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Preceding the Mini World Youth Day was the ‘Days in the Parish/Mission Days’. They took place from the 4 December. I was part of the group that was assigned to St Francis Xavier, Dassenhoek.
The area is plagued by electricity outages and water cuts. On two of the three nights we were in the neighbourhood, the electricity was cut whilst we were wrapping up around six at the church.
We started with stations of the cross from Kwacutshwayo Primary School where the parish would celebrate Mass prior to moving to their current location.
There was a car that decided to distract us by spinning. However, the youth were not deterred. They just ensured that they were a distant from it until it drove off.
Mass was celebrated by parish priest, Fr and visiting priest, Fr Mthembeni Mntambo. They were assisted by Br Mlondi Nzama who is a seminarian at St John Vianney.
Br Zipho Ngwenya and Zandi were celebrating their birthdays. They received a special blessing.
Also, in our midst were transitional deacons and other and other seminarians from Mariannhill diocese.
After lunch, young people took part in the catechetical sessions. They also engaged in various games eliciting curious stares from passers-by.
Got their hands dirty, wiping clean chairs, cleaning the church, paving the ground, cleaning the sacristy and the priest’s house,
On the second day of Mission Days, pilgrims gathered at their host parish to have breakfast and to be transported to Mariannhill Monastery. Upon arrival, Holy Mass was celebrated by seven priests with the national youth chaplain, Fr Mthembeni Dlamini as the chief celebrant. Pilgrims from the Pretoria Archdiocese joined in the celebration.
In his sermon, deacon Rev Lindelwa said friendship with Jesus is based on unconditional. He is the type of friend who is always online to listen to our stories, he will never block you and you will never see blue ticks with no response.
A tour was given of the monastery which was founded in 1882 by Fr Francis Abbot where its rich history was explained. Areas of interest such as the Mariannhill Museum, the abbey which is made out of corrugated iron and the smallest in the world also with two roofs, and the cemetery.
The general secretary of the Southern African Bishops’ Conference, Sr Hermenegild Makoro also welcomed the pilgrims saying: “Through your exuberance, we are already feeling the MWYD vibe. We wish you growth and grace. May you become who you are as proud Catholics” (sic).
“Some young people have complained that the monastery is nice but was just too quiet, so today the monastery community will welcome the noise, said Fr Mthembeni.
All in all, the MWYD was an opportunity for Catholics of this conference and beyond, to share their gifts, talents, cultures and to learn from one another.
On the third day, we bade our families goodbye and headed to St Joseph’s cathedral for the Commissioning Mass. Bishop Pius Dlungwane of Mariannhill and Archbishop William Slattery of Pretoria celebrated Mass with Fr Mthembeni Dlamini and some 25 priests concelebrating. They were assisted by a transitional deacon and seminarians.
The Mass was attended by pilgrims who had taken part in the days in the parish. They comprised
They were all given a memento by the youth
The gladness of being together is a gift from God. giving God the gift of time, self and joy. We should continue to share that gift with the rest of the country.
A warm welcome was extended to about 400 pilgrims from Johannesburg by parishes throughout Kwa Zulu Natal.
The Johannesburg pilgrims are by far the biggest group and were split into small groups for feasibility and smooth operation purposes. There was a long bus drive which was highlighted with a stop at the Marianhill Monastery where a Mass was celebrated by Fr Kevin Mapsumo CMM.
The liturgy was animated by the energetic and angelic voices of young people from St Philip Neri, Moletsane. Fr Kevin applauded the group after Mass and said their singing during Mass helped him to have a different encounter with God. Pilgrims were bussed to their respective dioceses where they are currently hosted by families. Today our programme started with Mass at St Anne’s, Umzinto.
We then visited the old and frail in the community, as part of our works of mercy, as encouraged by Pope Francis. All the families we visited were presented with grocery hampers from pilgrims and clothing that were collected by local youth when they were preparing for this occasion. We headed back to the parish after the mission where we were served with a scrumptious lunch. Rev Deacon, Sibusiso Mkhize led a catechesis session for all the pilgrims where they were taught about the sacrament of marriage and why it is important to discern with your partner and deliberate on serious matters, especially around culture and faith differences before tying the knot. References of what the Church outlines according to the Canon Law were also outlined.
Kati Dijane, one of the pilgrims from St Nicholas in Daveyton described her experience as “spiritually fulfilling, because I was reminded of how fortunate I am for my health and was reminded that we should always count our blessings because other people are not as fortunate as we are.”
“Our group is a lovely bunch and I hope that going back home we’ll still maintain the friendship,” she added.
Lebo WA Majahe
The opening ceremony of the much-anticipated Mini World Youth Day (MWYD) took place on 6 December at the Durban International Conference Centre.
Television personality and radio presenter, Danilo Acquisto steered the programme.
A moment of silence was observed by Auxiliary Bishop of the Durban Archdiocese, Bishop Barry Wood.
Justin Nanak and Thembeka Dube gave a live rendition of theme song ‘The Mighty one has done great things for me’. This was accompanied by a liturgical dance.
In his welcome remarks and words of encouragement, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier said: “The theme for this gathering is taken from the St Luke’s gospel which represents the greatest experience that any woman or man of God can have.”
Welcoming Ceremony and address by Cardinal Napier, Bishop Jan De Groef, KZN Provincial Representative, Mr Gerald Lemao – SACBC Interdiocesan Chairperson and Mr Siyabonga Mkhize – Durban Cluster Chairperson. Mini World Youth Day 2017
Images by: Sheldon Reddiar Photograph
As Christians, our contribution to the admirable and worthwhile project of nation-building derives from the Christian scriptures. It is the Word of God that gives believers a moral and spiritual orientation. Thus in the letter of Paul to the Ephesians we are told that with the advent of Christ, all barriers that divide humankind have been broken down, that a new humanity is now taking place. In the idiom of the New Testament: there will no longer be distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female – and if I may add, black and white – all of you are one, and are citizens of one motherland, one fatherland (see Gal.3:28). You are the spitting image of the one God.
The challenge to all South Africans is to take these sentiments or teachings to heart; to internalize them; to weave them into our lives so that the transcending of distinctions and working for unity, become second nature. Read more
Healing prayer for South Africa to be prayed every Friday till mid‑December
The SACBC J&P commission, together with the SACC and other faith communities, has called for prayer for the healing of South Africa, asking God to intervene in the current political and economic situation.
Lord we present our country South Africa before you. We exalt and bless your name for all the blessings, the graces, and love that you have given to us as a nation.
Our country is now weighed down by many social, political and economic problems. We pray for a spirit of conversion in our nation and its leadership; that all hearts may turn away from greed and corruption and work for justice and peace.
Protect all those who are speaking out against greed, patronage, and corruption; give them the wisdom and courage to be the voice of the marginalised.
Renew our nation and its leadership by the light of the Gospel.
Help us to live out the values of your kingdom.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
#wepray4south Africa campaign prayer 2017 by the SACBC Justice & Peace commission
Ten prayer points to consider
The Justice & Peace: Bryanston Catholic Church (J&P) hosted its inaugural public lecture on the 14th of November 2017 in the Emmaus Centre. The topic of the evening was, ‘Resisting Corruption’ presented by Wayne Duvenage of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA).
The theme for the lecture was based on recent observations that most South Africans believe that tackling corruption should be a national priority. This belief is evidenced by the nations insatiable appetite for information pertaining to State Capture, the Gupta links, the KPMG and Mckinsey scandals, as well as the growing literature on state capture i.e the President’s Keepers by Jacque Pauw.
Even though South Africa has a number of well established private and public sector agencies that have a particular legal and policy oversight role to combat corruption the perception remains that the battle against corruption is far from being won.
OUTA is a civil society organization that is at the fore of fighting corruption. Those who attended the lecture were pleasantly surprised to learn that their focus areas are not limited to corruption in the transport sector (ETolls). OUTA also focuses on corruption based on irregular expenditure related to the governments nuclear project, ESKOM and PRASA. It was illuminating to learn that OUTA will look to broaden its focus in 2018 to look into private sector corruption. Attendees noted that this change in focus has been prompted by the number of growing reports that have exposed private sector entities such as KPMG that have thrived on state misappropriation of billions of rands that could have been used to attend to ever present education, health, infrastructure and security needs throughout South Africa.
As Wayne Duvenage put it during his lecture, in order to tackle corruption civil society and all opposed to corruption must collectively pursue the people involved in corruption. This approach coupled with the deeply held principle that corruption is inherently wrong and inequitable are behind the civil litigation that OUTA is involved in.
J&P is part of the Justice and Peace community of the Catholic Church that forms a part of the Justice & Peace Commission established shortly after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) by Pope John XXII in order to ensure that Church plays a more active role in the world. It is notable that the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) was one of the first Bishops Conferences in the world to establish a Justice & Peace department in 1967.
It is against this backdrop that the J&P recognizes that even though we all don’t belong to civil society formations such as OUTA, we still belong to the citizenry of this country and bear a duty to it to ensure that we make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable, notably the poor, elderly and children to whom corruption places a greater burden on.
The question therefore arises, how can we as Catholics help end corruption? How can we become the modern day activists this country sorely needs? James 2: 14-26 teaches us that “Faith without works is dead.” We cannot simply have faith that corruption will end, we need to actively bring about its demise.
The revelation of private sector involvement in state corruption is proof that corruption is to be found not only in state departments but also in boardrooms across the country. As parishioners we must do our part to end it. J&P suggests that parishioners should volunteer and where they can financially support civil society entities such as OUTA(www.outa.co.za) or join us in prayer every Friday until mid December 2017 where we pray for God to intervene in the current political and economic situation in South Africa.
To find out more about 10 possible prayer points that you and your family can meditate and pray on please follow us on Facebook (Justice & Peace: Bryanston Catholic Church) or join us at our next meeting by emailing your interest to:
Ruth Busschau: firstname.lastname@example.org or Judy Stockill (email@example.com)
S.P.R.E.D. – Special Religious Development.
We were born into the community of a family and extended family. We depended on this community for the fulfilment of all our needs, physical, emotional, social, moral, economic, and religious. Our community of family went a long way towards making us who we are. When we grow up we can move away from home, get a job, set up a home; in other words become independent. Our friends with learning difficulties do not have these options in the same way. They really do need a community that will allow them to be individuals who have dignity, choice,and a sense of giving as well as receiving, a sense of being part of a community. They need friends outside their families and work places. The first community we experience outside the family is that of the Christian community when we are brought to church to receive the Sacrament of Baptism.
Each Baptised person is welcomed into the community of the parish and is given the opportunity to develop his/her faith, initially by receiving the sacraments and then by ongoing attendance at the Eucharist and other liturgical events. Our aim in Spred is to integrate our friends into the liturgical life of the parish. Our faith is our greatest gift from God. Our friends have as much right as we have to grow in their faith. We, in Spred, can give them a chance to experience the spiritual in life, also a chance to grow in the faith that they received in seed at baptism. Faith education is only possible if our friends feel they are loved. We are opening a door that allows our friends to appreciate who God is for them. Often it is our friends who opens the door for us. It is by giving to those who have learning difficulties that we not only receive but also enable them to give. Then, their joy, simplicity, and honesty, for example, may be seen and experienced by others. Others are consequently modified by being with them. With them we can be weak and receive of their strengths, of their love for us, of their trust, of their approval, if we give them time and space to be with us.
Spred is all about friendship. We are referred to as volunteers while we ourselves are known as faith companions because that is our role- to be a companion in faith to our faith friends. We all need friends outside of our family. We all need community. It takes time to build up this bond of friendship. We realise to be a faith companion we need to accept one another as we are, to be loving, sincere, honest, genuine, compassionate, kind and authentic. Our friends can easily discern if we are lacking in these attributes. We respect one another and this can be seen in the way we relate to one another. We are sharing our faith. We are faithful companions on a journey with our friends. The depth of our bonding as a small faith community is a symbol of the depth of God’s love for us. Through Spred our friends can experience the Church as a group of believers who come together to share life.
The office of Divine Worship and Liturgy hosted an altar servers’ workshop/retreat at the Mother of Mercy Shrine in Magaliesburg from 4 to 6 October. Ninety altar servers from various parishes and deaneries attended. The workshop focused on:
The workshop was facilitated by Fr Lawrence Ndlovu.
The retreat was more on reflection and praying for themselves and each other. Everybody had the opportunity to walk up, and pray, on top of the mountain. Mass was celebrated every day by Vicar of the department, Fr Benedict Mahlangu.
Head of the Liturgy Department, Annastacia Mphuthi, coordinated the programme assisted by Kgothatso Spider.
The department thanks all the parents and priests who supported them throughout this journey. It was good experience for the young people, she said. “We hope they will share the experience and all what they have learned to other altar servers at their parishes,” she added.