbot Franz impacted on the Catholic foundation in KwaZulu Natal and beyond.  In his own life time 30 mission stations were established.  Among them Mariazell, Hardenberg and Maria Telgte.

Abbot Franz in fact came from Emmaus to Kokstad to meet with Cecil Rhodes, the British commissar of Rhodesia to seek a grant of land in Zimbabwe.  When Abbot Franz arrived in Kokstad on horseback he found that Rhodes had already left the town.  Abbot Franz followed him to Mount Ayliff.

So we can say that an important part of Catholic work in Zimbabwe had its origins in Mount Ayliff.  To this day the Mariannhill Fathers, brothers and priests staff the diocese of Bulawayo.

 

Abbot Franz endured endless obstacles establishing his work in South Africa .  We know that he was removed from his position as Abbot in Mariannhill and chose to live at Lourdes.  However, he build Emmaus, short distance from Lourdes to which he retired to live a life of prayer and suffering.

 

We owe a great debt to this man, at the moment the South African church is praying that his holy life be recognized and that he be beatified.  We too need to encourage our people to pray for the beatification.  Promotion of the Cause of Abbot Franz amongst the people would also have us encouraging prayers through the intercession of Abbot Franz for various healings and miracles.

 

We congratulate the Precious Blood Sisters founded by Abbot Franz in conjunction with Mother Paula.  We are so happy to have them in the diocese.

 

        While we acknowledge that the Northern part of our diocese, the Maluti Deanery owes a lot to Abbot Franz Bizana too derives from his influence.  One remembers how the men from Bizana and Dutyini heard about Mariannhill and became Catholics there while working in Durban.  They then walked to Lourdes Mission, three days by foot, where their Catechumens were baptized.

The families involved in Bizana were the Candlovu family, Ngolule family, Mbhele family and the Khatshwa family.

 

  1. 5.     Congratulations to the Parish of Mount Frere on the devotional Marian Pilgrimage which took place on the 30th  of May at Lugangeni.  This beautiful church built in the hills over the dam by Brother Erich was where Fr Antonio Benetti established a shrine of Our Lady.

Many walked to Lugangeni to participate on this day of renewal and commitment and devotion to Mary, the Mother of God.

 

  1. 6.     On the 31st of May, Pentecost, Fr Vincent and Fr Sihle organized the parish Feast for Bizana which is dedicated to the Holy Spirit.  They began on Saturday night with a vigil in which included many prayers and sermons.  This was followed by a report from all outstations where people could hear of the challenges facing their brothers and sisters throughout the parish.

The priests offered all the opportunity of confession and in the morning the Bishop celebrated the Mass at 4 o’clock to complete the night celebrations.  This is an excellent way of renewing our parish and building up the identity of parishioners.  It also make them aware that they , as Church, are the church, the family of God.

 

  1. 7.     The tragic death of Fr Ernest at Mariazell on the 30th of May shocked everybody.  On the 5th of June Bishop Sipuka of Umtata led the funeral Mass and a committal.  Fr Ernest had worked in South Africa since 1978.  Most of these years were in connection with schools and with the Mission of Mariazell.

For the last 20 years he was the manager of the schools and generations of children received a fine education and preparation for life due to his; care and wise administration.  The children and community were deeply hurt by these events which demoralize a whole tradition.  Bishop Siphuka’s sermon is on SACBC website for those who might have the web.

 

  1. 8.     On the 6th of June on the roadside of Kaka’s hill above the Imvenyane, the Municipality of Matatiele remembered the tragic death there on the 27th of May 2008 of 22 local people.

They were killed when their bus crashed of the road and raced madly down the mountain crashing into the river at the bottom.  It is amazing that anyone survived.  Yet there were 18 survivors present at the ceremony.

Fr Thabang Letsohla was one of the first people to arrive on the accident scene that day to render service to the people who were dying.  This year again Fr Thabang did much in the organization of this commemotion  and prayers.

 

  1. 9.     SINOSIZO

Sinosizo has now changed its name and will be known as ‘YONDL’ABANTU’.  This was necessary to distinguish from Sinosizo in Durban and also from the building company of that name n Kokstad itself.

 

We have had difficulty maintaining the funding of Sinosizo – YONDL’ABANTU this year.   The funders terminated the majority portion of their funding on the 31st of May.  This left us about 180 volunteers without stipends.

 

The diocese has done its best over the years to provide funds for the Volunteers in Yondl’abantu.   Not only have we done that but we have provided the offices for the organization.

 

It was very consoling to find that even though we have to end the contracts of the volunteers they almost all volunteered to work freely in the future.  However, we will try and make a small stipend available to all.  We do this in order to bring some hope to those children and very ill people whom we have taken as our brothers and sisters in need.

 

10. RESPOND-Ireland are supporting various projects within the area of our diocese.  This month they will begin working in Shayamoya to provide a skill centre, medical rooms and work with the diocese to build a new Church.  They will also expand the Creche and offer training to young men and women in various areas.

Respond came to visit during April and were very impressed by much of the work being done for the poor.  From July they will complete the plans for Hardenberg.

 

11. We congratulate Fr George Byarugaba who continues his studies in California in United States.  He has finalized his thesis for his Masters and was very successful in the examination.

His hope now is to continue in the same subject of Ethics and to do a Doctorate before returning to us in South Africa.  We congratulate Fr George for his great achievement.

 

  1. 12.  We welcome  back Fr Joe and Fr Zanemvula from their recent visit to India.   We also wish Fr Vincent Bwete every blessing for his holidays in Italy.  We hope the Holy Father will have a little time at his disposal to meet our Vincent.

 

  1. 13.                          One of the highlights of the recent month was the opening of the beautiful new church  in Pamlaville at Umzongwana on the 2nd of May.  Fr Lizo supervised the construction of this church.  The opening was marked by a wonderful spirit of prayer and commitment.  Many people in the area under the inspiration of Father contributed to make this an excellent day. The new Church will be called Emmanuel.

 

Sister Akhona is working there also with Friends in Ireland and each month she manages to bring food to 130 orphans and young children.  These are spread over four different areas and they are given two meals each day there.  This is a great gift to the poor from Friends in Ireland and a tribute to the commitment of Sister Akhona.

 

14. REAP continues its work offering access bussaries to children in Rural and Peri –Urban schools.  The forms can be acquired in the office where Mrs Wicks has done a lot of administration on behalf of the organization.  There are 360 young people at the University due to the work of REAP.  The funds are raised through the Embassy of Ireland and also through many local institution such as banks and petrol camponies.

 

REAP is administered from its head offices in Cape Town, the Bishop is in Chairman of the group.  It was embarrassing that last year we in the diocese of Kokstad were able to get two new Candidates only on to the program.  This is due to very poor local matric results.

Recently the election of members for school governing bodies took place all over the country.

It is hoped that Catholic people went forward for nomination and participated.  The school governing body has a large say in the ethos, selection of teachers and also in the very program of the schools.

 

  1. 15.   Couples for Christ had their National meeting here in Kokstad on the 9th of May.  The local chapter for the Coupled of Christ has meant a lot  to our people.  Many has participated very generously and have had their individual and family lives enriched.

Couples for Christ is a whole family organization and it both involves children and adults.  Peter Napier is the National President.

 

          Jonathan Meth and his wife Joyce are now working with the Marriage Desk in the diocese.  Jonathan has managed to go to all the parishes now and addressed the people on issues of parenting and marriage life.   The reports have been very positive.

Jonathan and Joyce have recently attended their first Marriage Encounter session.  We know that a lot of work has been done in Marriage Encounter in our diocese in previous years.  It is hoped that Jonathan , with the Couples, will be able to revive and give new dynamism  to Couples for Christ.  They will meet Kokstad June 20.

 

16. The diocesan  priests spent two days recently in Durban.  This was both prayerful and enjoyable.  It involved a day of prayer and then a day together recreating the sharing on our priestly life.  We thank Fr Bongani Mbhele who led the discussions and prayers.

 

  1. 17.   The week of prayer for the Christian unity took place between the Ascension and Pentecost Sunday in the town of Kokstad at the various churches.  The Bishop preached at the Power of Love Church on the 21st of May and prayer sessions were held in three other churches in the following days.  It is a Christian duty to respond to the prayer of Jesus, “Father make they all be one”.        

 

  1. 18.  We congratulate Fr Marriano in his excellent production of INKWENKWEZI.   We encourage the priests and sisters to make a real effort to spread the Inkwenkwezi into many hands and especially into our Catholic homes.  We wish to provide Catholic material for people, especially the young, to read in the comfort of home.

 

Fr Marriano  is also very keen to get contributions, photographs and articles about events in our parishes.  This interests the people and give fresh ideas while encouraging and recognizing what is been done.

 

 

19. Anthony Ciro is working on the establishment of the website for the diocese of Kokstad.  We hope to go on line in a few weeks.  Those than who can access the web will be able to read the news of our diocese there.

 

Jeannette Stanford is also working on the history of the diocese.  She hopes to produce a book which will show the wonderful done in this diocese over the last 125 years.  This also underlines the importance of having a parish chronicle.

 

20. The first resident priest came to Kokstad town in 1884.  So we can say that for 125 that the Catholic Church has been resident in the area of this diocese.  During this coming 12 months we will have celebrations to record this reality by remembering the heroic deeds of the past and giving thanks to God.  It will also be a call to re-commitment.  Aware of the treasure we hold we will experience the challenge to develop and build on what has already been done.  So let us put our minds together to see how we can better celebrate the special Jubilee 125 years of the Church in Kokstad.

 

21. The Government is just now that the N2 National road will run from Port Shepstone right across the coast of the diocese and passing Bizana, Flagstaff and Lusikisiki on its ay down to Umtata.  This will ultimately change our human and natural environment and offer new pastoral challenges.

 

  1. 22.   Remember that on Saturday the 3rd of October we will go on the Diocesan Marian Pilgrimage to Maria Telgte, in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary.

 

  1. 23.                         Forth Coming Events

 

  1. a.     The vocation team of the diocese met in Kokstad on the 15th of June.  Everybody must pray sincerely for vocations.  All can see that we are very much understaffed in our diocese at the moment and we must ask God to come to our aid.

It was decided to have a vocation workshop in Bizana from July 12-15.  Students who are in grades 10-12 and who have shown some promise of vocation should be highly encouraged to attend.

 

We look forward to welcoming home on holidays our seminarians, Fidel, Musawenkosi, Zonwabele and Napo on holidays.  We hope to meet them together at the Bishops house, July 9 and 10.  They are always welcome to stay there during holidays.

 

 

  1. b.     The Diocesan Pastoral Council took place here in Kokstad on June the 16th .   The Priests , the Parish Council  Chairman and the Secretary attended.  The youth were ably represented.

The meeting was chaired by Fr Bongani Mbhele.  Four excellent presentations were made.

  1. i.                    Sr Francina Mlithwa spoke as of the Cathecetical team of the diocese.  While reporting on the work of the team she pointed out that PPC’s must pay attention to the state to the state of teaching in the parish.  She spoke of the team woke in presenting to the teachers, Abahlwayeli, a series of 6 lessons which have been worked out nationally to help them enrich their own knowledge and work.  They are also now presenting 9 new lessons.  Teachers need the support of parents and home prayer.  The RCIA needs to be better implemented.  In those parishes where priests are involved, like Umzongwana a lot more is achieved.

 

  1. ii.                  Jonathan Meth spoke of the work been done and the plans for the future for the Marriage Desk of which he is the secretary.  Jonathan has had very positive responses from priests and congregations when he has addressed the burning  issues in marriages and family and parenting.

It is very important that the course in Kokstad from midday 6th July of Midday 12th of July be attended.  The Cape Town marriage desk, at considerable expense, are coming to train parish teams of 6 in facilitating these areas of life around the diocese.  The Xhosa course will be on during the day and an English course in the evening.  If we wish to make a concerted effort to enrich home life and the future of children we need to have 6 people from the parish at this event.  Jonathan will visit all parishes between July 18 and Aug 30.  He introduced us to Joyce, his wife who is with him in the work.

 

  1. iii.                Mrs Pat Madikizela, our representative with Fr Lizo and Mr Denge at the National Forum reported back on the work and aims of Forum.  Pat spoke of her immense challenge now facing the church in evangelization as people become exposed to many media and foreign experiences.  She emphasized that the whole Church must be involved.  The clergy, that is the priests and religious, are but part of her family, the majority if fact are the laity and they are priests through baptism called to bring Christ into home, work, community, into economics, politics, education and health.  This team will again represent us at the next Forum in Botha’s Hill on August 8, Saturday.  Pat felt that the promotion of Inkwenkwezi is a very good step in which to begin to properly inform our adults and youth on spiritual issues.
  2. iv.               Mongezi, accompanied by his chairman Bulelani, addressed

the meeting on the situation of youth in the country and in our parishes.  They spoke of a Youth Leaders meeting at Palotti farm, Queenstown from September 24-26.  This should be attended by 15 youth leaders.  All is paid for we have simply to provide transport.  Father Sihle, as diocesan chaplain should attend.

Mongezi issued a strong challenge to priests at the local level and parish priests to come closer to the youth and to their problems.  He felt that many were leaving the church as they had only attended to receive sacraments and then with no depth of formation went to other assemblies.  He spoke of the grave need for funds and how plans drawn up early in the year could not be followed up because of poor funding.  Working together, adults and youth we can do more.  He spoke of pornography and drugs and immorality which were destroying youth under our eyes.  Mongezi hoped that the proposed pilgrimage to Malenge in December would be well organized, funded and implemented.  Youth, he said, need to come to church to pray and play.  A strong call was made for the youth associations of the diocese to consolidate.  Preparation for confirmation needs to be real and very thorough.   Parishes need to work out a solid role for youth participation.

 

  1. c.     The 26th  of June the Department of Evangelisation in Pretoria.
  2. d.     29th of June, we will close the Year of St Paul with the ceremony in the Cathedral.  Same day, Consultors Meet in Kokstad.
  3. e.     From June the 30th to July 2nd the Xhosa Pastoral team will meet at Queenstown to discuss the music and liturgy in our Xhosa speaking areas.
  4. f.       From the 6th  to the 10th of July Sister Duncan from the Diocese of Cape Town will be here to work with Our Marriage Desk.  Jonathan Meth has invited six people from each parish to attend.  They will be dealing with parenting, Marriage life, marriage associations and preparations for marriage.  The idea is to train people who can facilitate this training.  Try and make sure that there are six people here for those four important days.  Starts in the afternoon of Monday the 6th of July.
  5. g.     From the 8th to the 11th, the bishop will be on a Pastoral visit to Mount Frere parish.
  6. h.     On 13th  of July the Province of the Sisters of Precious Blood at the Mariannhill Mission will celebrate their founder Abbot Franz on the special occasion at Glen Avent on the 13th of July, preacher will be bishop.
  7. i.       14th of July, Day of recollection led by Fr Bongani at the Poor Clares.
  8. j.       On the 19th of July there will be Confirmation at Lusikisiki.
  9. k.     31st of July Echoing the Word course with the teachers of schools will continue in Kokstad.
  10. l.       August 3rd and 4th  Diocesan priests will celebrated the Feast of St John Vianney.
  11. m.   August the 5th  to the 12th  Plenary session of the Bishops Conference in Mariannhill.
  12. n.     The night of August the 15th and 16th Kevelaer pilgrimage.
  13. o.     On the 30th of August, Matatiele Confirmations.
  14. p.     September 4th  and 5th Education the Word course continues.
  15. q.     7th of September, Metropolitan meeting of the bishops at Glenmore.
  16. r.      Recollection for the Diocesan priests at Poor Clares, led by Fr Vincent.
  17. s.      9th and 10th of September Pastoral Agencies will meet in Pretoria.

 

24. The Year of the Priest, June 19-June 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LENTEN APPEAL COLLECTION FOR 2009

 

PARISH              2007         2008            2009        % INCREASE

BIZANA            8463.80    10172.32    11316.00         11%

BHONGWENI   8000.00     7500.00    14409.80          92%

CEDARVILLE   3740.00     6263.00      7540.00          20%

CATHEDRAL  28355.00   43000.00    34768.10

FLAGSTAFF      6800.00     8310.00    10721.80          29%

FRANKLIN        1926.00      2100.00     4188.00          99%

HARDINBERG  8000.00      5720.00     9100.00          59%

LUSIKISIKI       5000.00      6800.00    15160.00         122%

MAKHOASENG                                     3143.00

MAKHOBA       2000.00       2110.00     2580.00           22%

MARIA TELGTE 2344.00   2301.43      4218.80            83%

MATATIELE    9500.00    11948.61     11588.70

MT AYLIFF      2969.73      4250.20       3318.50

MT FRERE        2760.10      2640.00       3308.20           25%

TABANKULU   1742.05      2550.00       2158.40

TAYLORVILLE 11510.00    11589.00    13804.10         19%

 

 

GRAND TOTAL  103110.68     127254.56     151323.40  19%

 

CONGRATULATIONS AND MANY THANKS TO ALL FOR THE WONDERFUL EFFORT

13 June 2009



 

1.     We give thanks to God and we thank all who prayed for him that Fr John Kerr has recovered from recent illness. Fr John was two weeks in the ICU in Port Shepstone. He is now back in Telgte and recovering. He thanks everyday for their prayers.

2.     We congratulate Fr Rogers Sihlobo who celebrated his Silver Jubilee of Priesthood at Lusikisiki on the 17th of May. The people of Lusikisiki were proud of the achievements of Fr Sihlobo both as an academic and as a pastoral priest.

We remember with gratitude his many years working in the diocese. Many friends came to congratulate Father, some of them speaking about his youthful years at Mfinizweni, others remembering his ministry in various parishes.

Fr Sihlobo studied at the Biblicum in Rome where he got his licence/Masters degree in Biblical Studies. This is a rare achievement. Fr Sihlobo is now a parish priest of Driefontein.

3.     We congratulate Fr Vincent Zungu ofm, the Provincial of the South African Province of Franciscans, who worked in our diocese for five years on his election as a Definator General of the Franciscan Order. This means Fr Vincent will move to Rome as an assistant to Fr General.

4.     The Diocese took part in the recent celebration of the Centenary of the death of Abbot Franz at Emmaus. Emmaus is very close to close to Kokstad and here the Abbot lived the last 15 years of his life. Very died on the 24th of May 1909.

Fr Abbot Franz impacted on the Catholic foundation in KwaZulu Natal and beyond. In his own life time 30 mission stations were established. Among them Mariazell, Hardenberg and Maria Telgte.

Abbot Franz in fact came from Emmaus to Kokstad to meet with Cecil Rhodes, the British commissar of Rhodesia to seek a grant of land in Zimbabwe. When Abbot Franz arrived in Kokstad on horseback he found that Rhodes had already left the town. Abbot Franz followed him to Mount Ayliff.

So we can say that an important part of Catholic work in Zimbabwe had its origins in Mount Ayliff. To this day the Mariannhill Fathers, brothers and priests staff the diocese of Bulawayo.

Abbot Franz endured endless obstacles establishing his work in South Africa . We know that he was removed from his position as Abbot in Mariannhill and chose to live at Lourdes. However, he build Emmaus, short distance from Lourdes to which he retired to live a life of prayer and suffering.

We owe a great debt to this man, at the moment the South African church is praying that his holy life be recognized and that he be beatified. We too need to encourage our people to pray for the beatification. Promotion of the Cause of Abbot Franz amongst the people would also have us encouraging prayers through the intercession of Abbot Franz for various healings and miracles.

We congratulate the Precious Blood Sisters founded by Abbot Franz in conjunction with Mother Paula. We are so happy to have them in the diocese.

 

        While we acknowledge that the Northern part of our diocese, the Maluti Deanery owes a lot to Abbot Franz Bizana too derives from his influence. One remembers how the men from Bizana and Dutyini heard about Mariannhill and became Catholics there while working in Durban. They then walked to Lourdes Mission, three days by foot, where their Catechumens were baptized.

The families involved in Bizana were the Candlovu family, Ngolule family, Mbhele family and the Khatshwa family.

5.     Congratulations to the Parish of Mount Frere on the devotional Marian Pilgrimage which took place on the 30th of May at Lugangeni. This beautiful church built in the hills over the dam by Brother Erich was where Fr Antonio Benetti established a shrine of Our Lady.

Many walked to Lugangeni to participate on this day of renewal and commitment and devotion to Mary, the Mother of God.

6.     On the 31st of May, Pentecost, Fr Vincent and Fr Sihle organized the parish Feast for Bizana which is dedicated to the Holy Spirit. They began on Saturday night with a vigil in which included many prayers and sermons. This was followed by a report from all outstations where people could hear of the challenges facing their brothers and sisters throughout the parish.

The priests offered all the opportunity of confession and in the morning the Bishop celebrated the Mass at 4 o’clock to complete the night celebrations. This is an excellent way of renewing our parish and building up the identity of parishioners. It also make them aware that they , as Church, are the church, the family of God.

7.     The tragic death of Fr Ernest at Mariazell on the 30th of May shocked everybody. On the 5th of June Bishop Sipuka of Umtata led the funeral Mass and a committal. Fr Ernest had worked in South Africa since 1978. Most of these years were in connection with schools and with the Mission of Mariazell.

For the last 20 years he was the manager of the schools and generations of children received a fine education and preparation for life due to his; care and wise administration. The children and community were deeply hurt by these events which demoralize a whole tradition. Bishop Siphuka’s sermon is on SACBC website for those who might have the web.

8.     On the 6th of June on the roadside of Kaka’s hill above the Imvenyane, the Municipality of Matatiele remembered the tragic death there on the 27th of May 2008 of 22 local people.

They were killed when their bus crashed of the road and raced madly down the mountain crashing into the river at the bottom. It is amazing that anyone survived. Yet there were 18 survivors present at the ceremony.

Fr Thabang Letsohla was one of the first people to arrive on the accident scene that day to render service to the people who were dying. This year again Fr Thabang did much in the organization of this commemotion and prayers.

9.     SINOSIZO

Sinosizo has now changed its name and will be known as ‘YONDL’ABANTU’. This was necessary to distinguish from Sinosizo in Durban and also from the building company of that name n Kokstad itself.

We have had difficulty maintaining the funding of Sinosizo – YONDL’ABANTU this year.   The funders terminated the majority portion of their funding on the 31st of May. This left us about 180 volunteers without stipends.

The diocese has done its best over the years to provide funds for the Volunteers in Yondl’abantu.   Not only have we done that but we have provided the offices for the organization.

It was very consoling to find that even though we have to end the contracts of the volunteers they almost all volunteered to work freely in the future. However, we will try and make a small stipend available to all. We do this in order to bring some hope to those children and very ill people whom we have taken as our brothers and sisters in need.

10.RESPOND-Ireland are supporting various projects within the area of our diocese. This month they will begin working in Shayamoya to provide a skill centre, medical rooms and work with the diocese to build a new Church. They will also expand the Creche and offer training to young men and women in various areas.

Respondcame to visit during April and were very impressed by much of the work being done for the poor. From July they will complete the plans for Hardenberg.

11.We congratulate Fr George Byarugaba who continues his studies in California in United States. He has finalized his thesis for his Masters and was very successful in the examination.

His hope now is to continue in the same subject of Ethics and to do a Doctorate before returning to us in South Africa. We congratulate Fr George for his great achievement.

12. We welcome back Fr Joe and Fr Zanemvula from their recent visit to India.  We also wish Fr Vincent Bwete every blessing for his holidays in Italy. We hope the Holy Father will have a little time at his disposal to meet our Vincent.

13.                          One of the highlights of the recent month was the opening of the beautiful new church in Pamlaville at Umzongwana on the 2nd of May. Fr Lizo supervised the construction of this church. The opening was marked by a wonderful spirit of prayer and commitment. Many people in the area under the inspiration of Father contributed to make this an excellent day. The new Church will be called Emmanuel.

 

Sister Akhona is working there also with Friends in Irelandand each month she manages to bring food to 130 orphans and young children. These are spread over four different areas and they are given two meals each day there. This is a great gift to the poor from Friends in Ireland and a tribute to the commitment of Sister Akhona.

14.REAP continues its work offering access bussaries to children in Rural and Peri –Urban schools. The forms can be acquired in the office where Mrs Wicks has done a lot of administration on behalf of the organization. There are 360 young people at the University due to the work of REAP. The funds are raised through the Embassy of Ireland and also through many local institution such as banks and petrol camponies.

 

REAP is administered from its head offices in Cape Town, the Bishop is in Chairman of the group. It was embarrassing that last year we in the diocese of Kokstad were able to get two new Candidates only on to the program. This is due to very poor local matric results.

Recently the election of members for school governing bodies took place all over the country.

It is hoped that Catholic people went forward for nomination and participated. The school governing body has a large say in the ethos, selection of teachers and also in the very program of the schools.

15.  Couples for Christ had their National meeting here in Kokstad on the 9th of May. The local chapter for the Coupled of Christ has meant a lot to our people. Many has participated very generously and have had their individual and family lives enriched.

Couples for Christ is a whole family organization and it both involves children and adults. Peter Napier is the National President.

        Jonathan Meth and his wife Joyce are now working with the Marriage Desk in the diocese. Jonathan has managed to go to all the parishes now and addressed the people on issues of parenting and marriage life.   The reports have been very positive.

Jonathan and Joyce have recently attended their first Marriage Encounter session. We know that a lot of work has been done in Marriage Encounter in our diocese in previous years. It is hoped that Jonathan , with the Couples, will be able to revive and give new dynamism to Couples for Christ. They will meet Kokstad June 20.

16.The diocesan  priests spent two days recently in Durban. This was both prayerful and enjoyable. It involved a day of prayer and then a day together recreating the sharing on our priestly life.  We thank Fr Bongani Mbhele who led the discussions and prayers.

17.  The week of prayer for the Christian unity took place between the Ascension and Pentecost Sunday in the town of Kokstad at the various churches. The Bishop preached at the Power of Love Church on the 21st of May and prayer sessions were held in three other churches in the following days. It is a Christian duty to respond to the prayer of Jesus, “Father make they all be one”.

18. We congratulate Fr Marriano in his excellent production of INKWENKWEZI.   We encourage the priests and sisters to make a real effort to spread the Inkwenkwezi into many hands and especially into our Catholic homes. We wish to provide Catholic material for people, especially the young, to read in the comfort of home.

Fr Marriano is also very keen to get contributions, photographs and articles about events in our parishes. This interests the people and give fresh ideas while encouraging and recognizing what is been done.

19.Anthony Ciro is working on the establishment of the website for the diocese of Kokstad. We hope to go on line in a few weeks. Those than who can access the web will be able to read the news of our diocese there.

Jeannette Stanford is also working on the history of the diocese. She hopes to produce a book which will show the wonderful done in this diocese over the last 125 years. This also underlines the importance of having a parish chronicle.

20.The first resident priest came to Kokstad town in 1884. So we can say that for 125 that the Catholic Church has been resident in the area of this diocese. During this coming 12 months we will have celebrations to record this reality by remembering the heroic deeds of the past and giving thanks to God. It will also be a call to re-commitment.  Aware of the treasure we hold we will experience the challenge to develop and build on what has already been done. So let us put our minds together to see how we can better celebrate the special Jubilee 125 years of the Church in Kokstad.

21.The Government is just now that the N2 National road will run from Port Shepstone right across the coast of the diocese and passing Bizana, Flagstaff and Lusikisiki on its ay down to Umtata. This will ultimately change our human and natural environment and offer new pastoral challenges.

22.  Remember that on Saturday the 3rd of October we will go on the Diocesan Marian Pilgrimage to Maria Telgte, in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary.

23.                         Forth Coming Events

 

a.     The vocation team of the diocese met in Kokstad on the 15th of June. Everybody must pray sincerely for vocations. All can see that we are very much understaffed in our diocese at the moment and we must ask God to come to our aid.

It was decided to have a vocation workshop in Bizana from July 12-15. Students who are in grades 10-12 and who have shown some promise of vocation should be highly encouraged to attend.

We look forward to welcoming home on holidays our seminarians, Fidel, Musawenkosi, Zonwabele and Napo on holidays. We hope to meet them together at the Bishops house, July 9 and 10. They are always welcome to stay there during holidays.

b.     The Diocesan Pastoral Council took place here in Kokstad on June the 16th .   The Priests , the Parish Council Chairman and the Secretary attended. The youth were ably represented.

The meeting was chaired by Fr Bongani Mbhele. Four excellent presentations were made.

i.                    Sr Francina Mlithwa spoke as of the Cathecetical team of the diocese. While reporting on the work of the team she pointed out that PPC’s must pay attention to the state to the state of teaching in the parish. She spoke of the team woke in presenting to the teachers, Abahlwayeli, a series of 6 lessons which have been worked out nationally to help them enrich their own knowledge and work. They are also now presenting 9 new lessons. Teachers need the support of parents and home prayer. The RCIA needs to be better implemented. In those parishes where priests are involved, like Umzongwana a lot more is achieved.

ii.                  Jonathan Meth spoke of the work been done and the plans for the future for the Marriage Desk of which he is the secretary. Jonathan has had very positive responses from priests and congregations when he has addressed the burning issues in marriages and family and parenting.

It is very important that the course in Kokstad from midday 6th July of Midday 12th of July be attended. The Cape Town marriage desk, at considerable expense, are coming to train parish teams of 6 in facilitating these areas of life around the diocese. The Xhosa course will be on during the day and an English course in the evening. If we wish to make a concerted effort to enrich home life and the future of children we need to have 6 people from the parish at this event. Jonathan will visit all parishes between July 18 and Aug 30.  He introduced us to Joyce, his wife who is with him in the work.

iii.                Mrs Pat Madikizela, our representative with Fr Lizo and Mr Denge at the National Forum reported back on the work and aims of Forum. Pat spoke of her immense challenge now facing the church in evangelization as people become exposed to many media and foreign experiences. She emphasized that the whole Church must be involved. The clergy, that is the priests and religious, are but part of her family, the majority if fact are the laity and they are priests through baptism called to bring Christ into home, work, community, into economics, politics, education and health. This team will again represent us at the next Forum in Botha’s Hill on August 8, Saturday. Pat felt that the promotion of Inkwenkwezi is a very good step in which to begin to properly inform our adults and youth on spiritual issues.

iv.               Mongezi, accompanied by his chairman Bulelani, addressed

the meeting on the situation of youth in the country and in our parishes. They spoke of a Youth Leaders meeting at Palotti farm, Queenstown from September 24-26. This should be attended by 15 youth leaders. All is paid for we have simply to provide transport. Father Sihle, as diocesan chaplain should attend.

Mongezi issued a strong challenge to priests at the local level and parish priests to come closer to the youth and to their problems. He felt that many were leaving the church as they had only attended to receive sacraments and then with no depth of formation went to other assemblies. He spoke of the grave need for funds and how plans drawn up early in the year could not be followed up because of poor funding. Working together, adults and youth we can do more. He spoke of pornography and drugs and immorality which were destroying youth under our eyes. Mongezi hoped that the proposed pilgrimage to Malenge in December would be well organized, funded and implemented. Youth, he said, need to come to church to pray and play. A strong call was made for the youth associations of the diocese to consolidate. Preparation for confirmation needs to be real and very thorough.   Parishes need to work out a solid role for youth participation.

c.     The 26th of June the Department of Evangelisation in Pretoria.

d.     29th of June, we will close the Year of St Paul with the ceremony in the Cathedral. Same day, Consultors Meet in Kokstad.

e.     From June the 30th to July 2nd the Xhosa Pastoral team will meet at Queenstown to discuss the music and liturgy in our Xhosa speaking areas.

f.       From the 6th to the 10th of July Sister Duncan from the Diocese of Cape Town will be here to work with Our Marriage Desk. Jonathan Meth has invited six people from each parish to attend. They will be dealing with parenting, Marriage life, marriage associations and preparations for marriage. The idea is to train people who can facilitate this training. Try and make sure that there are six people here for those four important days. Starts in the afternoon of Monday the 6th of July.

g.     From the 8th to the 11th, the bishop will be on a Pastoral visit to Mount Frere parish.

h.     On 13th of July the Province of the Sisters of Precious Blood at the Mariannhill Mission will celebrate their founder Abbot Franz on the special occasion at Glen Avent on the 13th of July, preacher will be bishop.

i.       14th of July, Day of recollection led by Fr Bongani at the Poor Clares.

j.       On the 19th of July there will be Confirmation at Lusikisiki.

k.     31st of July Echoing the Word course with the teachers of schools will continue in Kokstad.

l.       August 3rd and 4th Diocesan priests will celebrated the Feast of St John Vianney.

m.  August the 5th to the 12th Plenary session of the Bishops Conference in Mariannhill.

n.     The night of August the 15th and 16th Kevelaer pilgrimage.

o.     On the 30th of August, Matatiele Confirmations.

p.     September 4th  and 5th Education the Word course continues.

q.     7th of September, Metropolitan meeting of the bishops at Glenmore.

r.      Recollection for the Diocesan priests at Poor Clares, led by Fr Vincent.

s.      9th and 10th of September Pastoral Agencies will meet in Pretoria.

24.The Year of the Priest, June 19-June 2010.

LENTEN APPEAL COLLECTION FOR 2009

PARISH              2007         2008            2009        % INCREASE

BIZANA            8463.80    10172.32    11316.00         11%

BHONGWENI   8000.00     7500.00    14409.80          92%

CEDARVILLE   3740.00     6263.00      7540.00          20%

CATHEDRAL 28355.00   43000.00    34768.10

FLAGSTAFF      6800.00     8310.00    10721.80          29%

FRANKLIN        1926.00      2100.00     4188.00          99%

HARDINBERG 8000.00      5720.00     9100.00          59%

LUSIKISIKI       5000.00      6800.00    15160.00         122%

MAKHOASENG                                     3143.00

MAKHOBA       2000.00       2110.00     2580.00           22%

MARIA TELGTE 2344.00   2301.43     4218.80            83%

MATATIELE    9500.00    11948.61     11588.70

MT AYLIFF      2969.73      4250.20       3318.50

MT FRERE        2760.10      2640.00       3308.20           25%

TABANKULU   1742.05      2550.00       2158.40

TAYLORVILLE 11510.00    11589.00    13804.10         19%

GRAND TOTAL 103110.68     127254.56     151323.40 19%

CONGRATULATIONS AND MANY THANKS TO ALL FOR THE WONDERFUL EFFORT

Posted in Iindaba.