Diaconate Ordination of Bro Phumlani Mbatha: Uganda Martyrs Parish, Kokstad

On the 17th March, a big crowd assembled at the Uganda Martyrs Parish in Bongweni for the diaconate ordination of Brother Phumlani Mbatha. It was a joyful event to the people from Bongweni and Kokstad Diocese at large. The Holy Mass began at 9h.00 in the morning.

In his homily, the Bishop explained to the faithful the meaning of the ministry for which the candidate had to be laid hands; “Diaconia” which is all about service. He also reminded the candidate to befriend Jesus, who came to the world to serve and not to be served. He also mentioned that to make God one’s friend is something very important that a person can do because it draws one closer to the path of holiness. He therefore invited the candidate to befriend God if he wants to be a holy man.

In the same regard, he urged the candidate to be a good leader. As a leader, he should firstly accept to be led by Jesus Christ, a humble and faithful servant of God. He has to follow His footsteps and lead in His manner. “If we fail to lead in manner of Jesus, we run a greater risk of misleading the people of God.” The Bishop said. He added that as leaders, our primarily role is to direct people to God.

Add to this he reminded everybody that a leader should be a faithful, humble, patient, peaceful and prayerful person. He should do everything for the greater glory of God.

By freely accepting the ministry of diaconate, the Bishop encouraged the new candidate to be a man of God by reminding him that the vow of celibacy he will be taking should help him to live a life of chastity and dedicate himself totally to God and serve Him through His people with all his heart. “Once you do things in this manner, the Lord will say to you at the end of your pilgrimage on earth: good servant come to me and enter into your father’s Kingdom” he said.



Each year the Diocese of Kokstad organizes a pilgrimage in Maria Telgte. This year, the weather condition was not suitable to begin the prayer at the right time. The rain started early before noon. This situation never stopped people to come in numbers for prayer as they usually have been done previously.

The service started at 13h.00 pm in the afternoon despite the weather condition. Bro P. Mbhata who opened the prayer service with a penitential service invited people to meet with Jesus at the confessional by encouraging them how it is important for one to open his/her heart to Jesus so as to receive forgiveness and healing. The penitential service ended with the prayer of the Rosary with meditation on the seven sorrows of Mary. This was followed by a healing Mass led by Frs T. Letsolha and M. Jakuja. The Evening Mass started at 19h.00 pm led by Rt Rev Bishop Thadeus Khumalo of Eshowe Diocese followed by many other spiritual activities which were finalized by the Sunday morning Mass that took place at 4h.00 Am.

In his Homily, at the Evening, the Bishop invited all the faithful to be like Mary the Mother of God who said: “…I am the servant of the Lord, let it be done according to your will.” Luke 1:38. He stated that Christian faithful should be also like Mary. They should let the will of God be done in their lives and not their own will. He invited the people to often be patient and not in a hurry while dealing with certain issues in their lives. They should have their minds and hearts open to God in order to let His will be done in decisions they make in their lives.

In his Homily at the morning Mass, Fr M. Ngcobo invited people to put their faith in action not only by words but also by good works. As Christians they should preach the Gospel both by words and actions. In doing this they can come closer to God and God in his turn can come closer to them. “We get known as children of God by others through our work” he said. He also added that God has given us this opportunity to come to Telgte for pilgrimage so that by outpouring his Spirit on us we get healed from our wounds and go back to our homes and heal others. “God wants to change us and use us to change others in return.” He said. This is how we can make the work of God visible among his people. Jesus, the Son of God is a very good example to us. His words were always accompanied by good actions. This started before the beginning of his ministry. He used his talents and strength to help his foster Father Joseph in the carpentry. And in his ministry, he always led by example in practicing what he was preaching. He also invited people to imitate Jesus by exploring their talents and strength and put them into action so as to let the image and glory of God be seen to those who seek him and those who are still walking in darkness.

Finally he urged people to accept to be transformed by God so that they can also be instruments of transformation to others as they go back home at the end of the pilgrimage.

Catechumens being received in the Church

“The rite of election of candidates for RCIA took place on Sunday 5th March at 9h.30 in the morning at the Uganda martyrs parish in Bongweni and was presided over by Rt Rev Bishop Zolile Petros Mpambani of Kokstad diocese assisted by Fr V. Bwete, the parish priest of the Uganda martyrs church



On the 19th February a big crowd of faithful and invitees gathered in Kokstad for celebrating Bishop Zolile P. Mpambani’s 60th Year Birthday as well as his 30th Anniversary of his Priestly ordination.

The Holy Mass was said for the two-fold celebration held at the St Patrick’s Cathedral in Kokstad at 11h.00am. The readings were taken from the 7th Sunday of the Year A. In his homily during the Eucharistic Celebration, Bishop Jwarha of the Vicariate of Ingwavuma called all the faithful and those who were present to understand that Jesus has given us a new law. This is the law of love. Therefore hatred belongs to the past.

“ …I hope you understand that hatred belongs to the past. Jesus said I give you a new law. This is the Law of love.” He said. He also reminded the faithful that, we should not hate those who make us suffer, but pray for them and do well to those who persecute us. There is nobody who may say that he/she does not have an enemy. And if somebody does not have an enemy that means there is something wrong with that person. But we should go and love our neighbour and greet them. We should not retaliate with hatred or wrong doing. If we only greet those who love us that means we are not yet true followers of Jesus. We should not live in the past with hatred. We are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Therefore hatred can make a mess of this temple. To hate another person is to put shame on ourselves.

He also brought to Bishop’s Zolile’s attention that as the Gospel of the day speaks about enemies, he (Bishop of Kokstad) also in all these 60th years of priestly ministry may have experienced it in his life. He also added that to have enemies is not a synonym of being a bad person. Some enemies come to our lives without our invitations. There are some who come to our lives because of what we have; there are others we have in our lives simply because they do not want to hear the truth. A person may also be hated because of his/her righteousness.

It is painful for a faithful to be an enemy of another faithful. We cannot say at the time of our baptism that we reject Satan yet after baptism we still carrying on developing hatred and become enemies of our fellow Christians. In the same regard it is painful to be hated by a faithful who know God who may happen to be a prayerful person.

We cannot receive the body of Christ, calling ourselves Christians and yet still living the past and still want to revenge or hate our fellow brothers and sisters. He also reminded the Bishop that the work God gave him is not as easy task but he should only persevere in prayer and ask God to help him not to be any person’s enemy.

He also put it clearly in front of everybody that it is a shame when people have to hate one another in the Catholic Church. How can I hate my brother or sister and yet I approach the table of the Lord to receive the Holy Communion? Before doing so we should firstly encounter the Lord in sacrament of reconciliation. This will therefore help us to love our neighbour, our brothers and sisters and pray for those who hate us. And the Scriptures remind us that it is better to forgive before the sunset. One of the reasons we should regularly visit the sacrament of reconciliation is because we cannot eat the body of Christ with anger and hatred in us.

Finally he called everybody to bear in mind that nobody should have anything against his/her brother. And we should always know that hatred belongs to the past…




“Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs” ( Luke 18:16)

Addressing the parents, teachers and the crowd at the graduation ceremony of the children in the Holy Trinity Hall in Matatiele, Bishop Zolile P. Mpambani reminded them of their duty to their children. “As parents our primary responsibility should be to help our children to know, serve, respect and fear God all the time.” He said. He also reminded all the parents that the future of their children depend on the present. ‘Since there is no parent who would wish to have a failure child in the future, it is therefore our duty as parents together with the teachers to help the children in shaping their future because their ‘tomorrow’ will necessarily depends on how they will be treated and brought up’ he mentioned. In addition, ‘as parents we are invited to help the children to have a bright future’ he said. The Bishop also urged the parents to love their children as Jesus does. Jesus loves the children so very much and that is the reason why he said “…let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs” ‘ but if we also look like children ours will be the Kingdom of God too’ he said.

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