1. THE ARCHBISHOP’S CALENDAR for MARCH – MAY 2014
FEBRUARY – MARCH
|February 27 / Thursday||Radio Veritas (Changing Gears)|
|February 28 / Friday||Ceremony at the Seminary|
|March 1 / Saturday||Marriage Encounter Closing Mass
|March 2 / Sunday||Pastoral Visit at Mameneng|
|March 4 / Tuesday||Lunch and Meeting with Priests at Santa Sophia|
|March 5 / Wednesday||ASH WEDNESDAY|
|March 6 / Thursday||Radio Veritas (Changing Gears)|
|March 7 / Friday||Consultors’ Meeting|
|March 8 / Saturday||9AM – Catechists Day at Pretoria North
12:30PM – Chapter of the Good Shepherd Sisters at Lady Selbourne
4PM – Confirmation at St. Vincent’s Parish, Tembisa
|March 9 / Sunday||9AM – RCIA Program for Catechumens for North Western Deanery at St. Anne’s & St Joachim Parish
2PM – RCIA Program Cathedral South West & Eastern Deaneries
|March 11 / Tuesday||9AM – Meeting with Religious Leaders in Army, Police and Correctional Services
5:30PM – Meeting with Neo Catechumenal Way
|March 12 / Wednesday||9:30AM – Meeting with project leaders for developments at Jolivet House
12:30PM – celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Irish Ambassador
1:30PM – Diocesan Properties Meeting
|March 13 / Thursday||Radio Veritas (Changing Gears)|
|March 15 / Saturday||2PM – Lecture in honour of Chiara Lubich at TUKS|
|March 16 / Sunday||Mass at Queenswood.|
|March 17 / Monday||3PM – Meeting with Chaplains of specialised ministries|
|March 23 / Sunday||8:30AM – Confirmation at Winterveld
2PM – RCIA Election Program for North Deanery at St. Dominic’s Parish
|March 25 / Tuesday||Maryvale Assumption School’s 75th Jubilee Celebration|
|March 26 / Wednesday||10AM – National Prayer Day for Police at Pretoria West Police Academy|
|March 28 / Friday||Lecture in Cape Town|
APRIL – MAY
|April 4||Queenswood, Holy Hour and Mass of Healing|
|April 5||Meeting of the Council of the Laity at Jolivet House|
|April 6||Confirmation at Emmanuel in Tembisa|
|April 8||Consultors’ Meeting|
|April 13||PALM SUNDAY|
|April 16||9:30AM Mass of the Oils, Cathedral
Renewal of Priestly Commitment
4PM Property Commission Meeting at Bishop’s House
|April 17||Mass of the Last Supper at the Cathedral|
|April18||GOOD FRIDAY, 12PM Confessions at St. Vincent’s in Tembisa
Service for Good Friday
|April 19||EASTER VIGIL|
|April 20||EASTER SUNDAY|
|April 21||Big Walk at Mamelodi, Moreleta Park in aid of Nellmapius church building|
|April 22 – May 7||The Bishop and the Bishops of the Conference will be in Rome for the Ad Limina Meeting with the Holy Father and reports to the Roman Congregations|
|May 10||Episcopal Consecration of the New Bishop of Mohales Hoek (Lesotho), Fr. John Thlomola|
|May 11||Confirmation at St. Oliver’s|
2. We send sincere congratulations and joyful wishes to Fr. John Thlomola who has been appointed by the Holy Father as the new Bishop of Mohales Hoek in Lesotho. We were honoured to have Fr. Thlomola working in our archdiocese for the last 3 years. The Diocese would like to give Fr. Thlomola a parting gift and each priest is asked to contribute a R100 to the Chancery so that we can give a worthwhile gift to Fr. Thlomola.
3. Finance. As you will have heard the diocese is struggling in finance. Please pay the assessments as fully and as soon as possible. Also make sure that you have paid your medical and your insurance contribution.
4. Catechetics. I have been very happy with the response to our Catechetical Program. I wish to congratulate Fr. Geoffrey and his diocesan team on the work they have done. The ceremony of Mandating was a huge success; it had well over 700 enthusiastic and generous catechists participating at Hebron, St. Joachim and Anne.
Also, there was a wonderful response to the Day for Catechism teachers at Bertoni Centre in Pretoria North. Congratulations to Fr. Geoffrey and Fr.Senekane and their team for putting on the day. Over 300 catechists attended for the full day that Saturday. Congratulations and what a joy!
Generally at the end of my program on Radio Veritas on Thursday at about 5 o’clock, I have a dialogue with one of the catechism teachers in our country to help those preparing lessons.
5. For the first time, I think in many years, we have been able to centralize the RCIA Program, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. At both Hebron and the Cathedral great crowds of aspiring Catholics came to be enrolled for the Ceremony of Election. Let the priests pay particular attention to these people during Lent so that they are properly prepared for the Easter Vigil.
6. The Archdiocese sends sincere condolences to the Archdiocese of Cape Town on the passing of its former bishop, Archbishop Laurie Henry. Archbishop Daniel will represent the diocese at the funeral. We also condole with the Franciscans on the passing of Bro. Ignatius Gleeson who lived at St. Francis House of Study and give a tremendous, generous contribution to the life of the Church both here and in Johannesburg.
7. The RENEW Program continues under Fr. Karabo Baloyi. He is at the moment forming the central Archdiocesan core team. Each deanery is asked to find people suitable for this very demanding and generous service. By RENEW we wish to form our people, especially our adults, in their knowledge and response to the faith. This is a very important program and all should participate.
8. CHIRO. At the moment Chiro is renewing itself. The Chiro Movement now depends on its parish structures. A team has been instituted who will visit all the parishes and then bring the leaders together to form an archdiocesan Chiro team. All sodalities and movements of the diocese need to periodically renew leadership.
9. This being the Season of Lent, the priests, at their recent Tuesday meeting at Santa Sophia, discussed how to help us to appreciate the holiness of this season. Many suggestions were offered. We will offer confession at a definite time; we will encourage all our children and youth to come to confession sometime during Lent, the Stations of the Cross. We would encourage all families to restart family prayer. Reading and sharing of Scripture is important. Most parishes now have the Phase 3 Program of the Department of Evangelisation which offers them a discussion document for each of the Sundays of Lent.
10. I am happy to see that most have now got new parish pastoral councils and are appointing finance councils. At the moment we are in the process of electing deanery pastoral councils. This must be followed later by the establishment of an archdiocesan pastoral council.
11. Congratulations to Fr. Lawrence Moatshe on the establishment and development of the Justice and Peace Department. They had a successful workshop at the Sanctuary near Cullinan in December. They are in the process of establishing committees in all the parishes and deaneries of the diocese. This is an important aspect and dimension of living our Christian vocation.
Congratulations to the parishes that celebrated a special Police Day at the end of January. However it is not too late to have a Sunday set aside for a Police and Security Personnel. At the end of Mass it can be a positive experience for our Police to be asked to address the population on the problems of maintaining peace in their areas.
The calendar for Justice and Peace can be found on our website: www.archdioceseofpretoria.org.za or Catholic Archdiocese of Pretoria
12. The Family Life Desk of the Archdiocese led by Errol and Miggie is slowly reaching out to the archdiocese. Their calendar is also on the website. Make this a special year for families.
13. The Prison. Sr. Rita Carey and Fr. Sithole, Deacon Molebale Sr. Eileen have encouraged over 30 people to volunteer for prison work. They are now able to offer the ALPHA Program to our brothers and sisters who are in prison. In fact, 28 offenders received their certificates already this year.
14. Schools. Due to the excellent work of Renee’ D’Oliveira, our 14 schools are maintaining their Catholic Ethos. Over the last few years we have reestablished a Chaplains Forum and we are very grateful to the priests who participate in this work. You can find the report on our website under Schools. Some of our schools received a 100% matric pass in. All had excellent results and most pupils passed for university. Perhaps the greatest improvement in results this year was the Holy Trinity School in Atteridgeville. 3 years ago they had 57% pass and this year it was to 92% pass. Sant’ Aegidio hope to invite young people to join them in prayer and service.
15. The Xaveri Movement. Martin Mande and his team are continuing to do great work with refugees and people in trouble. They have a tremendous outreach with young people. This year they took 74 children and 12 leaders on a summer camp to a farm outside Pretoria
16. Education for Life with Neo Rakoma continues its work. Neo will represent the country at a meeting in Rome at the beginning of April to reflect of the World Youth Day experience in Rio and to plan for the next meeting. But please ensure that if possible all confirmation candidates are exposed to the Education for Life Program in your parish this year.
17. The Masolenyana for Young Children. This is a very important organization. As less than one percent of our children are in Catholic schools, we need to bond the children to the Church. They need their own sodalities, their own meetings, their own prayer groups, their own trainings, their own leadership and prayer, their own participation in the life of the Church. By establishing Masolenyana you are linking those children directly with the Lord and His work.
18. There will be a big walk in aid of building a Church in Nellmapius on Easter Monday. All are invited to participate. It will be in Mamelodi, Moreleta Park.
19. The Bishop attended the opening academic mass at St. John Vianney Seminary. There was also the opening mass for University of Pretoria where Fr. Hyacinth and Fr. Manuel work faithfully with the students. Great numbers of students attend Sunday afternoon mass
20. Many people from Pretoria went to Mokopane to pray for the promotion of the beatification of Benedict Daswa. It was a night of prayer, a night of witness. Members of his family including the eldest daughter spoke. Please pray through the intercession of Benedict Daswa for the Lord to show us by sign and wonders that this man is certainly with God among the Saints.
21. We congratulation St. John Vianney Seminary! This year sees the highest number of students ever resident there. The roof wetting ceremony took place of the new extension which will comprise 30 new en suite rooms.
22. The international World Committee of Marriage Encounter met at Hartbeespoort. There are opportunities in the Church for families to enrich their lives. You can find these information from our Marriage Desk, from Errol and Miggie. There is Marriage Encounter, Retrouvaille, Couples for Christ, and Preparation for Marriage Courses.
23. On the 17th-18th of March the Bishop will meet with our Chaplains from the Police, Correctional Services and the Army.
24. Sometimes, with initiative, we can improve peoples’ lives;
a. A parish health ministry. Invite experts (retired nurses) in the area and local clinics to come to the parish one day a week or one day a month to offer their advice and diagnosis..
b. Drop in centre for study. This might happen 1 day or 2 days a week. Here you would invite an expert or a university student to help 4 or 5 students with subjects which are very difficult, especially for those who are preparing for matric. They simply need a centre and a place to sit around a table and study together. Good Catholic people with the spirit of the Lord will be happy to help such children. It has proven very successful in certain areas like in Ivory Park.
c. Drop in centre which is a care centre. Again this could be for old people, it could be for children who are in difficulty. It could be 1 day a week or it could be more. Again a centre would be needed, some food, caring adults who would provide both relaxation, care, and advice for children. It should be a warm place, a kindly place, something that Jesus would like to offer them.
d. Martin and the Xaveri Movement can help to integrate the refugees into the parish.
e. Feeding schemes are sometimes necessary.
f. There are many crèches in our archdiocese, some of whom are on Church property. We need to check out that there is a proper legal agreement with those who run these crèches. Of course they should meet government standards.
g. Any kind of skill training that can be offered, as in St. Vincent’s. They can be very small or they can be big. In Kokstad, people made a lot of money making little Crosses, rosary beads and other objects. A project like that can help a family to put food on the table.
h. Again, family instability is a problem; anything in this line of counseling that can be offered would be a blessing.
These are just suggestions. But show a desire to be of service, to show that we care and to offer not only spiritual help but also material and skill advancement.
25. Confirmation preparation. Much must be done to deepen the experience of faith. Now there is help;
Our brothers and sisters in the Neo-Catechumenate are very happy to offer intense days of Reflection and Encounter with Christ to every deanery and parish in the Archdiocese. This would typically be a Saturday. And they can come back for a number of days over the months to deepen the candidates experience of faith. They will travel free to your parish/deanery.
I strongly encourage availing of this most generous and Christian invitation. In fact, it might be good in the middle of the year to bring all the candidates together for a day. We do this after Confirmation for the Sending late in the year..
+William Slattery OFM
Archbishop of Pretoria