SACBC: eKhanya Vol 5



Catholic Information Service for Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland


Youth, Go and Make Disciples of the Nations.
The Bishop for the Youth, Thaddeus Xolelo Kumalo commissioned about 3500 youth from the dioceses of Durban metropolitan to respond to the call to make disciples in the spirit of the World Youth Day.  The youth from eight dioceses (Durban, Dundee, Eshowe, Ingwavuma, Kokstad, Mariannhill, Mthatha and Umzimkhulu) gathered at Kingsmead Sahara Cricket Stadium in Durban on the 21st September.  Bishop Kumalo was flanked by Bishops Graham Rose of Dundee, Stanislaw Dziuba OSPPE and thirty-five clergy including the diocesan youth chaplains.  There were about fifty vocation stands throughout the day.  The youth engaged in different activities including a drama about St John Bosco, tug of war and cultural musical items.

Family Leader’s Conference: Towards International Year of the Family
Leaders of Family Movements and diocesan family desks gathered on 28th September at Koinoina Conference Centre, Johannesburg to discuss family ministry and to plan for the Commemoration of the International Year of the Family (2014).  This meeting was hosted by the coordinator, Toni Rowland and graced by the presence of Bishop Jan de Groef M.Afr (chairman of the department of Evangelisation) and Sr Hermenegild Makoro CPS (SACBC Secretary General).  A number of diocesan teams and the following were represented; namely, Couples for Christ, Marriage Encounter, Retrouvaille, Theology of the Body- Foundation for the Person and the Family, Focolare, Alpha and Natural Family Planning.

The Bishops Lend a Helping Hand to St Augustine’s
The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has come in to assist St Augustine’s College as it struggles to keep afloat. The only Catholic university in South Africa is facing financial crisis.  Stakeholders, including the SACBC, are exploring various options for St Augustine’s viability and its continued existence.

Faith Bands: The Holy Father Wears It.
When Cardinal Wilfrid Napier OFM went for the recent conclave, he had “something” up his sleeve which no other cardinal knew about.  It was only when the Cardinals were personally greeting Pope Francis that Cardinal Napier revealed his secret: a “year of faith” wrist band.  A brainchild of Fr Desmond Royappen of St Joseph’s, Morningside, the faith bands are increasingly popular as a mark of being Catholic.  Many Catholics who work or go to school together have discovered each other through them.  They can be ordered from Fr Desmond at 031 303 1890 or


Sacred Heart Cathedral, Pretoria Turns 80
The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Pretoria celebrated 80 years on 24 September 2013.  The ceremony coincided with the 25th and 20th anniversaries of the Cathedral clergy, Fr Victor Phalana and Jonathan Shand SCP.   The Cathedral has grown from a small town parish to a complex mother-church of the archdiocese of Pretoria.  Being in the capital city, it provides valuable ministry and continually represents South African Church’s sentiments to other nations.  After the recent Westgate Mall massacre, the Cathedral invited, prayed with and expressed sympathy with the Kenyan people through the head of the Kenyan High Commission, Mr Patrick S Wamoto

Rural Parish Raises R100,000 For A Pilgrimage Centre.
Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Ngwanase handed over a cheque of R100,000 to Bishop Jose Ponce de Leon IMC for the improvement of the Our Lady of Ingwavuma pilgrimage centre.  One of the two Vicariates in our territory, Ingwavuma holds an annual pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady of Sorrows (15 September).  Increasing number of pilgrims have warranted bigger facilities.  According to Bishop Jose, they have resolved that the project will be their first major effort at financial self-reliance.



Seminary Professors Receive Papal Awards For Long Service
Frs Bonaventure Hinwood OFM, Hyacinth Ennis OFM, John Maneschg MCCJ and Monsignor Marc de Mueleneare will be honoured with Papal Awards for long service at St John Vianney Seminary, Pretoria.  The ceremony will take place during the Mass which will be presided over by the President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Stephen Brislin, at the seminary on the 6th November 2013.

Seminarians Get Education for Life.
Sixteen first-year theology students at St John Vianney Seminary, Pretoria followed an intense week-long “Education for Life” workshop.  This workshop is, according to the coordinator, Sr Victoria Sibisi FCSCJ, “an introspection program … preparing them to face challenges”.  The seminarians shared their personal challenges and expressed the wish that the program, which has been offered to them for the past four years, may continue.

Communications At Cedara.
Professor Sean-Patrick Lovett and Mr Godfrey Kampamba of Radio Vatican led twenty-five people in a communications workshop at St Joseph’s Theological Institute (SJTI), Cedara during Michaelmas holidays.  They explored the communications theory called “The Symbolic Way” of Fr Pierre Babin OMI, the founder of Centre for Research and Education in Communication (CERC).  One participant said that the workshop was “fun and interactive from the beginning to the last day … I recommend that others do take part in this communications workshop.”  The workshop was sponsored by CERC Avex France, Propaganda Fide, Misereor and Radio Vatican.

Year of Faith     
Cape Town Builds Three Churches For The Year of Faith
The Archdiocese of Cape Town is celebrating the Year of Faith by building churches for three of its poor communities.  The communities of Old Crossroads, Wallacedene and Kleinvlei will have church complexes to the estimated total value of R12m.  Different methods are employed in this fundraising including personal pledges, donations, “buy-a-brick, share-the-load” campaign and the special second collection envelope.  A Heritage Day Dinner Dance was held in September, a festival will be held on the 26th October and golf days will be held on 11th and 22nd November.  The clergy are also playing a role through the “Stewardship Challenge For Priests”.

Tzaneen Ushers In The Year of Hope
The diocese of Tzaneen used the Year of Faith to focus on catechesis as it also marks the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  The diocese organised a series of catechetical workshops for priests and lay catechists.
Bishop Joao Rodrigues said that the closure of the Year of Faith will usher in the Year of Hope in the diocese.  This hope is two-fold.  Firstly, it is the hope that by the end of 2014, Benedict Daswa will be proclaimed the venerable martyr ( ).  Secondly, it is the hope that more local people will respond to vocations to ministerial priesthood and religious life since Tzaneen is still largely served by clergy and religious from outside itself.

Oudtshoorn Celebrates Our Fundamental Heritage: Catholic Faith
Bishop Francesco (Frank) de Gouveiea, the clergy and the faithful of Oudtshoorn gathered at St Mary’s, George from 23rd-24th September to celebrate the closure of the Year of the Faith. The vigil started off with a lively youth Mass followed by a silent Light procession through the neighbourhood.  The rest of the night was spent on testimonies interspersed with praise and worship.

On Heritage day, proceedings began with the recitation of the Rosary and the chaplet of the Divine Mercy followed by the commemoration of the faithful departed.  Bishop Frank then presided over the Mass in which prayers for peace in Syria and for the victims of the attack at Westgate Mall of Kenya were offered.  The day concluded with a Eucharistic procession led by a marching band publicly witnessing Catholic faith in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

The Archdiocese of Pretoria will celebrate the closure of the Year of Faith on Sunday, 24th November at Pilditch Stadium. All parishes are expected to attend and present their testimonies of God’s work during this year.


SACBC Publishes A Book On Human Trafficking.
The office of Counter Trafficking in Human Persons has released a book “The Church and Human Trafficking” authored by the office’s coordinator, Sr Melanie O’Connor HF, with a foreword by Archbishop Buti Thlagale OMI.  The work of this office was lauded by the Refugees and Migrants Desk of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on their recent visit to South Africa.  They even asked Sr Melanie to share her office’s resources with them for the formulation of their programmes.  The book can be obtained at the Cluster Publications Pietermaritzburg and any Catholic bookshops.  For further information on the book and on the ministry of counter-human trafficking, please contact Sr Melanie at 012 323 6458 or

CPLO papers.
Below are papers recently published by the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office and the full texts can be found

  • Response to Minister Collins Shabane’s “Management Practices Assessment Tools” by Advocate Mike Pothier.
  • Response to “Crime Statistics” by Fr Peter John Pearson.
  • Briefing Paper No 330 “South Africa’s Peacekeeping Activities in Africa” by Lucy Dunderdale.
  • Briefing Paper No 331 “Human Dignity and Gender-Based Violence” by Lois Law.

A New Book on Fr Stan Brennan
David Glemmel has written a book “Colour Blind Faith: The Life of Fr Stan Brennan”.  Only 185 pages, the book covers “how one dogged Franciscan changed a community’s life under apartheid”.  The late Fr Stan changed and gave hope to many through his ministry at Reiger Park.  What started as a simple parish ministry ended up as a complex system to uplift the poor people holistically.  In the foreword, Archbishop William Slattery OFM says “this book, inspired by dear friends of Father Stan, will keep his memory alive more than any stone monument”.  Copies can be obtained from Radio Veritas at 011 663 4700.



Happy Patronal Feast to the Diocese of Witbank (St Therese of the Child Jesus)

Happy Patronal Feast to the Diocese of Dundee and the Vicariate of Francistown (St Francis of Assisi).

Happy 66th birthday to Bishop Pius Dlungwane of Mariannhill (13 October)

Happy 13th episcopal anniversary to Bishop Edward Risi OMI of Keimoes-Upington

Radio Veritas presents a series of interviews on “Exorcism, Healing and Deliverance” on Mondays (09h00-10h00) and Sundays (19h00-20h00) from 30 September to 4th November 2013.  For more information, please contact Sr Catherine Siyali HC at 072 855 2206 or

The Catholic Church in Southern Africa joins the world in celebrating the “Exposed Week”  (14th – 20th October 2013) with Sunday, the 13th October as Anti-Corruption Sunday.  For details, please visit or contact Justice and Peace Department at 012 323 6458 or

On the 20th October, we celebrated Mission Sunday.  Focus is not only on the collection but on fostering awareness of the missionary nature of the Church and the missionary vocation of all the faithful.


Please, remember to tune into Radio Veritas (AM 576, DSTv Audio 870 or on Thursdays (10-11am) and Sundays (9-10am) to learn about the projects of the departments, offices and associate bodies of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference.