1. Bishops Media Workshop: A Great Success.
17 bishops, 4 representatives of bishops and the SACBC General Secretariat celebrated Communications Sunday with a Media Workshop facilitated by a strong Vatican media team at Lumko, Benoni from 2nd-4th September.
The participants were taken through: media relations, media crisis management, spirituality of media, preparing press statements, holding press conferences, use of new media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) and management of effective websites.
The workshop was the initiative of the SACBC Office of Communications and Media and was funded by the Centre of Research and Education in Communication, Propaganda Fide and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The facilitators were: Bishop Moses Hamungole (Vatican Radio), Monsignor Janvier Yameogo (Pontifical Council of Social Communications) and Professor Sean Patrick Lovett (Vatican Radio/Gregorian University).
2. SACBC-Homeplan Cycles From KZN to Kenya for OVC Housing.
The SACBC Aids Office and the Dutch funding agency Homeplan will resume a 5000 km cycle tour from Pomeroy to Nairobi on 4th October 2014 for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) housing. The relationship between the two institutions has seen hundreds of orphan-headed families get decent housing in Pomeroy and other areas in the past five years. The cycle team includes Albert de Vries, Maarten van de Bert, Rob Manassen (from the Netherlands) and Johan Viljoen (SACBC Aids Office’s Programmes Manager). For further information and to donate please visit: www.homeplan.nl or www.cyclingforpomeroy.wordpress.com. All proceeds will go to the building of the houses for the OVC.
3. Lesotho Bishops Release A Statement on the Lesotho Political Situation.
Lesotho Catholic bishops have called the Basotho to pray and vigilant in the aftermath of the attempted coup and brewing political crisis in that country. In a statement released on the 4th September in Maseru, the bishops also exhorted the government, political leadership, disciplined forces and media houses to remember that they are the servant of “common good”. Finally, they appealed to the international community especially SADC. AU and Commonwealth to help “protect the rule of law, democracy, human rights, peace and stability” in Lesotho. For the rest of the statement, please visit www.sacbc.org.za
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, also prayed for Lesotho in his 7th September Sunday Angelus prayer.
4. Week of Prayer for the Middle East.
The Justice and Peace Commission has organised resources for the Week of Prayer for the Middle (21st-27th September) which is the South African Council of Churches’ initiative that the bishops resolved to support during their August plenary in Mariannhill.
These resources can be found at www.jandp.org.za
5. The Southern Cross Opens A Bureau in Gauteng.
The news editor of the Southern Cross, Stuart Graham, moved to an office at Khanya House on Monday, 8th September. This new arrangement will expand the content reach of the Southern Cross and the information flow with the Bishops’ Conference will be more expedient. Mr Graham can be reached at 083 233 1954.
6. Gauteng’s Department of Health To Provide Nazareth House With Medication.
The Department of Health (Gauteng Province) has signed a memorandum of understanding to provide anti-retroviral drugs and laboratory testing for Nazareth House’s “Clinic of Hope and Love”. According to Sr Alison Munroe of SACBC HIV/Aids Office, this new provision will go a long way to ensure sustainability of the Nazareth House clinic and hospice since the recent reallocation of US government funds which bore the burden of the in-and out-patient care of HIV patients.
7. South African Bishops in Rome for Training .
Three newly-ordained Bishops Zolile Mpambani SCJ of Kokstad, Jeremiah Masela of Polokwane and Vincent Zungu OFM of Port Elizabeth are joining other new bishops for a two-week training workshop in Rome. The aim of this workshop which started on Monday (8th September) is to familiarise the new bishops with the various dicasteries (departments) of the Vatican and other episcopal responsibilities.
8. Young Priests Gather To Review And Strategize.
Twenty-three priests from the dioceses of the Cape Metro gathered at St Luke’s Retreat Centre from 1st-11th September for the Annual Gathering of Recently Ordained Priests (AGROP). Both religious priest from Cape Town, Oudsthoorn, Aliwal North, Port Elizabeth, Queenstown were led by the Jesuit Institute on Spirited Leadership, Fr Victor Phalana on Pastoral Review and by the SACBC Office of Communications and Media assisted by Mariannhill Media on the use of Media for Evangelisation. They were also joined by the priests of Mthatha and Kokstad.
The Bloemfontein Metro will meet on 15th-19th at Fourteenstreams, Kimberly and the Pretoria Metro will meet from 6th-10th October at the Comboni Centre, Pretoria East.
9. SACBC’s New Release: The “Healing” DVD.
SACBC’s Culture Committee headed by Sr Phuthunywa Siyali HC has released a new DVD entitled “Come to me … that you may have life to the full”. This DVD featuring Frs Stuart Bate OMI, Victor Phalana, Don Bohe OMI, Alexander Beukes, Bafana Hlatshwayo CSsR and Sr Jennifer Alt provides themes on healing from the Bible, Church teaching and other resources, not as a final word, but as a humble effort towards a more enriched understanding of the ministry of healing.
Sr Phuthunywa reported that the Committee is putting together a manual to accompany the DVD so that it is not just an entertainment but a learning and a reflective moment for those who watch it. She can be reached at 012 323 6458 or by email at CSiyali@sacbc.org.za
10. Archbishop Thlagale: The New Grand Chancellor of St Joseph’s Theological Institute, CEDARA.
The board of St Joseph’s Theological Institute (Cedara) has appointed Archbishop Joseph Buti Thlagale OMI as its new Grand Chancellor. A former lecturer of the same institute, Archbishop Thlagale was born in Randfontein and was ordained a priest in 1976. Besides lecturing, he served in many Soweto parishes, National Justice and Peace Commission and was appointed the Secretary General of the Bishops’ Conference in 1995 until his appointment as Archbishop of Bloemfontein. He was translated to the see of Johannesburg in 2003. He will be installed during the graduation ceremony on 17th March 2015.
11. St Augustine’s College Head Resigns.
The President of the only Catholic University in Southern Africa, Dr (Sr) Madge Karecki, has announced her resignation on medical grounds. The former St John Vianney Seminary lecturer, Sr Madge took the reins at St Augustine’s in November 2013. Her greatest achievement during this short stint is the relaunch of St Augustine’s earlier this year through the financial assistance of the SACBC and the Knights of Da Gama.
12. The Jesuit Institute Gets A New Head.
The Jesuit Institute has announced the appointment of its new head: Fr Russell Pollitt. Fr Russell has a wealth of experience as pastor at Holy Trinity (Braamfontein), chaplain at Wits University and has just recently returned from a year’s sabbatical in the United States. Fr Russell is also a figure in the press and social media. He will officially take over from Mr Raymond Perrier on the annual Ignatian day (20 September) at McAuley House School in Parktown.
13. Upcoming Events.
- The SACBC Family Life Desk, Radio Veritas, Bosco Family and Marfam Publications will host a two-day “Family Conference and
- Fun Day” at Bosco Centre, Walkerville (JHB) from 20th-21st September 2014. For further enquiries, please contact Toni Rowland (082 552 1275).
- The Southern African Council of Priests (SACOP) will hold its Annual General Meeting from 22nd-26th September at St Luke’s Centre, Port Elizabeth. The AGM will review the results of the Priests’ Attitudinal Survey (Fr Hugh Lagan SPS), improving preaching skills (Fr Martin Bardenhost OP) and New Media (Fr S’milo Mngadi).
- The Archdiocese of Johannesburg will host a Missionary Congress at St Benedict’s School, Bedfordview (JHB) from 25th-26th October under the theme “Enlarge the Space of Your Tent – Every Christian Is A Missionary”. For further enquiries, please call Sr Glenda (078 214 9893) or Fr Michel (072 987 2990).
- Pope Francis announced that from 21st November 2014 to 2 February 2016, the whole Church will celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life. Ekhanya will give plans of the SACBC territory.