- Parish and Church
Our vision at St Andrew’s, Noordgesig is to fully accept migrants and their cultural and religious heritage, along the path of an authentic community and respect diversity.
That is why the World Day of Prayer for Migrants and Refugees was very special to every member of the parish.
Fr John Baptist Panpogee receives gifts during Mass at Our Lady of Fatima, South Hills.
The parish of St Mother Teresa of Calcutta in Crystal Park, Benoni celebrated Mass for the migrants and refugees on Sunday, 30 June. Parish priest, Fr Eugene Oguamanam emphasised the fact that, we need to welcome migrants and refugees in our community. We need to try by all means to make them feel at home, as we are all one in the eyes of the Lord and the Lord loves us all equally.
As part of the ongoing formation in the Archdiocese, the Divine Worship and Liturgy Department hosted a workshop for the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at the Cathedral on Saturday, 15 June.
Under the theme: “Breaking of the bread”, the workshop was facilitated by Fr Victor Ngwenya, who told the 158 extraordinary ministers that the Eucharist is the pillar of the Catholic Church, before explaining the Eucharist and the meaning of the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.
Fr Victor, the administrator and priest of the Cathedral, pointed out that while the ordinary ministers are ordained, the extraordinary ministers are commissioned for a specific period.
He explained extensively the responsibilities of the extraordinary minister during the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist, as well as the importance of the tabernacle and how it should be treated, stressing that the extraordinary ministers should only ascend the sanctuary during the sign of peace.
The priest also spoke about the nature of the sacraments in the Catholic Church and the worthiness of both the extraordinary minister and the recipient of the sacrament.
Fr Victor further explained the responsibility of the extraordinary minister when visiting the sick to distribute the Holy Communion in the absence of a priest and how the setting up of the table and the placement of religious implements should be effected.
After a vote of thanks by the Head of the Liturgy Department, Annastacia Mphuthi, Fr Victor Ngwenya offered the final blessings.
The new leadership of the parish pastoral council (PPC) should be working closely with the parish priests going forward, said Fr Paul Beukes, Vicar General, at the recent induction of the new heads.
Fr Paul said that in some parishes, the PPC “gangs up” on the priests putting them through “hell” which can lead to not, only the destruction of the parish, but also the name of the Catholic Church.
He reminded them that their mandate is to serve the parish community with their priests.
“You are there as leaders to serve, not be served, as did Jesus Christ when washing the feet of His disciples. You also need to do right and lead through using your actions as an example, working for harmony and unity in the parishes. You are working not only for the parishes, but for the benefit of the whole Archdiocese. Your job is to bring out the best in people. If you are there for your own glory there is no sense in serving,” he added.
Leaders always need to always do the right thing, even if they stand alone. If they see something wrong, they should not be afraid to speak out, even if they are the only voice. He likened this to God selecting Noah as the survivor of the floods because he was the only one who did the right thing. Noah found favour with God for he alone was righteous among the people of his day.” (Genesis 6:8–10, 18).
“You are not there to be popular,” he added.
He also encouraged the new leaders to not to badmouth the priests or the church – they should encourage parishioners to speak positively about the Catholic church
“Yes, we priests are not perfect – we also have our emotions and moods and this has to be taken into consideration before running the priest or the church down,” he said.
Fr Paul stressed two main issues which are to be focused on in the coming months – the building of the Shrine and the upcoming Synod.
He said he was aware of a lot of criticism and negativity about money being spent on the Shrine.
“This is going to be a place of worship away from the cities where people can pray and reflect on their own in the presence of Our Lady and God,” he said.