DITABA 23 – February 21 2016

1. The Archdiocese rejoices in the priestly ordination of Fr John Paul Mathebula on the 23rd of January. Congratulations to his family and also to the Parishes of St George and Monavoni who made the day a great success!
The Diocese extends its sincere good wishes and gratitude to Sr Mary Irene Fagan of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Hebron on her Diamond Jubilee. She was the Foundress of Madidi and Makhaunyana and Hebron.
The Diocese thanks the Lord for the 60-year service of Monsignor Vincent Hill. The former Vicar General of the Diocese has an extensive knowledge of our history and has been involved at key level with the development of our Church.
The Archdiocese welcomes Fr David and Fr Harrison the Provincial and Vicar Provincial of the Stigmatines of Southern Africa who are stationed in the Archdiocese. We welcome them conscious of the enormous work done by the Stigmatines for our people.
On January the 9th, nine (9) Holy Cross Sisters celebrated Jubilees, 7 of them Diamond Jubilees. What an enormous contribution to the Church!
On the 17th of February, the Bishops installed Fr Paul Manci as Rector of St John Vianney Seminary. We welcome back all the Seminarians and wish Fr Paul and the Staff every blessing for their important work.
The Diocese welcomes Sr Ewa Piegdon who has been appointed Provincial of the Holy Spirit Sisters at Valhalla. On January the 6th the Bishop formally welcomed the community of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary to Midrand.
We received with great joy the news of the appointment of Fr Duncan Tsoke as the Auxiliary Bishop of Johannesburg. We await the arrival of the new Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Peter Wells.

2. VOCATIONS. Through the good work of Fr Hlaledi Ramakgolo 3 young men were sent to Port Elizabeth to begin their priestly studies for Pretoria. It is very important that the whole diocese get behind the promotion of Priestly and Religious Vocations. Priests in particular must continually ask and invite young men to consider a priestly vocation.

3. CATECHETICS. The Archdiocese rejoices in the 800 generous people who volunteered to share their faith and teach catechism throughout the Diocese. The mandate ceremonies were characterised by enthusiasm and commitment.
We also thank God for the 400 adults who came for the election ceremonies as they knock at the door of the Catholic Church asking to share our faith. It is very important that the priests and parishioners make every effort to make them welcome and offer formation.
Mrs Renee D’Oliveira inspired by the Lord is offering an excellent religious formation course every month this year. It is marvellous to see over 60 diligent people responding to this invitation of the Holy Spirit.

4. RENEW. So far, 38 parishes have become involved in RENEW and this month February they begin the 2nd session. Deacon Matle and Sr Laura have made every effort to prepare the core teams. We dearly expect the remaining parishes to offer this reflection on our faith to their people.

5. JUSTICE AND PEACE. The year 2015 marked the time and growth for our Justice and Peace Commission. From their office at Jolivet house they have established parish committees. Among the highlights of the year were the formal training of men who will alert their fellow men and our area of the evils of child and woman abuse. A number of women from Kemolo have been trained to assist victims of such abuse and to pursue their cases at Police Courts. Other members are beginning Clinic Monitoring, while still others are acting as protectors for pensioners and people with disability grants.

6. XAVERI. Xaveri works out of the Chancery and was founded by Martin Mande. They try to deal with the great distressed experience in South Africa by Migrants and Refugees. In spite of their dedication 53 of their people were deported last year, while 27 are pending a decision.

7. FAMILY LIFE. The Family Life Desk is available to all the parishes who wish to enrich the lives of their families. The Family Desk has established a Diocesan Committee and offered training. They are dealing with the key challenges of the Church and the world today. We are grateful to Errol and Miggie for the days and weekends of workshops they have offered and continue to offer. The workshop continue this year, you can invite them. However, it is a great loss to us that Errol and Miggie are going back for another appointment with their community, Couples for Christ, in June. We thank them for their great assistance.

8. HOSPITAL. Fr. Ramaema and Mrs Angie Mlilwane continue their apostolate for the sick. Mrs Mlilwane is happy to speak at your parish and to train people in this ministry. It’s becoming ever more obvious that fewer people are coming to their priests for healing as other groups seem to offer a more ready service. We need to look into this. The 11th of February is the World Day of Prayers for the Sick but of course we can have such service any time.

9. PRISON. Fr Bongi Sithole, Sr Rita, and Deacon Molebale continue the great charity of visiting our brothers and sisters in prison. Having visited some of these institutions recently, one has great pity for these offenders, they need help. Beside her heroic commitment to them, Sr Rita has trained and arranged for a number of people to assist in this ministry.

10. The results at the end of the year of our Catholic Schools are once again very encouraging. Over 400 teachers of our schools met on February the 19th at CBC to recommit themselves to the formation of our young people. The service organised by Principal Peter Ross and Fr Peter Switala was very moving and inspiring.

11. The CHIRO Movement will have a special Mass at the Cathedral at 10 this Saturday morning, February 27th. The Chiro Movement has been relaunched, and its Chaplain will be Fr Marokana.

12. The Archdiocesan Pastoral Council met on February the 20th. The discussions took place around the celebration of the Year of Mercy. Announcement on this regard will come soon. The Council led by Mr Bogatsu and Mrs More also discussed the possibility of celebration a Diocesan Feast this year. Ambitious plans were submitted to allow the diocese to raise funds.

13. Fr Manuel Graca continues to act as Chaplain at Tukkies. A record crowd of staff and students attended the opening mass this year. Among those present were the Vice Chancellor and some professors.

14. The Legion of Mary, this excellent organisation is alive and very active in Sunnyside. When the Bishop attended on Saturday morning about 90 Legion of Mary were present from the Senior and Junior groups. The Legion combines wonderfully prayer and the Corporal Works of Mercy.

15. The Holy Father in promoting the Year of Mercy has called for the Catholic World and all who wish to join us to become engaged in 24 hour of Prayer on the 4th – 5th of March. All Parishes can see what they can arrange in the line of Mass, Reconciliation Service, Exposition and prayers. Fr Baloyi at the Cathedral and Fr Fidelis and Fr Joseph at Sunnyside, Queenswood, and Monavoni have already arranged night vigils in their respective parishes.

16. Fr Obed Ramoipone has been called up to train as an Army Chaplain. In his place Fr Lawrence Moatshe has been appointed Parish Priest for Temba and Stinkwater. Fr Bongi Sithole will look after the other stations of Tshepo Pastoral District. Fr John Paul Mathebula will be priest in-charge at Winterveld. The Franciscan Community in the person of Fr David and Fr Sandile will look after Makapanstaad. The Archdiocese welcomes back Fr Silas Rangwaga who has received Senior promotion in the SANDF and returns to Thaba Tshwane. We are proud and very proud welcome back Fr Silas. Fr Lazarus Mokoma will care for the new community around Lady Selbourne. Fr Celestine Bela will be priest in Ivory Park. We welcome Fr Thomas Fernandes OFMCap and Fr Nicholas to Siyabuswa.

17. Building of a new Church has begun at Naledi Ya Mesa. We are about to begin work on a new Church for St Ambrose in Soshanguve. You will know by now that the SACBC have sold their secretariat at Khanya House and have acquired Santa Sophia as their new residence.

18. YOUTH. Fr Benedict Makhata CSS is the new Diocesan Youth Chaplain. As you know Ms Neo Rakoma moved to other employment last year. Mr Melese Tumato Shula is the new Diocesan Youth Coordinator. The youth work, like all initiatives, has great need of support from the parishes, especially from the priests. Last year 2015 I think we could have done much better. Our youth who attended the many World Youth meeting did not receive favourable comment.

19. The Archdiocese rejoices in the fact that we hosted the Closing Ceremony for the Year of Consecrated Life at the Cathedral on the 16th of January. All Bishops and a great number of Religious were present for the religious services and the celebrations.

20. FINANCE. With this Ditaba, there is a list of regulations distributed for your contemplation. With gentleness but with insistence we must kindly request our people and our parishes to contribute as best they can. Parishes must ensure to pay the medical insurance for priests and also their general insurance.

21. Encourage our people to listen to Radio Veritas 576 Medium Wave.

22. STATISTICS. Please remember to get the ANNUAL STATISTICS by the end of February this year. As we will soon need to bring a new Archdiocesan Directory, you can send to ptadiocese@absamail.co.za of changes within the parishes ASAP.

23.CHAPLAINCIES: Please take note of the following Chaplaincies and the newly assigned Chaplains.

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24. ALTAR SERVERS. Because of the great number of Altar Servers involved and the difficulty involved in getting them involved in one place and catering for them the Archdiocese has decided to organise the altar servers workshops according to Deaneries from this year. The Deans are requested to provide Fr Herman Mole with the name of a priest/religious/parent to assist in these deanery workshops.

25. UPCOMING EVENTS:

A. The list of Confirmation Dates for this year is attached.

B. Appointments and Events

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26. CONFIRMATION DATES:

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+William Slattery OFM
Archbishop of Pretoria

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