DITABA No.17 – August 2014

1. Personnel. We remember in prayer Deacon Leopeng who passed away in the parish of Marapyane during July. He was a very popular deacon and catechist who gave dedicated service to the Church. May he rest in peace.

We send our congratulations to Deacon Paul Melapi who celebrated his silver Jubilee of service at his home Church of St. George. Deacon Melapi is well-known to everybody, he is the receptionist at the Chancery and has ministered for 30 years in the Archdiocese. We congratulate him and ask God to bless him and his family.

We congratulate Fr. Vumile Nogemane our dedicated Franciscan Priest in Motla on his Jubilee of priesthood. We greatly appreciate his service and love for the poor.

We also Congratulate Brothers Leeto and Eboh Valentine, Franciscans, who made their final profession at St. Francis House of Studies on July the 22nd. Pac e bene.

Fr. Karabo Baloyi has been appointed the parish priest of Lyttleton.

Fr. Clement Thabiso Ledwaba at the seminary has kindly accepted the position of spiritual director of the Catholic Women’s League. He replaces Michael O’Leary who gave excellent service to the League for many years. We thank him.

We congratulate the Catholic Women’s League and its President Mrs. Veronica Malan Lebona who have been elected as the National Executive for all South Africa. They did excellent work in our Archdiocese and one is very confident that they will do like work throughout the country.

In the elections for a new archdiocesan committee, Mrs. Deline Hogg, from Lynnwood has been elected as Chairlady. We welcome her and assure her of our help. Fr. Victor Phalana will act as the Spiritual Director for the National Team.

We say a hundred thousand welcomes to Fr. Vincent Nkhabela who has come to work as parish priest of Marapyane Parish. Fr. Vincent is very well-known in the archdiocese.

Rene D’Oliviera has been the Chairperson of the Catholic Schools Office for many years. Before that she was the Principal of the Loreto School in Skinner Street. Rene is retiring after a lifetime of exemplary service to Catholic education, to the Church, and to thousands of people. We said goodbye to her at Santa Sophia on July 30 with a Mass and reception. It is difficult to adequately express our gratitude to Rene for such devoted service. She was a tireless worker and an enthusiast for Catholic education, committed to individual people, and an example to all who met her. Rene, we thank you. May God bless you and we do hope you continue to put your enormous talents at the service of the archdiocese. And we thank you for bringing our chaplains together and seeing that our 14 Catholic Schools were cared for.

Please continue to pray for the Beatification of Benedict Daswa, the martyr Catechist from the Diocese of Tzaneen whose cause for beatification is now being considered in Rome. He was an outstanding Catholic, a father of family, a principal of school, and a servant of people. The fact that he was martyred opposing witchcraft which at that time was destroying peoples’ lives should not make us ashamed but rather proud of this man.

2. About 700 altar servers had their retreats during July. Fr. Herman Mole had over 600 at Woord n- Aksie while Fr. Sethsedi gathered his servers in the North Eastern Deanery. Congratulations to the priests and thanks to the altar servers. Let us give attention to their spiritual formation so that they understand the Mass and the sacredness of the Catholic Liturgy. All our Churches should emphasise silence, reverence, respect, and a sense that we are in the presence of God when we are in the Church. Let us convey that to the children so that they are touched by the symbolism and the sacredness of Catholic prayer.

3. We now have a Catholic App called “Cherubfish”. Please help our young people to make contact with the diocese through this app. Also remember we have radio Veritas on Medium Wave 576. We also have a website www.archdioceseofpretoria.org.za

4. It is very heartening to see the response to Puleng from the Jesuit Institute who is training many in spiritual direction. She had a very successful year in 2013 with Fr. Amos and Fr. Isaac and their people in Tembisa. This year she has been warmly welcomed by Fr. Sefiri in Atteridgeville and the response of the people has been overwhelming. She now goes to Midrand to work with Fr. Tony Horgan and then on to SoShanguve.

5. Finance. Note first of all, that each person using the highways is expected to pay for his own E-Toll fees. It is difficult for us to receive bills for R25,000 and R35,000. We then have to send out the individual claims to the parishes. Please rectify these yourselves it’s causing us a lot of extra work and it is your responsibility. The only oother way we have of dealing with this is to deduct from your stipend from the Archdiocese

Some have not yet sent in their Lenten collections, please do so immediately. Also remember, from the AGM the presentation byDes Shiel on the necessity of paying medical, insurance and assessments. I wish to thank the parishes that they are now up-to-date on their assessments.

6. I wish to congratulate Fr. Isaac Ramakgolo for his work in promoting vocations! Seven fine young people presented themselves for interview for consideration to begin studies as seminarians for our archdiocese during June and July. Please continue to help Fr. Ramakgolo and to promote vocations. We also congratulate our students in the seminaries for their successful exams in June.

7. We congratulate the Little Company of Mary living in the Nazareth House Complex who have instituted a Novitiate here in Pretoria. They have 2 novices and we pray for them and wish them every blessing and pray many more vocations and also girls from our archdiocese will dedicate their lives to caring for the sick, the poor, and the needy. Girls, come forward!

8. Catechetical Department. Thanks to Fr. Geoffrey and his team who are encouraging our teachers in promoting catechesis throughout our diocese.

I think a lot more has to be done in this area. All priests have to take a hands-on approach here. No doubt there is a tremendous willingness in the laity the catechetical situation. But they need support. On the 26th of July, we had a meeting in Pretoria North where perhaps up to 500 catechism teachers and sponsors came for a day of reflection and for a workshop. There is a great opportunity with such good people to lay a good firm foundation for our faith. Remember very few children go to Catholic schools. Remember also there is little faith in many families. Remember also that many young people come for confirmation without being adequately prepared and leave, of course, soon afterwards. Confirmation involves personal decision on the part of young people to seek the Spirit of God and His operation.

9. Justice and Peace. Fr. Moatse and Mrs. Moerane and their team are organising on behalf of the whole Metropolitan area a workshop for Justice and Peace workers. They will also have a commissioning of our own archdiocesan Justice and Peace team at the Cathedral on the 27th September at 11 in the morning.

10. Congratulations to Sr. Rita, Fr. Bongi Sithole, and Deacon Molebane for the continual work with prisoners. Up to 30 people are being trained and installed now in prison visitation. But of course we need many more. If as a priest you find there are prisoners within reach it is a responsibility to see that they get some spiritual assistance.

11. Hospitals. Fr. Ramaema and Mrs. Mlilwane work diligently. We pray for Fr. Msomi who was not so well recently. But please do visit the hospitals in your area or see that they are visited. Most important is to invite Mrs. Mlilwane to your parish to train people in the art of visiting hospitals. This is very important and this is a task that can be done well by deacons and lay people.

12. Errol and Miggie Martinez continue their work at the Family Life Desk. Again there is a huge challenge facing us here. This is a very big archdiocese. It is full of young people. Young people after confirmation are given little formation in understanding of relationships and family life where they will live most of their lives. It is through their families that they will meet God or fail to meet God. It’s so important that there is a family unit in each diocese, that those preparing for marriage are properly formed. And we also need offer ongoing assistance because often it is simply a small matter that can make a huge difference for the success or a failure of a marriage. People need help. They no longer live in closely bonded communities where relatives and friends are close at hand when difficulties arise. The Church must step in to support people in married life. We have a lot to do in this area.

13. The Sacred Heart Sodality had their retreat on the 5th of July The deanery elections have now been completed during the month of August they will meet for the election of the Archdiocesan Executive. Those who have the right to vote in this election are the presidents, the secretaries and the treasurers of the deaneries.

14. The AGM of Priests. We had a very joyful and positive AGM of our priests on Tuesday, July 8 at Santa Sophia. We welcome to the new priest to the diocese, Fr. Pius Phala, Fr. Benedict Macata, Fr.Fideles SMA, Fr. Simon Bala, Consolata, Fr. Ernest Banda, Passionist, Fr. Vincent Capuchin, and of course our own Fr. Thokozani Masina all who were attending the first time.

Among the points which arose where a need for renewal of Presbyteral Council where a lot issues concerning priest’s daily life can be considered in more detail and with more time. Some asked for an archdiocesan ID card and celebret, this will be looked after. Priests also looked for a clearer Statement of the Diocesan Policy for the Catechesis in the diocese. We also need to have a clearer policy on liturgy in the diocese. A request was made that the diocesan priest of the archdiocese of Pretoria have their own meeting periodically. It was indicated that new missionaries to the archdiocese need to be introduced to the ethos and culture of our area. And the question of deacon training was also discussed and we heard that it will begin each January but there is a need for lecturers.

15. Laity Commission. On the 19th of July at Jolivet House the Sodalities of the archdiocese met to reflect on the life of their individual sodalities.
The Catholic Women’s league who have a 160 members in the archdiocese are elected a new archdiocesan executive because the old executive has become the National Executive for Southern Africa. Congratulations! There should be collection, 2nd collection in all churches on August the 17th to support the work of the CWL and their family life centre. They have 7 social workers and are helping 15,000 people every year.

The St. Anne’s have 1,500 members. They had their retreats by deanery because of their great numbers this year. They are going on Pilgrimage to Ngome to give thanks and some will attend the National Convention in White river this year. They are very busy completing the building of their centre at Winterveld. This centre will be opened for all Catholic organizations who want a place for a meeting.

The Baradi of St. Anne have not had an election yet but they also are growing in numbers in the archdiocese. They hope to have a meeting later in the year to agree and formulate a constitution for the country.

Catholic Women’s Association (CWA). They have about 1,200 and are growing very fast throughout the archdiocese. Their big day will be the 2nd of August, when they celebrate their Golden Jubilee. They also are involved developing a plot own by the archdiocese known as the “Dingaka”, which they want to make into a multipurpose centre to offer skills, protection and care for the community.

Kemolo, Immaculate Conception of Mary. Have about 425 members. They are the ones who will cater at Jonathan this year for the pilgrimage and are people devoted to encouraging our love for Mary the Mother of God and many works in the archdiocese.

St. Vincent de Paul have about a 140 members in the archdiocese. This sodality goes back for 200 years and came to Pretoria in 1903. They are now training their members and have a 3 year plan to focus their work on helping the poor and getting more young members.

Jaco, Young Adults Society. They fill a very important niche in Catholic Sodalitiesind that they care for those post confirmation and are now between the ages of 20 and 40. They have many outreaches and care for people in hospices. They plan a revival later this year. They also go on pilgrimage to Ngome.

The Knights have about 50 members and make a great contribution by their work for the poor.

Catholic Men’s Association have about 310 members. They are working on leadership plans and hope to have an elections soon.

The Choirs which started in 1962 have been a huge success nationally. Dr. Mohlahla one of the founder members is still very strong in this organization. 26 parishes are involved. They have a very active secretariate. Their concentration at the moment is on helping people and choirs to understand and live the liturgy more richly and deeply.

16. Catholic Media Expose which took place at Edenvale on Saturday, July 26th introduced all who came and a great number did come to the Catholic Media. There is no doubt but that the new social media is the way to communicate our faith today. It is a pity that only a few from our archdiocese attended. It was organized by Fr. Similo Mngadi who works are St. Marks and Khanya House and is secretary of the Commission for Communications in the SACBC. The Jesuit Institute played a large part as did all Catholic organisations like Southern Cross, Trefoil, the Radio Veritas who are involved in the communication ministry.

17. Congratulations to Fr. Victor and Fr. Shand in the hospitality they offer people from all over the continent who gather in the Cathedral for liturgy and communion. It was a great joy to attend the Zimbabwe Mass on Sunday, 14th of July. The Church was absolutely full of very devote Zimbabwean Catholics. We must make our brothers and sisters from all over Africa welcome in our parishes and reach out to them.

18. Sr. Christina, a Mercy Sister, is now engaged in compiling a list of our outreach programs and projects and services. She is still concentrating at the moment on rectifying the relationship between the archdiocese and those many groups,– many crèches found in our parishes. There are no legal agreements and this can lead to serious problems in the future. So please assist Sr. Christina in getting this rectified.

19. Chiro. It has been a desire of our archdiocese to re-establish Chiro in the 9 parishes where there are still some elements of the group. The archdiocese asked the committee composed of Deacon Tshepiso Matle, Mrs. Matshepo Peterson, and Mr. James Tshoke to do an investigation on the status of Chiro and to make recommendations. They have done so we need to follow up on this excellent report. We thank them.

20. Men’s Day of Prayer. Fr. Patrick Rakeketsi, Fr. Peter Switala, Mr Archie Maubane from Tembisa, and Errol Martinez will call a meeting of men’s groups to plan a day of prayer for men. This date will be announced later in the year. The role of men is of great importance to the Church and we need to offer assistance to men who face unemployment, who face labour difficulties, who face challenges as fathers of family and parents, and as children of God. So this is something to look forward to later in the year.

21. Something to consider for the future. Our Emeritus, Archbishop George Daniel, will be 50 years a priest this December. He will be 40 years a bishop early in the New Year. It is proposed that we unite these 2 celebrations in one special day remembering our Archbishop in the year 2015. The archbishop himself in consultation felt that if a collection is made that the finances be used for the establishment of new churches. And I appeal to parishes to help if new churches are to be built.

22. FORTH COMING EVENTS:

 DATE ACTIVITY
August 2 Catholic Women’s League Jubilee Mass at 8:30am with Archbishop.
Confirmation at Oukasie, BRITS
August 3 Confirmation at Garankuwa accompanied by the Bishop of Amsterdam
August 4-13 Bishop at Mariannhill at SACBC Plenary Session
August 15 Mass for the Feast at the Assumption School, Pretoria North
August 16 Confirmation at Moya Tembisa
Archbishop to preach on Mary and the Family in the Cathedral
August 17 Pilgrimage to Ha Jonathan. Theme: Mary, Mother of the Family
August 18 Neocatechumenate’s Installation at the Cathedral
 August 19 Meeting of the Consultors at the Santa Sophia
Finance meeting, Bishop’s House
 August 20 Bishop to Ireland. Return September 9
 September 2 Priests Meeting at Santa Sophia
 September 11 Neo-catechumenate induction at Eesterus
 September 12 Confirmation at CBC
 September 13 Confirmation in St. Mary’s Mamelodi
 September 14 Deanery Celebration of the Feast of the Holy Cross at Siyabuswa
 September 16 Evangelisation; Property Meetings, Jolivet House
 September 20 Archdiocesan Pastoral Council Elections at Santa Sophia
 September 21 Confirmation at St. Anne’s Atteridgeville
 September 23 Priests Presbyteral Council at Santa Sophia
Meeting of Religious at Bertoni Centre
 September 24 Laverna Convention
 September 27 Commissioning of Justice and Peace people at Cathedral 11am
Confirmation at Monavoni
 September 28 Zwavelpoort Confirmation
Deacons’ Day of Prayer and recollection with Archbishop 12 Noon.

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