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August 31 to September 6, 2011

R5,50 (incl VAt RSA) Reg No. 1920/002058/06

Mujuru death splits the choir

New books reviewed

Page 3 Page 14-15

Web as a parish: Pastoral care on the Internet Page 8

No 4741

How does God punish criminals? Page 12

Four page WY D roun d-up

Pilgrims walk past a World Youth Day banner in central Madrid. More than a million young people attended various programmes during the six-day celebration which culminated with a Saturday night vigil and Sunday Mass with Pope Benedict attended by 1,4 million people. (Photo: Susana Vera, Reuters/CNS)

Soaked WYD pilgrims fell silent BY CiNDY WooDeN & GRetCheN CRoWe


OURS after firefighters doused overheated pilgrims with much-needed jets of water, the heavens added to their efforts by driving rain and wind on to the pilgrims camping at Cuatro Vientos airbase for the World Youth Day vigil and closing Mass. Pope Benedict saw that 1,4 million young people could be buffeted by gusty winds and drenched by a driving rain and still fall silently to their knees to adore the Eucharist. At the final Mass closing World Youth Day in Madrid, the pope challenged the Catholic pilgrims to take that faith, make it grow and share it with the world. Despite the hardships of getting to the air base in blistering heat and the downpour during the night-time vigil with the pope, hundreds of thousands of young people from around the world spent the night on the

open field, praying, singing and perhaps trying to snatch a few hours’ sleep. But they were up, ready and rowdy when the pope arrived for the morning Mass. The pope noticed. In his homily, he said, the vision of that sea of happy souls “fills my heart with joy”. In his homily at the Mass, Pope Benedict said faith is not about understanding a bunch of facts, “it is an ability to grasp the mystery of Christ’s person in all its depth”. Faith entails “a personal relationship with Christ, a surrender of our whole person, with all our understanding, will and feelings”. But the pope went even further, telling the young that a personal relationship with Jesus always must be transformed into action, service and love for others. In addition, it must be lived within the Church, the community of believers to whom Jesus entrusted his message and his mission of salvation. “We cannot follow Jesus on our own,” he

said. Those who try “approach the life of faith with the kind of individualism so prevalent today” risk not encountering the real Jesus or “following a counterfeit Jesus”, he said. The day before that pilgrims began arriving in the morning—some on foot, some via Metro, some by bus—at the airbase baking in the Spanish desert. Using sleeping bags and tarps, they staked their claims for sleeping space. Throughout the day, firefighters hosed off grateful crowds, and pilgrims clamoured for drinking water. As the sun lowered in the sky, anticipation began to build for the arrival of the pope, who entered Cuatro Vientos in his popemobile to shouts of joy and welcome. The storm arrived shortly after the pope did and caused a temporary pause in the proceedings. Once the skies cleared, however, eucharistic adoration continued as planned,

and pilgrims dropped to their knees in reverence in front of the Blessed Sacrament. A deep silence followed, during which pilgrims prayed quietly, either standing or kneeling on the ground. Cheers erupted again for the Holy Father as he left the stage. Throughout the week, there was much singing, chanting, chatting and laughter. But the mood changed dramatically on Friday as Pope Benedict and hundreds of thousands of young people turned their thoughts to suffering. The vividly painted, graphic statues that illustrated each station of Jesus’ passion and death were accompanied by meditations focused on individuals, groups and nations enduring serious suffering today. Many young people—even those blocks away, watching on giant screens—read along in special prayer books included in pilgrim backpacks. Continued on page 2


the Southern Cross, August 31 to September 6, 2011

Catechesis with the cardinal BY LeBo WA MAjAhe


OR those of us who were fortunate to have participated in it, World Youth Day was a spiritual journey, strengthening us in our faith and beliefs. Pilgrims were divided into groups of about 300, according to their language preferences, for catechesis sessions and interactions with bishops from around the world (some 800, a fifth of the world’s active bishops, were there). Various kinds of topics were dealt with, such as tradition, Scripture and the ethos of the Catholic Church. Our group was privileged to be led by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban who encouraged the youth to be missionaries to their peers and evangelise by sharing experiences of the WYD. A process of discernment followed, with pilgrims meditating and reflecting before the Blessed Sacrament. Cardinal Napier said that a positive way of remembering the experience of WYD is to know God is continuously working within us. He reminded pilgrims that God gave Jesus to all of them, to be part of them, so as to help and carry them through their difficulties in daily life.

Send us your WYD pics Were you at World Youth Day in Madrid? Did you take cool photos? Send your best WYD pics with a South African flavour. We will publish a collection of the best photos received in a future edition. Send your photos with a brief explanation of what is pictured to (subject line: WYD Pics) or to WYD Pics, The Southern Cross, PO Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000 by SePteMBeR 19.


SA voices from WYD BY CLAiRe MAthieSoN


OUTH AFRICAN pilgrims have described World Youth Day as “hot”—heat from the scorching temperatures the Spanish capital experienced, heat from the passion which the pilgrims produced, and a warmth from the Holy Spirit that many said they experienced. The first words national youth chaplain Fr Sammy Mabusela CSS posted on his Facebook account upon landing in the city responded to the weather. “We are in Madrid and it’s sizzling!” he said on the social networking site. At the end of WYD, it was still hot. Fr Simon Donnelly of Maryvale in Johannesburg blogged on his parish’s website (www.mary “It was a hot, hot afternoon that got hotter and hotter, until it was boiling! Pilgrims fainted, some had to be carted off, some were seriously dehydrated, some were just…overwhelmed.” But, as the priest had noted in an earlier post, the heat notwithstanding, “we are ready for this pilgrimage, and looking forward to hearing what the Holy Father has to say to the youth of the world”. And for many this was the highlight of the international event. Russell Williams, a seminarian at Francis Xavier Seminary in Cape Town said the encounters with Pope Benedict were a great experience. “My highlight was attending the seminarians’ Mass; we were able to have a close encounter with the Holy Father. Another great experience was also attending the vigil with the Holy Father. All the pilgrims gathered as one big family in the airbase; this was a great symbol of the universal Church,” he said.


he notion of the universal Church was evident during the event. Pilgrims from Sacred Heart parish in Port Elizabeth noted that while the language barrier could diminish participation in liturgies, they found it easy to bond with other pilgrims as the international gathering had something in common: Catholicism.

Alexis Pillay of Sacred heart parish in Port elizabeth on the stage at the Cuatro Vientos Aerodrome on which Pope Benedict led the World Youth Day vigil. he won a seat in a Facebook contest organised by the social networks team of WYD11. “Meeting other young people that share your faith is something that we should all be able to experience, as we can share ideas and experiences of our faith,” said Roxaan Cain, one of the Sacred Heart pilgrims. “There were so many people from different parts of the world, from places I’ve never heard of and who spoke in languages that were totally foreign to me,” she said. For others, it was the unifying experience of being in another country with fellow South African Catholics. Frank van Velzen, an expatriate from Pretoria working in Britain, said the highlight for him was singing the national anthem and the popular mining song “Shosholoza” with other South African pilgrims in the main public squares, and on the public transport in Madrid. The experience, he said, was an opportunity to embrace both the local and the universal Church. Fr Chris Townsend of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference said there was much of a “Catholic love-in” which he said was “awesome”. The event was a

great opportunity to learn about other cultures—even the tradition of the siesta. Fr Mabusela added that Madrid was burning with nearly “two million youth from all over the world united in faith! Awesome! We are one, holy, Catholic and apostolic!” Lebo Majahe of Johannesburg said the group from her archdiocese travelled with joy throughout the pilgrimage: “Singing, dancing, drum-playing and blowing vuvuzelas—doing it in a true South African way.”


he name “World Youth Day” suggests that this was an event only for the young, but Br Williams said it was more for the young at heart. “I was surprised about the amount of people who actually attended the event, and that youth extended to a very far age—as far as 70 years of age!” The international event did encounter objection from local protesters. Ms Majahe said that protesters were out in full force before the arrival of Pope Benedict, but police had the situation under

control “directing and protecting us”. While there were fears that certain events might have been cancelled, most pilgrims were treated with “grace” by attending priests and host families. Alexis Pillay of Port Elizabeth said the time in Madrid was “a grace-filled time for all present— especially those who have immersed themselves in the cultural and spiritual experience prepared for pilgrims! This was an opportunity to draw closer to Christ in His Church!” Mr Pillay was also lucky enough to have won stage seats for the papal Mass, which he described as “the best!” Fr Donnelly said the final Mass was the biggest he’d ever been to: “A million and a half young Catholics, stretching to every horizon, as far as our eyes could see, joined together in the most holy sacrifice of the altar.” While the Mass was temporarily disrupted by a storm and rain, Fr Donnelly said this simply made it more memorable. He was impressed to see how during the Mass the pilgrims prayed together in total silence, in front of the Blessed Sacrament. “A million or two people in total silence is an unbelievable experience. It was for many of us the best part of the whole evening. The youth of the world, surrounding the bishop of Rome, in silence, as together we prayed to the Eucharistic Lord, with all the petitions we brought with us. This is the Church! We are the Church!” Protests apart, the city of Madrid was a gracious host, said Mr Pillay. “God has truly blessed us with fantastic hosts and the week in Madrid was a really special encounter with all the fatigue, pains, hunger, tears, joys, hopes and aspirations. Deo gratias!” Fr Mabusela already started to look forward to the next World Youth Day, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, before he left Madrid. Posting on his Facebook page, he wrote: “Guess what? The next one is going to be in Brazil. We will start preparations as soon as I get home!”

Heat and storm at papal vigil Continued from page 1 Many of the young people sacrificed their time and comfort by arriving hours early and standing in the hot sun to stake out a place near the papal platform in Plaza de Cibeles or in front of one of the station-statues set up along a main street leading to the plaza. The meditations included prayers for the defence of human life, for peace in the Holy Land and other areas where there is conflict, for the victims of natural disasters, for the unemployed, for those who suffer racial discrimination or religious persecution, for those with alcohol or drug addictions, and for the victims of sexual abuse. A cross was carried from one station-statue to another by young people from countries or situations where there is suffering. They included Iraqis, immigrants, recovering drug addicts, unemployed and people from Rwanda and Burundi. The ninth station, Jesus is Stripped of His Garments, included a prayer for victims of sexual abuse. Addressing pilgrims at the welcome ceremony, the pope asked the young to be steadfast in faith, but also know that “in the face of our weaknesses which sometimes overwhelm us, we can rely on the mercy of the Lord who is always ready to

Lightning flashes behind pilgrims as they attend the World Youth Day prayer vigil led by Pope Benedict at the Cuatro Vientos airfield. Although drenched by a storm that upset organisers’ planning, the pilgrims cheered the pope and fell silent for eucharistic adoration (Photo: juan Medina, Reuters/CNS) help us again and who offers us pardon in the sacrament of penance.” He said some people “take it upon themselves to decide what is true or not, what is good and evil, what is just and unjust; who should live and who can be sacrificed in the interests of other preferences.” Such people claim to be living a life free from every constraint, but their lives have no

mooring and no clear horizon, he said: They are lost. World Youth Day, the 84year-old pope said, is an opportunity to know Christ better and “to make sure that, rooted in him, your enthusiasm and happiness, your desire to go further, to reach the heights, even God himself, always hold a sure future, because the fullness of life has already been placed within you”.

August 31 to September 6, 2011

R5,50 (incl VAt RSA) Reg No. 1920/002058/06

No 4741

Irish bishop sorry for abuse neglect


OLLOWING a government report that found that his diocese had failed to implement the Irish hierarchy’s child protection guidelines and had covered up allegations of clerical child abuse, retired Bishop John Magee of Cloyne reiterated his apology and offered to meet with the victims. “I feel there is nothing I can say now which will ease the pain and distress for victims,” said Bishop Magee, who served as personal secretary to three popes before being named to Cloyne. “I fully understand why they are angry—I let them down, by not fully implementing the guidelines which were available to me.” Bishop Magee said he also let down the priests of Cloyne. “So many priests do such good work and, by not addressing the issues which confronted me, I made their important work more difficult. I also want to apologise to the people of the diocese for not managing this important work more effectively.”—CNS

the sun rises as pilgrims prepare for the final Mass of World Youth Day at Cuatro Vientos airfield in Madrid. Pope Benedict has already announced the themes for the WYD in Rio de janeiro in 2013. (Photo: Paul haring, CNS)

Choir split over Mujuru death BY BRoNWeN DAChS

R Pope announces theme for World Youth Day 2013 BY CiNDY WooDeN


FTER reviewing his trip to Madrid for World Youth Day, Pope Benedict announced the themes he has chosen to guide the reflections of young Catholics on a diocesan level next year and in Rio de Janeiro in 2013. The 2012 theme, he said at his weekly general audience, will be, “Rejoice in the Lord Always”. The theme for the international gathering with the pope in Rio will be, “Go and Make Disciples of All Nations”. The pope’s audience with about 2 000 people gathered in the courtyard of the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo lasted just over 15 minutes. As is customary at the first general audience after a trip abroad, Pope Benedict dedicated his talk to a review of the meetings and experiences of his “extraordinary days” in Madrid. “It was a very moving Church event,” he said. “Almost 2 million young people from every continent joyfully lived the formidable experience of brotherhood, encounters with the Lord, sharing and growing in the faith. “I thank God for this precious gift, which gives hope for the future of the Church,” he said. Pope Benedict quickly reviewed the main point of each talk he gave in Madrid and described the atmosphere of each meeting. He said World Youth Day has proven to be a significant event in the lives of many young people who later pursue a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. “I am certain that in Madrid as well, the

Lord knocked on the doors of the hearts of many young people so that they would follow him with generosity in priestly ministry or in religious life.” Talking about the World Youth Day vigil, which was interrupted by a storm, the pope said the young people “weren’t frightened at all by the rain and the wind” and participated with great devotion and silence in eucharistic adoration. The pope described World Youth Day 2011 as a “stupendous manifestation of faith” and a special occasion for young Catholics “to reflect, dialogue, exchange positive experiences and, especially, to pray together, and to renew their commitment to living their lives rooted in Christ, the faithful friend”. Pope Benedict promised he would “continue to accompany them with prayers so they would remain faithful to the commitment they have made.”


eanwhile organisers of the Madrid WYD have explained the circumstances that led to only 100 000 of the 1,4 million at the closing Mass receiving Communion. Yago de la Cierva, director of World Youth Day Madrid, said the decision to cancel Communion for most Mass participants was reached “with the greatest pain”. After the wild storm at the vigil left six people injured—including two with broken legs—Spanish police collapsed the tents where most of the unconsecrated hosts for the next morning’s Mass were being kept. Without the hosts in the tents, organisers had 5 000 ciboriums holding 200 hosts each; these were consecrated by the pope at the

closing Mass and distributed to pilgrims in the section closest to the altar. There were long discussions with World Youth Day organisers and Vatican officials trying to find a solution. In the end, it just wasn’t possible logistically to locate another 1,5 million hosts. A couple of hours before the Mass, organisers announced that most of the people present would not be able to receive Communion; they asked the pilgrims to offer up that sacrifice for the pope’s intentions and told them they could receive Communion later in the day at any church in Madrid. The idea of “spiritual Communion”— inviting Jesus into one’s heart and soul when receiving the actual sacrament isn’t possible—is part of Catholic tradition. In the 1700s, St Alphonsus Liguori wrote a special prayer for spiritual communion: “My Jesus, I believe you are really here in the Blessed Sacrament. I love you more than anything in the world, and I hunger to receive you. But since I cannot receive Communion at this moment, feed my soul at least spiritually. I unite myself to you now as I do when I actually receive you.” Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi SJ said it would be a huge mistake to believe the Mass had no value for those who were unable to receive Communion. “Communion is always an extraordinary gift, and one must be in awe of being able to receive it. It is not something one can presume to have an absolute right to as if he’d bought a ticket for it by going to Mass. Someone who thinks that hasn’t understood who is in the consecrated host and what the Mass is,” the spokesman said.—CNS

UMOURS that arson killed General Solomon Mujuru, one of Zimbabwe’s main power brokers, were so rife that a church choir was split in its decision to sing at his funeral. Mr Mujuru, the former army commander who backed President Robert Mugabe to lead Zimbabwe during the war to end minority white rule, died in a fire at his farmhouse in mid- Solomon Mujuru, August. His Harare whose death has funeral drew tens caused controversy. of thousands of mourners. “Tension arose within the choir after someone spoke up about being unwilling to be at the funeral because he believed Mujuru was assassinated,” said Jesuit Father Oskar Wermter, a priest at St Peter’s church in the Harare township of Mbare. Mr Mujuru was one of Zimbabwe’s “very few genuine heroes”, Fr Wermter said, noting that the retired military chief who gave vital political support to his wife, Vice-President Joyce Mujuru, “was a popular figure beyond his own party”. His death has intensified political manoeuvrering within Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party. Police and forensic investigators are investigating the cause of the fire that killed Mujuru and razed his home about 50km south-west of Harare. “Most people here believe he was assassinated and that the fire was not an accident,” Fr Wermter said. He said the Church had left it up to individual members whether they would sing at the biggest state funeral in decades, “so the choir was not in full strength”.—CNS

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the Southern Cross, August 31 to September 6, 2011


Successful handover of Poor Clares joyfully home-based care project celebrate 800 years T T BY CLAiRe MAthieSoN


HE archdiocese of Durban has handed over a 24-year-old health project to non-profit organisations run by the six communities it serves. “The handover of the homebased care project by Sinosizo to Asiphile eSt James in Lamontville is the realisation of a vision that began to take shape over four years ago,” said Caroline Howlett, secretary of CADACC. Sinosizo had been operating since 1987 under the auspices of the Catholic Archdiocese of Durban Aids Care Commission (CADACC). Over the years it has developed valuable experience in providing home-based care to people living with HIV/Aids and psychosocial support to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). At one stage Sinosizo operated an antiretroviral centre in Groutville until this was successfully handed over to Stanger hospital in 2008. In 2007, the Sinosizo Management Committee decided that in order for the projects to be sustainable in the long-term they needed to be owned and managed by the communities in which they operated.

Seated (from left): Sr Bajabulile Bhengu (Asiphile eSt james parish nurse); Cardinal Wilfrid Napier; Veronica Ntombela (Asiphile eSt james chairperson). Standing (from left): Rosemary Mdladla (CADACC parish nurse coordinator); Gugu Miya (Asiphile eSt james caregiver); tapiwa Chikwani (Sinosizo acting programme manager). “The volunteers responded well to the vision and each area went about establishing its own community organisation. In practical terms this meant the projects needed to obtain an NPO number, constitute their own boards from members of the community, appoint and man-

New book reviews NGO funding


NEW book on funding for non-governmental organisations will be launched in Johannesburg on September 6. Margie Keeton will speak about her book, The Sustainability Challenge: Pressures and Opportunities for South African NGOs.

“The rapidly changing funding scene in the country provided the impetus for a group of the development agencies of the Catholic Church to undertake a formal review of the funding environment in South Africa, as well as the strategies that NGOs might consider to improve their sustain-

age their own staff and their own programme activities. Representatives were trained by Sinosizo and CADACC on various organisational development processes, for example, how to draw up a constitution, how to set up and maintain a board and so on,” Mrs Howlett said. Asiphile eSt James is the first NPO from the six areas to be established and to become fully independent. “What is special about the Asiphile eSt James project is that it is a combination of more than one model or programme,” Mrs Howlett explained. “It combines the homebased care project established by Sinosizo with the Parish Nurse project established by CADACC and the Catholic Health Care Association, and it enjoys the support of St James’ parish.” Asiphile eSt James operates from an office at St James parish. The board comprises community members from Lamontville. The project is headed by parish nurse Sr Bajabulile Bhengu and has 29 caregivers (six trained caregivers and 23 newly-trained volunteer caregivers). n To assist or fund the Asiphile eSt James project contact Bajabulile on 084 465 1454.

ability,” a press release said. The launch will take place at Tshikululu Social Investments in the Metropolitan Office Park in Parktown on September 6 at 17:30. n Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to the Catholic Institute of Education ( or fax 011 680 9628).

HE Poor Clare Capuchin sisters in South Africa are celebrating the 800th anniversary of the foundation of their order. The sisters have been in South Africa since 1932 when the first Poor Clare sisters came from Germany and founded a monastery in Melville, KwaZulu-Natal. The second monastery was founded in Swellendam in 1952. The Sisters in Kokstad are a more recent foundation that came from Zambia, said Sr Maria Guadalupe, abbess of the Swellendam monastery. The 42 Poor Clares in the country devote their time to prayer. “The monasteries in Swellendam and Melville have perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. We observe papal enclosure,” said Sr Guadalupe. The order is known for the production of altar breads, church linens and vestments. It depends a lot on the charity of people, which is “for us the manifestation of God’s Divine Providence,” said Sr Guadalupe. The sisters imitate the life of their founder who at the age of 18 left her home, family, wealth and nobility and dedicated her life to God. The Poor Clares have been living a life of poverty and encloistered obedience for 800 years internationally and 80 years in South Africa.

the Poor Clares have been in South Africa for 80 prayerful years. Pope Benedict has granted a plenary indulgence for the entire centenary year which started on April 16 and will end on August 11, 2012. “While observing the usual conditions established by the Church, the indulgence may be gained whenever the faithful visit a Poor Clare Monastery either on a pilgrimage or out of devotion,” said Sr Guadalupe. As part of the anniversary celebrations, the sisters have invited those interested to visit. “We would like to encourage people to visit our monasteries and learn more about Saint Clare and the life of the Poor Clares, as it is very much unknown because of our enclosed and hidden life. It is important also that the people of God know we are here for them to listen to their needs and to pray for them,” Sr Guadalupe said. n For more information contact 028 514 1319 or e-mail

Dominicans search for fire S StAFF RePoRteR

THE DIPLOMA THAT EMPOWERS YOU TO LEAD LIKE JESUS The future of the Church in the face of secularism will depend on exemplary and Christ-centred leadership. The Lead and Inspire School of Leadership in Pretoria is the only institution that offers an accredited and recognised Diploma in Christian Leadership. This qualification will develop in you skills and qualities that will change your life and mould you into an empowered disciple and apostle of Jesus. Register now and learn to lead like Jesus! Deadline for applications: 31 October 2011. For more information and application forms contact cell 082 665 8001• Phone and Fax: 012 361 1065 /012 348 0598.

OME 80 Dominican friars, sisters, and lay associates gathered at Koinonia in Durban to plot a way into the future on the theme “Passion for the Possible”. Duncan MacLaren, a Scottish lay Dominican presently teaching in Australia and involved with Burmese refugees, was the specially invited guest. He led the group in sharing about the mission and identity of Dominicans. “Duncan is the former secretary general of Caritas Internationalis and he helped the group wrestle with our world reality in the context of our call as preachers of justice and hope,” said Dominican Father Emil Blaser. The Master of the Dominican order, Fr Bruno Cadore, and his assistant for Africa, Fr Cletus Nwabuzo, were also present at the gathering. Fr Cadore presided and preached at the final Mass, explaining how his dream for his term as the order’s general is to develop happy Dominican fraternities. Fr Blaser said the indaba was positive and constructive: “The Dominicans moved towards the realisation that they could have a far greater impact on our world if they moved forward together and worked more closely with each other.” One of the main issues emerging from the conference was that of education. “Education; not just in schools traditionally run by Dominicans but education in the broadest sense of the word— embracing the social teachings of the Church, youth, xenophobia, our Dominican ethos wherever it is they work, and communication,” Fr Blaser said. Another visible theme of the

Duncan MacLaren, a Scottish lay Dominican was the guest of honour at a gathering of Dominicans at Koinonia in Durban.

gathering, where Dominicans from all over Southern Africa participated, was fire, the priest said. “The weekend was characterised by each Dominican searching for his or her inner fire and finding new ways in which this fire could be kindled.”


the Southern Cross, August 31 to September 6, 2011


Conference to be streamed worldwide T BY CLAiRe MAthieSoN

the Ursuline Sisters of the South African province, led by provincial superior Sr Mary Shange, came to the Schoenstatt Shrine in Cathcart, Queenstown diocese, for a Day of Recollection which was conducted by the shrine’s rector, Fr Matthias Nsamba. our Lady of Schoenstatt holds out three special graces to all who come in faith to her shrine: of being at home in the heart of jesus, of inner transformation, and of being an apostle in the service of the Church. (Photo: Sr jacky-Ann BürmeisterFortune iSSM).

HE Heritage Month conferences to be held in September in the archdiocese of Johannesburg will reach a larger audience than last year thanks to the internet. The conference, which is in its second year, will be accessible to those with Internet where the full day’s proceedings will be broadcast live and simultaneously via an online video streaming site Ustream. Organiser Heinz Wirz said the conference has proven very popular and will in the future be both broadcast online and held in a larger venue to accommodate the growing interest in the

Finding the focus of family ministry


REPORT on the Family Ministry Leaders Conference was held for the combined group of diocesan family teams and leaders of family movements. Thirty delegates from various dioceses and family life movements gathered at the Bosco Centre in Johannesburg for a day’s reflection and sharing. The aims of the day, facilitated by Christian Brother Michael Burke were: “What precisely is the focus of family ministry?”; “How can we work together to take the next needed step to respond to pressing family needs in our Church?”; “How can we give and receive more

support for our family ministries?” “Strengthening the living of Jesus’ message in the home as a light for all” was the agreed focus statement. Then began the work of determining the next steps: strengthen home relationships, with special attention to parenting and to mobilising males, and to support the bishops’ resolution to set up a Family Life Desk in every diocese and also encourage some form of family support in parishes. “These objectives are achievable,” said Toni Rowland of the SACBC’s Family Life Desk. “Not necessarily in the short-term, but already focusing on men and their

role in their families and collaborating as involved roleplayers in promoting and supporting a structure for family support at different Church levels promises positive outcomes,” she said. Archbishop William Slattery of Pretoria, chairman of the Department for Evangelisation under which the Family Life Desk falls, told the meeting: “You don’t all have to go out of your families to do the work of the Church. You, in caring for your own families, as husbands and fathers, mothers, wives, grandparents, siblings or any other caregivers are already being Church.”

international speakers. “Many schools are expressing their regret at not booking earlier to be part of the exciting day’s events, but they and many others countrywide—in fact worldwide—can participate by receiving the full day’s proceedings live,” said Dr Wirz. “Matt Hanley, a world renowned public health expert, will deliver a number of keynote addresses at this Heritage Month’s series of conferences,” said Dr Wirz. Mr Hanley, an American who holds a masters degree in public health, is also the author of a recent award winning book, Affirming Love, Avoiding Aids: What Africa can teach the West. He worked for Catholic Relief Services until 2008 and during that time travelled extensively throughout Africa. “He will be addressing more than 1 100 learners from Catholic Schools at this year’s 2nd annual ‘Reviewing the Challenges of Life&Love@Schools’ conference— this year themed ‘Bullying and Assault; Affirming Dignity and Respect’—on September 16,” Dr Wirz said. At the same conference US Catholic apologist Jason Evert will present an address titled “Romance Without Regret” to the learners. Learners will also be addressed by local child protection expert Luke Lamprecht on the subject of school bullying and assault. A young witness will also share her personal story with the youth before ending the day’s proceedings with Holy Mass to be concelebrated by Archbishop William Slattery of Pretoria. Mr Hanley will also deliver

Affirming Love, Avoiding Aids: What Africa can teach the West, written by Matt hanley, who will deliver the heritage Month conferences’ keynote addresses. keynote addresses to the third annual adult section of the Reviewing the Challenges of Life&Love@Schools conference this year, to be held at St Benedict’s College, Bedfordview. “This conference is specifically aimed for parents, teachers especially life orientation and religious instruction teachers, catechists and youth workers,” Dr Wirz said. The conference will be followed by an introduction seminar on Pope John Pauls II’s Theology of the Body, presented by a local expert Adrian d’Oliveira. n To stream the Life&Love @Schools conference visit: and for the Theology of the Body conference: -studio All relevant information, posters, conference programme and books can be downloaded from


the Southern Cross, August 31 to September 6, 2011


Fears rise over DRC poll R

ELIGIOUS leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo have expressed concern that November’s general elections could be marred by violence, and they called on the international community to ensure optimal security for people and ballots after the polls. “We fear turbulent, rather than peaceful elections,” said a statement signed by eight religious leaders, including Bishop Nicolas Djomo Lola of Tshumbe, president of the Catholic bishops’ conference. Other signatories included the legal representative of the Islamic community in the Congo and a broad range of Christian churches. The statement was signed by hand, on each of its 11 pages, by every signatory, underlining the broad support it has received. The elections are only the second general elections since independence in 1960; the last largely successful election was in 2006.

Earlier this year, Catholic bishops expressed concerns about political developments that could destabilise the country, including the ruling party’s hasty amendment of the constitution to eliminate a second round of elections, even in cases where a first round does not produce an outright majority. In the August statement, the religious leaders said that their fears of disturbances have led them to speak out in an effort to prevent violence. “To be silent now would be just to be accomplices of possible disturbances and an ensuing catastrophe for the country,” the statement read. “Our intervention is in the spirit of avoiding unhappy outcomes that will profit no one but only lead to a spiral of violence.” The religious leaders said political officials have a responsibility to ensure that their candidates respect electoral laws and avoid fraud and corruption. They called

on candidates to exercise “wisdom, understanding, peace, self-control and tolerance.” “Peaceful elections depend on the capacity of candidates to interact with their adversaries,” they said. They must avoid “insults, lies, personal attacks, intrigue, manipulation and any other practices that could fuel local or national tensions”. Candidates must also remember that their words and acts have a strong influence on their supporters, and they have a responsibility to exercise restraint. “We must abandon the notion that others have a monopoly on evil, and ourselves, a monopoly on good,” the religious leaders said. They suggest that, before the end of the campaign, candidates make a pledge to respect the elections results. In provincial elections, observers and the UN peacekeeping mission noted a tendency of candidates to offer supporters Tshirts and free meals, in a country

A girl stands outside a door in the village of Mweso in the eastern DRC. Religious leaders in the country have expressed concern over the DRC’s general elections scheduled for November (Photo: Finbarr o’Reilly, Reuters/CNS) where a large percentage of the population suffers from hunger and poverty. Some candidates have even been known to give out money to their supporters or promise them jobs after their election. Each Congolese citizen should

vote with his or her “conscience and soul, with the highest sense of accountability, comparing and evaluating the candidates on the basis of the programmes they propose, and electing the one who proposes the best projects,” said the religious leaders. —CNS

SSPX leader called for Vatican talks Pope to proclaim a new BY CARoL GLAtz


HE head of the group of traditionalist Catholics founded by excommunicated Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre will meet with the Vatican on September 14 to continue a series of doctrinal discussions. Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) will meet with Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The superior of the society in Germany, Fr Franz Schmidberger, said on the group’s website that the meeting would discuss the results of doctrinal dialogues from the past two years. The talks were launched in late 2009 in an effort by Pope Benedict to repair a 21-year break with the society. The pope said that full communion for the

group’s members would depend on “true recognition of the magisterium and the authority of the pope and of the Second Vatican Council”. However, Bishop Fellay has said the society has been using the talks as a means to show the Vatican the contradictions between the Church’s traditional teachings and its practices since Vatican II. The dialogue with the Vatican was not a search for compromise but “a question of faith”, Bishop Fellay said in February. Fr Davide Pagliarani, SSPX superior in Italy, said “the canonical situation in which the society presently finds itself is [the] result of its resistance to the errors that infest the Church”. “Consequently, the possibility of the society arriving at a regular canonical situation does not depend on us, but on the hierar-

chy’s acceptance of the contribution that tradition can make to the restoration of the Church,” he said in an interview published in English on the SSPX’s website. Pope Benedict placed the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” under the authority of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in July 2009. He said the commission would be responsible for talks aimed at restoring “full communion” with members of the SSPX. The Vatican said the talks have focused on the concept of tradition, liturgical reform, interpretation of the Second Vatican Council in continuity with Catholic doctrinal tradition, church unity, ecumenism, the relationship between Christianity and non-Christian religions, and religious freedom.— CNS

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Doctor of the Church BY CiNDY WooDeN


ELLING seminarians they must prepare seriously for the priesthood by devoting themselves to becoming saints, Pope Benedict gave them a role model: St John of Avila, who will become the Catholic Church’s 34th Doctor of the Church. At the end of a Mass with some 6 000 seminarians from around the world, the pope announced he soon would add the 16th-century Spanish saint to the short list of saints formally recognised for making a big mark on Catholic theology through their teaching and writing. His remarks were greeted with sustained applause in Madrid’s Almudena cathedral. Pope Benedict entrusted all the seminarians, as well as priests and bishops, to the intercession of St John, a master of spirituality and a renowned preacher. “As they persevere in the same faith which he taught, may they model their hearts on that of Jesus Christ the good shepherd,” the pope prayed. Pope Benedict did not say when he would make the formal proclamation, and while the announcement was a bit of a surprise, it was almost a replay of how the news came out the last time a pope declared a Doctor of the Church. The 33rd saint honoured with the title was St Thérèse of Lisieux. It was during World Youth Day in Paris in 1997 that Bl John Paul II made the announcement; the formal ceremony was held at the Vatican two months later. The Doctors of the Church are all saints and come from both the Eastern and Western Church traditions.

St john of Avila will become the Catholic Church’s 34th Doctor of the Church. he is depicted in the 18thcentury painting “the Blessed john of Avila” by Pierre hubert Subleyras. (Courtesy of Art Resource in New York via CNS) They include early Church Fathers such as Ss Jerome, John Chrysostom and Augustine, as well as major theologians such as Ss Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure and John of the Cross. In addition to St Thérèse of Lisieux, the women Doctors of the Church are Ss Catherine of Siena and Teresa of Avila. During the Mass for seminarians attending World Youth Day, Pope Benedict said the young men preparing for priesthood are “proof of how Christ continues to call young disciples and to make them his apostles.”—CNS

Holy Cross Sisters’ School Bellville, Cape Town an english, independent, Catholic co-ed school invites applications for the following post:

intermediate Phase Teacher – Grade 5 / 6 Requirements: Start jan 2012 Must be of Catholic / Christian faith Must teach the full range of subjects, including Re. A willingness to engage in extramural activities / school choir. Must be SACe registered. CLoSiNG DAte: 09 SePteMBeR 2011 E-mail a concise Cv containing two contactable referees to Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


the Southern Cross, August 31 to September 6, 2011


Let’s see some ID: Shaping Catholics now BY CARoL GLAtz


NEW Vatican council is tackling an old task: bringing God to the world in new

ways. The Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation is just a year old, but “it is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council”, said the council’s president, Archbishop Rino Fisichella. “The dicastery doesn’t spring from nothing. It springs from groundwork laid the last 50 years—preparation for making a new impact, a new culture, a new way to present the Church to the world,” he said. Even though the term “new evangelisation” doesn’t appear in conciliar texts, he said, the concept is well apparent and gets further fleshed out in Pope Paul VI’s 1975 apostolic exhortation on evangelisation, Evangelii Nuntiandi. New evangelisation stems from the particular challenges facing the Church in bringing the Gospel to those already familiar with it. “It’s easier to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who have never heard of him,” said the Italian archbishop. “The challenge is much more difficult, much bigger, to have to talk about the faith, the need for faith in Jesus Christ to people who presume to have the faith or to those who have left [the Church] for reasons including the behaviour of people of the Church.” The test is knowing “how to reach everybody by means of a credible style of life as well”. Pope Benedict has been determined to confront the increasing secularism of the modern world. A concrete sign of that is the new council, which he established in June 2010. Just a few months later, he announced that “new evangelisation” would be the theme for the 2012 world Synod of Bishops.


he pope’s missionary prayer for August asked that Christians in traditionally Christian countries “rediscover the freshness and enthusiasm of their faith”. To spearhead this renewed mission, the pope chose a leading theological adviser to the Vatican. Archbishop Fisichella taught fun-

Archbishop Rinio Fisichella damental theology for 20 years at the Pontifical Gregorian University and was rector of Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University before he served as president of the Pontifical Academy for Life for two years. His books and lectures have been about how to present Christianity to today’s world, especially in using language that makes the truth of the Gospel easily understood in today’s cultures, he said. However, after years of developing his ideas as a professor, “now I have to be able to put them into practice.” He has built a simple, twopronged plan of attack: help build identity so Catholics learn what it means to be a Christian today, and re-instill a sense of belonging to the Church. Many Christians lack basic knowledge of the faith, he said, and one of the reasons is that catechetical instruction typically stops after the sacrament of confirmation in the teen years. “Faith also needs to be studied,” even as an adult, he said, so people know not only what the faith teaches, but how to live that faith in today’s world with today’s challenges. “If someone doesn’t know the fundamental tenets of the faith, it’s difficult for that person to know who he is” and what being Catholic means, he said.


uilding community and a sense of belonging to the Church are also tied to identity, since “there can be no full Christian identity if it’s not in reference to the community, and there can’t be a community made up of people who are weak, lacking identity”, the archbishop said. “So we need to know the faith, know who we are in the world and

know our tradition in our culture to build up a Catholic identity,” which is also built up in relationship with other Catholics in both good times and bad, he said. Homilies are also an important way to evangelise, he said, especially when they are delivered during a Mass that may be attended by many lapsed or non-Catholics, such as weddings, baptisms and funerals. “If the priest is able to give a message that is both intelligent and able to touch people’s hearts, it is a very important example of new evangelisation”, the archbishop said. The council will launch a pilot project called “metropolis mission” during Lent 2012 in 12 different European cities “because the Lord sent 12 in the beginning” to evangelise, he said. The bishops of the cities will be united around implementing the same initiative in ways that are unique to the dioceses. The Lenten programmes will include putting the spotlight on the sacrament of reconciliation because “new evangelisation demands knowing the truth about oneself”, he said. This truth is found “where you feel welcomed, loved, and forgiven”, and it’s the sacrament of confession where people come face to face with their sins and contradictions and yet experience God’s mercy and love, Archbishop Fisichella said.—CNS

A child stands in front of a war-devastated cathedral in the old section of Mogadishu, Somalia. Some 12,4 million people in the horn of Africa— including Somalia, Kenya, ethiopia and Djibouti—are affected by the worst drought in decades, according to the United Nations. (Photo: Feisal omar, Reuters/CNS)

Death pen for priest killers BY WALteR CheRUiYot


COURT in Kericho, northwestern Kenya, has sentenced three people to death for the 2009 murder of Irish Kiltegan Father Jeremiah “Jerry” Roche (pictured). The three men—Isaac Kipng’etich Bett, Jackson Cheruiyot Koskei and Joshua Maranga Makori—were convicted of robbery with violence against the priest, who was killed in his parish in Keongo. During their investigation, police discovered that a laptop computer, two cellphones and other electronic devices valued at

more than R22 000 were stolen during the crime. Chief magistrate Hedwig Ong’undi sentenced two other men to 14 years in prison with hard labour for possession of stolen property and acquitted four other suspects who were facing similar charges. Father Roche, 68, a member of the St Patrick Missionary Society, had ministered in Kenya for 41 years and was involved in numerous projects, including the construction of churches and schools in the Kericho diocese. —CNS


the Southern Cross, August 31 to September 6, 2011


The Internet: Instant missionary work Much of the Church’s pastoral work now takes place on the Internet. It can be said that the social media are a whole new mission territory, as CLAiRe MAthieSoN reports.


EWS, weather, historical facts and even medical symptoms—contemporary culture looks to the Internet for answers traditionally available only from experts. The Internet is quick, easy, does not have operation hours or geographical borders. As people start to look for answers in technology the Church has spread its pastoral work to the Web in order to ensure the right answers from the right people are available. For Fr Stefan Hippler pastoral work online is as important as face-to-face interaction. “After 25 years in the priestly service, the amount of people I know and the number who know and feel close to me as a priest has grown.” Fr Hippler said that over the years, personal visits, telephone calls and e-mail have been part of his pastoral work. However, in his ministry “to stay in contact via the phone or e-mail [alone] is simply not an option anymore.” When he was the chaplain to the Germanspeaking Catholic Community in Cape Town, he entered the HIV/Aids ministry by cofounding HOPE Cape Town. It is in the area of HIV/Aids that he now primarily exercises his pastoral apostolate. The German-born priest take his ministry online. “For HOPE Cape Town I use an interactive website (—constantly

updated—a newsletter four times a year, and YouTube. In my capacity as priest I use Facebook, a blog, Twitter, WhatsApp and Blackberry Chat on my cellphone, and I write for a German Catholic Internet news portal called” As a result, Fr Hippler interacts with far more people than those that see him in church. “I reach thousands of people all over the world, be it friends or friends of friends who stumble upon a remark or note and engage with me,” Fr Hippler said, adding that the Internet has kept his friendships going. Social media can also be used in other capacities. “For those who are handicapped— in the sense that they cannot move any more freely—it is a great way to connect to the world, even to the world of the parish,” Fr Hippler suggested. The likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can also be helpful to charities and supporters “to connect in a great way, showing the ties we have with each other as brothers and sisters”, Fr Hippler said. “I think social media are a blessing, a gift of God—but one has also to use it, as every gift, wisely,” the HOPE Cape Town chairman said. Bishop Stanislaw Dziuba of Umzimkulu in largely rural KwaZulu-Natal said his diocese’s website was created to share the life of the Church of Umzimkulu with the faithful of his diocese and far beyond, as well as the resource of material for the pastoral and formation work of the Church. The Polish-born bishop said contemporary communuication allows one to interact with others with whom one cannot have direct contact. “Wisely used, it could become the forum of discussion and sharing on the issues of faith, guidance of young people, as well as to reach those who are ordinarily not coming

A WYD pilgrim with a smartphone and a t-shirt that references Facebook. Many young Catholics reach out to priests on social networking sites—to such an extent that some priests in South Africa say that much of their pastoral activity takes place on the internet. to the church but are searching for the meaning in their lives and values on which they could build up their future,” he said. Fr Hippler said the Internet can be a wonderful tool to connect with young people and to “preach the Gospel in a modern way and also to ask youngsters to express their faith in modern ways”. The benefit of sharing in real time gives one the feeling of inclusion and involvement. Likewise, Bishop Dziuba said the Internet is simply the “reality of today’s life and more and more people have access to the Internet—especially young people.” “The Internet and Facebook allow for a quick connection, be it about a problem, an

Forthcoming Activities on Media Literacy

Books & Media Centre

As a response to the Message of Benedict XVI for the World Communication Day, the Pauline Cultural Centre has organized the following activities during the month of October 2011.

Wednesday 5 October Morning:

Talk to the Priests of Johannesburg at Benoni Center from 9h00 to 12h00 followed by lunch Topic: Theology and Spirituality of Communication Evening: Public Lecture at St. Augustine College of South Africa - 19h00 to 20h30 Topic: Theology and Spirituality of Communication

Thursday 6 October Evening Lecture: in Victory Park Parish - Topic: Influence of Digital Culture on Faith Formation Time: 18h00 to 19h00

update on a life situation, a request for prayer, or the sharing of something important,” Fr Hippler said. “For me it is an instant way of missionary work.” There are many scenarios where a priest can minister on-line in concrete ways, he said. “Hearing about problems, spending time in chat programmes to discuss problems—that is a way of doing pastoral work. I’m fascinated by the response I sometimes get from people I don’t know personally—a person dealing with HIV and having a calling to priesthood, or a young man addicted to tik [methamphetamines] who needs help, or whatever.” Fr Hippler said on the same social sites he can connect people with one another. “Sometimes I am just the bridge in bringing people together—no country boundaries to observe”. Despite Bishop Dziuba leading a relatively poor diocese, he stressed the importance of a good website so as to inform and empower. “The website of a diocese or a parish is also the resource within the diocese for communication and contact details of the institutions or individuals who can provide the support and service to others concerning the issues of the Church.” The bishop said his regularly updated and information-rich website represents a forum for the interaction and discussion in the diocese or parish on the issues of “faith as well as sharing the achievements and expressing the encouragement for the efforts of evangelisation by different members of Christian communities or associations”. Fr Hippler said the positive and regular use of the Internet will see the same returns. “I can only encourage everybody to take the social media seriously as a tool to grow in hope, love and faith; to proclaim the Gospel, and to connect as brothers and sisters in Christ with all people of good will.”

Saturday 8 October Topic: Hope & Joy in films - It will be part of a full day activity organized by the Jesuits Institute Venue: Sacred Heart College - Observatory, Johannesburg Sunday 9 October: One-day Workshop for youth at the Pauline Cultural Centre - Kensington Topic: Youth Ministry through the Digital Era - from 9h00 to 16h30 Thursday 13 October: Talks at St. Benedict’s College - Bedfordview, Johannesburg Morning: Popular Culture, Music and Advertising for Grade 10 group Afternoon: Influence of Digital Culture on Faith Formation for Teachers Tuesday 18 October: Workshop for Johannesburg Teachers - from 8h30 to 16h00 Topic: Theology and Spirituality of Communication and Influence of Digital Culture on Faith Formation Venue: Pauline Cultural Center - 142 Eleventh Avenue (Cnr Queen Street) - Kensington Wednesday 19 October: Workshop for Pretoria Teachers - from 8h30 to 16h00pm Topic: Theology and Spirituality of Communication and Influence of Digital Culture on Faith Formation Venue: Pauline Cultural Centre - 142 Eleventh Avenue (Cnr Queen Street) - Kensington

The speaker: sr. Rose Pacatte, Daughter of St. Paul

Sr. Rose, Med in Media Studies, is the Director of the Pauline Centre for Media Studies in Culver City, CA, USA. She is a noted national and international media literacy specialist and is an award-winning the film/TV columnist for St. Anthony Messenger and the National Catholic Reporter and contributes to periodicals and journals on Media Literacy Education, Spirituality, Theology and Catechesis. Sr. Rose has served on the Catholic and ecumenical juries of the Venice, Berlin, Locarno and Newport Beach film festivals. She is the co-author of the award-winning Lights, Camera, Faith series with Peter Malone, MSH, and with Gretchen Hailer, RSHM, is the co-editor of Media Mindfulness: Educating Teens about Faith and Media. For further information contact: sr. Christiana - Tel: 011 622 5189 - email:

ArchdiocesanNews Making known the good work of the Church in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg Chancery +27 (011) 402-6400

CATHOLIC LITURGICAL ARTS Our new physical address is 22A Valley Road Robin Hills Randburg 2194 Tel/Fax 011 782 3135


the Southern Cross, August 31 to September 6, 2011


Many ways to spread the Word South Africa’s oldest Catholic printing press still produces evangelising media, but now also incorporates the new means of communications offered by the Internet, as thANDi BoSMAN discovers.

Grace & Truth

a journal of Catholic reflection for Southern Africa

Private Bag 6004, Hilton 3245, South Africa Tel: 033 343 5932 or 033 5920, Fax 033 343 1232 E-mail: Managing editor, Subs:


OUNDED 129 years ago, the Mariannhill Mission Press is the largest and longest-running Catholic printing press in South Africa. Abbot Francis Pfanner, founder of the Congregation of Mariannhill Missionaries, brought a hand press to Africa and used it to inform the people in Europe about mission work in Africa and to produce faithbuilding media for the local people. In this way, the Mariannhill Press has played a key role in the evangelising mission of the Church in South Africa. The Congregation of Mariannhill Missionaries still owns Mariannhill Press. “The Press was to become a production powerhouse, printing literally millions of books that would set souls on fire for the love of God,” said Rob Riedlinger, the managing member at Mariannhill Mission Press. As a means for evangelisation, many Catholic books were translated into Zulu and distributed to people. “Abbot Francis was a man who instinctively understood the power of the media. Despite the silence of the Trappists [the order to which he belonged when he came to South Africa], he was a natural and prolific communicator,” said Mr Riedlinger. Today Mariannhill Mission Press sees itself as a “tool to reflect the light of Christ” to those who need it most, Mr Riedlinger said. Mariannhill Mission Press prints a range of Catholic materials, from catechetical work to liturgical books. Mariannhill Press is not only a printing press; its staff assists in conceptualisation, design, implementation and distribution. The Press, according to Mr Riedlinger, blends traditional print with new media technology and technique which in the end presents effective and professional publications to their

the staff of Marianhill Mission Press. Rob Riedlinger, managing member, is pictured centre front. clients. “We are creative, energetic and passionate,” he added. One of the ongoing projects by Mariannhill Media, a subdivision of Mariannhill Mission Press, is the design of websites. A few of the places they have designed websites for are Emaus Heritage Centre, Wood Artist, Catholic Youth SA, Catholic Bible Foundation, Mariannhill Monastery and Religious Life KZN. “Mariannhill Media is our first step, as a printing press, to remain relevant in the modern world. Here we ensure that the content we print moves out into other forms of media, particularly new media,” Mr Riedlinger explains. A new member of the Mariannhill Press staff, Sheree Conway, used her design skills to start Mariannhill Media. Along with creating websites they set up Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and Flickr accounts to help their customers. “Our main aim of Mariannhill Media is to help the customers spread their content across all media platforms and help them engage in conversation about their work,” Mr Riedlinger said. One of the Mariannhill Press’ great success stories was its publication of the catechetical book Our Joy in Being Catholic by Bishop Oswald Hirmer, who died earlier this year. The book became a South African bestseller, outselling many popular secular novels. The book has now been translated into seven languages. In August, Mariannhill Press launched a set of 12 Hope&Joy cards on themes covering the teachings of the Second Vatican

Council and recent popes. The A4 cards are available at R50 per set. Mariannhill Mission Press constantly keeps up to date with emerging technologies and marketing trends in order “to express our creativity”, Mr Riedlinger said. Earlier this year, he oversaw the launch of a weekly advertising campaign in The Southern Cross. The ads, featuring such unusual images as air-guitar playing men and kids in gokarts, have produced positive feedback, Mr Riedlinger said. “Our hope here is that we remind people of who we are and what we can do for them. We feel advertising should engage, and yes, even entertain people. We hope to start a relationship with our prospective customer,” he explained. People remember the good work the Mariannhill Mission Press has done in the past, but the advertisements spread a new energy about the Press, he said. “Print still has a massive role to play, but social media is the next big thing one needs to be involved in. One of the most important reasons for this is that it allows for instant two-way communication,” Mr Riedlinger explained. Mariannhill Media is currently working on the redesign of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference’s website. Mr Riedlinger said the final product will be content-loaded and easy to use. “The Catholic Church just does so much good, and here is a way others from around the world can see the hopes, dreams and hard work it is doing,” Mr Riedlinger said.

Grace and Truth is a theological journal of St Joseph’s Theological Institute (Cedara) published three times a year, in April, August and November. Increase your knowledge and deepen your faith through theological reflections on themes like; Leadership, Spirituality and Justice, Church without Eucharist? and many more.


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the Southern Cross, August 31 to September 6, 2011


Catholic bookshops face new realities that the economic slump has affected sales “slightlyâ€?. In the US, the convenience of Catholic bookshops in the online booksellers has harmed traUS have taken a knock ditional Catholic bookshops, while the jury is still out on the effects of with the rise of on-line e-books. bookstores such as AmaHelen Dorin of the family-operzon and, while ated Boric Religious Supply Store in St John, Indiana, said that Internet their counterparts have book sales have “hurt usâ€?. been harder hit by the eco“Customers will come in and browse our books, and then go and nomic slump, as Liz order online.â€? o’CoNNoR and Neil McCaffrey III, author of The Intelligent Catholic’s Guide to OperatthANDi BoSMAN report. ing a Catholic Bookstore and a publishing veteran, does not believe that e-books will harm Catholic bookshops much. “As rapidly as e-books are moving, they’re moving fiction rather than non-fictionâ€? and most Catholic book titles are non-fiction. E-books repCommunicators of the Gospel Books & Media Centre resent a small segment of the Catholic book market, he said. Patty Broesamle of the Guided by the spirit Paulist Book Centre in of the New Evangelization Costa Mesa, California, said she believes books and in communion are going to be in with all the ministries demand as long as there are people “who want in the Church, the written word and we spread the want to look at it and Word Of God hold itâ€?. Nevertheless, several through the Media Catholic publishers in of Communications. the US are moving into the e-book market. Chris Veneklase of Ignatius Press said all Johannesburg: Tel: 011 622 5195/89 their titles being pubDurban: Tel: 031 207 5857 Email: lished now online and in the future will be offered as e-books, and Ignatius is gradually putting its existing booklist into eformat. E-books are sold online and not through conventional bookstores; some major Catholic publishers offer downloadable e-books and even phone applications on their sites. Robb Holzrichter of Liguori Publications said Liguori is starting to publish e-books but will always have traditional books as well. “Kindle or not,â€? he’s convinced there will Theological Education for all denominational, always be people “who cultural and educational backgrounds. want the touch and feel 2012 student registration opens on of paper.â€? 1 November 2011 for the following programmes: Sr Mary Mark, pubBachelor of Theology Degree • Diploma in Theology lisher of Pauline Books Diploma in Theology and Ministry • Higher Certificate in Theology and Media in the US, TEE Certificate of Competance in Theology • TEE Award in Theology said her order, the Information brochures


LKE most small-and mediumsize bookstores, shops specialising in Catholic religious books have been hit by the ubiquity of such online giants as Amazon, though more in the Internetsavvy United States than in South Africa. However, Sr Teresa Ranos of the Pauline Books and Media shop in Bruma, Johannesburg, has noted that the growing popularity of ebooks has begun to affect sales. Mary Sleggs of the Catholic Bookshop in Cape Town has not noticed an adverse effect of the availability of e-books, but said

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the sale of e-books has not affected South African Catholic bookshops as much as their US counterparts. (Photo: Claire Mathieson) Daughters of St Paul, currently offer more than 50 titles in e-book format although they have many, many more in print. “Little by little we’re working our way into that format,� she said. She said it’s hard to tell what effect online bookselling has had “because of the economic slump all over the country. People are more thoughtful in making their choices.� everal of the bookstore owners spoke of having staff able to help customers as key. Ms Dorin from St John said her bookshop serves some customers who drive as far as 20 to 40 minutes to it as a “destination store�. People come on a mission, she said, and it’s important to have knowledgeable and sympathetic salespeople available. “Often they’re scared to admit they’ve never read the Bible,� she said as an example, and for such readers she’ll sometimes recommend a youth Bible that has helpful notes. “Others are serious Bible students�, and for them she needs to stock Bibles with footnotes and Bible commentaries, she explained. Cape Town’s Ms Sleggs agreed. “It is important to know what our customers are looking for—there are so many books available, especially in the spirituality section. It certainly helps to know if books or authors are being recommended, such as a visiting lecturer or spiritual guide.� Sr Ranos of the Pauline’s Johannesburg shop said that “personal interaction is always important�, but it does not necessarily translate into greater sales. “People are used to self-service without asking for help,� she noted. “You do a little bit of ministry,� said Patty Broesamle of the Paulist


Book Center in Costa Mesa, California. “You have to be very cautious about people’s feelings,� she added, as some come into the shop looking for a book that will help with a difficult situation. Carrying religious articles ranging from art to crucifixes to rosary beads helps many religious shops keep their heads above water. Mr McCaffrey said it’s typical for a Catholic bookshop’s inventory to include more than half nonbook products. But even with that, he said, in the 30 years that he’s been dealing directly with Catholic shops in the US, about 40% have closed or have significantly reduced their bookselling operations. Many successful Catholic bookshops in the US have their own websites through which customers can order books and religious items. Their South African counterparts—and their clientele—are still catching up. The Pauline shop in Johannesburg does have a website, but “the increase of sales is not that much�, Sr Ranos said. Cape Town’s Catholic Bookshop does not have a website, but has an e-mail mailing list, which is distributed regularly detailing the shops’ latest titles. US Catholic booksellers’ most often-mentioned complaint—aside from customers who browse and then leave to buy online—is that a diocese or parish will offer courses and advise students to get their books online instead of supporting their local Catholic retailers. “Content delivery is really the focus,� Mr Holzrichter of Liguori Publications said. “How are we going to deliver the message of salvation?� Whatever the medium, he said, Catholic publishers and booksellers “all have that same goal�.


A group of readers is preparing audio tapes of excerpts from The Southern Cross, including editorials, selected articles, and regular features such as Fr Nicholas King SJ and Chris Moerdyk, as well current affairs in the Church. Anyone wanting to receive tapes as part of this service, available for an annual subscription fee of only R50, is invited tocontact Ms Veronica Vieyra at “Clareinch�, Union Ave., Pinelands, 7405 or phone 021-532 0661.

The Post Office will deliver and return tapes without charge. Should you know of any interested blind person, please inform them of this service.

Fokusprodukte Kompendium van die Kategismus van die Katolieke Kerk

Loop in die Lig - 30 Dae Saam met Pous Johannes Paulus II


the Southern Cross, August 31 to September 6, 2011


Radio spreading its wings to Facebook With modern means of communication, the once faceless medium of radio can come face-to-face with its audience through social networking sites, as two Radio Veritas presenters explain to CLAiRe MAthieSoN.


RADITIONAL forms of media no longer communicate on one format. Successful contemporary media use multiple platforms. One show on Radio Veritas, the country’s Catholic radio station, is reaching a far greater audience than its broadcast range allows for thanks to social media. Nhlanhla Lucky Mdlalose and Thabo Mokone present Letsemeng, (the South Sotho word for a group of people sitting down and having a discussion) an interactive radio show dealing with youth matters. The show is designed to include public comment and contribution in more than the traditional radio format. The presenters also use social networking site Facebook as an integral part of their programme. “We want to bring the show to the people, and Facebook is the vital tool to use for reaching more people,” Mr Mdlalose said. The site has allowed people who don’t have access to stream the show on the Internet or those who don’t have DStv Audio channel 170. Facebook is a highly accessible platform. In addition, the presenters pointed out the marketing potential the site offered. “It is possible to find and subsequently join groups with simi-

lar interests and dislikes,” Mr Mdlalose said. The presenters pointed out that not all of their contributors and Facebook followers, of which there are 3 385 and growing, listen to the show. But that doesn’t mean these people can’t be involved in the discussion and the good news the station broadcasts. “That’s the main reason we decided to bring the show to them, so they don’t miss out on the things we discuss on the show.” The show, the presenters said, really is for the people and it was their responsibility, as presenters, to bring the social groups together to interact on an accessible format. The result has been a fast-growing community of people participating in a discussion they can’t all hear but are not left out of. This attitude is widespread at Radio Veritas where many of the shows have both a community of listeners and a community of online contributors who may or may not be able to listen directly. Social media has had a big role to play in broadening the stations listenership through its marketing nature and an even bigger role in increasing interaction with listeners. At one time, telephone calls were the only form of interaction. Today, shows on Radio Veritas make use of telephone, e-mail, SMS, Twitter and Facebook to communicate with their listeners. Mr Mokone said their goal for the show was to increase both listenership and see their Facebook group grow to 5 000 participants. He said his show was no longer bound by broadcasting equipment and through social networks, his audience included listeners and

Facebook users alike. He added that since Facebook is a social site, he wanted to encourage a degree of social activity. “I want to form support groups on different categories so people should be able to make friends through the Letsemeng group,” the presenter said.


imilarly Mr Mdlalose said social networking can be a vital tool that can be used in other areas of Church life. While there are many Church organisations and parishes that use the likes of Facebook, there are many that do not. However, he warns that only people who want to communicate regularly should delve into this world. “To have a group on a social network you need to keep people updated on a daily basis,” he said. The Letsemeng presenters post show information and topics of discussion daily. Likewise, participants discuss, comment and chat on the site daily. Since Letsemeng is targeted at the youth, the social platform has proven highly successful and has helped direct the show’s content. “Unless you involve young people in the creation and moderation of content on social media websites, they are not going to participate,” Mr Mdlalose said. Letsemeng sees plenty of participation across both platforms. The Radio Veritas presenters believe that the website can help increase participation in Church events, can increase discussion and is a great way to communicate the faith. Mr Mdlalose ensures a motivational message is shared with his users every day. Both presenters are active on the site, responding and chat-

Letsemeng presenters Nhlanhla Lucky Mdlalose (pictured) and thabo Mokone use Facebook as an integral part of their programme. ting to posts made by participants. Mr Mdlalose said it was important to remember the very nature of social networks means they will always remain social. “This means that the foundation of social media is relationships. If you are not using the tools to build real relationships with people, then you are doing it wrong.” He added that Facebook has seen online interaction turn into attendance, involvement and volunteerism that the radio broadcasts alone could not have achieved. He said the radio discussion is enhanced by the website and as a result, the show sees more response to its topics. The Letsemeng presenters’ show is

targeted at the youth and the presenters have used all the tools available to them—those beyond the broadcasting station—to allow the show’s true intention, discussion, to take place. And that’s exactly what they do. Thanks to social media “we can reach young people,” Mr Mdlalose said—a fact borne out by their active Facebook page. n Tune in to Letsemeng on DStv audio channel 170 or listen live via weekdays from 15:00 or take part in the online discussion on the Facebook group ( 533224)


the Southern Cross, August 31 to September 6, 2011


Editor: Günther Simmermacher

The Editor reserves the right to shorten or edit published letters. Letters below 300 words receive preference. Pseudonyms are acceptable only under special circumstances and at the Editor’s discretion. Name and address of the writer must be supplied. No anonymous letter will be considered.

Darwinism excludes God

Spread the Good News R


HEN Christ sent out his apostles to evangelise the world, the means of communication were their powers of verbal persuasion. In loud market places— often literally—they were able to make themselves heard with the Good News. Later the nascent Christian Church communicated its nature, purpose and vision in written forms which would be widely distributed. The gospels and the assorted letters and documents that formed the New Testament turned out to be a most potent communications tool, even after almost two millennia. That combination of written word and verbal preaching has helped the Church spread the Good News through the ages and throughout the world. In the past century or so, new means of communications and social circumstances created fresh evangelising opportunities. Increasing literacy and improved printing technologies facilitated the wider spread of Catholic newspapers around a hundred years ago. Later, radio and then television offered even greater opportunities. The Church adopted radio technology especially wholeheartedly. Today Vatican Radio broadcasts worldwide in 45 languages. In many African countries, Catholic radio is well represented and highly respected (which makes the apathy of many South African Catholics for Radio Veritas all the more incongruous). In the past decade or so, Internet technology has revolutionised communication even further. The media revolution is still on-going, and it continues to catch even the experts off their guard. But there are some certainties. For organisations such as Church bodies, a functioning and regularly updated website is no longer a question of luxury. It is now expected that a credible body should have a credible presence on the Web. There can be no excuses for Catholic dioceses, for example, to fail this simple requirement. It is also clear that a great deal of pastoral activity is taking place on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This week we report on

the experiences of one priest (albeit one without a parish) who says that most of his pastoral work takes place on Facebook. Youth vicars especially would echo that experience. Social networking sites are a good way of turning on its head the worn-out assumption that the people should come to the Church, not the Church to the people. Like the marketplaces of ancient Corinth, Antioch and Rome, the Internet is a neutral place where people can meet and evangelise one another. It would be a grave mistake, however, to see the Internet as the only fruitful medium by which to communicate and evangelise. Traditional means of social communications— newspapers, radio and good preaching—still have a vital role to play. Earlier this year, Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh said: “A Catholic newspaper today is not a luxury. It is a necessity [and] remains the best vehicle for adult faith formation that we have.” Preaching remains a potent form of social communications. Research in the United States has shown that poor homilies are a leading cause of young Catholics abandoning their Church. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, counsels: “If the priest is able to give a message that is both intelligent and able to touch people’s hearts, it is a very important example of new evangelisation.” He says that this is even more effective when a priest preaches at services attended by lapsed or non-Catholics, such as weddings, baptisms and funerals. It makes excellent missionary sense, therefore, to relax parochial restrictions on permitting the celebration of such occasions. Indeed, the desire of inactive Catholics to be married or to bury their loved ones in a Catholic ceremony should be seen as a golden opportunity to communicate the Good News to them (and their friends). The Church must make best use of all means of social communications, from low-tech preaching to traditional media to the Internet.

ESPONDING to Pat Dacey’s letter “Darwin’s contribution to humanity” (August 10), I don’t know what it is about Darwinism that has such a hold over contemporary society; perhaps man’s innate and prideful desire to be master of his own destiny? In my Thomistic mind, evolution in some manner or form is the means by which creation has moved forward, that much is evident in scientific fact. Unfortunately, Darwinism posits, a priori, that there is no God; that a god is irrelevant in the greater scheme of things. In fact, it becomes such a priority to enforce this starting point that empirical standards, so prized in the scientif-

ic world, are at best compromised and in many instances completely disregarded. Mr Dacey does, however, aver to a basic truth which, regrettably, is ignored by many writers and academics in an effort to promote their own agendas. Science describes the material world; it must not and cannot describe the metaphysical. It cannot answer the ontological questions—“Why are we here?”, “How did we get here?” and so on. These are questions reserved for investigation in the realm of the philosopher. Likewise, philosophers must steer clear of the exactitudes of science where empiricism rules.

More on Islam

cal semantics of when the soul enters the body? Who really wants to dispute with God? After all, science makes us certain that life begins at conception. Merrilyn de Gersigny, Durban n In the interest of clarity, it should be noted that in his letter Prof Gaybba did not state a view about artificial contraception, but commented on the extent of doctrinal authority of the teachings in, among others, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae.—Editor.


ATHER Christopher Clohessy article “Meet Muhammad” (July 27) was one of the most valuable contributions that I have ever read in your top class newspaper. Most ordinary Christians either know nothing about Muhammad and Islam, or they have very minimal and confused ideas about those subjects. It is so important that we all become more familiar with these subjects and thereby become more tolerant, and better able to converse with our Muslim friends and acquaintances. Is it possible that Fr Clohessy could contribute, if not regular, at least periodic articles that would slowly but surely broaden our familiarity with the teachings and beliefs of Islam? This would be an immensely beneficial source of knowledge for most of us. Bernard Straughan, Cape Town

Contraceptives are never OK


OW can Prof Brian Gaybba (“Dogmatic definition, August 3) think that artificial contraception is OK? Doesn’t he know that the chemical composition of the Pill alters the lining of the womb. The developing baby is thereby prevented from implanting, and is aborted. The IUD (Intra uterine device) is a manufactured foreign object. It is medically inserted into the womb and creates a hostile environment for the developing baby. This frequently causes abortion. The “morning-after pill” is actually only effective after conception has taken place. Its effect is to shrivel up the embryo. Do we want to employ techni-

Punish where punishment is due


N July Irish prime minister Enda Kenny lambasted the Vatican for allegedly frustrating very recent child abuse investigations, and accused the Vatican of still being more concerned about upholding the Church’s power and reputation than the protection of its children. Mr Kenny went on to state that “dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day”. He said that this was the “polar opposite of the radicalism, the humility and the compassion that the Church had been founded on”, that is, the message of Jesus. These are strong words indeed. If they are true, then something is seriously wrong. Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi SJ lamely rejected the accusation, saying that it failed to take into account the efforts of opinions expressed in The Southern Cross, especially in Letters to the editor, do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or staff of the newspaper, or of the Catholic hierarchy. the letters page in particular is a forum in which readers may exchange opinions on matters of debate. Letters must not be understood to necessarily reflect the teachings, disciplines or policies of the Church accurately.

When one discipline tries to engage in the proficiency of the other, then misunderstanding reigns. Put simply, philosophy deals with questions that cannot be answered by observation or experiment, while science is the systematic method of acquiring knowledge based on observation and experiment. As the saying goes: “Never the twain shall meet”. If, as Mr Dacey suggests, Charles Darwin was acting purely as a scientist and had no metaphysical agenda, then Darwin would be true to his calling—but I don’t think this is the case. Catholicism, though, has nothing to fear from a science conducted within the bounds of its own mandate. Tony Sturges, Johannesburg Pope Benedict in this regard. Meantime the nuncio to Ireland has been recalled and the Vatican has lapsed into silence. Why is it that such a matter of huge enormity is brushed away, yet if Catholics so much as whisper that they disagree with the Church’s stance on, say, the nonordination of women priests, the Church comes out all guns blazing? Bishops are fired, priests are silenced, prominent lay-people are removed from parish ministries. Both actions (the Irish one and the Church’s prohibition on even discussing women priests) amount to the same thing: stifling opposition to preserve the system. The priests and bishops working in the Vatican are good and holy men, but, sadly, they are caught up in the system. Even the pope himself is constrained by the system. My understanding of Jesus is that he was strongly against systemic oppression, be it political or religious. The Vatican system is oppressive, inward-looking, hurtful and damaging. It must be changed, and soon. Brian Jacoby, Cape Town

Help SA’s hungry


OMMENTING on the letter by Cordelia Kirk (August 10), the people of Somalia are receiving international help. The children of KwaZulu-Natal have no help. There are many suffering from malnutrition-related conditions such as kwashiorkor and beri-beri. During the recent snow and cold, there were children and old people who had hardly any covering, much less a jersey or shoes. These are the ones to help. Malnutrition is a bigger epidemic than Aids in South Africa, yet it receives very little financial aid. Charity begins at home. BM Bancken, Anerley, KZN


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AnnuAl GenerAl MeetinG on Thursday, 6 October 2011 at 3pm at its Somerset road, Green Point headquarters Followed by a thAnkSGivinG MASS at adjoining Sacred heart Church at 5pm


the Southern Cross, August 31 to September 6, 2011

500 friends, right at our fingertips


INBOXED her”; “He updated his profile”; “She had it on her wall”; “I added him as a friend”; “I saw it on her status update”; “Follow us on Twitter”; “Tweet it”. This is the new language we hear when we sit on the train, the bus or the taxi or listen to the radio and TV. We hear it in our staff tea rooms or when we walk behind people in the mall. Those who are on Facebook or Twitter will recognise this language – the language of these wonderful social communication networks. Ten years ago the size of the average person’s friendship circle would be about ten to 20 people. Today it is common for one person to have 500 friends. New technologies, like Facebook, have made this possible and have brought about a shift in the patterns of friendship, communication and human relationships. Five hundred people to talk to at once; that is about the average size of a Sunday congregation. Cellphones, computers and the Internet have opened up a wide range of means of communication which enable instant communication of words and pictures across vast distances. Never before was this even thought possible. I think it should be considered one of the wonders of the world because almost every day I am astounded about what is possible through technology.

There are many benefits in these new tools of communication: parents are able to communicate with and also see (through the Internet telephone utility Skype) their children who have gone to work or live abroad. Companies are able to hold conferences with people in different locations, and students are able to google (now a verb) documents and scientific journals and have these resources instantly at their disposal. One is able to follow events with up-to-the-minute updates on their progress, thanks to Twitter. Often today, at the end of my conversations with people, they ask me: “Are you on Facebook?” It means that they would want to pick up the conversation at a later stage again. How are we using the new technology, like Facebook, which we have at our free

Church lost an opportunity


EEKS ago, when those haunting images of starving women, children and the elderly began flooding the Kenyan media, the secretary-general of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), a Protestant grouping, issued a press statement calling for help. The Horn of Africa, including Kenya, is facing what humanitarian organisations say is the worst drought and famine in 50 years. Some 11 million people are affected. Shortly after the NCCK statement, the bishop-chairman of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission addressed a press conference at which he called for urgent humanitarian assistance to the starving Kenyans, estimated at 3,5 million in the country’s arid regions and in the urban slums. While the churches issued statements and the government denied anybody had died of hunger, the media and business leaders in Nairobi opted for a remarkably different response to the crisis. They launched a campaign, dubbed Kenyans for Kenya, to raise money to buy food for the starving. Kenyans for Kenya has turned out to be a massive humanitarian and media operation. All major media outlets continue to carry appeals to Kenyans to donate money to save their brothers and sisters. Several fundraising events have been staged and aired live by the main TV stations.

disposal today? These very modern and smart technologies help us to respond to our fundamental desire to communicate and to relate to each other. “This desire for communication and friendship is rooted in our nature as human beings to want to connect with others and to be part of a family,” Pope Benedict has noted. “That desire comes from God who desires to make all humanity one family. When we find ourselves drawn towards other people, when we want to know more about them and make ourselves known to them, we are responding to God’s call— a call that is imprinted in our nature as beings created in the image and likeness of God, the God of communication and communion.” These words of Pope Benedict make us look at why and what we communicate via technology in a different way—a way that places responsibility on us to communicate with the purpose to unite. Is this what we always do via Facebook? I have yet to join Facebook, but I often think, if I should have 500 friends to talk to at once, what would my message be?

Henry Makori

One of the outstanding contributors was by a police officer based in arid northern Kenya. He was so moved by the disaster that he gave a whole month’s salary. Every weekend, lorries carrying hundreds of tons of food and other supplies are flagged off from Nairobi to deliver help to the affected areas. The Kenyans for Kenya initiative is being coordinated by various media organisations in collaboration with the Kenya Red Cross Society. And then just last week, someone wrote a letter to the editor of one of the dailies here wondering what the churches were doing in response to the famine. Certainly, the press statement by NCCK and the news conference by the Catholic bishop were less than adequate. People were dying. The churches simply missed a great opportunity for practical Christian witness. Since the launch of Kenyans for Kenya, I have caught myself wishing it was an initiative of the churches. Christianity is, at the end of the day, a religion of compassion. The Final Judgment, as described by Jesus himself, will be about whether one fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger and visited the sick and prisoners. That shall be the measure of righteousness (Mt 25:31-46). Jesus emphasises the same point in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10) and in several other passages in the Bible. I have no doubt that most of the people who have contributed to Kenyans for

Michael Shackleton open Door

Judith Turner on Faith and Life

Letter from Nairobi

Kenya and other kitties to feed our starving countrymen and women are Christians. But that does not excuse churches—as institutions—from taking practical steps as Jesus himself would. The latest census puts Kenya’s Christians at 80% of its 40 million people. A humanitarian campaign spearheaded by the churches would have been a roaring success. The churches merely needed to create a platform and ask Kenyans to make donations. What a mighty gesture of evangelisation it would have been! In addition, the churches would have played an effective role in promoting national unity by bringing together Kenyans to respond to the needs of their needy compatriots. The initiative would also have gone a long way to restore the face of the Church in public life in Kenya. There would have been a lot of positive media coverage. I have previously written in this space about the Catholic Church’s serious image problem in Kenya arising from its perceived partisan role in the politics leading to the post-election violence of 2007 and its opposition to the Constitution ahead of the referendum last year. A feed-the-hungry campaign organised by the churches would have yielded plenty of fruit for the Church of Jesus Christ. But the opportunity was lost. I hope the lesson is learnt.



How does God punish criminals? We are called to forgive those who trespass against us and leave the punishment for crimes to the law and to God. But how will God deal with a criminal, especially one who is unrepentant for his actions? ET us begin at the starting point of Christianity: that God in Christ loves us all infinitely and absolutely, and expects us to love him and our neighbour. When one of us wrongs another, God does not stop loving us both. In fact, he enjoins the innocent party to forgive the guilty party at once. As you say, he teaches us to pray: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” As for the guilty party, God’s love and grace are available for him to return like the Prodigal Son and ask for mercy and forgiveness, and be assured that the loving Father will grant it. God keeps loving the sinner even if the sinner dies unrepentant—but the result of rejecting God’s love could be everlasting exile from that love. Breaking one of the Ten Commandments certainly is a sin for which the perpetrator is answerable to Christ’s judgment. But we just don’t know what Christ will do. We see only from the viewpoint of an often single act against us by a criminal, whereas Christ loves and knows the culprit and all his circumstances, motives, virtues and vices. His mercy is infinite. To forgive the criminal is the correct response, expressing the love that we Christians have to show to others simply because we are all one in Christ. Yet there is more to it than that. Hard as it may seem to the ways of the modern secular world, forgiveness goes hand in hand with good will. Jesus made no bones about this when he said: “Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who treat you badly” (Lk 6:28), We all have to pray for the ones who wrong us, particularly that they may become repentant and feel the full impact of Christ’s unshakeable love and compassion. In doing this we can really bless the ones that curse us and treat us badly.


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the Southern Cross, August 31 to September 6, 2011


Fiction and faith converge THE ISLE OF MONTE CRISTO: Finding the Inner Treasure, by ST Georgiou. Novalis, San Francisco. 2010. 299pp. Reviewed by Michael Shackleton CALIFORNIAN in his thirties, Steve Georgiou, has a sense of disillusion. Being of Greek ancestry, he roams to the Greek island of Patmos, where St John traditionally wrote the book of Revelation, hoping to find some inner peace. The year is 1993. By chance he meets Robert Lax, a white-bearded octogenarian, a convert to Catholicism from Judaism, who has a name for being the island’s hermit, poet and holy man. The unexpected encounter is a revelation, a jolt to Georgiou’s listlessness, setting him on a new course of spiritual adventure and satisfaction. Lax tells this Californian surfer to go with the flow of creation, that going with the flow means he can see the whole sea and not just each rolling wave he may briefly focus on. He can lose his sense of self and become open to what happens around him and experience the sense of God’s presence in everything.


The two men become good friends and Georgiou often pays return visits to Patmos until Lax’s death in 2000. Georgiou, a doctor of theology, published the fruit of that experience in his book The Way of the Dreamcatcher, which I favourably reviewed in this newspaper in 2004. I was impressed by the insights he drew from Lax’s simplicity, and how the same spiritual path is open to anybody. I recommended the book and described it as a powerful piece of spiritual writing. The fact that it went into its second edition last year supports this opinion. In 2007 I welcomed and reviewed Mystic Street, Georgiou’s second volume on his reflections on what he had learned from Lax. The title of this third book, The Isle of Monte Cristo, comes from Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo. Dumas’ hero, Edmund Dantes, is falsely accused of a crime he did not commit. Imprisoned in the Chateau d’If, he is befriended by the Abbé Faria, a fellow prisoner who encourages him to escape. The Abbé reveals where a magnificent

treasure is to be discovered on the Isle of Monte Cristo. In time, Dantes finds it, becomes wealthy and gets revenge on his enemies. Then comes remorse, contrition and peace. Georgiou sees his life and the Christian life itself in a similar perspective. Stuck in his own personal Chateau d’If, feeling victimised, Georgiou understands that it is Robert Lax who becomes his Abbé Faria. Lax helps him escape from the prison of worldly and self-centred thinking and gives him the map to a treasure called agape, the all-embracing love of God for us and the whole of creation.


uesting for the treasure entails an inward journey, a soulsearch that can reveal the depths of human life and love and their relationship with the created world. Georgiou’s firm belief that “the entire universe is a kind of spiritual school, a cosmic classroom designed to ready us for our entry into paradise, our bright eternal home”, is evident throughout. This approach to spirituality is removed from the older, more austere, kind that sought to shun the

things of the world as temptations away from life in God. It is rooted in the things, places and people that are present to us at any moment, as elements of a lesson preparing us for the eternal kingdom. Appreciation of this way of finding the treasure within ourselves comes out as Georgiou describes events in daily life, extracting from the commonplace the pointers to the treasure of the life to come. Each chapter presents a situation in which Georgiou has found himself, on the beach, in the classroom, always Christ-centred and thoughtprovoking. Now the same book is a 2011 Catholic Press Association winner in the field of books in paperback. Georgiou has utter confidence that the kingdom of God awaits us, and, although he may write from within the framework of a Californian academic, he makes his points plainly and with obvious sincerity, subtly egging the reader on to a profound Christian optimism. The Isle of Monte Cristo, along with its two predecessors, reveals what the great contemplatives knew, and what Robert Lax has

humbly emphasised through Georgiou: that we must accept God’s kingdom like little children, otherwise we shall never get into it (Mt 18:3). This energising optimism can be summed up in Lax’s own simple maxim: “We’ll get there”. Spiritual reading and Christian contemplation of God’s limitless love, his agape, can be rejuvenated and made more intimate by Georgiou’s efforts to present them again in fresh form for 21st century Christians. n Michael Shackleton is former editor of The Southern Cross.

A modern history of the Vatican’s colourful army THE POPE’S SOLDIERS: A Military History of the Modern Vatican, by David Alvarez. University Press of Kansas, 2011. 429pp. Reviewed by Agostino Bono HEN current visitors to the Vatican hear about the pope’s men at arms, visions of Swiss Guards fill the mind. Today, the halberd-bearing, brightly costumed soldiers basically provide decoration for papal events. But they were once part of the armed services which for centuries protected not only popes but their kingdom in central Italy. The Swiss Guard was one of several separate branches of foot soldiers. Popes even had a small navy that protected the shores and ports of the Papal States. What is left today are the ceremonial Swiss Guard and the Vigilance Corps, the Vatican police force responsible for maintaining


order in Vatican City. David Alvarez’s The Pope’s Soldiers traces the history of the pope’s armed forces starting with the aftermath of the French Revolution, a time of the pope’s evaporating political power as a European head of state. This waning influence was reflected in the shabby state of the papal armed forces, mired in nepotism, corruption and inefficiency. Alvarez takes the history to the present day where the main security task is training a handful of skilled bodyguards to protect the person of the pope in the Vatican and on his foreign travels. Alvarez, author of several books on 19th- and 20th-century espionage against the Vatican, mentions the militarily more colourful previous centuries when the Papal States had political power and its well-oiled military machine was frequently led in battle by warrior-

popes, providing incongruous situations where the representative on

earth of the Prince of Peace was ordering men to kill or be killed. Alvarez chose the later time period because he feels that its military history has not been studied enough given that popes and their territories were still in danger. This era was a time of transition, when the Vatican began turning swords into plowshares, depending more on diplomacy than on military might to defend papal territories and Church influence with other governments. It also was a time of self-questioning by generations of Church authorities as to whether the concomitant roles of the pope as a king and as the religious leader of the Catholic Church were complementary or incompatible. The book mentions these dilemmas but does not go into detail about the debates. As it is a military history, it devotes most of its pages to describing efforts by


Vatican military commanders to upgrade the quality and quantity of the armed services. This was especially true in the 19th century when popes had to face threats from the militarily far superior French army under Napoleon and later from the kingdom of Northern Italy, which in 1870 successfully invaded the Papal States. In the process, popes were for decades “prisoners of the Vatican”. The book is filled with tactical descriptions of battles which would interest students of military history but may seem too drawn out and boring to ordinary readers. One also might have hoped for more information about the current situation and how people are specially trained to be papal bodyguards in the age of terrorism. n Agostino Bono is a former Rome bureau chief of Catholic News Service.


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BOOK REVIEWS Novel of Catholic school intrigue a let-down UNFINISHED DESIRES, by Gail Godwin. Random House, 2009. 393pp. Reviewed by Regina Lordan AIL Godwin’s novel Unfinished Desires chronicles a notoriously mischievous freshman class at a fictional allgirls Catholic school in North Carolina. As the girls run out teachers and compromise the integrity of the school, the principal desperately tries to maintain the school’s reputation and her authority by controlling the class ringleader. Family histories and deep-seated blame for a death further complicate the power struggle and mind games between Mother Suzanne Ravenel, the principal, and Tildy Stratton, the class troublemaker. To a fault, the family story at the centre of the troubles is retold ad nauseum from several characters’ perspectives throughout the book. Set mostly in the early 1950s while the girls are freshmen and Mother Ravenel is principal, the story weaves back and forth between the past and present. Unfortunately, the nearly 400page book does not live up to its intriguing title until the last few pages, when finally the pace picks


up speed, and the reader discovers what happened to the students in adulthood. The story lines are a bit sleepy, and as drama unfolds, Godwin interrupts the flow with another chapter or side story. More often than not, the book reads as if it were written for television with distinct pauses for commercial breaks. Because of this, the book is easy to put down. Godwin misses several opportunities to tell a juicy, exciting story. For example, she mentions occasionally, but does not fully develop, a secret society in the school. The author unveils the real excitement, such as a shocking marriage and drug abuse, in the last few pages rather than fully exploring these issues earlier in the book. Slow storytelling aside, Godwin’s writing is something to admire. Her vocabulary is refreshing and even on occasion called for a dictionary, and her attention to character development was interesting. Godwin is a threetime US National Book Award nominee. However, Unfinished Desires falls short of any such honour. n Regina Lordan is former assistant international editor of Catholic New Service.

Long search in a new world HEARTLAND: A Parable, by Charles Fivaz. 2010. 103pp. Reviewed by Bob Berry EEP inside all of us, whether Christian or of other faiths, there is a continuing need to search for truth, unconsciously making a journey towards the spiritual source of life. Such a journey is one of the several themes that run through this thought-provoking book which, although set in a fictional future world, is much more than a work of fiction. It is the essence of a dream, expressing the author’s deeply felt desire that today’s ecumenical movements must overcome the denominational boundaries that keep Christians apart and advance the impetus towards unity and overcoming prejudice. Parables, says author Charles Fivaz, are like dreams. “When you’ve had a significant dream you’ve told yourself a story, and when you tell someone else that story or write it down, you realise it’s about some aspect of your life that needs attention right now. The dream is a fiction narrative but it is a ‘true’ story.” The setting is rural Australia in the 22nd century. After the collapse of industrial society, the world has returned to a basic simple farming way of life, clinging to some traditions that survived the old era. Despite such radical changes, however, there are still strong divisions among peoples— in thought, culture, ethics and belief—as humanity continues on its usual course. The location could be a quiet agricultural way of life anywhere in the world, but the Aussie link is not surprising: the author is an expatriate South African ex-seminarian living in Melbourne. He studied for the priesthood in Cape Town from 1985-88 and is a former contributor to The Southern Cross. Today his life in Australia is very much bound up with the ecu-


menical ideal: the search for a common identity which is the thread running through the story. After the death of her mother the young girl Hannah leaves home and treks through the countryside in search of her mother’s origins. Her community decides she is missing, presumed drowned. But her father Adam refuses to accept this and goes in search of her. Their geographic world is divided into huge farms with vast inhospitable distances in-between. Daughter and father are in fact searching for new meaning in their lives. It is a moving story of hardship and a time of trial and change for both. The wilderness has its direct parallel in the Australian Outback with its mystical Dreamtime exemplified in Hannah’s meetings with the Aborigine Wedjeegle who helps her find purpose in her life with his fascinating creationist stories of how water came to the Earth. Adam also finds spiritual calm and a new dimension in his search for peace inside as he follows his daughter from farm to farm and through barren wilderness, in the process gaining insight into her resourcefulness and courage. Heartland is well-written and has plenty of pace and tension. It is a story of anguish and of spiritual upliftment, leading the reader dramatically, chapter by chapter, through elation and then sorrow towards a final unifying truth. I raced through the book quickly, and then re-read it slowly. It is inspired writing and the author is indebted for this inspiration to Samuel Clear whose courage and daring took him on an 18-monthlong life-threatening pilgrimage across the world to advance the cause of Christian unity. The book is dedicated to him. n Bob Berry is a retired journalist with The Star in Johannesburg. Heartlands can be ordered from or directly through

the Southern Cross, August 31 to September 6, 2011


A history of the popes as kings ABSOLUTE MONARCHS: A Hist o ry o f t h e P a pa cy, b y J o h n Julius Norwich. Random House, 2011. 528pp. Reviewed by Brian Welter BSOLUTE Monarchs by John Julius Norwich offers a bird’s-eye narrative of Church and papal history while often detailing the major religious and political personalities involved, as well as great historical turning points such as the loss of Christian lands to Islam. “For Christendom, the effect was cataclysmic. Three of the five historic patriarchates—Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem— now existed in little more than name; all the great churches of North Africa disappeared, save only the Copts of Egypt, who managed to retain a tenuous foothold. The lands which had seen the origins of Christianity were all lost, never to be properly recovered.” Thus at this point, the locus of Christianity moved northwards and westwards, which favoured the growth of the papacy as long as relations with the German emperors from Charlemagne onward went well. Norwich turns to how the papacy played into the Western


political system, something that gave it great power when the relevant powers were struggling with inner issues. This endangered the pontiffs once those nations, such as Spain or France, began to expand outward. Facing constant political threats, the popes unified the Church and expanded their power through the use of reli-

Pray that AFRiCA may draw closer to the HEART OF CHRiST

gious orders, starting with the Cluny reform and then the Cistercians, Franciscans, Dominicans and Jesuits. These orders helped to expand the papacy, as Norwich duly notes. Yet even the Jesuits, so powerful and prestigious (yet also disdained by many) in the 17th and 18th centuries, could not stop Europe’s great powers, such as Napoleonic France or the unified Italian states, from all but eliminating papal political power. Norwich could have offered a better theological analysis of these events, as non-Catholics will still have the impression that the papacy is all about controlling people and countering their freedoms. Norwich’s highly readable book fails in this regard—in refusing to portray the pope as a pastor to the people in his vocation as Peter’s successor. The imperfect though nonetheless very good book on papal history will give readers a better sense of the personalities and politics surrounding the papal court from the earliest days to the present. n Brian Welter is studying for his doctorate in systematic theology and teaching English in Taiwan.


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37 children received their first holy Communion at St Matthew’s parish in Bonteheuwel, Cape town. they are pictured with Monica Barnett, Deacon Andrew Siljeur, Fr Gavin Butler, Virgie jacobs and Sr Margaret. (Submitted by Michael Brown)

Send photographs, with sender’s name and address on the back, and a SASE to: The Southern Cross, Community Pics, Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000 or email them to:

Colwyn and Maire holshausen on their wedding day in 1941. they celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on july 27. (Submitted by Sheila Walsh)


LV Mofokeng, LL Motholo, LM Mosia and Mj Malakoane were received into the Sodality of St joseph in Bethlehem. (Submitted by Mj Mabuya and Xolani Malakoane)

Youth from St Dominic's parish in Boksburg attended a day of recollection at Bosco Youth Centre in preparation for their Confirmation. (Submitted by Clarence Watts)

Fr Michael hulgraine celebrated the 55th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood with a Mass of thanksgiving at Nazareth house, Cape town, concelebrated by Archbishop Stephen Brislin and several priests of the archdiocese. (Submitted by tomasz zakiewicz) Sr Laurine Rennick at her final profession as a Good Shepherd Sister in Port elizabeth with her family and Bishop Michael Coleman. (Submitted by the Good Shepherd Sisters)

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LOYAL seller of The Southern Cross in his parish, Jacob Engelbrecht of Ravensmead died on July 8 at the age of 79. Mr Engelbrecht belonged to the Mater Dei parish in Parow Valley and sold The Southern Cross every Sunday at Mass. He is remembered by parishioners as a very special and loving person who will be sadly missed. EF Febana

To receive extra copies of this World Youth Day issue please contact Avril Hanslo on 021 465 5007 or e-mail

GNES Barry, a member of the Legion of Mary in Cape Town for 70 years, died on July 26 at the age of 95. Born on April 27, 1916, Mrs Barry visited and assisted at many missions in South Africa and Namibia during her annual leave and later, after retirement, spent a year at a mission. On a visit to the Legion’s headquarters in Dublin, she met Frank Duff, the movement’s founder. Mrs Barry was also a very active member in Our Lady of Fatima parish in Bellville, which she served as a sacristan for more than 60 years. This, together with

DEATH her dedicated service to others, earned her a papal medal in May 1975. Her Requiem Mass was celebrated by Fr Canice Dooley SDB in the presence of her family, friends and Legionaires. Joan Swanson

Fidei donum: A form of missionary cooperation between churches whereby there is an exchange of diocesan clergy. Application: The practice of fidei donum takes place particularly in established churches whose focus is on those specific churches where evangelisation is needed, for example in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

September 4—23rd Sunday. Christ who paid the debt of love. St Paul says: “Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of mutual love.” Loving one’s neighbour means doing what is good for them and avoids doing what can cause harm. Such a way of life is in its simplest form a life of peace and justice and is the ultimate legacy we can leave our children and their future. Talk with your children about legacies and traditions.

Community Calendar To place your event, call Claire Allen at 021 465 5007 or e-mail, (publication subject to space) CAPE TOWn: the Legion of Mary celebrates its 90th year of foundation and 75 years in South Africa. A Mass will be held in Cape town on September 11 at our Lady help of Christians church in Lansdowne at 14:30. KiMBERlEY: the St Boniface Past Students’ are holding their

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Word of the Week

Family Reflections

60th anniversary on September 24. Past students are requested to contact Union’s PRo & Chairman of the Board, Mosalashuping Morudi 073 768 3653, or MAFiKEnG: Annual diocesan music festival, September 3. Admission R350. Contact 072 569 7531or 058 861 4411.

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Southern CrossWord solutions SOLUTIONS TO #460. ACROSS: 3 Storybook, 8 Vain, 9 Babylonia, 10 Lilies, 11 Flees, 14 Tubal, 15 Nave, 16 Spots, 18 Oils, 20 Horde, 21 Tight, 24 Nursed, 25 Sun helmet, 26 Cain, 27 Shed tears. DOWN: 1 Evolution, 2 Bible Belt, 4 Teas, 5 Royal, 6 Broken, 7 Ovid, 9 Bells, 11 Front, 12 Sacristan, 13 Dependent, 17 Shout, 19 Sighed, 22 Halve, 23 Hugh, 24 Near

liturgical Calendar Year A Sunday, September 4, 23rd Sunday Ezekiel 33:7-9, Psalm 95:1-2,6-9, Romans 13:8-10, Matthew 18: 15-20 Monday, September 05, feria Genesis 2:4-9, 15, Psalm 90:2-5, 12-14, 16, Matthew 6:31-34 Tuesday, September 06, feria Colossians 2:6-15, Psalm 145:1-2, 8-11, Luke 6:1219 Wednesday, September 07, feria Colossians 3:1-11, Psalm 145:2-3, 10-13, Luke 6:20-26 Thursday, September 08, Nativity of the BVM Micah 5:1-4 or Romans 8:28-30, Psalm 13:6, Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23 or 1:18-23 Friday, September 09, St Peter Claver 1 Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14, Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 11, Luke 6:39-42 Saturday, September 10, Memorial of the BVM 1 Timothy 1:15-17, Psalm 113:1-7, Luke 6:43-49 St Peter Claver Sunday, September 11, 24th Sunday Sirach 27:30- 28:9, Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12, Romans 14:7-9, Matthew 18:21-35

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GABRiEl—Aunty joyce passed away peacefully on August 19, 2011. She will be missed by her niece and godchild ilona. From ilona, Michael, family and friends.

in MEMORiAM FERnAnDES—Narcizo, who went home to rest on 6/9/2002. “For his life Lord we thank you, for his love we bless and honour you Lord.” An amazing warm loving and giving husband, father and grandfather, you nurtured, guided and provided for us and always gave without counting the costs. the memories of you will live on in our hearts with pride. We love and miss you. RiP. till we meet again. Your loving wife Maureen, children and grandchildren.

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who can withstand your power, o show me that you are my mother. o Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. thank you for your mercy towards me and mine. Amen. “Say this prayer for 3 consecutive days and publish. thank you for prayers answered. FW

THAnKS GRATEFul thanks to the Sacred heart of jesus, our Mother Mary and Ss joseph, Anthony, jude and Martin de Porres for prayers answered. RCP. TO the Sacred heart of jesus, infant jesus of Prague, our Lady of Perpetual help and St jude for prayers answered. holy St jude, apostle and martyr, great in virtue and rich in miracles, kinsman of jesus Christ, faithful intercessor of all who invoke you, special patron in time of need. to you, i have recourse from the depth of my heart and humbly beg you to come to my assistance. help me now in my urgent need and grant my petitions. in return i promise to make your name known and publish this prayer. Amen. Lh.

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HOlY St jude, apostle and martyr, great in virtue and rich in miracles, kinsman of jesus Christ, faithful intercessor of all who invoke you, special patron in time of need. to you i have recourse from the depth of my heart and humbly beg you to come to my assistance. help me now in my urgent need and grant my petitions. in return i promise to make your name known and publish this prayer. Amen. RCP O MOST beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendour of heaven, blessed Mother of the Son of God, immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity. o Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein that you are my Mother, o holy Mary Mother of God, Queen of heaven and earth, i humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to secure me in my necessity. there are none

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24th Sunday: September 11 Readings: ben Sira 27:33—28:9 Psalm 103: 1-4, 9-12, Romans 14:7-9 Matthew 18:21-35


T is an extraordinary thing; but refusal to forgive someone who has offended us seems such an obvious and natural thing—and it is ourselves that we are punishing, not the other person. It is a liberating discovery, however, and the readings for next Sunday emphasise this very strongly; refusal to forgive traps us in uncomfortable slavery; whereas allowing forgiveness to creep in, on the other hand, turns out, quite unexpectedly, to set us free. In next Sunday’s first reading, Jesus ben Sira, encouraging his fellow-Jews to believe that their ancient wisdom is still of value in a very modern world, reminds them that “wrath and anger and things like this are an abomination”, and advises them to “forgive your neighbour’s injustice; and then when you ask, your sins will be forgiven”. He points to the silliness when “a person hangs onto his anger against another person —and then asks the Lord for healing!” It is obvious, really, for “if a person who is just flesh hangs onto anger, who is going to forgive his sins?” He advises us to: “Remember the last things, and stop your enmity.” It is all obvious, really; except that for much of the time we just leap at the chance of making sure that we punish the person who has offended us. The psalm for next Sunday reminds us that

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Mind your credit-rating with God Nicholas King SJ Sunday Reflections we have a “role-model” in God, as he invites his soul to: “Bless the Lord, and do not forget all God’s gifts—God who forgives all your sins, and heals all that is wrong with you, who delivers your life from the pit, and crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.” Once we recognise how God behaves towards us, it seems obvious (doesn’t it?) how silly we can be in pursuing our own grudges. God, he sings, “does not always rebuke, nor keep his anger forever”, and, perhaps more important for our purposes, “God does not deal with us according to our sins”. The fact is that God is different, “as the heavens tower above the earth, so God’s love towers over those who fear him”. Our task, then, is to imitate this God. In the second reading, Paul is looking at the implications of his teaching for the divided church in Rome, in particular the touchy question of what to do about Jewish dietary laws, and he makes a useful general point that we

shall do well to keep in mind whenever we have a problem of this sort, and especially when it comes to the difficult business of forgiving one another. “For none of us lives for themselves alone, nor dies for themselves alone.” What grounds our lives (and equally our deaths) is the fact that we are “in” or “of” the Lord, “for that is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be the Lord of the living and the dead”. That must be the context of all our living. Next Sunday’s gospel follows on from the one we read the previous Sunday, about what to do when a fellow-Christian gets things wrong. Peter (impetuous as ever) asks Jesus the tricky question about how often you should forgive a fellow-Christian: “As many as seven times?” he asks, thinking of the largest possible number he could imagine. Jesus takes him up, and multiplies by 70 (but if you suppose that means that you need forgive someone only for the first 490 times, you have missed the point). The point is simply this, and it is dramatically expressed in the story of two slaves and their Master or Lord, who clearly represents God: The Lord has every right to ask for his money back. Although, of course, “ten thousand talents” is such a huge sum that you might wonder what he was doing when he allowed the debt to mount up so high.

Marketing the faith for good T

HERE is increasing sentiment within various levels of Catholic hierarchy these days about the biggest challenge facing the Church: the education of the laity. There is more than just a feeling that many Catholics, particularly our youth, simply do not understand what the Catholic Church is all about. On the other hand, one would hope that any such education programme would not be a one-way street. Because in this modern world of ours—where ordinary people are living at a far more hectic pace and their attention is being increasingly sought after and distracted by more movies, more sport, an all invasive Internet and the hedonistic temptations of the corporate sector—faith-based organisations are desperately in need of understanding what motivates modern mankind. I have often mentioned in this column the need for churches to understand the marketing process. I don’t mean the seedy side of the discipline generally portrayed by second-rate, shock-tactic advertising, but its basic fundamental of motivating consumers positively in a specific direction. Every parent will know how difficult it is sometimes to motivate children and how many of us were literally dragged by our ears to church on Sundays by our parents. And how many of us sat during Mass with our minds wandering all over the place, bored by what we as children regarded as the somewhat repetitive nature of the liturgy (not to mention sermons and homilies that went clean over our heads)? A classic example of how marketing can play a constructive role in the Church was an experiment conducted in a Durban parish about 30 years ago. It all started with catechism and a parish priest who refused to accept a situation where mothers of Catholic children attend-


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Chris Moerdyk the Last Word ing government schools would drag their offspring kicking and screaming once a week to attend catechism classes at the church. The same offspring cared not a jot about who made them nor about apples, the Garden of Eden or loving their neighbours. Something that still happens a lot today, not just among kids, but also among adults who arrive for Mass on Sunday with nothing else on their minds other than the previous day’s sport, hassles at home or goings-on at the office. Mass to many has become a Sunday routine with about as much religious or intellectual stimulation as an afternoon stroll around a shopping mall. Somehow, the priest found, those catechism classes all seemed so pointless. The kids clearly didn’t want to be there. Their parents found it a pain in the neck to fetch and carry, and did so only because they didn’t want to burn in hell. In desperation the priest asked some marketers in the parish if they could offer some sort of help in making the youngsters look forward to catechism and learning something about what it meant to be a Christian. A plan was hatched and after catechism one day the children were asked to bring their cricket kit the following week. Word got around and suddenly there were more kids than usual. Catechism took place outside and the young were introduced to a session of “Christian Cricket”. This version was just like the normal game—but the objective of the exercise

was that every child had to concentrate 100% on making sure that every other kid was having more fun than they were. They took to it like ducks to water. The good players insisted on the poorer performers having more chances to bat and bowl, and instead of howls of derision when catches were dropped, the guilty player would be surrounded by all the others and there would be pats on the back, assurances that even famous cricketers dropped catches, and genuine offers of help and coaching. Shy and self-conscious lame ducks were made to feel like princes by their peers. Suddenly a bunch of self-centred, disinterested, dragged-to-catechism-by-their-ears Catholic kids had discovered the joy of giving: the very fundamental of Christian and Catholic life. And so the catechism classes grew and alternated between “Christian Cricket” one week and a lesson in the classroom the following, where instruction from the catechism book relied on cricket analogies to get points across. It succeeds beyond all measure in creating Christian understanding. Sadly, it was eventually abandoned because more and more mothers complained that they didn’t drag themselves away from shopping sprees and tea-parties just for their kids to play cricket. This sort of knee-jerk, misperception of what the Church was doing then still exists today, and it why there is a crying need for a long-term programme of education for the laity. Perhaps the recently-launched Hope&Joy initiative will help accomplish that. There is a desperate need for the Church to apply those same marketing methods that turned Christian Cricket into meaningful catechism, to bringing about a closer more relevant appreciation of the Church by a very distracted and lackadaisical laity.

Anyway, the point is not that he orders the slave and the slave’s family to be sold (that would surely not produce ten thousand talents, which would be more than the GNP of many a small country), but that when the slave begs for mercy he is simply let off the debt. That (in case you had not noticed) is what God has done for us. But there is more, a reminder of the small-minded and mean way in which you and I behave. We watch the next stage of the story, and should squirm with embarrassment; for the newly liberated slave (us, that is), goes straight out and chokes a fellow-slave who owes him a mere hundred denarii, or 3 months’ wages. When the fellow-slave uses exactly the same appeal for clemency as he has just successfully directed to his Lord, he takes not a blind bit of notice and flings him into prison. The result is entirely merited: other slaves tell the Lord what he has done, and the Lord then hands him over to the torturers to improve his credit rating. The point is that “you should have had mercy on your fellow-slave, just as I had mercy on you”. The deeper point, for Matthew’s gospel, is that we are dealing with “my Father, the Heavenly one”, and so each of us is obliged “to forgive your brother or sister from your hearts”. Let us pray, this week, for the freedom that we gain from being like God.

Southern Crossword #460


3. It will be found on the fiction shelf (9) 8. Having a high opinion of yourself (4) 9. Nebuchadnezzar deported the Jews to this country (2 Kg 24) (9) 10. Jesus said these flowers neither work nor spin (Mt 6) (6) 11. Runs away (5) 14 and 26. Ancestor of metalworkers (Gen 4) (5-4) 15. The centre of the church? (4) 16. Sees the sign of measles (5) 18. Sacramental matter from soil (4) 20. Large group of warriors (5) 21. Drunk person who gives nothing to charity? (5) 24. Cared for the sick (6) 25. Hat for missionary in the tropics (3,6) 26. See 14 27. Jesus did it in sorrow (4,5)


1. Darwin’s explanation (9) 2. Do American Protestants wear one in the southern states? (5,4) 4. They may be served at a parish function (4) 5. Once in ... David’s city (carol) (5) 6. They asked Pilate to have the legs ... (Jn 19) (6) 7. Latin poet (4) 9. They can be heard in church (5) 11. Meteorogically it can be cold or warm (5) 12. One who prepares for the church service (9) 13. Relying on another for support (9) 17. Raise the voice (5) 19. Breathed out audibly in relief (6) 22. Cut by 50 per cent (5) 23. Saintly abbot of Cluny (4) 24. Close (4) Solutions on page 11



BRAHAM bought himself a fancy new computer. He was showing it to Isaac one day. “Look at all the wonderful programmes it has on it. And look at all the neat things it can do...” Isaac was impressed, but a little concerned. “But Dad, I don’t think your computer has enough memory.” Abraham said: “Don’t worry son; the Lord will provide the RAM.” Send us your favourite Catholic joke, preferably clean and brief, to the Southern Cross, Church Chuckle, Po Box 2372, Cape town, 8000.


the Southern Cross, August 31 to September 6, 2011

of WYD pilgrims were 44 Cubans. “The Church made it easy for us to travel,” said pilgrim Rafael Bertot, who works as a driver for a Cuban bishop. “The Church paid for our travels because we are too poor.”

Pope almost wept Pope Benedict was “so emotional, he almost wept” during some of the key moments of World Youth Day, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco of Madrid told the broadcasting station of the Spanish Episcopal Conference. He said that one of the moments of the youth gathering that most moved the pope was the Via Crucis, or Stations of the Cross, in which a reported 1,5 million people took part.

The press turns Vatican Radio reporter Emer McCarthy noticed a change in mood in the Spanish press during WYD, “which passed from front page reporting on the protests that had erupted on the eve of the papal trip to the pope’s call for ethics in political and social spheres to help overcome the [economic] crisis”.

Cultural events While destinations such as the confession booths at Retiro Park, the Vocations Fair and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament were hugely popular, Madrid also offered a cultural programme which included guided tours of the Prado Museum and other art museums of art as well as historical exhibitions in churches. In Fuencarral, Madrid’s “Avenue of the movies”, several films of a Christian content were shown.

Grateful pope Priests hear confessions in some of the of the 200 tempo- A woman rebukes a crying pilgrim during a demonstration rary open-air confessionals in Parque del Retiro. (Photo: against Pope Benedict’s visit to Madrid. (Photo: Susana Paul haring, CNS) Vera, Reuters/CNS)

Entrance debacle

Some 250 000 pilgrims were denied access to the closing Mass, despite having paid for seating. “1,4 million people showed up and [the organisers] were never really equipped to handle more than one million,” said Christian Elia, director of the US Office of Catholic Youth. “It’s very disappointing,” said Mr Elia. “In terms of execution, people have been suspecting for many months now...that there were some serious problems from an organisational standpoint.”


Pope Benedict said he was leaving Madrid filled with gratitude to the Spanish people, the World Youth Day organisers and volunteers, and the million-plus pilgrims who prayed with him. “Spain is a great nation whose soundly open, pluralistic and respectful society is capable of moving forward without surrendering its profoundly religious and Catholic soul,” the pope told King Juan Carlos before boarding a plane to return to Rome. The pope said WYD proved that young people will respond happily and massively “when one proposes to them, in sincerity and truth, an encounter with Jesus Christ”.

WYD a cash cow Pilgrims are sprayed with water before the start of the Pope Benedict meets young people for lunch. it was a Fri- Way of the Cross. Pilgrims were trying to cope with temday, so fish was served. (Photo: L’osservatore Romano) peratures of around 37°C. (Photo: Paul haring, CNS)

Out of Communion

Obscene protests

Most pilgrims did not receive Communion during the closing Mass, and were asked to offer it up as a sacrifice for the pope. The plan was to distribute Communion from 17 eucharistic chapels set up on the perimeter of the airfield, but a storm during the vigil destroyed several of the chapel-tents, and police asked organisers to dismantle most of the others because they posed a danger in the wind.

Papal lunch

At various times throughout WYD, protesters confronted young Catholics from around the world, some using obscenities. Reactions to the protests were mixed. Some pilgrims countered the demonstrations with chants of their own; others prayed. “I just cannot understand that they [Spaniards] brought the Christian faith to the Philippines, but there are now so many anti-Catholic Spanish people. What happened?” asked delegate Filipino Jan Dell Posion.

Pope Benedict lunched with 12 young people representing all continents (the menu was soup, fish and ice cream). Ten of the diners were chosen by lot from among the international volunteers who helped prepare World Youth Day. No one guided the conversation, said US representative Michelle Hatfield, 22. “It just came naturally. It’s like eating dinner with your family: You all listen, you all talk, but there’s no set structure.”

The Vatican expected the occasional protests against WYD and Pope Benedict’s visit to Spain. Against a few thousand protesters, “there are hundreds of thousands of young people...happy to welcome the pope,” said Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi SJ. “It seems to me that before every papal trip there are demonstrations by people who have a different opinion and

Protests ‘normal’

use the occasion to express their problems or concerns. It’s part of life in a democratic country.”

Gifts of culture Greeting Pope Benedict on his arrival in Madrid, young representatives gave him a gift that represented a formal cultural welcome: salt and bread from a young Polish woman; a flower garland from a Japanese woman; a bowl of rice from a South Korean; a sombrero from a Honduran; and coffee beans in a banana leaf from a young man from Australia.

Ramadan at WYD A Muslim Filipino who joined this year’s World Youth Day in Spain is encouraging fellow Muslims to go through the same experience he had. Yussef Paglas, 17, said he “meaningfully" fulfilled his Muslim traditions during WYD. “I was still able to practise Ramadan because of the long walking that we endured. And despite the

busy schedule, I still pray and bring the Qu’ran with me always,” he said in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines news site.

A spiritual GPS Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga recommended a “spiritual GPS” for young people during a catechesis session. It should be tuned to the Word of God, the Bread of Life, and the Virgin Mary. “If the point of reference is no longer God, society is disoriented,” he said. “And it is striking that a world such as the present one—which has such advanced technology for orientation as the GPS—is disoriented.”

Cuban fidelity Among the hundreds of thousands

Hotels, transportation services and businesses in Madrid took in nearly 160 million (R1,7 billion) during World Youth Day, according to Arturo Fernandez, the president of Madrid’s House of Commerce. Some three million meal tickets were distributed to young people throughout the week, valued at nearly 22,5 million (R234 million).

See you in Rio 2013 The secret of the next World Youth Day host city had been out already since July. Still Brazilians in Madrid and young people gathered in a public viewing area in Rio de Janeiro cheered when Pope Benedict announced that the next WYD will be held in Rio in 2013. The Vatican decided not to wait three years for the next international gathering because in 2014 Brazil is scheduled to host the football World Cup and will have its hands full.

A pilgrim waits for the start the WYD opening Mass in the Plaza de Cibeles. (Susana Vera, Reuters/CNS)

the flags of many nations are carried on stage by pilgrims before the WYD welcoming ceremony with Pope Benedict in Madrid’s Plaza de Cibeles. Note South Africa’s flag on the far right. (Paul haring, CNS)

Nuns sing and cheer as Pope Benedict visits San Lorenzo de el escorial. in his meeting with young women religious, the pope said the Church needs their “youthful fidelity”. (Andrea Comas, Reuters/CNS)

Pope Benedict leads the Way of the Cross in Plaza de Cibeles. Many pilgrims sacrificed their time and comfort by arriving hours early and standing in the hot sun to stake out a place near the papal platform in Plaza de Cibeles or in front of one of the station-statues set up along a main street leading to the plaza. (Paul haring, CNS)

Clergy shield themselves from the rain during the prayer vigil at Cuatro Vientos airfield. hundreds of thousands of young people, set to camp out for the night in the open field, endured driving rain and wind at the start of the service. the pope continued with the evening’s rituals after the storm cleared. (Susana Vera, Reuters/CNS)

Pope Benedict celebrates a Mass with seminarians inside the cathedral of our Lady of Almudena in Madrid. During the service, the pope announced his decision to proclaim St john of Avila, patron of Spanish clergy, as the 34th Doctor of the Church. (Photo: Alessia Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo) Pilgrims from Germany, France and the United States sing in a Metro station in Madrid. (Paul haring, CNS)

A priest distributes Communion to pilgrims during the WYD closing Mass. only 100 000 out of the 1,4 million at the Mass were able to receive Communion. (Photo: Paul haring, CNS)

A pilgrim puts her face in a cutout of a nun at the vocation fair in Parque del Retiro. Members of religious orders and clergy were on hand during WYD to encourage youths to think about vocations. earlier this year, the US bishops released results of a survey that said 20% of new priests and religious had attended a World Youth Day. (Paul haring, CNS)

Pope Benedict waves in the popemobile as he is cheered by pilgrims in Madrid. (Paul haring, CNS)

Pilgrims toss around giant balls as they await the arrival of Pope Benedict for the World Youth Day welcoming ceremony. (Photo: Paul haring, CNS)

Pope Benedict leads Benediction of the eucharist during the Saturday night prayer vigil. (Paul haring, CNS)

Vera Pintobasto, 15, pours water on Matilde Melo, 17, in Parque del Retiro. the teens from Portugal were trying their best to keep cool in the park, one of the main sites for WYD events. (Paul haring, CNS)

A group of pilgrims from ethiopia participate in a game of tug of war in oviedo before WYD kicked off. (eloy Alonso, Reuters/CNS)

Pope Benedict pretends to play a piano made out of cake after having lunch with young people representing all continents. (Photo from L’osservatore Romano)

Pope Benedict sits in a temporary confessional as he offers the sacrament of reconciliation to four WYD volunteers in Madrid’s main park. the pope heard the confessions of the pilgrims, as did many priests, at the 200 white confessionals set up in the park for World Youth Day. (Photo from L’osservatore Romano)

The Southern Cross - 110831  

31 August - 6 September, 2011

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