- Parish and Church
Water is a scarce natural resource which should be preserved, not only for human beings, but for vegetation and wildlife as well. On 4 May, the Justice and Peace Department, together with the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and members of Palm Spring’s Section A cleaned a stream coursing through the area.
The stream was assessed for safety and depth. DWS donated rubber boots, masks and rubber gloves. Equipped with their own picks, shovels, spades, wheelbarrows and hoes, the community got down to business.
To build an environment that is clean, liveable, beautiful and conducive to health, everybody has to play their part, said the committee. They noted that illegal dumping is exacerbated by non-collection of waste by the municipality. Some of this waste unfortunately ends up in streams.
During weeks in which weeks waste bins were not collected, households had elected to bring them to a common area where they are taken to a landfill site to be emptied.
Because the stream crosses areas, the task team has committed to creating awareness in neighbouring areas as some of this waste streams into their area.
Tebello Rampo, a Justice and Peace volunteer who champions for an end to pollution, said when the church introduces something, it is important that they include the community. The community will, in turn, embrace the initiative and be responsible for it.
The Justice and Peace Department joined international organisations to raise awareness about guns and gun violence. St Francis De Sales, in Lawley Kristo Nkosi, Kwa-Thema and St Francis of Assisi, Yeoville organised talks during Mass.
“A gun is often present in a huge number of violent incidents, but it goes undetected and almost unnoticed. A gun is often one of the obvious common denominators in political killings; suicide; femicide; family killings; crime and robbery; car hijackings; cash-in-transit heists; taxi violence; and gang violence. It is so obviously present, but few seem to see it – and therefore it stubbornly remains unspoken of,” said Joseph Dube, head of the Justice and Peace Department.
It is not surprising then that South Africa is one of the 10 most violent countries in the world: 21 people are shot and killed in SA every day. Of these, 21 are gun-related deaths, 19 are men, mostly young men between the ages of 18 and 24; and two are women, who are most likely killed by their intimate partners owning legal guns.
“Our children are also not immune to gun violence, especially those living in urban areas with gangs in their communities. For example, between 2010 and 2015, 261 children were shot in the Western Cape, of whom 89 were killed. The guns used in their murders were stolen by a police officer and sold to gang leaders in the Western Cape,” said Joseph.
The monthly vocations discernment workshop sought to highlight the beauty and importance of the vocation of marriage on 24 June.
The day started with marriage preparation, with counselling couple Mahadi and Robert Buthelezi sharing their journey of marriage.
They were followed by Nono Sibuyi who described the sacrament of marriage as a communion of life and love, designed by God, which is full and intimate, freely given, faithfully lived, forever for the good of the spouses and for children.
She also described marriage as a covenant which is indissoluble. “Once you are married, in the eyes of God you can never be divorced”.
Lolo Nkamankeng encouraged young people to be celibate until marriage as sexuality is a gift from God which should be enjoyed in conjugal union. As there were young ears in attendance, the groups were separated according to age. Sr Esther Okoro and Sr Dawn Niro facilitated the session with the little ones.
The speakers sensitively and deftly answered difficult questions such as why the church deems masturbation immoral and why she does not recognise same-sex unions and polygamous marriages. Mass was said by Fr Peter Neeman Aboki He commended Sr Esther and the vocations department for organising a programme on the vocation of marriage ‘as it is the primordial vocation’. He said he, Br Sicelo Ntuli, a seminarian who was helping during Mass, Sr Esther and Sr Dawn would not be called to their respective vocations had it not been for the sacrament of marriage which has always been there for a long time.
Young people who had earlier expressed that they did not believe in marriage as they are yet to witness exemplary unions, came out of the workshop converted.