Catholic Information Service for Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland
After a wait of two years, Pope Francis named Fr Vincent Zungu OFM bishop of Port Elizabeth. Fr Zungu hails from the diocese of Eshowe and, after his ordination in 1995, served in parishes, formation and Franciscan formation. At the time of his appointment, he was the member of the general Franciscan Council responsible for Africa. He will be ordained on 28th June at Port Elizabeth .
The Pretoria parish priest, Fr John Thlomola SCP of St Camillus – Hammanskraal, has been named bishop of Mohale’s Hoek, Lesotho. Born in Lesotho, Fr Thlomola joined Fr Andre Blais’ Secular Institute of Christ the Priest and was ordained a priest in 1998. He has been a parish priest, a cathedral administrator and the director-general of his Institute.
South African born, Mgr Leslie Smith, has been appointed auxiliary bishop of Portland, Origen in the USA. Mgr Smith was born in 1958 and grew up in Pietermaritzburg and after obtaining a degree in Law from the, then, University of Natal, joined the Brotherhood of the People of Praise in the United States. He was ordained a priest in 2001 and served in many pastoral and administrative roles, the last of which was as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia in the Archdiocese of Portland.
Archbishop Lawrence Henry, emeritus of Cape Town, was called to rest at 23h45 on Shrove Tuesday. He had been diagnosed with cancer a day before. Archbishop Henry was born in 1934. He attended the seminary in Urban College in Rome and was ordained a priest in 1962. He was named auxiliary bishop of Cape Town in 1987 and was installed archbishop in 1990. He retired in 2009 and was active right to the end. He will be buried on Saturday at Woltemade cemetery after the Funeral Mass at Good Hope centre, Cape Town at 10am.
Cardinal Napier At The Core of Vatican’s Financial Reform.
Pope Francis has appointed South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier OFM to the Council for the Economy. This Council which has a dicasterial character is made up of 8 Cardinals and 7 lay experts and will function as Vatican’s Finance Committee. It will work with the Secretariat for the Economy which sees to the daily running of the finances. Cardinal Napier’s appointment is a recognition of the South African church and his calibre as a leader and an administrator. Recently, he has pronounced healthy financial status of his own archdiocese to the pastoral council, parish priests and chairpersons of parish finance committees in a recent report and review meeting.
14 March – Episcopal Anniversary of Bishop Stanley Dziuba OSPPE (2009).
19 March – Episcopal Anniversary of Bishop Abel Gabuza (2011).
27 March – Episcopal anniversary of Bishops Emeriti, Hubert Bucher (1977) and Fritz Lobinger (1988)
28 March – Episcopal anniversary of Bishop Jan de Groef M.Afr (2009).
8 March – Cardinal Wilfrid Napier OFM.
8 March – Bishop Joao Rodrigues.
23 March – Bishop Abel Gabuza.
Diocesan Patronal Feasts
17 March – St Partrick: Kokstad and Kroonstad.
19 March – St Joseph, husband of Mary: Tzaneen and Manzini.
SACBC hosts SECAM: Politics and Governance
The Secretaries-General of the National and Regional Bishops’ Conferences are meeting in Willow View Conference Centre to discuss African politics in the light of African church documents. The theme of the Conference is “The Secretaries General of National and Regional Episcopal Conferences and their role in reconciliation processes, Good Governance, Common Good and Democratic Transitions in Africa, in light of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortations: Ecclesia in Africa and Africae Munus”. Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mgr Kevin Randall, the charge d’affaires at the Nunciature and Fr Sean O’Leary M.Afr of the Denis Hurley Peace Institute will address the conference.
Vatican: The Year of the Family Should Consider “Family Poverty”.
Focus on the family must necessarily include focus on poverty, said the joint statement of the Pontifical Council for the Family and Caritatis Internationalis. Co-signed by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia and Cardinal Andres Maradiaga, the statement stressed that the family as a nucleus of the society and the source of the value of sharing can go a long way in supporting efforts of poverty alleviation. They urged local churches to use the context of the upcoming Synod on the family as a platform to launch a practical social action to families in need especially, children, the elderly and women.
Aids: End Is In Sight
The Catholic Church has been hailed as a champion in addressing Aids through prevention, treatment and care during a consultation held under the auspices of Caritas International and UNAids from 24th-25th February in Rome. Sr Alison Munro OP of the Bishops’ Conference Aids Office and Yvonne Morgan of Catholic Health Care Association (Cathca) represented South Africa in the meeting. While anti-retroviral treatment has produced positive results, the cost of providing the treatment and sustaining it as people live longer remains a challenge.
Commenting on the recently-discovered antibody that could be the beginning of the end of Aids, Sr Munro said ““We welcome the news release of research by South African and US scientists showing that antibodies towards HIV developed by some patients may be effective in the production of a vaccine to kill strains of the virus. Further research and trials will be ongoing, and are to be welcomed.”
Local Family Matters
The family theme for the month of March is “Human Rights are Family Rights”. Many Church agencies can take up this message from the Charter of Family Rights of the Pontifical Council for the Family. Justice and Peace desks in parishes can consider how family rights are different from individual or human rights. Catechists and educators can explore the Charter of Family Rights or delve into Catholic Social Teaching and the Family. Families can discuss both the group rights of families and the rights of parents, children, the elderly, the disabled and the right to life of the unborn. All this can be a series of meaningful Lenten reflections for the home. A series of daily reflections are contained in the booklet “Thoughts for the Day for Families with God” available from Toni Rowland 082 552 1275.
Catholic Media Workers Meet in Rome.
300 Catholic media practitioners gathered in Terra Rosse, Rome to discuss how new media could be used to promote the culture of peace among the younger generations. This Congress of the World Catholic World Association of Communication, also known as Signis, was to be held in Beirut, Lebanon but had to be transferred due to security risks there. South African, Else Strivens, who single-handedly produces a Southern African quarterly, Trefoil, also attended the meeting.
“Anti-human Trafficking” Masses.
February was the month for Human Trafficking awareness and the 8th was the feast of St Bakhita who is the patroness of human trafficking victims. The Office of Counter-Trafficking In Persons organised a series of events to commemorate this. Sr Melanie preached a homily at the 8th-9th weekend Masses at St Francis Xavier, Martindale. She also organised a Mass at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Pretoria on the 23rd while Sr Clara Torres was doing the same for the Mamelodi parishes. Pope Francis has recently called human trafficking a sad atrocity of our age.
Briefing Paper 339: Xenophobia in South Africa: Six Years on by Lucy Dunderdale
Briefing Paper 340: Water in South Africa: Counting the Drops by Palesa Siphuma
Briefing Paper 341: Crisis in the Police Service by Mayibuye Magwaza
Briefing Paper 342: The Infrastructure Bill by Mayibuye Magwaza
CPLO Newsletter 2013.
They can be found on www.cplo.org.za