DITABA No. 19 – 31 January 2014 – 5 April 2015

1. Congratulations to Bishop Victor Phalana on his consecration as Bishop of Klerksdorp. It was wonderful to see so many people from Pretoria supporting Fr. Victor by their attendance at the ceremony.
We congratulate Fr. Ndumiso Khumalo who was ordained priest, a Franciscan priest, on the 3rd of January at St. Pius X.

We welcome Fr. Federico of the Neo Catechumenate and also Bro. Dennis from Tanzania. And in a special way we welcome Fr. David-Maria Maduabuchi Okonkwo. He comes from Nigeria and will work with Fr. Augustine taking responsibility for Lethlabile.

2. On the 1st Tuesday of each month all the priests are invited to Santa Sophia for some input, reflection together, lunch and social.
Please remember to attend all your Deanery Meetings.

Remember now that the Deans are Fr. Joseph Molapo, Fr. Emile, Mgsr. Marc de Muelenaere, Fr. Patrick Rakeketsi, Fr. Sam Setshedi, and Fr. Obet Ramoipone. Make the deanery meeting a real personal exchange, a sign of friendship and of being co-workers in the work of the Lord.

3. At the Bishops’ Plenary Session Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Capetown and Bishop Zolile Mpambani SCJ of Kokstad were elected to represent our country at the Synod of Marriage and the Family in Rome later this year.
You will be receiving a questionnaire in the next few days inviting your input on all these important questions regarding marriage and the family. I ask the priests to please organise the people in such a fashion that all can respond to how the Church can strengthen married and family life and respond to people who are in difficulty in these situations.

4. We congratulate Fr.Thlaledi Ramakgolo, the Vocation Director, in encouraging 5 young men to begin their studies for the priesthood for the archdiocese. Please priests and people encourage young men to think seriously about priestly vocation and to bring them Fr. Thlaledi.
We also need to encourage, in this Year of the Religious Life, vocations to the Religious Life. The life of this archdiocese was dependent to an enormous extent on the works of Religious, Brothers and Sisters. They now have a great need of young vocations. But young people do not seem to think of religious life as a way of life for them. It is a beautiful life in imitation of the radical life of Jesus,
Each parish especially where religious are present are invited to have a special Sunday sometime during the year to celebrate religious life and to thank the religious for the work they have done.

5. Let us remember the help that is available to parishes within the diocese;

a. Remember Education for Life is essential for those preparing for Confirmation. Please contact Neo at the Chancery Office.

b. Remember also that the Neo Catechumenate Way with Dino and the team are very helpful and committed, they have done wonderful work in helping young people with retreats and also parishes with renewal. Here is an opportunity borrowed from the early Church, fully alive and exciting, that can really introduce our people to an encounter with Christ and to the Christian faith and Church.

c. Remember Ms Angie Mlilwane at the Health Desk who does excellent work caring for the sick from an office at Jolivet House. She is very willing to come to your parish and help those who would like to become hospital visitors. Please try and arrange this. We cannot leave Catholic people alone in hospital without a visit, without a prayer.

d. Remember the work being done the prisons by Sr. Rita Carey and also Fr. Sithole and Deacon Molebale.

6. An important celebration for the archdiocese when Archbishop Emeritus George Daniel will celebrate 50 years of priesthood and 40 years of Episcopacy. I invite you all to make a contribution to this day, a day of gratitude to God for the great service of Archbishop Daniel.

7. Remember the program for the Archdiocese during the course of this year to deepen our people’s faith is the RENEW PROGRAM. Deacon Tshepiso Matle and Sr. Laura at the Chancery will help you with all your inquiries. It is very essential that each parish train a parish core team. We hope to launch the full program of RENEW later this year. For that launching every parish must have a trained parish core team.

8. It has been a wonderful joy to see the response of the invitation to our people to become catechism teachers, catechists, in the parishes around the diocese. So far about 800 have volunteered. We thank God for such wonderful signs of faith, such wonderful fruits of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of so many excellent people. Fr. Geoffrey and his archdiocesan Catechetical team will be in contact with them. The calendar of the Catechetical Year is available with Fr. Geoffrey. Let each priest make sure that the coordinator, the catechist and himself in each parish are fully conversant with the program with the Catechetics. This is our number one priority.

9. Remember the workbook and a DVD dealing with the question of training teams for healing ministry. Again and again, we are conscious of the fact that people are seeking healing; there is a tremendous need for healing, people go elsewhere for healing. Here is a means now by which a parish can train a team to become ministers of healing. The workbook and DVD cost a R150. They are available with Sr. Siyali at the Khanya House.

10. The ongoing formation program for adults, ( in which some men would like to train as deacons), takes place one Saturday a month at Queenswood. The Directors are Fr. Patrick Rakeketsi and Fr. Mdluli from Meerhof.

Fr. Mdluli is the Spiritual Director of the Catholic Women’s Association (CWA).

11. Remember as Catholic people we want to improve the life of people everywhere. Please consult the Justice and Peace Commission of Fr. Moatshe, Ruth and Mrs. Moerane, they have an office also at the Chancery to arrange training for your people. They are quite a number of very active and intelligent involved in Justice and Peace work. Please facilitate their training and participation.

12. The Jesuit Institute which runs the Winter Theology School invite us to Bryanston Catholic Church for this year’s Winter Theology. The lecturer would be Fr. Nicholas King SJ, many know him from the Southern Cross and from his years as professor at St. John Vianney. The dates are from June 2 to 4, priests and people who wish to attend please avail of the opportunity. Last year I was the only one who attended from Pretoria.

13. The renewal course of 2 weeks, which is an excellent presentation and very relaxing takes place at Coolock just after Easter from the 12th to the 24th of April. We are willing to send one or two priests to this renewal.

14. It is necessary again at the beginning of the year to remind ourselves of the various protocols for the defense of children and adults in the case of accusation against Church personnel. Our people should know that they can contact Fr. Patrick Rakeketsi of Pretoria North if there are accusations. These then will have to be investigated and dealt with so that the truth may emerge and the children particularly maybe protected.

15. Remember in your prayers Fr. Simon Khamali CP who is the air force Chaplain and is now in duty in the very troubled Eastern Democratic Republic.

16. You remember Fr. Robert Stuart who passed during January in Boksburg. Fr. Robert is a Franciscan, a priest of this Archdiocese for many years and taught at the seminary and also at the St. Francis House of Studies.

17. A lot of work should be put into the pastoral care of families and marriage. It is absolutely essential that all hoping to get married are expected to attend a full course in marriage preparation with reflection and prayer.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

DATE ACTIVITY
Jan 31 Mandates at the Cathedral for the Eastern, Western and Central Deaneries. This will be led by the Archbishop.
Feb 1 A mandate for the Northwestern Deanery at St. Anne and St. Joachim.
The Northeast Deanery will be mandated by the Dean Fr. Sam Setshedi.
Sr. Claudette was promoted so richly the cause of martyr of Benedict Daswa will speak in the parishes around the Archdiocese.
Feb 3 At Santa Sophia, meeting with the Priests
Feb 4 Meeting of the Executive at Jolivet House
Feb 5 Radio Veritas. The Bishop speaks every Thursday on Radio Veritas from 4PM to 5:30PM.
Do let the people know it’s on Medium Wave 576.
Feb 7 The mandate for the Northern Deanery at Temba at 11AM
Feb 8 Launch of the Catechetical Year with the reception of children and registration at Siyabuswa.The opening Academic Mass for the University, Staff, and Students organised by Fr. Emmanuel, celebrated by Archbishop.
Feb 10 Meeting of the Religious Committee of the archdiocese at Jolivet House at 10AM.Visit to Makapanstaad with Fr. Ambrose of the Pallotine Fathers who will be working there.

Meeting with Pretoria North PPC at 7PM, regarding the building of a new church.

Feb 11 Remember this is a special World Day of Prayer for the Sick. It would be very wonderful if priests organise some ceremony for the sick on this day. It is the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes.The installation of the new Theologians at St. John Vianney Seminary. 5PM.
Feb 12 Radio Veritas. 576 Medium Wave, Bishop speaks at 4PM.
Feb 15 Confirmation at St. George at Saulsville.
Feb 17 Finance Committee at Jolivet House 4PM.
Feb 18 ASH WEDNESDAY
Feb 19 Radio Veritas, 4PM.
Feb 21 Mass for Communione e Liberatione at Santa SophiaMass for the ACTS students at TUT at Soshanguve, 6PM.
Feb 22 Confirmation at Sunnyside.
Feb 24 Santa Sophia Presbyteral Council meeting
Feb 25 Consultors’ Meeting, Santa Sophia
Feb 27 Mass for the Teachers Retreat at Assumption Convent in Pretoria North, 9AM
Mar 1 The Rite of Election for RCIA at St. Anne and Joachim, 9AM.Rite of Election at the Cathedral for the South, East, and Western Deaneries.
Mar 2-3 Metropolitan Meeting of the Bishops
Mar 3 Meeting of the Metropolitan Bishops with the Major Religious Superiors
Mar 4 Evangelisation Meeting at Santa SophiaBuilding Committee at Bishop’s House
Mar 6 Women’s Day of Prayer. For all women of the Archdiocese
Mar 8 The Rite of Election of RCIA at Stinkwater
Mar 10 Meeting of School Chaplains at Nazareth House
Mar 11 Religious Life Meeting at Benoni. Bishop with the LCCL
Mar 12 4PM, Radio VeritasNeo Catechumenate Retreat for Sunnyside Parish, 7PM
Mar 14 Meeting of the external Sisters of Handmaids of Christ the Priest at Santa Sophia, 10AM
Mar 15 Annual Academic Mass for the Johannesburg Universities UJ and WITS at 6PM.
Mar 17-20 Bishop away for Parish Mission at Kokstad Cathedral
Mar 20 Mass at the Loreto Convent School at the Cathedral
Mar 21 Thaba Tshwane celebration for Sr. Marita on her 40 years of her religious life, 4PM.
Mar 23-24 Meeting of the Tswana Pastoral Region in Gabarone
Mar 25 Department of Priests Meeting at St. John Vianney Seminary
Mar 29 PALM SUNDAY
Apr 1 Mass of the Oils (Chrism Mass) at the Cathedral, 10AM.
Apr 5 EASTER SUNDAY

 

FINANCE

1. Some money has come in from Advent Appeal. But please all monies that are sent to the Chancery should indicate which parish they come from and for what intention have they been taken up.

2. Remember now with Ash Wednesday immediately we are talking about the Lenten Appeal. Get the envelopes. Last year we came to R650, 000.00 which was a drop of about 6% of the previous year. Let’s make a great attempt this year to up our Lenten Appeal.

3. As you know we are dropping all subsidies to the parishes by 10% per year starting from this year.

4. Fr. Robert Mphiwe at the Chancery will deal with all Financial and transport questions. It is expected that parishes care for and provide for transport for their priests.

5. Please make sure that the assessments are paid, that your insurances are paid, and also that the medical plan is also paid.

6. Remember that you have to pay traffic fines. If you do not pay traffic fines your license disc will not be issued. Remember that most of the cars driven in the parishes in our archdiocese are under the name of the Archdiocese. So if someone does not pay a fine then nobody can get his license disc.

7. I am sending around a list of parish collections taken up last year and this year. You will notice that so many parishes have given nothing. Finance is a great headache for the archdiocese. We will start to visit the individual parishes and parish finance committees in the near future to alert the people to the situation.

The Plenary

The Bishops’ met at John Vianney’s this year from the 20th-27th of January.

1. They prepared for the marriage and family synod for this year. Questionnaires will be sent to all parishes to invite participation to all.

2. The Bishops are in the process of establishing a Conference Laity Commission. It will begin with election of one representative from each diocese who will meet in June this year and then lay down the statutes and the arrangements of the Laity Council.

3. The establishment of a Deacons’ Council has been furthered.

4. The provision of a Catholic Chapel at OR Tambo has been agreed upon.

5. We dealt at length about the question of seminary training. It was necessary to coordinate many of the programs in the different colleges of preparation. We are also constantly in need of staff. A lot of praise was expressed for the work done in the seminaries. We have to be careful though of the issue of drinking among students.

6. Next year 2016, will be the World Youth Congress and will take place in Poland. Those wishing to go should immediately contact Neo.

7. We would like to celebrate a mini Youth World Congress and is less expensive. It will take place in December at Bethlehem in the Free State. This is something that most of our youth can easily attend to.