September 7 to September 13, 2011
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How Adam and Eve have evolved
Spirituality after 9/11 terror attacks Page 10
National Health Insurance: ‘Nothing to fear, lots to gain’ BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
A pilgrim uses an iPad to photograph Pope Benedict as the Holy Father leads the Angelus prayer in Castel Gandolfo, the pontiff’s summer residence south of Rome. See page 11 for a story about the pope’s farm near the town which provides the papal table with eggs, milk and virgin olive oil. (Photo: Paul Haring, CNS)
HE Department of Health has proposed a National Health Insurance (NHI) that has left many concerned about how the medical industry will be structured, who will benefit and who will pay for it. Dominican Father Mike Deeb of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference’s Justice and Peace Department said that in principle the health scheme is an important initiative because “the poor struggle to afford good medical care”. He said the fact that other first world countries have similar schemes adds value to South Africa’s social welfare endeavours. “We should therefore welcome the idea and engage with what is necessary to make it a reality.” Kenny Pasensie of the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office, an associated body of the SACBC, said the proposed system is about achieving a universal health system. This would mean that everyone benefits and therefore is positive for all in South Africa. “Currently, just more than 16% of the population is covered by private medical aid schemes, while the rest is dependent on services by public health facilities,” the researcher said. The difference between what has been proposed and that which is currently in place has not yet been defined. So far, the working document, or “Green Paper”, plans to revamp the medical industry in the country to focus mainly on health promotion, prevention care and quality curative and rehabilitative services. The paper states that everyone will have access to a “defined comprehensive package of healthcare services”. Fr Deeb said the first and biggest challenge would be upgrading the current state of the country’s existing health institutions. “Unless the service in [health care facilities] can be drastically improved, pumping more money into the system will have little effect. This system has to become good enough to entice the contributors to private medical schemes to see a value in dropping them in favour of the NHI. This will be a difficult challenge unless the current system improves.”
Taizé Brothers set to visit South Africa BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
WO Brothers from the Taizé community will be in South Africa from September 22 to October 6 to take part in the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Centre for Christian Spirituality in Cape Town before going on to Johannesburg, Durban and Pretoria. Sister of Mercy Jean Evans said the Brothers will be visiting the country to renew friendships and meet some of the many South Africans who pass through Taizé, the popular place of pilgrimage in France where the interdenominational monastic community is based. Sr Evans said the community has a special relationship with South Africa. “Brother Roger, the late founder, first came with Brothers to the Cape in 1978, to pray and
be in solidarity with those suffering under apartheid. In the 1970s a group of 144 young South Africans travelled to Taizé with then-Bishop Desmond Tutu who was inspired by the biblical vision of the 144 000 round the throne of the Lamb. They came from all races and to worship in Taizé, to laugh, to love, to rough it together at the community’s centre in the Burgundy hills of France,” she said. The community is an ecumenical order with Brothers from both Protestant and Catholic traditions. Taizé Brothers visited again in 1995 and 2007. “The meetings were a part of the ecumenical community’s on-going work of reconciliation and trust-building throughout the world,” Sr Evans said, adding that central to the Brothers’ message is the hope
that Christ brings to all people and that Christians are witnesses and sharers of that hope. “The meetings are usually animated with some text from the prior. Thereafter, there is some reflection and sharing. Then there is participation in the prayer in the style of Taizé. It is chanted and meditative; an opportunity to deepen our inner lives as well as our commitment to solidarity with those who are suffering,” said Sr Evans This year the Taizé Brothers will visit Stellastraatgemeente in Pretoria on September 28, and Regina Mundi church in Moroka, Soweto, on September 29 for prayer and reflection. Further events are to be planned in Durban and Cape Town. n For more information, contact jeanmercy @ymail.com or 012 703 3110.
Mr Pasensie said the aim will be to offer good quality healthcare that is on par with what the private sector is offering. “In order for this to happen the NHI must ensure that the quality of service at our public health facilities are radically improved, that all public institutions adhere to defined standards and that the management of state hospitals is improved,” he said. Government has already published a draft policy on the management of hospitals and will set up a watchdog body to ensure health standards are met. While the Green Paper is clear in some areas, it is “not very clear on the exact funding mode”, Mr Pasensie said. “It is widely expected that it will be funded from taxes, mandatory contributions from individuals and employers as well as partnerships with the private sector. It has been stated by government that additional taxes on individuals would be the last resort,” he said. All employed individuals will be required to contribute. However, no decision has been taken on what the income threshold should be above which NHI contributions would be mandatory. Mr Pasensie said it was unlikely that any contributions from the public to the NHI will be required for the first phase—five years of its implementation as the first phase will be funded from existing public finances. It is also unclear what effect the proposed NHI will have on the current medical industry—particularly on private hospitals and medical aid schemes. Mr Pasensie said the Green Paper has already slammed the pricing regime of private hospitals. It described the increase of rates in private hospitals of 121% over the past decade as unacceptable. “There might be a knock-on effect on the private medical aids. Because thousands of employees are obliged to contribute to the NHI, large numbers may allow their private sector medical aids contributions to lapse. This in turn, together with pressure from government, might force the private sector Continued on page 3
Did you miss our WYD issue? our special World Youth DidDayyou’11miss edition last week? The good news is that back issues are still available! To order copies of our World Youth Day/Social Communications Sunday issue of August 31, or to subscribe to The Southern Cross’ digital or print editions, please contact Avril Hanslo at 021 465 5007 or e-mail email@example.com
The Southern Cross, September 7 to September 13, 2011
Professor: Tutu’s wealth tax not a bad idea
T The Irish volunteering organisation Serve is dedicated to addressing the burden of poverty in various countries. 15 volunteers with a working budget undertook projects in Phokeng in the diocese of Rustenburg.
Young Irish called to ‘Serve’ the poor BY THANdI BOSMAN
GROUP of young men and women from Ireland volunteered to help in rural communities in South Africa this year. Serve, a volunteering organisation dedicated to addressing poverty, sends volunteers to different countries and raises money to sponsor their projects. The group is associated with the Irish Redemptorists. This year different groups went to South Africa, Brazil, India, Thailand, Mozambique and Zambia. South Africa is one of the priority countries where Serve helps and works with the poor. Johannesburg-based De La Salle Brother George Whyte said the group of ten men and five women were not afraid to get their hands dirty while working in Phokeng in the diocese of Rustenburg. Br Whyte said he was fortunate to help the group on projects which included building outside toilets, classrooms and sports facilities. “They set to work with enthusi-
asm to paint, repair and decorate health clinics in rural areas. They delivered food parcels to poor people in their shacks, and kept school children occupied for hours with fun and games,” said Br Whyte. A few of the group members were interviewed about their work on the community station Radio Mafisa, which was founded by Br Finbarr Murphy. The Serve volunteers met Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg at an informal meeting held for the group, where they also met priests and community members. The meeting also paid tribute to Br Finbarr Murphy, Br Joseph Kiely and Sr Georgina Boswell for the work they do for the poor in Rustenburg. Since 2003, Serve has placed 475 Irish volunteers on assignments overseas and contributes a budget of over € 1 million (R10 million) each year. The organisation assigns about 90 volunteers a year and supports programmes that help poor communities in the world.
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HE proposal by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to introduce a wealth tax for the super-rich is not a bad idea at all as it is an attempt to make them share their wealth with the poor, thus reducing the widening gap between the rich and poor in the South African society. This was said by Prof Geoff Harris, economics lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal at a breakfast briefing organised by the Diakonia Council of Churches, on August 25, as part of the events of the biannual Social Justice Season. “The wealth tax idea is not something from a lunatic bishop. It is something that many experts have proposed before. All it bows down to is making generosity a virtue. Tutu has started a conversation that we should all grapple with,” Prof Harris said. He said there is a need to promote giving of the haves to the have-nots. One way of doing that, he suggested, is to set up a fund administered by a cross section of stakeholders in our society, into which the super-rich would voluntarily donate. Prof Harris noted that 2008 statistics indicate that the richest
HE annual Eshowe diocesan pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady of Fatima this year had a Hope&Joy theme. Some 3 000 people from this mainly Zulu diocese—men and women, young and old—converged on the former Benedictine abbey outside eMpangeni. They stayed up all night, even when the temperatures dropped sharply, as they prayed and praised. While there were many exuberant moments of song and dance, there were also some solemn moments, for example during a beautiful service of Benediction at 4am. The keynote address was given by Raymond Perrier, director of the Jesuit Institute in Johannesburg and Hope&Joy convenor. “Drawing on those stirring words from the Second Vatican Council, I invited people to reflect on where they found hope and joy, griefs and anxieties,” Mr Perrier told The Southern Cross. “They looked at their own lives, at their communities, and at the country as a whole.” The diocesan department of catechetics and
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evangelisation which, led by Petrus Mkhize, organised the event, said it was pleased with how it went. The all-night vigil ended with a Solemn Mass of Our Lady, celebrated by the Bishop Thaddeus Kumalo of Eshowe.
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3 000 people attended the annual Our Lady of Fatima pilgrimage held in the diocese of Eshowe.
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10% of households received almost 40 times more than the poorest 50% while the richest 10% earned almost 150 times more than the poorest 10%. “Income inequality has worsened since 1994, partly because of the increasing inequality within
Thousands on pilgrimage with hope and joy
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Professor Geoff Harris, economics lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, believes that the wealth tax proposal boils down to making generosity a virtue.
the black community,” he added. Income inequality has also worsened because of the ascendency of the free market system, Prof Harris said, adding that the trend will continue unless there is government intervention to stop it. However, he was sceptical that government can introduce policies that can prevent it. “A large proportion of the population are effectively excluded from meaningful participation in the economy because of a policy focus which has been tailored to fit the interests of the rich. Rich individuals often have a foot in both business and government. By contrast, the location of the poor, their lack of education and their lack of money mean that their voices are scarcely heard,” Prof Harris said. The dangers of inequality are there for all to see. “It has strong causal links with ill-health, violence and other social ills. It is one of the key explanations of the very high levels of violence in South Africa. Regrettably, most violence is committed by the poor people against other poor people, with very little material reward,” he said.
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The Southern Cross, September 7 to September 13, 2011
Commemorating women around the country BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
M The Cape Town Schoenstatt community organised its tenth archdiocesan liturgical event to honour Mary Assumed into Heaven, South Africa’s patroness, at the packed Salesians’ Our Lady Help of Christians church in Lansdowne, FRANCIS BOULLE reports. Youth from each of the eight deaneries presented a petition and lit candles to the patroness asking for her intercession. The congregation responded by singing “Queen and Patroness we call upon you”. Archdiocesan vicargeneral Fr Peter-John Pearson preached and retired Archbishop Lawrence Henry gave the final Benediction. The organisers said they are now challenged to do something special for 2012, which will mark the 60th anniversary of Mary’s patronage of South Africa and the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.
National health a boon? Continued from page 1 to offer better priced packages,” Mr Pasensie speculated. Despite the lack of clarity around the NHI, Mr Pasensie said the public should be optimistic. He pointed out that health issues are important to the Church. Referring to Catholic Social Teaching, which counsels to the common good, he said the way in which we organise our society directly affects human dignity.
Mr Pasensie said while there was still work to be done on the policy proposal, “it is our duty as members of civil society to exercise our right to engage constructively with the policy proposal so that we can ensure that a functional and efficient universal health system is implemented”. He said the mandate of the public and the Church is to aid government in making the best choices.
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EN and women around the country celebrated Women’s month in different ways. Holy Family Sister Melanie O’Connor of Counter Trafficking in Persons Office at the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference organised a morning of prayer, talks and a procession in the archdiocese of Pretoria. According to Diane Shaw from the Sacred Heart Healing Centre, a call was made to celebrate the “great contribution of women throughout the world to the upliftment of society” and to pray for an end to all that violates their dignity, including sexual slavery, human trafficking, prostitution and pornography and muti-murders. Held at Pretoria’s Sacred Heart cathedral, clergy, members of the public, sodalities and various organisations joined to express their solidarity with all those abused. National youth chaplain Fr Sammy Mabusela told the gathering that it was time that Christians started talking about the issues affecting women and making others aware of what is happening. “It was really awesome to see so many youth taking part and wearing shirts with the slogan ‘Proud to be Catholic’,” said Ms Shaw. Other speakers included a representative from Child Trace, an organisation dealing with identifying and locating missing children, and Malebo Kotu-Rammopo from the National Prosecution Authority who spoke on the Trafficking in Per-
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sons Bill currently being discussed in parliament. Following the presentations, the group “walked along the street in silent procession, wearing red ribbons covering our mouths to express our solidarity with all those abused women and children—the silent suffering”, said Ms Shaw. Meanwhile in Cape Town it was the men of the Eastern deanery that commemorated the work the women of the diocese do by arranging presentations and a celebratory lunch for women. According to Jean Hendricks from Our Lady Help of Christians parish in Lansdowne, the traditional roles were reversed as the men’s group, called “Men for Change”, treated the women. “The excitement and anticipation of the women as to what to expect was something to behold!” said Ms Hendricks.
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A presentation by Bruce Walsh, the Catholic survivor of the 1998 Planet Hollywood bombing in Cape Town and author of the book Victor over Victim shared his story and encouraged the group to persevere and look at their own journey. Men for Change entertained the women with “great singing and music”, said Ms Hendricks, adding that it was great to see people coming together to make a change in the lives of women. The group has called on more Catholic men to form prayer groups and work towards social justice in their communities. Similarly Ms Shaw said the day of prayer in Pretoria was a strong stance against “all that threatens our dignity as human persons”. She added that more will need to be done by all South Africans if change is to be seen.
The Southern Cross, September 7 to September 13, 2011
How Church’s teachings on Adam and Eve evolved BY JAMES BREIG
N the United States, the debate continues: Did Adam and Eve actually exist or are they characters in a Bible story that makes a point about God and his creatures? In simplified form, the fundamentalist view is that Adam was a real person and the first human created by God, while science argues that human beings evolved as a group. Some Christians hold that they must follow scientific findings and adapt their faith’s teachings to that information. Similar debates between science and religion have gone on for a long time, and the Catholic Church has worked through those disputes for centuries, according to Franciscan Father Michael Guinan, professor of Old Testament, Semitic languages and biblical spirituality at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, California. “Since the 1600s,” he said, “the traditional views of Genesis have suffered three challenges: Galileo on the movement of the earth around the sun and not vice versa; the growth of geology in the 1819th centuries and discoveries about the age of the earth”, as well as Darwin’s theory of evolution. “The Church has negotiated these challenges, but not without struggles. Today, no reasonable person in or out of the Church doubts any of these three.” The Adam and Eve controversy involves the competing theories of polygenism and monogenism: the question of whether humans descended from many progenitors, as science argues, or from one couple, as Genesis seems to posit.
“In the past, the Church’s statements regarding original sin have presumed that Adam and Eve were historical people,” the priest explained. “The question of monogenism and polygenism never occurred to” those writing the documents. He said that the most recent statement to mention this debate is Pius XII’s 1950 encyclical Humani Generis, which states that original sin “proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam”.
n the six decades since that document, “the Catholic Church has accepted the use of historical-critical tools to understand the Scriptures, which are, among other things, historical documents”, Fr Guinan said. “The 1993 instruction of the Pontifical Biblical Commission on ‘The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church’ calls the historical-critical method ‘essential’ and rejects explicitly a fundamentalist reading of Scripture.” When such an approach is applied to the Bible, he said, “Catholic scholars, along with mainstream Protestant scholars, see
Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic, archbishop of Toronto, Canada, from 1990 to 2006, died on August 26 at the age of 81. Born in 1930 in Gaberje, Slovenia, his entire family fled to Austria in 1945 and spent the next three years in refugee camps. The family immigrated to Canada in 1948. Ordained a priest in 1955, he was named auxiliary bishop of Toronto in 1976, becoming head of the archdiocese in 1990. Pope John Paul II named him a cardinal in 1998. As head of the archdiocese of Toronto, he hosted Pope John Paul and hundreds of thousands of young people for World Youth day 2002. (Photo: Art Babych, CNS)
in the primal stories of Genesis not literal history but symbolic, metaphoric stories which express basic truths about the human condition and humans. The unity of the human race derives theologically from the fact that all things and people are created in Christ and for Christ. Christology is at the centre, not biology.” He added that “the question of biological origins is a scientific one; and, if science shows that there is no evidence of monogenism and there is lots of evidence for polygenism, then a Catholic need have no problem accepting that”. When such an approach is followed, Adam and Eve are not seen as historical people, but as important figures in stories that contain key lessons about the relationships of humans and their Creator. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that “the account of the fall in Genesis...uses figurative language, but affirms... a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.” In that language, Fr Guinan detects a straddling of the issue. “It recognises that Genesis is figurative language, but it also wants to hold to historicity. Unfortunately, you can’t really have both. The catechism is clearly not the place to argue theological discussions, so whoever wrote it decided, as it were, to have it both ways.” In an article about the first couple, Fr Guinan wrote that Catholics who ask, “Were there an Adam and Eve?” would be better off asking another question: “Are there an Adam and Eve?” The answer, he said, “is a definite ‘yes.’ We find them when we look in the mirror. We are Adam, and we are Eve. The man and woman of Genesis are intended to represent an Everyman and Everywoman. They are paradigms, figurative equivalents, of human conduct in the face of temptation, not lessons in biology or history. The Bible is teaching religion, not science or literalistic history.”—CNS
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A woman kisses the casing containing a relic and wax effigy of Bl John Paul II at the basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The relic—a vial of blood taken from the Polish pope before he died in 2005—was being taken to all 91 dioceses in Mexico on what was being called a pilgrimage for peace. (Photo: Keith dannemiller, CNS)
Have courage, Middle East’s Christians told
HRISTIANS in the Middle East should not live in fear of the changes happening across the region but should act with courage to denounce situations of injustice and with a Christian attitude of willingness to dialogue, said the head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. “There is great uncertainty and great fear” among Christians in Egypt and Syria, Fr Pierbattista Pizzaballa OFM told Vatican Radio. Fr Pizzaballa said that, too often, if Christians in the Middle East express concern about problems or potential tensions between Christians and Muslims, they are accused of “wanting to accentuate the differences”. “If, on the other hand, you say there is collaboration and sharing, you’re [accused of being] naive. Both these experiences exist. It’s not one or the other. There are experiences of sharing, but also elements of fundamentalism, division and persecution” in the region, he said. “We must not be afraid, we always say, but we must have the courage...to say how things really are with clarity, but also main-
taining a Christian attitude of witness, openness, welcome and trying in every case to reconstruct dialogue and relationships,” the Franciscan said. “From a strategic point of view, if we want to be practical, there is no alternative, but also because this is what our faith teaches,” he said. In parts of the Middle East and the wider Arab world, Christians can witness to their faith only through the way they live and relate to others, he said. The changes sweeping through countries across North Africa and over to Syria obviously give rise to hopes, but also concerns. “Right now in Egypt there is much fear and uncertainty because, after a period of euphoria” and unity after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, “it seems that the more fundamentalist parties are prevailing”, he said. In Syria, “Christians were and still are treated with great respect,” but the protest movements against the government have led to concerns that the respect they were guaranteed for decades may be threatened, Fr Pizzaballa said.—CNS
Bosnia war could flare up again BY JONATHAN LUxMOORE
BOSNIAN Church leader is concerned that peace could again be at risk in the wartorn Balkan country because of failure by the international community to ensure “justice and human rights for all”. “The peace agreement and constitution which ended the war here were designed not by the people and parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but in the United States,” said Mgr Ivo Tomasevic, secretary-general of the Sarajevo-based Catholic bishops’ conference. “For politicians everywhere, what’s most important is power. They’ll use every means available to get it, including people’s fears that they’re being marginalised by other ethnic groups,” he said.
The priest was speaking amid preparations for the trial for war crimes of General Ratko Mladic, commander of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Serb army, at the United Nations tribunal in The Hague. Mgr Tomasevic said the 1995 peace accord, signed at Dayton, Ohio, had ended the country’s bloody three-year conflict but failed to bring a “stable and lasting peace”. He said conditions had since worsened for the country’s depleted Catholic minority. Only 3% of the 200 000 Catholics who fled Bosnia’s northern Serb-controlled Republika Srpska had come home since the Dayton Accords were finalised, while 40 Catholic parishes in the Sarajevo archdiocese remained “destroyed and depopulated”.
“This accord stopped the fighting, but only by compromising with injustice and legalising the ethnic cleansing carried out by the strongest factions,” Mgr Tomasevic said. “Even after 16 years, people still don’t feel safe, since they know they’re living in a state where war crimes have been rewarded... If someone throws me violently out of my home, and then offers to let me have half of it back, how can people outside applaud and tell me I should stop complaining?” Mgr Tomasevic added: “Changes to the Dayton Accords have made things continually worse for Catholics. Instead, we should be ensuring the same rights for all in every part of Bosnia-Herzegovina.”—CNS
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The Southern Cross, September 7 to September 13, 2011
Pope: Catholics have not done enough to evangelise BY CAROL GLATZ
RADLE Catholics haven’t done enough to show people that God exists and can bring true fulfilment to everyone, Pope Benedict has told a group of his former students. “We, who have been able to know [Christ] since our youth, may we ask forgiveness because we bring so little of the light of his face to people; so little certainty comes from us that he exists, he’s present and he is the greatness that everyone is waiting for,” the pope said. The pope presided at a Mass in Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, during his annual meeting with students who did their doctorates
with him when he was a professor in Germany. Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, a regular participant in the “Ratzinger Schülerkreis” (Ratzinger student circle), gave the homily at the Mass; the pope made remarks at the beginning of the liturgy. Pope Benedict highlighted Psalm 63 in which the soul thirsts for God “in a land parched, lifeless and without water”. He asked God to show himself to today’s world, which is marked by God’s absence and where “the land of souls is arid and dry, and people still don’t know where the living water comes from”. May God let people who are searching for water elsewhere
know that the only thing that will quench their thirst is God himself and that he would never let “people’s lives, their thirst for that which is great, for fulfilment, drown and suffocate in the ephemeral”, the pope told his former students. However, it also is up to Christians to make God known to the world, the pope said, and older generations may not have done their best. The formal discussions of the Schülerkreis this year focused on the new evangelisation. The closed-door seminar was held in the papal residence of Castel Gandolfo and was attended by 40 people, reported L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.
The pope chose two speakers to give lectures: Hanna-Barbara GerlFalkovitz, a German theologian and professor of religious philosophy, and Otto Neubauer, director of the Emmanuel Community’s academy for evangelisation in Vienna. The lectures were followed by discussion among the participants, including the pope. Summarising the discussions for L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Schönborn said participants felt that recent World Youth Day events in Madrid represented a fresh “boost of renewed hope” for the Church. He said older generations have suffered by first living their faith at a time when Church life was thriv-
ing, and today they are watching parishes lose so many parishioners. But today’s young Catholics seem to realise they are a minority in a secular, relativistic world and have shown their “undaunted willingness to give witness to their peers in such an environment”. Seminar participants saw the socalled “John Paul II and Benedict XVI generations” as a whole new phase for the Church. No one thought young Catholics would be so open to being in “the courtyard of the Gentiles” to evangelise, said the cardinal. He said the meeting also reflected on how to spread the Gospel in a secular world that nonetheless “shows that it is waiting to receive anew the Gospel message”.—CNS
Marian pilgrims’ security fears Malawi Church wants global support
PRIEST in Pakistan has called on security agencies to provide “functional” security for travellers during this year’s annual pilgrimage to the national Marian shrine in Mariamabad. Millions of pilgrims are expected to visit the shrine in Punjab province; organisers fear ongoing threats of terrorism, reported the Asian Church news agency UCA News. “The [metal detector] gate posted at the entrance of the shrine stopped functioning on several occasions last year,” said Fr Ashraf Gill, head of security for the event, which is scheduled from September 9-11. “The continual power cuts made it worse, making millions of pilgrims vulnerable.” He said he is holding meetings with police officials to discuss
security arrangements. The threat of terrorism has led organisers to enlist additional assistance. “Two hundred youths and 30 women will be deployed at various locations to look for suspicious activity. Posters have also been distributed around churches announcing a ban on cooking pots, weapons and drugs in church compounds,” the priest said. A cameraman for a Christian television station said that, last year, the metal detector was not functioning at all. He informed a priest but otherwise kept silent about it to avoid panic among pilgrims Security concerns have rapidly become a priority as the country’s top Catholic leaders are expected to join the pilgrimage.
BY BRONWEN dACHS
HE Catholic Church and other faith groups in Malawi are calling for international support as they seek major reforms in the southern African country, a Church official hassaid. “Malawians are desperate for a government that responds to their concerns,” said Chris Chisoni, national secretary of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace. Nineteen people died in Malawi in clashes with police during July 20-21 protests against government policies and a shortage of fuel and foreign currency. The Public Affairs Committee, which includes Catholic bishops, Protestant and Muslim representatives, has called for a “proper investigation with the support” of the Southern African Develop-
ment Community and the United Nations into the clashes and their causes, Mr Chisoni said. The United States and Britain have cut aid to Malawi, which depends on donors for as much as 40% of its budget, because of disagreements with President Bingu wa Mutharika and the police response to protests. “Urgent steps must be taken to ensure that solutions are found to the crisis,” Mr Chisoni said, noting that “human rights reforms and transparent governance” are needed “to ensure that diplomatic and bilateral relationships are restored”. Malawi’s opposition parties are “too caught up in infighting to be an effectively organised opposition, and so it is left to civil society and the church to look out for the interests of ordinary citizens,” he said.
Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza of Mzuzu, who chairs the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, invoked the president’s ire when he told Mr Mutharika that he should stop gagging Malawi’s civil society, media and the faith community, noting that they have a role to play in safeguarding the rule of law. Malawi’s social, political and economic problems “are of our own making depending on our respective roles”, Bishop Zuza said in a sermon at a National Day of Prayer in Blantyre. Responding to the bishop’s remarks in a speech in Blantyre, Mr Mutharika said he would “deal with the nongovernmental organisations which are leading people to protest against my leadership,” adding that his “patience is wearing thin; let us fight”.— CNS
The Southern Cross, September 7 to September 13, 2011
LEADER PAGE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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.
How WYD 2011 changed my life
Catholic illiteracy H harms Church’s mission
DDRESSING former students, now leaders in theology and philosophy in their own right, Pope Benedict observed that cradle Catholics have largely failed in their Christian mission to evangelise. “We, who have been able to know [Christ] since our youth, may we ask forgiveness because we bring so little of the light of his face to people; so little certainty comes from us that he exists, he’s present and he is the greatness that everyone is waiting for,” the pope told members of the Ratzinger Schülerkreis, as the group of his former students is known. Discerning the many reasons for this failure to pass on the faith in our Saviour to others surely will form part of the brief of the Vatican’s Congregation for New Evangelisation. One reason seems obvious: many Catholics simply lack an entrenched commitment to their faith. For them, the Christian obligation may be fulfilled at Sunday Mass, a bargain that lasts until next Sunday. They may give generously to the Church and live good lives, but they do not invest much thought in their faith. Consuming Christian literature, a primary method of formation, is secondary to secular newspapers and magazines, TV shows or Internet sites. It is revealing that even in South Africa’s urban centres, Catholic bookshops are tiny in numbers. This relatively small market for Catholic literature points to more than statistics: it is a failure in the formation of the Catholic community; a failure our evangelical peers have escaped. Any South African shopping mall of a certain size will have at least one stylish media centre aimed at Christians of various Protestant and evangelical types. These shops stock a wide variety of books, DVDs and CDs, and attract good numbers of patrons, many of them young people. Their evidently thriving existence can be attributed to a
culture of media consciousness in the church communities they serve. The evangelical and pentecostal churches have recognised that one of the most effective means of performing the urban missionary apostolate—precisely the area of concern to the Holy Father—is through the various forms of media. It is apparent that the more Christians read and learn about their faith, the better agents of evangelisation they will be. Alas, despite a wealth of excellent Catholic literature, the notion of a Catholic bookshop in a flashy mall is unimaginable, as is the idea that secular bookshops might carry a range of Catholic books—not necessarily because they are anti-Catholic (though some might well be), but because Catholics are not creating a demand. Simply put, the local Church lacks a culture of Catholic reading. There is a pronounced spirit of apathy in a Church that does not place a premium on encouraging the faithful to read Catholic literature, be it books, magazines or, indeed, The Southern Cross. This condition of Catholic illiteracy must be addressed on all levels if we truly seek to cooperate fruitfully in the evangelising mission of the Church. Perhaps the idea of launching a Catholic Literacy Campaign merits renewed consideration. Such a campaign could serve to promote the idea of reading Catholic books and publications on diocesan and parish level, involving both clergy and laity, with the vigorous encouragement of bishops. There will be many combinations of explantations as to why the cradle Catholics to whom Pope Benedict refers are so lukewarm in exercising their Christian mandate to evangelise. Incomplete formation surely is a crucial reason. Catholic literacy is elementary in the on-going formation of the faithful. To tolerate the prevailing apathy to Catholic media does little to serve the Church or her mission.
AVING attended World Youth Day in Madrid in August, I just have to say that i will never be the same again. I remember the months of preparation when our coordinator, who attended the previous WYD in Sydney in 2008, tried to get us to understand the meaning and significance of our pilgrimage. But having attended WYD myself, I can now see that no matter how much he tried, the only way of understanding the event’s true significance is to go through it. I am grateful and honoured to
have taken part in such an awesome event. I believe that in this one week, the Lord was with us in such a tangible way that one couldn't help but become overwhelmed by emotion. Seeing so many young people gathered in one place for a common cause was amazing; we were able to see God among ourselves. The theme for WYD ’11 was “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith”. I believe that is what I personally acquired from this event. I feel now as though I can do anything I set my
Good News and good music
Hendrina, a small village in the then Eastern Transvaal. They were staunch Catholics but there was no Catholic church there—the nearest church was in Middelburg and that was the parish to which they belonged. The priest visited his congregation there once a month and celebrated the sacraments with them. Notwithstanding that there was no Catholic church and no Catholic School in the village, eventually there were no fewer than five young ladies who entered religious congregations. The first was Alice Abraham who joined the Holy Cross Sisters and received the religious name of Sr Alphonsa. She was sent to the Western Cape where she spent most of her life. In time she was elected provincial superior of the sisters there. She died in 1991. The second was Hannah Chami who joined the King Williams Town Dominican Sisters and received the name of Sr Martin. She trained as a nursing sister and spent many years nursing in hospitals and clinics run by her order. In 1973 she went to Bolivia and spent many years doing missionary work in the health sector there. She received many medals in recognition of her dedication to the work she accomplished. Suffering ill health, she returned to South Africa and was sent to the Little Company of Mary hospital in Pretoria where she died in 1996. The third is Lorna Costa (my sister) who at the age of 21 went to Ireland to join the Missionary Sisters of our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Killeshandra, County Cavan, where she did her postu-
WAS very interested to note Günther Simmermacher’s newlylaunched music programme Rhythm & Truths on Radio Veritas, our Catholic radio station. In regard to the poor and limited selection of good music to be heard on air locally, might I remind Catholics that we now have several programmes on Radio Veritas where we have the opportunity to fly high the flag and make more widely known the glorious tradition of Catholic liturgical and other music that has been “waiting in the wings” for too long now. For example, veteran ex-BBC and SABC broadcaster Colin York presents a long-running programme of compositions by the greatest baroque, classical and romantic composers every weekday morning from 11:00. I also present a music programme entitled Music We Remember on Saturdays at 15:00 and Sundays at 7:00. My choice of music includes classical, operetta and operatic selections, gems from the world of cinema and theatre as well as lighter music artistes down the years. I try to associate my music choices with aspects of our Catholic faith. Let’s keep supporting our Catholic radio station which brings you the Good News of Jesus Christ and the good music! John Lee, Johannesburg
The home of nuns
ECENTLY there was an article in The Southern Cross about the bad old days, but there were also good old days. In the early years of the last century, my father, Moses Costa, and his cousin left their beloved country, Lebanon and came to South Africa. After many years and a strenuous struggle, they landed in
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mind to, and most importantly, I now wholeheartedly believe and know that no matter what I go through, good or bad, I am never by myself. Katlego Ramoshaba, Pretoria lancy and novitiate. She returned to South Africa, trained as a teacher and taught in Edenvale, Tembisa, ministered in the diocesan schools and was then appointed chaplain to St Benedict’s College in Bedfordview, Johannesburg. After eight years she was appointed regional leader of the Holy Rosary Sisters in South Africa, a post she held for six years. The fourth is Melvina Abraham who entered the Holy Cross convent in Aliwal North in 1968. She trained as a teacher and taught in many Holy Cross Schools throughout the country. She is currently on mission in Cape Town where she is involved in parish work. The last is Lorraine Jacob, and though she is not from Hendrina, her mother was. They lived in Ermelo where she attended the convent school run by Dominican Sisters. Lorraine also trained as a teacher and eventually entered with the Sisters of Mercy in Johannesburg. She received the name Sr Christine and made her final profession in 1975. She spent many years teaching in. various Mercy schools in Johannesburg, Soweto and Mmakau. She is now in Winterveld where she is the administrator of the Mercy Clinic and the Mercy Aids project. Mary Costa, Pretoria
EFERRING to the letters “A touchy affair” and “Holy germfare in our churches” (August 3 and 24), while cleanliness is next to godliness, would it not be wise to follow Proverbs 4:20-22? “My son, attend to my words, incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” Just a little something from God’s medicine bottle. Denise Mayer, Johannesburg
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Time for men to step up
N August, Women’s Month, I seem to have been faced with quite an emphasis on males, both men and boys. We reflected with the bishops on “Families in Crisis”. This was a response to the research report by the SA Institute of Race Relations on the state of families in South Africa which highlighted clearly that men—fathers—are not significantly present to their children. Only one third of our children live with their biological father, and the most common form of family is the single parent, mother-headed household. Most children are deprived of their father’s presence and influence in their lives, although there may well be another “father figure” in the family. Then I was invited to attend the launch of a campaign by the Sonke Gender Justice Network, a programme called MENCARE which also addresses the importance of fathers for their children. This organisation focuses strongly on the role of men as part of the gender question. The SACBC Family Life Desk’s Family Ministry Leaders’ Conference of diocesan family coordinators and leaders of family movements also raised the topic. None of the family movements has a specific emphasis on men but all of them, in dealing with marriage, seek to empower both men and women in the context of their relationship, while those focusing broadly on family enrichment do address the men. Couples for Christ has a men’s section and a men’s conference from time to
time. A number of dioceses and parishes have a men’s sodality, such as St Joseph’s, or a Men’s Forum, or as it is known in one Johannesburg parish, “Men of God, Arise!”. But, let’s face facts, men are in the minority in the Church and often are also absent in the little church of the home, which is our chief area of concern.
here are cultural implications to all that, and with September being Heritage Month it is good to look at it from that angle. Men are not absent in society; they can be found in the workplace, the sports field, the taverns, clubs and bars. They are also academics, responsible businesspeople, breadwinners, husbands and partners, fathers to daughters and mentors to sons. It is said that their needs are not necessarily sufficiently recognised in a world that has, out of a justified need, become quite aggressively feminist. Daniel M Pietrzak OFM in article titled “Male Spirituality Today” explores the topic. He refers to a number of books on the subject and the need for “the pursuit of authentic masculinity”. From a cultural perspective he considers that there is value in the idea of timeout for self-exploration, such as the rite of passage initiation schools of traditional societies where a young man is guided and comes of age to assume new duties and responsibilities as an adult in his culture. A second valuable observation is the concept of mentorship where an older,
A flash of distraction
LASH and dark. Another flash there. Dark. Flash here again, I shift my eyes, then dark. I sat amazed, searching for the next wink of light as the fireflies around me lit up the air. One wasn’t enough, I needed to see more and spot the next bug. I was sitting in the middle of a forest in North Carolina, blessed to be able to take a short hiking trip in between my missionary work. I had never seen real fireflies before, and they were amazing! Many would say that we live in a distracted world, an instant culture where we are constantly looking for the next bit of excitement to satisfy our attention. I felt like that with the fireflies. I wasn’t happy to just see one insect light up and be done. I went from one spark of light to another, scanning the darkness for the next flash to catch my notice. In our world filled with amazing technology and entertainment, young people have become used to instantaneous communication and immediate gratification by flicking channels in a matter of seconds. Or “WhatsApp-ing” a friend to see what they’re up to and fill time. Are we losing the ability to be silent? I know many young people who don’t like to be alone and don’t know what to do with their time when they aren’t with friends. I know a few who feel bored and maybe a little lost when they don’t have
their cellphone or can’t get on to Facebook. This is the culture of “doing” which we are faced with every day: a pull towards constant activity, rather than “being” and enjoying the adventure of the moment we are in and the people we are with. I think that young people today have a real struggle in living out their faith and growing their relationship with God because they are constantly distracted. When compared to this busyness, sitting in silent prayer can seem nearly impossible. I’ve come to learn that prayer is not just something that we do. It is responding to God, who tirelessly calls us first (Catechism #2567). A solution to our culture of distraction is learning to be silent and hear God’s voice in the quietness within us. Pope Benedict has said that “it is in silence that we find God, and in silence that we discover our true self”. Paraphrasing Bl John Paul II, our lives remain senseless and incomprehensible if we do not encounter love and participate in it intimately (Redemptoris Hominis, 10). Our young people need the sacraments, but they need to intimately encounter Christ in silent prayer just as much. Maybe this is why Pope Benedict has begun a new series of teachings on prayer? We are in need of quiet time to bring our busyness to God so that we can grow closer to him. Then we can find our true iden-
The Southern Cross, September 7 to September 13, 2011
Toni Rowland Family Friendly
wiser man plays a critical role in male development into adulthood. Culturally, would that have been a father, a grandfather or an uncle? In the western social model it would most likely be the father. Society has changed and continues to do so. Men’s work is no longer that of the hunter-gatherer; maybe some are still pastoralists, but the working world of today is pretty much unisexed. Girls, certainly in South African society on the whole, are educationally as successful as boys. We could ask whether particular masculine attributes—be they more macho and competitive or more gentle and cooperative—are respected, internalised and harnessed for the benefit of a complementary relationship between men and women. Fathers are also sorely needed to do this personal striving for authentic masculinity as mentors for the future of healthy families and society. Boys will grow into men and will model themselves on those men. Leaving “A Legacy of Peace and Justice”, as our family September theme promotes, requires that the men who mentor boys should be people of integrity, honest, just and fair, whether they are panel beaters or panel seaters on boards or leadership structures. Family, Church and society have our work cut out to see that this happens, ideally building on what our cultures have to offer.
Steven Edwards Youth and Mission tity and purpose. As a young person myself, I need all the help I can get to do this. In our world of distraction, there are fireflies of hope. Some families and young people in the Church are praying together regularly. There are groups of young adults who meet weekly in the United States to pray the rosary and sing praise and worship together. I’ve also participated in a gathering of thousands of young people sitting in quiet Eucharistic adoration, as we also saw happening at World Youth Day last month. Similar good news can be found more and more in South Africa with the “Exalt” nights of worship and adoration. The light is growing. I used to struggle with hearing God through my distraction, but spending an hour a day in silent prayer while I was in the US changed my life and I’m learning to recognise God’s voice. This has helped me to live more peacefully and freely. Who or what has helped you to grow in your prayer? Do you, or the young people you know, get bored or frustrated when they sit down to pray? Do you wish you knew how to really hear God and recognise what he’s saying to you? Let’s share the fruit!
Sihle Magubane Point of Reflection
Let your wounds help heal others
S we prepare for the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14, we may fruitfully reflect on the executed Christ. To Roman officials and soldiers, the cross would have meant nothing more than what an electric chair or lethal injection represents in those countries which still practise capital punishment: an instrument of execution (perhaps with the added bonus of its grotesque inhumanity serving as a deterrent to political mobilisation). For early Christians too, execution by crucifixion had bad connotations, not only because Christ was crucified, but also because many of their contemporaries would have been executed in this manner— a gruesome, torturous death. We know that our Lord suffered this kind of death, a death fit for criminals. But there is light—hope— in the fact that although he suffered this type of shameful death, he was innocent, He was without sin. For that good news we are able to say today: “In cruce salus”—Christ’s death brought us eternal life. How many times do we continuously die to our iniquities, simply because we don’t give them to God to use and absolve? We carry our addictions, unwanted pregnancies, losses and financial troubles with such shame that it cripples us. We often give these issues more credit than is their due. What happened to the light burden that Christ offers us? We must reflect on where and how we have chosen the heavy burden which Christ takes away from us, and how, in that way, we have misplaced the light yoke. We too, like Christ, must make our sufferings and wounds a source of life for others. Nothing reassures a person in crisis more than a loving presence which says: “I’ve been there”, without having to utter a word. Christ in his glorified state says to us today: “I’ve been there, I understand, give your troubles to me.” He suffered and died, but most importantly, he is risen, and on this feast, we exalt his cross with him.
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The Southern Cross, September 7 to September 13, 2011
The Southern Cross, September 7 to September 13, 2011
Uniting a fragmented world For young people, ecumenical exchange programmes can broaden horizons and provide helpful life-skills, as MIKHAILA STEENKAMP reports.
HANADE Hamman, then 15, was in a comfort zone. Every Sunday, she went to Mass and had lunch with the family. She had been at the same Catholic school since she was three and had the same friends throughout that time. She saw the world through the eyes of people who were just like her. Then five days changed all that. Now she counts among her closest friends Jews and Muslims as well as agnostics. More than that, those five days prepared her for life’s challenges. In 2007, Shanade participated in a camp arranged by the interfaith organisation Face to Face/ Faith to Faith. Based in Cape Town but linked to New York’s Auburn Theological Seminary, it runs two programmes: one centred around a five day local camp, the other around a two week Summer Intensive in New York for teenagers from South Africa, the Middle East, Northern Ireland and the United States. The focal points of the programmes include leadership, tolerance, and most notably learning about the world’s major conflicts from those who have actually lived through them. “Often, in our context, young people still operate in circles which are familiar,” said Reverend Natalie Simons-Arendse, coordinator of the South African Face to Face home group and chaplain of St Cyprian’s Anglican school in Cape Town. Organisations like Face to Face go far beyond the familiar, she said. They provide a “global perspective”, which could enable deeper connection with diverse
people, or merely a “firm foundation” for further personal development. The premise is simple: our world is indeed becoming increasingly diverse, and the challenges—such as poverty, managing resources and dealing with conflict—are not diminishing. Yet perceived divisions need not prevent us from overcoming them. A plausible way to meet these challenges is to facilitate discussion, and to develop understanding and deep friendship bonds between people of different faiths and backgrounds. Still, according to Rev SimonsArendse, some parents continue to be cautious about these programmes. They often worry that their children will return having radically changed their faith but, she said, in the history of Face to Face this has never happened. In fact, even participants who do not come from strong religious backgrounds are likely to return home with a deeper understanding of all belief systems—especially their own. Interfaith programmes for youth provide an opportunity to explore other lifestyles and faiths: to step out of comfort zones and share experiences and knowledge with people who could otherwise easily have been viewed as enemies, or alien “others”. Thus not only are new experiences opened up, but also new ways of experiencing things which have previously seemed insignificant, as Shanade believes. Now 19 and a BA student at Stellenbosch University, she continues to apply what she learnt while involved in the initiative, every day. “Because Stellenbosch is trying to move away from its conservative apartheid past, there is a lot of diversity; it’s like being put into a massive Face to Face camp. I can definitely deal with it much more easily. Even the spiritual lessons helped me to adapt, but not conform,” the former pupil of St Joseph’s Marist College said. Interfaith organisations aim to
Above: Interfaith organisation Face to Face’s two-week ecumenical programme takes youth from different faiths on a Summer Intensive based in New York. Below: Youth from various churches come together to prepare for a workshop on environmental changes and COP7.The diakonia Youth Forum was launched in June and is part of the diakonia Council of Chuches, an ecumenical body initiated by Archbishop denis Hurley.
unite a fragmented world, but Christianity is also fragmented. udzai Taruona of the Durbanbased Diakonia Council of Churches (DCC) said that equal attention should be paid to restoring unity within it. Mr Taruona is the communications coordinator of the ecumenical body which was initiated by the late Archbishop Denis Hurley of Durban. In response to the “general lull”
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which Mr Taruona believes is endemic to modern young people, the DCC endeavours to make youth aware of social justice issues, and empower them to speak their minds and mobilise effectively. More than 80 young people attended the launch of the Diakonia Youth Forum in June, which comprised fellowship, debates and speeches by various community leaders, including Diakonia execu-
tive director Nomabelo MvamboDandala. July saw the hosting of a fourday leadership conference, which aimed to equip youth with a deeper knowledge of leadership qualities, as well as teaching them the skills needed to take charge when their situation—or conscience— calls for it. Mr Taruona’s path to an ecumenical mindset was long. “I was born and bred Catholic, and always believed that the Catholic Church was the only Church of Christ,” he recalled. “I thought that the other churches were formed because of greed.” He was already an adult when he became aware of the legitimacy of other denominations, and the importance of open-mindedness and mutual appreciation. This is why he works to ensure that others come to the same conclusion, as early in life as they possibly can. But being involved in these groups can result in participants terminating their involvement in youth groups and similar initiatives. Typical feedback in follow-up Face to Face meetings suggest that students become more open-minded and aware, and naturally want to be surrounded by like-minded people. Too often, this does not include groups of friends who are pronounced “shallow” and “unable to think out of the box”. However, when the focus of interfaith, ecumenical and youth organisations is examined, their complementary natures become self-evident. Youth groups primarily provide an opportunity for worship, increasing the individual’s sense of belonging within the congregation. Interfaith and ecumenical organisations primarily concentrate on specific aspects, such as increasing social awareness or inculcating a culture of respect. “Youth groups teach people to be strong in their faith,” explained Rev Simons-Arendse. Interfaith groups, on the other hand, “Teach young people to be strong in their faith, without stereotyping people and putting them into boxes.”
The Southern Cross, September 7 to September 13, 2011
The spirituality of the 9/11 terror attacks Ten years after al-Qaeda’s terrorists attacked targets in the United States, New Yorkers are reflecting on the spiritual dimensions of the tragedy, as BETH GRIFFIN reports.
S Chief Joseph Pfeifer of the New York City Fire Department sees it, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were a global trauma and the tenth anniversary of the tragedy provides a transformative opportunity for the world community to pause and think about its spiritual dimension and its aftermath.
On September 11, 2001, Mr Pfeifer was one of the first on the scene and in charge of directing firefighter response in the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York. He met his firefighter brother, Lt Kevin Pfeifer, in the lobby of the building. They exchanged a few words, and Kevin headed up the stairs. He helped evacuate workers and directed other firefighters to safety, but he was killed in the collapse of the building. “People were angry at God and they had every right to be, but that was not my experience,” Mr Pfeifer said. “I was walking back to the firehouse from the site on the sec-
ond day, when we knew there would be no more survivors. It was completely dark except for the lights we had brought in. There was no power and there was smoke everywhere. “Instead of anger, I felt an encounter, as if I was coming back to an old friend, or putting on an old sweatshirt. I had wrestled with God and spirituality before. I had had the experience of being in a conflicted place and trying to understand what it means,” Mr Pfeifer said. “How do you encounter spirituality and what is your personal experience of God? Mine was very much on West Street, walking back in complete sadness— but it was a place I’d been to before.” Mr Pfeifer studied two years at Immaculate Conception seminary in Huntington, New York, from which he later earned a master’s degree in theology. He said he was familiar with wrestling with God and trying to figure out what he was called to do with his life.
e is now the chief of counterterrorism and emergency preparedness for the New York City Fire Department and addresses groups of people in many parts of the world. Mr Pfeifer said there is transformation through trauma. “We used to think the 9/11 attacks were just New York and [Washington] DC, and Pennsylvania, but they were more than that,” he said. “It was a global trauma, an entire world encounter and transformation occurred” when people could see that all local acts of terrorism, whether in Ireland or Israel or Afghanistan, were represented at the World Trade Center. “It gave the victims of terrorism an international voice and showed that terrorism is a crime against humanity,” he said. People encounter spirituality in different ways, he said, and the tenth anniversary will allow people to connect their individual experiences with those of people in a larger group. One such larger group devastated by the 9/11 attacks lives in Rockaway Peninsula at the southwest tip of the diocese of Brooklyn. Rockaway is a relatively isolated section of the populous borough of Queens. Generations of New Yorkers have escaped the summer heat on its Atlantic
Names of the nearly 3 000 victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks are listed on a memorial at the Pentagon in Arlington, near Washington. Right: Chief Joseph Pfeifer holds a replica of the helmet worn by his brother, who was among the 343 New York firefighters killed on 9/11. (Photos: Bob Roller/Gregory A Shemitz)
“I told him it’ll never be over for us. It has been a defining moment in the lives of families here.” The priest said: “There is an ongoing role for people. The message of the Gospel didn’t become irrelevant that day. We’re just at the beginning: 2 000 years hasn’t been long enough for our tribal ockaway is home to firefight- human hearts to absorb the mesers, police officers, emergency sage of Jesus Christ.” responders and financiers. The Mgr Geraghty said tribal collapse of the World Trade Cen- h u m a n h e a r t s i s h i s w a y t o ter tore a huge hole in the heart describe that human beings have of the peninsula. Sevonly had a short time enty residents were of mindfulness since killed in the disaster. their creation and ‘2 000 years Many of them worstill have a long way shipped at one of the to go. hasn’t been eight Catholic “We’re at the churches that punctulong enough b e g i n n i n g o f t h i s . ate the flat, sandy God is calling us out neck of land. of tribalism into a for our tribal Mr Pfeifer is a different understandlongtime summer reshuman hearts ing,” he said. ident of Breezy Point Rosellen Dowdell and worships at St to absorb the i s t h e w i d o w o f L t Thomas More church Kevin Dowdell, a in Rockaway Point. New York firefighter. message of He described one of She is a parishioner several memorials on Jesus Christ.’ a t B l e s s e d T r i n i t y the peninsula that parish in Rockaway. includes quiet spaces “I’ve never blamed to encourage reflection. God,” she said. “I’ve always Mgr Martin Geraghty was pas- looked to God for an answer. I tor of St Francis de Sales parish in guess I always hoped there was Belle Harbor in 2001. Twelve of solace in going to church and the World Trade Center victims being in the presence of God.” were buried from the church. On Mgr Michael Curran, pastor of November 12, 2001—three days Blessed Trinity parish, said: “So after the last funeral—Mgr Ger- many of these families, who have aghty was celebrating the 9am every reason to be angry at God, Mass when an American Airlines have not given up. They are still flight bound for the Dominican faithful. I’m more aware of the Republic crashed one block from spiritual strength of people. Folks the church, killing all 260 people are not fair-weather friends of o n t h e p l a n e a n d f i v e o n t h e God. ground, including parishioners. “The question of ‘why?’ is still “At Christmas 2001, a friend out there, but they are willing to from Michigan asked if I was trust God and keep him at the ‘over it yet’,” Mgr Geraghty said. centre of their lives.”—CNS Ocean beaches and more than 100 000 people are now full-time residents of the handful of communities that span the narrow 15km stretch. The barrier peninsula is known locally as the Irish Riviera because it attracted so many New Yorkers of Irish ancestry.
The Southern Cross, September 7 to September 13, 2011
Where the pope gets his eggs BY CINdY WOOdEN
N any given day, the papal table may feature extra-virgin olive oil, lightly pasteurised milk, fresh eggs, free-range chicken, honey, apricots and peaches—all straight from the farm at the papal villa in Castel Gandolfo. “The pope’s farm, even if it is similar to many others, still gives rise to curiosity,” said the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, in an article. Part of the curiosity comes from the fact that, for years, the only media allowed on the farm have been the writers and photographers who work for the Vatican newspaper. The farm, which covers just under 50 acres, is home to an olive grove, fruit trees and greenhouses used to raise flowers and
plants that often are used to decorate the papal apartments and meeting rooms, the L’Osservatore reported. Each day, 25 cows produce almost 600 litres of milk, and more than 200 eggs are collected from some 300 hens. In addition, about 60 chickens are raised for meat. What the pope and his aides do not use is sold to Vatican employees and retirees at their discount supermarket. The farm took shape in the 1930s under the pontificate of Pope Pius XI, who saw it “as a model of a genuine lifestyle, the same he was able to enjoy as a youth”. Saverio Petrillo, director of the papal villa, told the Vatican newspaper that the farm once hosted two wild boars that had been given to Pope Paul VI, but
Community Calendar To place your event, call Claire Allen at 021 465 5007 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, (publication subject to space) BEThLEhEM: Shrine of Our Lady of Bethlehem at Tsheseng, Maluti mountains; Thursdays 09:30, Mass, then exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. 058 721 0532. CAPE TOWN: good Shepherd, Bothasig. Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in the chapel. All hours. All welcome. Day of Prayer held at Springfield Convent starting at 10:00 ending 15:30 last Saturday of every month—all welcome. For more information contact Jane Hulley 021 790 1668 or 082 783 0331. Fundraiser Car Boot Sale and morning market at St Brendan’s church, Cnr Longboat Rd (off Ou Kaapseweg) and Corvette Street, Sunvalley, Fish Hoek, Last Saturday every month. All welcome. Info and stall reservations: Maggi-Mae 021 782 9263 or 082 892 4502 mvi email@example.com
DuRBAN: St Anthony’s, Durban Central: Tuesday 09:00 Mass with novena to St Anthony. First Friday 17:30 Mass—divine Mercy novena prayers. Tel: 031 309 3496. JOhANNESBuRg: Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament: first Friday of the month at 09:20 followed by Holy Mass at 10:30. Holy Hour: first Saturday of each month at 15:00. At Our Lady of the Angels, Little Eden, Edenvale. Tel: 011 609 7246. KiMBERLEy: The St Boniface Past Students are holding their 60th anniversary on September 24. Past students are requested to contact Union’s PRO & Chairman of the Board, Mosalashuping Morudi 073 768 3653, or firstname.lastname@example.org PRETORiA: First Saturday: devotion to divine Mercy. St Martin de Porres, Sunnyside, 16:30. Tel Shirley-Anne 012 361 4545.
they were a bit rowdy. “The gazelles of Pius XI were more tranquil,” Mr Petrillo said. “They were given to the pope by the apostolic delegate in Egypt, and the pope had great affection for those beasts; he would go visit them every time he went to Castel Gandolfo, and he always went with some treat to feed them. People often say that he would carry around the smaller of the two,” Mr Petrillo said. Unfortunately, the story had a tragic end. “One day, frightened by a group of young Hungarian scouts who came to visit the pope, they jumped the fence, and were hit by a car.” The article did not mention whether Pope Benedict visits the farm while at Castel Gandolfo, although he is known to walk daily through the villa’s gardens.—CNS
Family Reflections September 8: Birthday of Our Lady. This is one of a number of special feast days of Mary and reminds us of the value and importance of commemorating family events. As a family in talking about family events, remembering and reliving them strengthens our ties with our roots. September 11: 24th Sunday. Our Forgiving Lord. As in the Our Father we are called to forgive as God forgives. This is not easy and is a skill that children need to learn and adults need to practise. Pray the Our Father together and consider where we need to be more God-like.
Liturgical Calendar year A Sunday, September 11, 24th Sunday Sirach 27:30- 28:9, Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12, Romans 14:7-9, Matthew 18:21-35 Monday, September 12, Most Holy Name of the BVM 1 Timothy 2:1-8, Psalm 28:2, 7-9, Luke 7:1-10 Tuesday, September 13, St John Chrysostom 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Psalm 101:1-3, 5-6, Luke 7:11-17 Wednesday, September 14, Triumph of the Holy Cross Numbers 21:4-9 or Philippians 2:6-11,Psalm 78:1-2, 34-38, John 3:13-17 Thursday, September 15, Our Lady of Sorrows Hebrews 5:7-9, Psalm 31:2-6, 15-16, 20, John 19:25-27 or Luke 2:33-35 Friday, September 16, Ss Cornelius and Cyprian 1 Timothy 6:2-12, Psalm 49:6-10, 17-20, Luke 8:1-3 Saturday, September 17, The Sacred Stigmata of St Francis of Assisi, St Robert Bellarmine 1 Timothy 6:13-16, Psalm: 100, Luke 8: 4-15 Sunday, September 18, 25th Sunday Isaiah 55:6-9, Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18, Philippians 1:20-24, 27, Matthew 20:1-16
Southern CrossWord solutions SOLUTIONS TO #461. ACROSS: 1 Cute, 3 Selfpity, 9 Allegro, 10 Repel, 11 Conservatory, 13 Lavish, 15 Stolen, 17 Agricultural, 20 Graph, 21 Ivories, 22 Entitled, 23 Rend. DOWN: 1 Chancels, 2 Talon, 4 Evolve, 5 First station, 6 Imperil, 7 Yule, 8 Agrees with it, 12 Enclosed, 14 Vagrant, 16 Nubile, 18 Raise, 19 Ogre.
Word of the Week Litany: A form of prayer in which the priest recites a series of petitions to God, or calls on the help of saints. Application: Each litany is followed by a set response (Lord graciously hear us) or sung by the congregation.
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gOLDEN WEDDiNg ANNiVERSARy LESTER—Aubrey and Beth (née Kennelly) Married on September 2, 1961 in St Joseph’s Church, Uitenhage, by the late Fr Martin Larkin. Thank you Lord for Blessings received.
DEATh PAgE—Noel Bernard. An outstanding, treasured and devoted husband of his eternal Lise. Loving father of Marie-Claire, late Veronique, Bernard and Patrick, father-in-law and adorable grandfather died peacefully on August 1, in Pietermaritzburg
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 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. HL
iN MEMORiAM WERThEiM—In loving memory of Joan, who passed away on September 4, 1981. Lovingly remembered by Steve, Stevie, Marion and John
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PRAyERS 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. Thank you for prayers answered. TL. O MOST beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendour of Heaven, blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin,
MOST glorious Prince, Archangel Raphael, be mindful of us and pray for us, here and in every place, to the Son of God.O God, who gave your servant Tobias the holy archangel Raphael for a companion on his journey, grant that during our earthly pilgrimage we may always be protected by his watchful care and strengthened by his help.Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
ThANKS ETERNAL thanks to Our Lady and to St. Jude for prayers answered. VAY. ThANKS Sacred Heart, St Jude and Blessed Virgin Mary for prayers answered. Alix.
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CAPE TOWN: Vi Holiday Villa. Fully equipped selfcatering, two bedroom family apartment (sleeps 4) in Strandfontein, with parking, R400 per night. Tel/Fax Paul 021 393 2503, 083 553 9856, vivilla @telkomsa.net FiSh hOEK: Self-catering accommodation, sleeps 4. Secure parking. Tel: 021 785 1247. gORDON’S BAy: Beautiful en-suite rooms available at reasonable rates. Magnificent views, breakfast on request. Tel: 082 774 7140. email@example.com JEFFERy’S BAy: Fully equipped self-catering flat, two bedrooms, sleeps six, 50 metres from the beach. 072 462 3993. KNySNA: Self-catering accommodation for 2 in Old Belvidere with wonderful Lagoon views. 044 387 1052. LONDON, Protea House: Underground 3min, Piccadilly 20min. Close to River Thames. Self-catering. Single per night R250, twin R400. Phone Peter 021 851 5200. MARiANELLA Guest House, Simon’s Town: “Come experience the peace and beauty of God with us.” Fully equipped with amazing sea views. Secure parking, ideal for rest and relaxation. Special rates for pensioners and clergy. Tel: Malcolm Salida 082 784 5675 or mjsal firstname.lastname@example.org SOuTh COAST, Uvongo: Secure holiday unit, with lock-up garage. Sleeps 6. In complex. 078 935 9128. STRAND: Beachfront flat to let. Stunning views, fully equipped. Garage, one bedroom, sleeps 3. R450 p/night for 2 people—low season. Phone Brenda 082 822 0607 uMhLANgA ROCKS: Fully equipped self-catering 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house, sleeps 6, sea view, 200 metres from beach, dSTV. Tel: Holiday division, 031 561 5838, holi email@example.com
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25th Sunday: September 18th Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9, Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18, Philippians 1:20-24, 27a, Matthew 20:1-16a
OD is so unfair!” We often find ourselves (or others) bellowing this sentiment, but it really is not true. For what constitutes the essence of God is an unconditional generosity, so unencumbered with strings that it can seem unfair. To grasp this point, look at the readings for next Sunday. In the first reading, the fact is that our task is to look for God, and that means accepting God as God is, not creating a “god” in our own image and likeness: “Seek the Lord while he can be found, call on him while he is near”; and that in turn means that we have to change, “let the wicked person abandon their way, and the person of iniquity their thoughts and turn to the Lord”. For “my thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways—an oracle of the Lord”. That should bring us up very sharply next time we find ourselves complaining about the way God behaves, “for as the heavens are loftier than the earth, so my ways are loftier than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”. The psalmist is incapable of our meanmindedness, and generously proclaims “every day I shall bless you, and praise your name for ever and a day; great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised”. More particularly, the Lord is
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The Lord is good to all and just in his ways Nicholas King SJ Sunday Reflections “merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and great in love”. However rebellious we occasionally feel, “the Lord is good to all, and merciful to all his creatures...the Lord is just in all his ways”. And, in case you are feeling, just now, that the Lord is rather deaf, listen: “the Lord is just in all his ways, and loves all his creatures. The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him with integrity”. In the second reading for next Sunday, we start a few weeks of journeying through Philippians, Paul’s most joyful letter. It is written from prison, and Paul is explaining the source of his joy; it is not because there are people out to get him, but because his beloved Jesus is being preached. “And now Christ is going to be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death”. The point here is that Paul has no idea whether or not he is going to survive the current imprisonment; all that matters is that
Jesus should be glorified: “for me, to live is Christ, and to die is sheer profit”, he exclaims, and we can more or less see what he means without necessarily understanding what precisely he is saying. He seems to have before him a choice between life and death; what he longs for is “to die and be with Christ”, but recognises that for the sake of his beloved Philippians it may be “more necessary to remain in the flesh”, and he just exhorts them to “exercise your citizenship in a way that is worthy of the good news of Christ”. Is God unfair? That is the question faced by next Sunday’s gospel, as Jesus tells one of his challenging parables; the context here is that he is trying to illustrate his frequently-uttered statement that “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first”, in response to a question from Peter about “What’s in it for us?” The setting is a familiar one in Jesus’ context: the picture of a householder wanting workers to collect grapes for his vineyard. At the beginning of the day, he makes an agreement with the workers to pay them one denarius; that is a perfectly acceptable wage. Three hours later, presumably because he needs more workers, though we are not told the precise reason, he goes out again to the Job Centre, and gets more workers, and simply promises them “whatever is appropriate”;
he does the same after six and then nine hours. Finally, just as the end of the working day approaches, he goes out one more time, either because he needs more work, or because he feels sorry for the unemployed; and, with a slightly aggressive question to them: “Why are you standing here idle, all day long?”, to which they make the not unreasonable response that “No one has given us a wage”, and are ushered in for the last hour. Then comes the reckoning, and to make it a better story, we have the picture of the lastcomers getting paid first: a denarius each. You can imagine it: those who have been working all day long are getting out their calculators and dreaming of untold riches, and all they get is one measly denarius, which is precisely what they had agreed to that morning. Notice the precise terms in which they couch their complaint: “‘These Johnny-comelatelys’ just did an hour—and you have made us equal to them, when it was we who put up with the burden and heat of the day!” Significantly Jesus addresses their leader in the terms in which he will later speak to Judas in the garden, “My friend...” God can do what God wants “Or is your eye evil because I am generous?” Let us reflect this week on the generosity, not the unfairness, of God’s dealing with us.
Why we are at the cusp of a civil war A
FEW weeks ago Spanish citizens took to the streets in protest against their country spending almost R1 billion for the extra security required for the pope’s visit for World Youth Day 2011, according to the Reuters news agency. Their problem, apparently, was that their government had spent the money at a time when the Spanish economy was in turmoil and citizens are subjected to painful austerity measures. I have no idea how the protesters arrived at this figure of R1 billion—it sounds ludicrous to me—but the actual amount is unimportant. Even if the sum were R1 million, they would probably have felt that their protest was valid. Particularly from the point of view that the world seems to thrive on perceptions and not on fact these days. Now, I do not wish to be disrespectful to the Vatican or His Holiness the pope, but I cannot stop wondering about the amount of money being spent on his visit to Spain, particularly in view of the financial crisis in which that country and its citizens find themselves. I keep having this picture in my head of Jesus Christ arriving in Jerusalem riding on a donkey—a very different picture to that of the pope arriving in Madrid on a jumbo jet with a large entourage and no fewer than 56 journalists on board. I have no doubt that if Pope Benedict
Chris Moerdyk The Last Word could choose, he would have been quite happy to enter Madrid a lot less ostentatiously and to have performed his duties at World Youth Day with his usual simple humility. What is worrisome about any display of wealth, by religious leaders particularly, is its impact on the poor, given that the biggest threat to world peace right now is the widening gap between rich and poor. One could even argue that what we are seeing on television news reports today are not just random riots by juvenile delinquents or underpaid workers, but the opening shots of a world war between the haves and have-nots in a rapidly growing number of countries. The first battles seem to have started. Lives have already been lost and property destroyed. It is a war fuelled by perception, entitlement, envy, greed, corruption, overt wealth, selfish political agendas, envy and flawed economic systems. It seems to me that it will get uglier, more brutal and destructive with every day that goes past in which the gap between rich and poor increases. This war in microcosm is clearly evident in South Africa where last month, once again, municipal workers resorted to violence, looting and trashing of the streets. Is this annual uncivil war just about money or also about the fact that the people who sweep the streets cannot understand why they earn so much less than their counterparts who work in the civic offices? Service delivery protests in our coun-
try are becoming increasingly violent. It looks a lot like war to me. It’s a war in which the downtrodden feel they have no future, no hope and in many cases little chance of getting jobs as they watch politicians cruise by in fancy cars, dressing up to the nines and drinking only the finest of Scotch whiskies. The same applies to the perception of workers who are laid off while boards of directors give themselves increases and generous bonuses that take them from being rich to obscenely wealthy. The war is being exacerbated by the have-nots seeing their own kind being jailed for stealing a loaf of bread to feed their starving families while the rich always manage to get away with murder—literally and figuratively. A war in which politics is seen to be a major catalyst. With political parties putting far more effort into staying in power than working for the good of their nations. With political parties pandering to those who provide election-funding instead of working for the good of the nation. Political parties engaging in petty point-scoring instead of concentrating on the good of the nation. And most of all, political parties making promises at election time and then unapologetically breaking them one after the other with what is perceived to be arrogant disdain. It is a war sparked by dysfunctional politics and a global economic system that is quite clearly unsustainable. Pope Benedict has himself pointed to some of these problems. If indeed overt displays of wealth, power and privilege are exacerbating the problems being created by the widening gap between rich and poor, my very simple question is this: Should religious leaders be perceived—and it is most important to emphasise that word “perceived”—to be part of the problem and, by implication, not part of the solution. One has to ask whether Church leaders should be doing a lot more to ensure that they are being clearly seen to be on the side of the have-nots. n I will be away next week, but a special guest writer will have the last word in my place.
Southern Crossword #461
ACROSS 1. Endearing and pretty, concealed in executed will (4) 3. Misery about personal problem (4-4) 9. Speedy piece of music from OL Elgar (7) 10. Push back the leper (5) 11. Does the traditionalist live in this glasshouse? (12) 13. Luxurious (6) 15. Pinched (6) 17. To do with the practice of farming (12) 20. Signature that follows auto? (5) 21. Piano keys, or teeth (7) 22. Given a name (8) 23. Tear to pieces (4)
DOWN 1. Church sanctuaries (8) 2. Bird’s claw (5) 4. Develop gradually the Darwinian way (6) 5. Begin Good Friday service here? (5,7) 6. Prim lie may put you in danger (7) 7. Log of Christmas Eve (4) 8. Accepts what’s said (6,4,2) 12. Kind of religious cloistered order (8) 14. He has no home (7) 16. Kind of marriageable lady in blue (6) 18. Lift up (5) 19. He’s a terrifying giant (4) Solutions on page 11
FTER the fall in Garden of Eden, Adam was walking with his sons Cain and Abel.
One fine afternoon, they passed by the ruins of the Garden of Eden. One of the boys asked: “What's that?” Adam replied: “Boys, that’s where your mother ate us out of house and home.” 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
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)
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Colwyn and Maire Holshausen on their wedding day in 1941. They celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on July 27. (Submitted by Sheila Walsh)
IN FOC US
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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