November 16 to November 22, 2011
R5,50 (incl VAT RSA) Reg No. 1920/002058/06
Cardinal: Spice up your sermons
Come back to Mother Earth
How the role of the laity changed Page 10
SA Catholic social media site goes up BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
Bishop Sithembele Anton Sipuka of Mthatha was born in Queenstown diocese, while Bishop Dabula Anthony Mpako of Queenstown was born in Mthatha diocese. In this way, they are Father to one another. The two episcopal Anthonys met at the Golden Jubilee of Holy Family parish in Dutywa, where Bishop Sipuka was born. (Photo: Fr Matthias Nsamba)
Sudan bishops warn of war
UDAN’S Catholic bishops have issued a formal warning about the threat of a return to full-scale civil war and appealed for urgent food and medicine, stating that thousands of people are being terrorised by aerial bombardment. Referring to spreading violence in different regions in central and eastern Sudan, and newly created South Sudan, the bishops urged the international community to intervene to stop the fighting. In a communiqué, the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference—which serves both Sudan and South Sudan—described conflict in Blue Nile State, South Kordofan and Eastern Equatoria, as well as ongoing conflict in Darfur. The bishops called for immediate action, stressing how the conflict in oil-rich Abyei has been “militarised”. And they underlined the ongoing violence in Western Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal caused by rebel group the Lords Resistance Army (LRA). The bishops warned that the two Sudans may be on course for a return to large-scale conflict. The document prompted fears of violence similar to Sudan’s 1983-2005 civil war in which 2,5 million people died and five million were displaced. “We have constantly warned of the danger of a return to hostilities if the legitimate
aspirations of the people of those areas were not met. Civilians are being terrorised by indiscriminate aerial bombardment,” the bishops said. In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Adwok Kur of Khartoum said: “If you consider the many conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan, they will almost certainly create a situation in which one side or the other will say ‘Enough is enough. We need to do whatever is necessary to clear away the problem’.” In their statement, the bishops called on the international community—especially the African Union—to help resolve the conflicts, adhering to the terms of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that formally ended the civil war. The bishops’ statement included a plea for aid amid reports that hundreds of thousands of people have been internally displaced by the conflict on the border between the two Sudans. “There is an urgent need to open humanitarian corridors to allow food and medicines to reach those in need,” the bishops said. It comes after humanitarian relief operations gave reports of more than 200 000 displaced people from South Kordofan and Blue Nile State, both on the contentious border between Sudan and South Sudan.— ICN
OUTH AFRICA’S Catholic community now has a place to interact online as the continent’s first Catholic Social Network, Awestruck Studios (www.awestruck.co.za), goes live. Awestruck Studios is a social network, “a geolocation map, a directory, a video gallery, an online shop, a news blog, a virtual faithsharing space, a safe environment for Catholics to network and a point of contact for faith exploration,” said the site’s creative director, Norman Servais. The non-profit site aims to provide a positive space where people are able to interact and form relationships with each other. “These good characteristics are also hallmarks of Christianity and of the Church, but sadly today the image of the Church has been tainted by abuse, apostasy, disunity and apathy. Juxtaposing this is the tremendous richness of Catholic teaching and the great popes that have marked our era,” said Mr Servais. He said many local Catholics are concerned about the state of the Church and its future. “A group of us put our heads together and came up with a concept that in many aspects is unique. We’ve called it ‘Awestruck’, and we’re facing these issues of concern head-on through building community, unity, and passion for the faith.” Mr Servais, who is also the founder of Catholic video production company Metanoia Media, hopes to create “a virtual space where young-at-heart Catholics, with a positive and charitable attitude, can network socially and constructively”. The site is not intended to replace the likes of Facebook or Twitter. Instead, users can log into Awestruck with their Facebook accounts. “The social community is a safe space to interact with fellow Catholics, and it gives one the freedom to create one’s own groups. The site will be moderated to ensure that Awestruck remains a trusted space and that groups are faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church,” Mr Servais said. “In a secular society, filled with temptations and mixed messages many Catholics feel alone in their faith convictions, but the reality is we're not alone.” Mr Servais said broadband penetration into the rural heart of Southern Africa increases year by year and by 2020, current predictions are that South Africa will have 100% penetration. “By that stage even the most basic mobile devices will have Internet access, and data will be far more affordable than it is at present. The communications potential that this offers the Church is huge,” he said. The development of the site has been a long journey but with support coming from various areas including trustee Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town.
A screenshot of the Awestruck multi-media website (www.awestruck.co.za) The development team made up of Mark Eames, Mike Needham and Mr Servais was assisted by funding from the Knights of da Gama who “recognised the value and potential of this project. Without their assistance we would simply not have been able to develop and launch this site,” Mr Servais said. But the site is not to be just another “Facebook”, he said. “The talented base of Catholic video, sound and photographic content producers is growing,” and Awestruck will provide a space for “amateur videographers, photographers and musicians in every parish and community to submit content”, possibly even with a view to discussing “possibilities for collaboration on projects”. Other tools on the site include Soundcloud, which allows Catholic musicians and choirs to have an embedded stream of their own original music to which visitors can listen on-demand. “We want the site to be a tool for the community and one built by the community. To achieve this we need the help of the community to get groups and parishes listed in the directory,” Mr Servais said. There is also a directory for Catholic businesses “to assist Catholics to find goods or services that are run by Catholics in their vicinity” Mr Servais said. “This is a practical way for many faith communities to support the Catholic community.” Work continues on the site. “At this point we really need the Catholic community to help populate the map. This is not something Awestruck staff are going to do for the community, but it’s more something the community does for itself. See if your church, parish or outstation is currently listed in the directory, and if not fill in the form and your church will be mapped and become Awestruck,” Mr Servais said. He said that Awestruck is looking for “at least one Awestruck contact person” in each community. “In that way Awestruck will quickly become that vibrant space it's intended to be.”
Miss World 2011 wanted to be a nun
ISS World 2011 spent five years in a convent hoping to become a nun before beating contestants from 122 countries for the pageant’s crown in London. Ivian Lunasol Sarcos Colmenares, who qualified as Miss Venezuela, 22, has a degree in human resources and works for a broadcasting company—but once she planned to join a convent. Orphaned at the age of eight, she was raised by nuns in a convent in Cojedes. “I spent my five years in [a convent] and my dream was to become a nun,” she said. She said her proudest moment in life was
when she made her First Communion. “All of my family were together that day so it is a moment I cherish deeply. As Miss World she plans to help people in need. “I would like to help people like me. I am an orphan. I would also like to help the elderly and troubled teenagers. As many people as I can.” During the contest, a message from Nelson Mandela was read, sending his greetings to the contestants and congratulating them on their efforts for charities.
The Southern Cross, November 16 to November 22, 2011
Welkom’s youth help the community H STAFF REPORTER
Cardinal Wilfrid Napier opens three new classrooms at the Kwa Thintwa School for the Deaf in Inchanga.
School for deaf gets new classrooms STAFF REPORTER
ARDINAL Wilfrid Napier officially opened three new classrooms at the Kwa Thintwa School for the Deaf in Inchanga, Durban, which is home to 320 children ranging in age from three years old to matric. “The school provides quality education and boarding facilities to boys and girls from mainly disadvantaged communities,” said Norma Oosthuysen of Durban’s archdiocesan chancery. “Due to the ever growing number of children
requiring specialised education and care, the need for more classrooms was becoming essential.” Numerous donors, including the DG Murray Trust and the Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation, “helped to realise this dream in building and furnishing the classrooms with the necessary items required for learning,” she said. n To make donations to help uplift the lives of the children of Kwa Thintwa School for the Deaf contact Norma Oosthuysen at 031 303 1417 or e-mail aodk email@example.com for details.
OME to gold fields, the birthplace of Mark Shuttleworth and an abundance of beef, the Free State city of Welkom in the diocese of Kroonstad is benefitting from a group of youth aimed at serving their community. The Catholic youth at St Dominic’s parish, made up and run exclusively by under-18year-olds, broke new barriers in 2011 as their president, Ricardo de Freitas told The Southern Cross. From youth Masses to retreats and charity drives, Ricardo said the group had achieved much this year. “[We have] monthly youth Masses, which are accompanied by our very own newsletters edited by different executive committee members each month, as well as our youth gatherings after the Masses where fun and interesting discussions took place.” The group improved communication in 2011 and now communicates via Facebook and regular Church bulletin updates—a focus for the year. The youth president also said the spiritual side of the group was enhanced by retreat weekends. The weekend retreat titled “God’s plan for you” helped the youth deal with issues of chastity and purity as well as presenting a good bonding opportunity. With the transportation help from St Dominic’s College in Welkom, the youth group sent a number of members to the episcopal ordination of
Welkom’s Catholic youth are breaking new barriers while aiming to help the community. Bishop Peter Holiday in Kroonstad. Catholic Youth Welkom also sent a group to American apologist Jason Evert’s “Romance Without Regret” rallies in Pretoria in September. One of the biggest project’s the youth group embarked on was a campaign entitled “Youth Unite”—a campaign designed to bring together the youth of the region. Ricardo said the group held a presentation at the local high school to explain the importance of being Catholic and held a rosary prayer week. “Catholic Youth Welkom has always seen community involvement as a vitally impor-
tant factor of its being.” The group held a hot dog drive for the local orphanage houses Hope, Joy and Peace, worked with the Knights of da Gama in Welkom on a blanket drive, and held a Christmas in July charity campaign where donations of clothes, blankets and shoes were given to the Little Flower Catholic pre-school in Bronville and local orphanages. “We also played games and spent time with the children there,” said the youth president. Ricardo said these activities were a great testament to achievements and busy year Welkom’s Catholic youth had in 2011.
Nun celebrates silver jubilee BY LEBO WA MAJAHE
HOT POT PAINT AND HARDWARE
ISTER Ouma Ntoagae, mother superior of the Companions of St Angela, celebrated her silver jubilee in the congregation with a Mass at Our Lady of Peace inKagiso, Johannesburg archdiocese. Fr Theophilus “Bisto” Malotsa, parish priest of Kagiso was the main celebrant. Sr Brigitte Brunet of the general council of the Ursuline Sisters flew from Rome to join the celebration and to show her support since the Ursulines are founding members of the Com-
panions of St Angela. In his homily Fr Malotsa described Sr Ntoagae as the salt of the earth which is constantly enriching lives, while remaining firm and working in accordance with what the congregation of St Angela requires. Fr Malotsa encouraged Sr Ouma to renew her commitment to the service of the Lord every day, and to show her love to God by being obedient. At the offertory of the Mass the jubilarian renewed her vows before Fr Malotsa and Sr Blandina Mathakgala, vicargeneral of the Companions of
Sr Ouma Ntoagae (kneeling) renews her vows before Fr Bisto Malotsa. (Photo: Lebo Wa Majahe) St Angela and in the presence of the Ntoagae family, religious sisters, friends and parishioners.
(PTY) LTD 46, 12th Street, Springs, 1559 Tel: (011) 362 3071, (011) 362 4682/3, (011) 812 1655/6/7
Catholic Funeral Home
Tony Wyllie & Co.
(011) 362 3071
Personal and Digniﬁed 24-hour service
(016) 427 5525
(011) 907 8676
(011) 422 2331
(016) 349 5886
48 Main Rd, Muizenberg Tel: 021 788 3728
(011) 892 5186
Member of the NFDA
(011) 678 2436
Lephalale (Ellisras) Mike or Annette (014) 763 3147
469 Voortrekker Rd, Maitland Tel: 021 593 8820
ESTABLISHED 1982 Professional Supervision
Project Management Specialists in:
New Houses • Renovations • Alterations • Additions • Painting • Plumbing
• Property Management and Care For Advice call Julian Orford B.Sc. (Civ.Eng) Tel: (021) 794 5552 Fax: (021) 794 7088 Cell: 082 493 0563 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW FOR 2012
STOCKISTS OF: Paint, Hardware, Geysers, Rollup garage doors, Sink tops, Bosch Power Tools.
PILGRIMAGE TO MEDJUGORJE
ALL AT THE VERY BEST PRICES!
Led by Rev Fr Shaun von Lillienfeld of the Christ the King Cathedral Johannesburg
Looking to open franchises in ALL areas.
Cost from R14 250
If interested please contact Nero or Gerald on 083 4606650
Tel: (031) 266 7702 Fax: (031) 266 8982 Email: email@example.com
28 AUGUST TO 7 SEPTEMBER
The Southern Cross, November 16 to November 22, 2011
Radio Veritas introduces new Cape Town show BY THANDI BOSMAN
Kudzai Mtero from Howard College campus of University of KwaZulu-Natal where he obtained his masters in social science, receives the Archbishop Denis E Hurley award from deputy vice-chancellor Prof Renuka Vithal.
Twelve students receive Hurley award BY THANDI BOSMAN
WELVE students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal [UKZN] were presented Archbishop Denis E Hurley Awards at the university’s scholarship awards ceremony. “In making the Hurley awards, the University of KwaZulu-Natal looks for very special candidates whose area of study, community involvement, leadership qualities and ethical vision resonate with the life, spirit and accomplishments of Archbishop Hurley, who is a former chancellor of the university,” said Paddy Kearney, director of the Denis Hurley Centre in Durban. Speaking at the ceremony, Prof Trevor Jones, chairman of the UKZN’s Scholarship Awards Committee, said that the awards “are dedicated to disadvantaged but academically excellent candidates to read for honours, masters and doctoral degrees”. The Archbishop Denis E Hurley
Educational Trust provides resources for the scholarships. It gave the award to three PhD candidates, seven masters and two honours students. Prof Jones said that this year “twelve truly outstanding candidates who possessed just these kinds of resonating qualities were awarded the scholarship”. He noted that more than half of them came from outside South Africa. “So they represent exactly the kind of students one would associate with a university that is striving to become ‘the premier institution of African scholarship’. This rich harvest of African talent would have delighted the archbishop.” The awardees are studying in the areas of education, human science, social science, economics, library and information science, arts and theology. The Archbishop Denis E Hurley Awards were launched in 2005 and since have helped many students in their academic pursuits.
MICASA TOURS Spiritual Pilgrimage to Poland 15 - 29 June 2012
Visiting Warsaw, Lichen, Trzebnica, Namyslow, Czestochowa, Krakow, Sanctuary of Divine Mercy, Black Madonna and many more places
R 19 995.00 (Exclusive) (Ex JHB)
Limited place available Tel: (012 ) 342 0179 Fax: 086 676 9715 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org T&C’s Apply
THE SOCIETY OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL Cape Town The Central Council cordially invites you to join them in its ANNUAL DANCE Venue Goodwood Civic Centre Date 25th November 2011 Time 20h00 till 00h30 Band The Cool Sounds Cost R75 per person Cheese and wine starts at 19h00. For tickets contact Alfie Cable 082 842 1592
SOUTHERN Cross journalist will be presenting a new radio show on Radio Veritas. Named “Cape Town Calling”, it will focus on people and issues in Cape Town. Claire Mathieson, who will be presenting the show, said: “Cape Town Calling is a magazine style show with a variety of topics discussed through interviews with local Catholics, news and events from the Mother City.” She added that the show will focus on broad issues and would appeal to listeners throughout South Africa. Ms Mathieson said that a variety of guests will be speaking on the show addressing a range of topics and that “there will be something for everyone”. “Our first show features reflections from first year seminarians, a jewellery designer discussing the importance of giving with meaning, and a charity asking us not to forget those who are truly in need this time of year,” said Ms Mathieson.
The archbishop of Cape Town will also participate in Cape Town Calling. “Archbishop Stephen Brislin will be a regular contributor. From the spiritual to the special, from youth matters to shopping, music and charity—here will be something that appeals to everyone,” said Ms Mathieson. Earlier this year, station director of Radio Veritas Fr Emil Blaser OP, approached some Catholics in Cape Town to discuss the possibility of a Cape Town-themed show. With a background in radio, Ms Mathieson decided to take up the challenge and bring Cape Town to the country. “I felt I had a bit of insight to the events in the archdiocese due to my work at The Southern Cross. I have also met some amazing Catholic personalities and the show would be an opportunity to show off this city and its people— something I’m very happy to do,” she said. The station’s deputy director, Olinda Orlando, had a vision of having something from every diocese on Radio Veritas, Ms
Mathieson said. Ms Mathieson said that a lot can still be expected from Radio Veritas, adding: “With the station’s reach increasing due to its newly acquired and soon to be launched medium wave frequency, Radio Veritas wants new programmes, voices and fresh ideas, and Cape Town Calling is just one of these”. “Cape Town Calling is meant to be informative and interesting. And ultimately, I want people to stay tuned,” she said. The show is pre-recorded but listeners who want to give feedback; suggestions or comments can e-mail the show at email@example.com or visit the Awestruck (see page 1). The first show will be broadcast on Thursday, November 17 at 10:00 and repeated on Sunday, November 20 at 16:00. From then on the show will be aired every second week of the month at the same time. n Radio Veritas broadcasts on DStv channel 170 and can also be streamed online from www.radiover itas.ndstream.net
Joburg youths plan camping retreat STAFF REPORTER
HE Dynamic Youth Group (DYG) of Johannesburg’s Christ the King cathedral parish will embark on a spiritual and social development camping retreat at Mariannhill monastery from December 5-10. “We normally have our retreats around Johannesburg, particularly at St John Bosco Centre, but we decided to go to Mariannhill because we are inspired by the life of Abbott Francis Pfanner, the founder of Mariannhill,” said the DYG’s Clement Sicelosethu Ngwenya. Mr Ngwenya and fellow group member Anelisa Tshemese went to Mariannhill to meet some people
who will be facilitating the DYG’s programmes. The programme will include the Lectio Divina, Theology Of the Body, Education For Life, Defending Catholic Faith, Apologetics and a pilgrimage to Entshongweni shrine. The motto of the camping retreat is “Young people striving for moral excellence”. “We will pray seven rosaries and seven chaplets of the Divine Mercy. Our intentions will vary from praying for the pope and all the clergy to our personal relationship with God and our families.” “We will have a chance to attend and sing during the Mass every day at 5:45am,” Mr Ngwenya said.
Anelisa Tshemese and Clement Sicelosethu Ngwenya from Dynamic Youth Group travelled to Mariannhill to prepare for a camping retreat.
The Southern Cross, November 16 to November 22, 2011
Cardinal: Spice up sermons British court: Church liable for priests’ crimes S A ERMONS are often painfully “grey and dull” and might be livened up with “scandals” in the Bible, according to the prefect of the Pontifical Council for Culture Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi said preaching in churches has become so formulaic and boring that it risks becoming “irrelevant” to congregations accustomed to the excitement and immediacy of television and the Internet. “The advent of televised and computerised information requires us to be compelling and trenchant, to cut to the heart of the matter, resort to narratives and colour,” the cardinal said. Too many priests employ theological language that is “grey, dull and flavourless” and instead should spice up their homilies with graphic stories contained in the Bible. The Bible was “crowded with stories, symbols and images”, he said. Speaking at a conference in Rome, he said Twitter is also an effective way to spread the word of God. “We need to remember that
BY SIMON CALDWELL
A priest delivers a homily to his congregation. The head of the Vatican’s council for culture has encouraged preachers to make their homilies relevant, even by spicing up content with “scandals” reported in the Bible. communicating faith doesn’t just take place through sermons. It can be achieved through the 140 characters of a Twitter message.” Cardinal Ravasi, a champion of new media and a blogger for the
Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, said that whether they like it or not, priests should be aware that their congregations are “the children of television and the Internet”.—cathnews
Church divisions turned on their heads BY NANCY FRAZIER O’BRIEN
ARDINAL Kurt Koch, the Swiss-born president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has said different types of divisions affect Catholic relations with the Orthodox churches and with those that were born from the Protestant Reformation, but both can be resolved with dialogue. He also criticised the “antiCatholic attitude” displayed by some Pentecostals and said Catholics must resist a temptation to adopt the “sometimes problematic evangelical methods” of those churches. The cardinal spoke at The Catholic University of America in Washington on “Fundamental Aspects of Ecumenism and Future Perspectives.” Cardinal Koch said progress
towards Catholic-Orthodox unity became nearly “shipwrecked by the problem” of differences over papal primacy. Churches that arose from the Protestant Reformation, on the other hand, sometimes diverge from the Catholic Church on the handling of ethical questions, he said, mentioning homosexuality as a “fundamental problem” in particular between the Catholic and Anglican communities. Cardinal Koch said Protestant churches have in the past generally agreed with the Catholic Church on ethical issues while disagreeing on matters of faith. “Today that has been turned on its head, and we can say that ethics divide but faith unites,” he said. Christian unity would be advanced if all churches could “speak with one voice on the great ethical questions of our time,” the
cardinal added. He said Pentecostals make up the second largest Christian grouping in the world after Catholics and present a “serious challenge”. Cardinal Koch also expressed regret that some Christian churches insist on conferring baptism again on new members, even if they have been baptised in another Christian church. “Ecumenism stands or fall on mutual recognition of baptism,” he said. In a separate interview with Catholic News Service, the cardinal said 80% of all those persecuted because of religion today are Christians, leading to the possibility of a new “ecumenism of martyrs” among Christians of all denominations. “This can be a seed for the new unity,” Cardinal Koch said. “There is not enough solidarity among all the Christians of the world.”—CNS
BRITISH court has ruled that the Catholic Church can be held legally liable for the crimes of abusive clergy. The ruling by the High Court in London for the first time defined in British law the relationship of a priest to his bishop as that of an employee to an employer, instead of seeing the priest as effectively self-employed. This means that a bishop and a diocese can be punished for the crimes of a priest. Survivors’ groups hope that it will also mean that many people who claim to have been abused by clergy will be able to claim compensation more easily. The case involves a 47-year-old mother of three who claims she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a priest as a 7-year-old girl in a children’s home in Waterlooville, southern England. Besides the diocese of Portsmouth, she is also seeking damages from the English province of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, which ran the home, because
she said the nuns witnessed the abuse but did not intervene. The court was not asked to judge the truth of the allegations but was specifically asked, as a preliminary hearing on the case, to rule on the question of whether the “relationship between a Catholic priest and his bishop is akin to an employment relationship”. Justice Alistair MacDuff said that although the priest had no formal contract of employment there were “crucial features” that made a bishop vicariously liable for his actions. He said the Church gave the priest the “premises, the pulpit and the clerical robes” and that he was given full authority and free rein in the community to “act as a representative of the Church”. “Whether or not the relationship may be regarded as ‘akin to employment’, the principal features of the relationship dictate that the defendants should be held responsible for the actions which they initiated by the appointment and all that went with it,” said the judge.—CNS
Prime time ads to call lapsed Catholics home
RIME time television commercials will air in the United States aimed at enticing inactive Catholics back to the Church this Christmas season. The “Catholics Come Home” ministry will air a one-minute invitation to return to parish life and get to know the Church. The spot will run more than 400 times from December 16 to January 8 throughout the US, the Romebased news agency Zenit reported. According to a statement from the ministry, Catholics Come Home hopes to inspire as many as a million people to return to local
parishes. Their projection is based on statistical census results from Catholics Come Home media initiatives that have aired in 30 dioceses: where these ads have aired, Mass attendance has increased by an average of 10%, and helped over 300 000 people home to the Church since 2008. The bi-lingual commercials are scheduled to air on the major terrestial networks and other broadcasters such as CNN, Fox News and TNT. Spots will be reserved on shows such as NCIS, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and 60 Minutes as well as major sports events and highly rated sitcoms.
MONK? PILGRIMAGES foR 2012
YES! If you are seeking God …And you desire to live a life of prayer and personal transformation …And you are able to live the common life… Perhaps you have the vocation to do so as a Benedictine Monk
For more information contact: The Abbot Inkamana Abbey P/Bag X9333 Vryheid 3100
The Prior Benedictine Abbey Subiaco PO Box 2189 Pietersburg 0700
May 2012 / Holy Land “Jesus we love You” With Fr. Terry Nash May 2012 / Poland & Medjugorje “ Pilgrimage of Peace” Organized by Debbie Dodd June 2012 / Turkey & Greece “In the steps of St Paul” With Fr. Gregory Mitchell Call Elna at 082 9750034 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.holysites.co.za
Theme for November 20: Prayer Pt 2
The Southern Cross, November 16 to November 22, 2011
Islamic terror group targets ‘both Christian and Muslims’ BY PETER AJAYI DADA & KRISTIN GOBBERG
OPE Benedict has appealed for an end to violence in Nigeria and prayed for victims of this month’s wave of civil conflict there. “I am following with concern the tragic incidents that have occurred...in Nigeria. As I pray for the victims, I call for an end to all violence, which never solves problems, but only increases them, sowing hatred and division even among believers,” the pope said. The pope’s comments came after attacks in Nigeria’s northeastern states of Yobe and Borno left more than 100 people dead. The attacks targeted churches, police stations and military barracks, Vatican Radio reported. Officials blamed the violence on Boko Haram, a radical Muslim group responsible for previous attacks in the region. Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, vice-president of the Nigerian bishops’ conference, condemned the attacks, saying that the radical group targets
both Muslims and Christians. “They attack Christians and Muslims indiscriminately. Our police are Christian and Muslim, they are even targeting other Muslim leaders. Boko Haram are not anti-Christian, they are anticivil society,” Archbishop Kaigama told Vatican Radio. He praised religious leaders of both faiths for working towards peace but also urged the Nigerian government to help eliminate violence through the education of young people. “Many of the young people caught up in this extremist activity are illiterate, they have no education and no hope for the future. The government must give them the tools to become a constructive and not destructive force for the good of society,” the archbishop said. Bishop Oliver Doeme of Maiduguri said one of the churches affected was a Catholic church in Damaturu. He said he talked to the parish priest, who did not say whether any of his parishioners were among those killed. Bishop Doeme said the causes of the violence are social, eco-
nomic, political and religious. “In particular, there are some powerful people in our society who are losing their importance and use religion to incite the minds of uneducated youth to sow violence,” the bishop said. “In fact, these young people are exploited by greedy politicians who are losing relevance and want to still remain in power to continue to improve their finances.”—CNS
Pope Benedict arrives to lead a prayer service with pontifical university students in St Peter’s basilica at the Vatican. (Photo: Paul Haring, CNS)
Pope to Germans: Defend all life equally BY CINDY WOODEN
FTER the Nazi atrocities of World War II, Germany’s new constitution recognised the dignity of each human being, a value that is starting to be questioned in the country, Pope Benedict said as he welcomed Reinhard Schweppe as Germany’s new ambassador to the Holy See. Human dignity was recognised “in our constitution of
1949 and in the human rights declaration after the Second World War because, after the horrors of the dictatorship, people recognised the general validity of these values”. “However, some of these fundamental values of human existence are being put into question again,” the pope said. “To talk about a particularly important issue, it’s not up to us to judge whether an individual is ‘a person yet’ or ‘still a person’,”
Church, convent attacked in Vietnam over property dispute
EDEMPTORISTS at a parish in Hanoi, Vietnam, have urged local Catholics to keep calm after a mob led by government officials attacked a convent and church. The Asian Church news agency UCA News reported that tens of thousands of people attended ten special Masses celebrated at Thai Ha church in the capital. Each Mass was attended by an estimated 3 000-5 000 people. During the Masses, priests told parishioners about the attacks and appealed to them to stay calm. Earlier, around 100 people, accompanied by security officials and members of the press, attacked the convent. They damaged a gate and verbally abused and physically assaulted several Redemptorist priests and laypeople. They fled after the church’s bell rang out, bringing many people to the scene, UCA News reported.
“We strongly condemn this violent, rude and organised attack,” Redemptorist Father Joseph Nguyen Van Phuong, parish pastor, told one congregation. He urged them to “forgive [the attackers] and avoid retaliation”. He said the motive behind the attack probably stems from an ongoing dispute with the government over seized Church property. “We are determined to fight for Church property in a peaceful way and urge the government to punish the rioters,” he added. Local state-run media reported the attackers were locals who were angry at parish opposition to a government-run sewage treatment project close to the nearby Dong Da hospital. Church sources told UCA News that on October 27 about 40 Redemptorists and parishioners had taken to the streets to oppose the project and
demand the return of several of the hospital’s buildings, which had been convents from 1931 until the government “borrowed” them in 1959. The same sources said the authorities plan to demolish the buildings. After this month’s attacks, hundreds of local Catholics marched to the headquarters of the People’s Committee in Quang Trung ward to demand the authorities respect private ownership and return what they say belongs to the Church. They said 97 old Church facilities in Hanoi are in the hands of the government.— CNS
Pray that AFRICA may draw closer to the HEART OF CHRIST 2 Chron 7:14 Matthew 7:7-12
the pope said. Pope Benedict said he recognises that Germany is a secular country, even if Christianity has helped form its culture. But when the Church speaks out on behalf of human dignity and even when it joins the debate about proposed legislation, it’s not trying to impose the Catholic beliefs on society, but to promote “those values that are valid for human beings as such.”—CNS
KRUGER PARK VIVA SAFARIS (Member of SATSA)
SCHEDULED DAILY SAFARIS TO KRUGER PARK Fly-in and overland tours. See www.vivasafaris.com
Viva Safaris is engaged with 4 projects aimed at the upliftment of the Acornhoek community, including the COMBONI MISSIONARIES’ OUTSTATION
Father Xico with partially completed church building
082 450 9930 Trevor 082 444 7654 Piero 082 506 9641 Anthony
The Southern Cross, November 16 to November 22, 2011
LEADER PAGE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Editor: Günther Simmermacher
Sex and money
OPE Benedict has reiterated his call for an end to prostitution and its graphic cousin, pornography, saying the practices denigrate women. “A relationship that does not take into account the fact that a man and a woman have the same dignity represents a serious lack of humanity,” the pope said in an address to Germany’s new ambassador to the Vatican. “The moment has come to energetically halt prostitution as well as the widespread distribution of material with an erotic and pornographic content, including through the Internet in particular,” the pope said. The pope rightly pledges the Church’s cooperation in policies and programmes to further this aim, though it is unclear how governments might go about eradicating prostitution and pornography. Indeed, even among those concerned specifically with these social problems, there is no likely consensus on possible strategies, which can range from criminalising all commercial sex to prosecuting only the customers (as Swedish law does) to regulation of the sex industry to protect sex workers from exploitation. It seems impossible to stop the production or availability of pornography (or other objectionable material) on the Internet. However, it seems reasonable that a practical anti-pornography campaign would monitor distribution through retail channels and depiction on terrestrial television, while also conscientising the public about the degradation of pornography and the dangers of addiction to it. Anti-porn activists will also have noted that the old social taboos associated with porn are diminishing, and that increasing numbers of young women even perceive that industry to be glamorous. An anti-pornography programme therefore needs to address not only distribution and issues of human and sexual dignity, but also the way society perceives pornography. By emphasising the aspects of degradation and exploitation, rather than dimensions of sexual morality which the intended audience might find easy to dismiss, Pope Benedict in his address to the German ambassador highlighted the more persuasive argument. Pornography and prostitution—“the oldest profession in
the world”, as cliché has it— are not likely to disappear. The idea of transactional sex is abhorrent to believers of most faiths. Consequently, the idea of relaxing legal constrictions on prostitution tends to be met with various degrees of objection. At the same time, an unregulated sex industry contributes to the exploitation and brutalisation of many sex workers, especially those who ply their trade on street corners. The Church recognises that prostitution is not always a voluntary career choice. The Catechism of the Catholic Church notes that “destitution, blackmail, or social pressure” can force women, men and children into prostitution. Additionally, many people are trafficked and sold into sex slavery. The blanket criminalisation of prostitution might not serve those who need help. In December 2000, the Italian Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica proposed the notion of regulated brothels as a means of confronting some of the evils associated with prostitution. The journal, the contents of which are vetted by the Vatican before publication, said at the time that while prostitution should be discouraged as contrary to human dignity, regulated brothels could afford protection against the brutal exploitation of prostitutes. It reasoned that within the relatively safe environs of a registered brothel, such women would be removed from their exploiters and the attendant abuse. The (presumably registered) prostitutes could be offered medical care to reduce the risk of contagion, and receive assistance in identifying new paths in life when they choose to leave their often soul-destroying profession. Regulation might entirely delegitimise operations that force trafficked women into prostitution, and it would render the street pimp obsolete if streets would be cleared of sex workers. Whether or not such regulation can accord with the Church’s moral theology will require on-going debate. Policy and legislation governing the sex industry must incorporate the interest of society at large, and it must not ignore the plight of the prostitute. We may despise their activities, but we are called to see even in the prostitute a fellow sister in Christ.
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.
Use JP2 to guide us on matters of sex
ATHER Ron Rolheiser OMI (“God, sex and Leonard Cohen”, October 26) gives the impression that Pastor Rob Bell in his book Sex God has found the solution to combining earthly human sexuality with “an anthropological, biblical and Christian perspective that properly honours both the earthiness and the holiness of sex”. He further expounds on pastor Rob’s use of echad (oneness) to bring “oneness” into the world. Is that not what the sacrament of marriage is supposed to do?
Take this cup, some of you
HILE all the amendments are being made to the Mass wording, should there be consideration to changing the words of consecration? At present they are “Take this cup, all of you, and drink from it...” In the new booklet on page 43, at the time of Communion the celebrant offers the host to the communicant and asks: “Body of Christ?”, and answer is “Amen”. Then the booklet continues with wording to the effect “if there is anyone to receive the chalice the proper protocol must be followed”. If “all of us” are not to be allowed to receive the Blood of Christ, then there is a disconnect between the words of consecration and the practice towards the faithful. I think our liturgists should be consistent. It is either “all of you” or else “only some of you”. Denise Gordon-Brown, Randburg
Alpha: Is it bread or is it bacon?
AM a firm supporter of Catholic Alpha as it was through that channel that my own vocation to the diaconate was appreciated. The Alpha approach to evangelisation is important and proving to be of great benefit too many. As a catechist in RCIA I regularly see some of its fruit when post-Alpha delegates, touched by the Holy Spirit, express an interest in full communion with the Church. There are, however, dangers in being lukewarm. This was more than apparent at a recent and very successful Alpha conference held at our church in Bryanston, Johannesburg. A huge crowd of delegates from
In his two major works, Love and Responsibility and Man and Woman He Created Them, Pope John Paul II gave the Catholic world the definitive understanding of an anthropological, biblical and Christian perspective on human sexuality. This study, commonly known as the “Theology of the Body”, is being unpacked by numerous authors, each one taking a different angle on the subject. One author in particular, Fr J Brian Bransfield in his book The Human Person According to John Paul II, begins by showing where things all over the city met in fellowship to consider how best to take Alpha forward within the archdiocese. Warmest congratulations must go to Fr Barney McAleer. The doyen of evangelisation in our country, he was one of the very few who made the effort to attend Mass. He clearly established that bread and wine is worth taking before eggs and bacon. Come on organisers. We can always find a priest to celebrate a suitably timed Mass for those who wish to attend. Rev Alex Niven, Johannesburg
HAVE been a loyal supporter of the Trefoil magazine for many years, and for a time served on the editorial board. I have great respect for the present editor, Else Strivens and her editing abilities, and she has managed to collect an impressive editorial board. I trust that my loyalty is unquestioned. But what is happening to this magazine which has been in existence for nearly 80 years? It is still advertised as the “South African Catholic Quarterly” and yet its appearances have become more erratic and infrequent over the last few years. Number 277 was published in February this year; number 278 was due for publication in November. This hardly qualifies as a quarterly publication. In light of the modern trend from our bishops to encourage any effort in producing Catholic media, the recent irregular appearance of our only national Catholic 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.
went awry via the industrial, sexual and technological revolutions; he then gives an overview of the theology of the body and ends with St Paul’s exhortation for us to live according to the Spirit and not the lustful flesh. He more than adequately demonstrates how this can be achieved by applying the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the beatitudes and the virtues to our daily lives. Sex indeed is holy. Pope John Paul introduced the Catholic Church to a passion-filled and chaste view of sex. We now need to spread this message to the rest of the world. Jan Kalinowski, Assagay, KZN magazine concerns me. My good wishes go to all those loyal souls who have laboured so long and faithfully in the service of a truly valuable magazine. Carmen Smith, Somerset West
Did you know my grandfather?
AM presently undertaking research into the lives of my grandparents, and hope that there might be readers who have information or personal memories on Manoel Esteves (also known as Manuel Stebes or Stevens), a Portuguese and devout Catholic who came to South Africa in the first decade of the 1900s under circumstances that are not clear. Until the 1940s Manoel, his wife Francina (née Adonis) and numerous children lived in Hopefield, near Saldanha Bay, on the West Coast, where he worked as a stone mason. In about 1937 the family moved to Retreat in Cape Town, where Manoel was a member of St Mary’s parish until his death in 1952. He did much work in the Simon’s Town naval base in the early ’40s. Perhaps there are still people who worked with him, fellow parishioners or friends who might remember Manoel. If so, I would be deeply grateful if they could contact me, even with the smallest piece of information. In this regard, I am also looking for an old friend of the Stevens family, George Guido of Cape Town. I am also looking into the history of the Adonis family of Hopefield, and would appreciate receiving information in that regard as well. Please contact me at 021 813 2600 (o/h) or e-mail email@example.com Tessa Samuels, Cape Town
Going back to the mother earth O UR Earth is a mother who nourishes us. So we need to be friends with this mother, lest we hunger, thirst and die of fatigue. Befriending the Earth is possible if only we are in touch with it. I have early childhood memories of climbing trees, making ugali (samp) from mud and constructing grass houses. Today fewer children sprawl on the grass. Instead they are climbing on chairs or sprawling on carpets. Parents perhaps fear that their kids might soil their clothes or be bitten by insects. Contact with Mother Earth is diminishing. Our don’t-care attitude is feeding the lurking giant of global warming. All are to blame for this climate change, and consequently we have to cooperate faithfully in caring for the Earth. Irrespective of our faith, language or colour, we drink water from the same source (I have never heard of a Christian or Buddhist forest or a Muslim river). No one can step aside and say that they are off the hook. What the world needs are engineers, town planners, technicians, architects and a host of experts from other fields who have a wide vision of what is required to address and reduce climate change. The question of which faith is best equipped in the matter shouldn’t arise. Sean McDonagh, a renowned Catholic theologian, once wrote: “We should for-
get which institution should have precedence, and other ecclesial niceties”. Above all, we must necessarily have a change of heart if we want to curb climate change—and we will see how much of a change of heart there’ll be at the COP17 meeting in Durban this month. It’s crystal clear that consumer habits are spiralling and diets are becoming more animal-based. It takes people of courage to challenge themselves on these things. Besides pointing fingers at polluters when they litter our unkempt compounds, we need to work on our habits too. In the words of local academic Sr Susan Rakoczy IHM, a new kind of asceticism and self-denial is needed. I am not sure when last I heard a Christian pray for our sick Mother Earth.
Anthony Gathambiri IMC
Point of Debate We pray for the Church, families, the nation and so on, but often forget that there is no heaven without the Earth. Surely issues such as climate change, air and water pollution, desertification and the environment in general should be part of our prayers, in the liturgy or in our private devotions? The People of God need to be conscientised about their responsibilities towards the Earth. Evangelisation is about the whole person, not only about saving souls. Without good air, drinkable water and favourable weather conditions, priests would be preaching to sick people only. There are little things that we can do to make a difference, things like sharing lifts, switching off electrical appliances and making use of natural light as much as possible. Let us form communities that will conscientise this wasteful generation on the need to care for the wounded mother, like Abalimi Bezekhaya (Planters of Earth) a Catholic movement that enriches townships by planting trees. The Church could be one of the greatest instruments in healing this sick Earth if it has the collective will to be so.
Why we must really know our faith
HE German philosopher Immanuel Kant argued that the capacity to make choices about one’s life is central to the development of moral autonomy. In his famous statement, What is Enlightenment? (1784), he wrote: “It is so easy to be immature. If I have a book to serve as my understanding, a pastor to serve as my conscience, a physician to determine my diet for me, and so on, I need not exert myself at all. I need not think, if only I can pay: others will readily undertake the irksome work for me.” If we look closely, this is what our modern lives have become. We run to experts and gurus instead of taking moral responsibility about our choices. As far as Kant was concerned, it was preferable to make a wrong choice through the exercise of moral independence than to follow the “right” advice which one had not considered in a mature manner. Kant argued that through the exercise of moral autonomy, people gain the experience that is necessary for maturity. An autonomous person is presumed to possess moral independence; in other words, to act with moral responsibility. Through the exercise of autonomy, people can develop their personality through assuming responsibility for their lives. The cultivation of moral independence requires that people are free to deliberate and to come to their own conclusions about how best to live. Put differently, in St Irenaeus’ language, the glory of God is a human being fully alive.
Where the Ecclesia programme, which the archdiocese of Cape Town introduced this year, helps the most is in urging people to think about their faith; to consider and give reasons for the hope they hold. The unthinking faith has become an epidemic in the Catholic faith. This is why we find ourselves avoiding situations where we are challenged about our faith, thereby sometimes missing an opportunity to evangelise. The unbelievers have become not only shrewder but often much better informed than the faithful even on matters concerning our faith— because we regard our faith just as tradition or culture.
or Aristotle the central virtue was phronesis. Phronesis is difficult to translate into English. It generally means the capacity to exercise judgment in particular circumstances, but is more or less judgment with proper discretion. According to Aristotle, making judgments and choices is the precondition for virtuous behaviour. Telling a colleague or friend or relative something they don’t want to hear, for instance, may in some circumstances express the virtue of honesty, and in other circumstances spring from the vice of boasting. Discretion is paramount. It is in the very act of making moral choices that we develop the virtue of phronesis. That is why judgment cannot be left to choice architects and gurus of our age who want to control every fibre of our thinking. Phronesis is not something that can be
UPHOLSTERER More than 50 years of experience guarantees you satisfaction.
Ph 021 021 447 637 1938 PH 4727 after hours 021 701 2692.
Mphuthumi Ntabeni Pushing Boundaries outsourced to experts—it is a virtue that we need to learn and cultivate for ourselves. And it is, possibly, the single most important virtue when it comes to pursuing and conducting a good life, because it will not only guide your choices but those you make for those dependent on our judgement, like our children. The serious problem with modern gurus, beyond the Pharisee tendencies (not practising what they preach), is a moral exhibitionism and levelling. Judgment with proper discretion means that we have to acknowledge that not all behaviour is morally on the same level, that sometimes genuine criticism is required. And not all opinions are equal; in fact, the opinion most worth disseminating is the informed one, based on experience and learning. As the faithful, we cannot be part of moral relativism just because we don’t want to offend. That’s living by the standards of the world; worse still, that’s following wrong fads of misled modern gurus with their fake generosity of spirit that levels everything at the expense of Christ-like values. We must guard ourselves from the sicknesses of our age, and this can only be done by exploring the meaning of faith.
Would anyone who has had the privilege of being taught by Christian Brother TERRY DOWLING in his 50 years of service in Catholic Schools please contact Erna at 082 966-6246 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Southern Cross, November 16 to November 22, 2011
Michael Shackleton Open Door
Must Catholics have a funeral Mass? Is it a requirement that deceased Catholics must have a Mass said at their funeral? I don’t like the idea of my many nonCatholic friends being told that they may not receive Communion at such a Mass, so when my time comes, I would prefer to have a simple memorial service instead.
OU are indeed free to choose to have a memorial service instead of a funeral Mass, as you explain. Canon law gives you a lot of latitude and does not prescribe a funeral Mass. It does not tell you what to do. For instance, it says the funeral of a member of the faithful is normally to be held in the parish church of that person, but another church may be chosen, if that is what you or your family wants. The consent of the parish priest is needed for this, and that of whoever is in charge of the other church. It is sound Catholic practice to celebrate a public Mass for the repose of the soul of the deceased as an integral part of the funeral service, with the body of the deceased present. The Church prefers the body to be there in order to reverence it at the ceremony as a temple of the Holy Spirit before it is interred. If this is not done, Catholics are encouraged to have Mass offered for the deceased as soon as possible after their death. There are some dioceses in the United States where there is an insistence on this. The reason is the Church’s firm tradition of prayers for the dead. The souls of the faithful who have left us are either with God in heaven or in the process of being cleansed from the remnants of sin in the condition we call purgatory. We pray for the latter because we are one with them in the Communion of Saints and can ask God to have mercy on their souls. We also offer our own sacrifices to God for this. I know it can be argued that non-Catholic friends and family want to show their sympathy with the bereaved family, and desire to take Communion with them to show this. It is a sad fact, however, that, whereas the Catholic Church considers taking Communion as a sign of our unity in one Lord, one faith and one baptism (Eph 4:5), separated Christians do not completely share this kind of unity with us.
n Send your queries to Open Door, Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000; or e-mail: email@example.com; or fax (021) 465 3850. Anonymity can be preserved by arrangement, but questions must be signed, and may be edited for clarity. Only published questions will be answered.
The Southern Cross, November 16 to November 22, 2011
Bishop Dabula Mpako of Queenstown (left) has appointed priests and deacons to take care of different aspects of pastoral life in the diocese in order to achieve his goal: “Towards a caring and self-supportive diocese which utilises the talents and skills of all in a coordinated pastoral plan of action with one commonly shared vision.” He is seen here with the diocese’s newly-appointed vicargeneral, Fr Siphiwo Vanqa SAC. (Photo: Fr Matthias Nsamba)
IN FO CUS 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Edited by Lara Moses The annual Assumption Convent Malvern and Bedfordview Debutantes Ball was held in Johannesburg. The theme for this year was “Winter Wonderland”. Some 29 debutants presented themselves in white gowns and fine jewellery. Rena Joao, an altar server at Malvern's Blessed Sacrament parish, was crowned Debutante Queen. Andrea Cabana and Filipa Mateus were crowned first and second princesses respectively. (Submitted by Ana Joao)
23 children from Our Lady of Fatima parish in Durban, received their First Holy Communion. They are photographed with the catechists and parish priest Fr Desmond Nair. (Submitted by Anna Accolla)
Fr Martin Brennan of St Bernard’s parish in Gonubie, outside East London, celebrated his 70th birthday with a luncheon with priests and deans from the East London Deanery. (Submitted by Phyllis Pitt)
The Southern Cross, November 16 to November 22, 2011
The priesthood of the laity I
F one talked about the “priesthood of all believers” or indeed the “priesthood of the laity” before 1965, Catholics would look at you as if you were insane. After all, priests and people were different, weren’t they? Catholics with more theological knowledge would have been able to say that in baptism every Catholic was in Christ priest, prophet and king. But in practice the Church followed the old medieval dictum, “Pray, Pay and Obey”, when it came to the laity. Even before the Council, however, things were changing. In 1891 modern Catholic social teaching was launched by the encyclical Rerum Novarum of Leo XIII. While dealing primarily with workers’ rights, Leo also emphasised the importance of lay Catholics taking the lead in public life—in politics and the workplace. This idea developed into Catholic Action, a collection of Church movements of workers, students, professionals, intellectuals and politicians called to proclaim the gospel in their particular life situations. At Vatican II Catholic Action was confirmed and given greater emphasis. As the vast majority of the “pilgrim people of God”, lay people were no longer seen as somehow “second class citizens” but as sharing fully in the ministry of the Church, in and through the work they did and particularly through the witness of Christian marriage. In Apostolicam Actuositatem (1965), the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, the Council declared the lay vocation, present
Anthony Egan SJ
prayer was essential for all Christians, though it should be adapted to circumstances that made it appropriate. One of the outcomes of the Council in this area was the renewed enthusiasm of Catholics for retreats, spiritual direction and parish missions. The diversity of spirituality one sees today—from the revival of traditional practices through to the thoroughly postmodern!—can be seen as a fruit of the renewal of the laity in the Church. However it’s done, the fact that people are praying should welcomed. In addition, the Constitution on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Consilium (1963), emphasised that worship was not the preserve of the clergy, but of the whole assembly.
A Church of Hope and Joy from earliest times, essential to the Church’s mission. Not only was this necessary due to priest shortages and the growing autonomy of many sectors of society, it was important and good thing in itself! Lay people were to be evangelisers in what is called the “apostolate of like towards like” for “[t]here the witness of their life is completed by the witness of their word” (Apostolicam Actuositatem,13): doctors with doctors, intellectuals with intellectuals, plumbers with plumbers, home-makers with home-makers, to name but a few. Lived experience outside that of priests and religious was the basis on which laity could connect with those in need of evangelisation on their own terms.
he Council was emphatic that laity could and should engage in the public square. The “political vocation” was not in most circumstances appropriate to priests and religious. In many countries clergy were prohibited from holding political office anyway. While the Church was not wedded to any particular ideology, the Council recognised that the Church had a duty to speak out on issues that concerned the common good of humankind. Well-formed lay people could and should bring the insights of their faith into the political arena. The Council noted too that
Christ is the King – and not you As we prepare for the feast of Christ the King, this year on November 27, PHIWOKUHLE SIYABNONGA XULU suggests that we don’t think too highly of ourselves.
OME eight decades ago the world was in revolt, confusion and war. Everyone wanted to be heard and reign supreme over the other. Others had an idea of representing the real chosen race. That was the time when the Church had to intervene. When it did, more blood was shed because those who hated the truth saw a threat. Human life was no longer respected as it should have been. In Russia, the Catholic faith (and, indeed, all Christianity) was suppressed, in Spain and Mexico a civil war was at hand. Germany had Hitler sending people—first political opponents, before Jews and other minorities—to concentration camps. In Italy, Mussolini was doing something similar. People were terrified with no hope spared. Papal encyclicals were issued, but those with swords did not stop doing the wrong they had done so far. Indeed, the world was a terrible place to live in. All this brings us back to the Old Testament when kings and emperors wanted to seize people’s land just so they could be kings of them all. God was there, just as he was in 1925 when Pope Pius XI instituted the feast of Christ the King, celebrated on the last Sunday before Advent. Nazism, fascism, communism, civil war and the physical suppres-
sion of the Catholic faith no longer are part of the daily experience of most Christians (though in some countries tyrannies and religious persecution persist). But in our world today, we still face greed, pride, jealousy, slavery and sin. Doing wrong instead of right is normal and accepted by those whom we are meant to trust as the defenders of human life. All sorts of evil is happening right before our eyes and the Church is still there proclaiming the greater reward of renouncing our own bondages. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and the likes are no longer there, claiming to be kings, but now we seem to believe in the primacy of the individual, setting us up as kings who expect all sorts of reverence to our whims. All this is preventing us to see the real truth which God revealed through the prophets and his only Son. St Eugene de Mazenod, founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, once said that we must learn who we are in the eyes of God. And the whole lot of saints have preached the truth of love, hope and faith. These are the core directions on knowing who we are—or rather who God expects us to be. We, humans, killed Jesus. Our greed, pride, jealousy and sins killed Jesus. But the Church is still calling us to respond to the real truth. Christ, who brought us the message while being the everlasting message himself, is the King over all Nations. So as we prepare for the feast of Christ the King, we need to remember that no matter how high our position or opinion of ourselves, we are not kings but servants who are called to work for the greater feast to which we all are invited to.
he Belgian-born theologian Edward Schillebeeckx OP noted, it “broke the clergy’s monopoly on the liturgy...Whereas it was formerly the priest’s affair, with the faithful no more than his clientele, the Council regard[ed] not only the priest but the entire Christian community, God’s people, as the subject of the liturgical celebration.” As in the ancient Church, lay people were now participants encouraged to participate in various ministries: lector, acolyte and extraordinary minister of Communion. Indeed, as time passed and with the priest shortage growing acute, many would even be trained as leaders of “Communion services” where priests were unavailable. The laity has started to come
An extraordinary minister of the Eucharist distributes Holy Communion at a Mass. As in the ancient Church, the post-Vatican II Church encourages Catholics to participate in its many ministries, including some roles in the liturgy that once excluded lay people.
into its own. Laity have become leaders in the Church, many of them challenging the residue of clericalism that many Council Fathers like Emile De Smedt and Leo-Joseph Suenens decried.
This has made many clergy and laity uneasy. But ultimately it has led to a revitalisation of the Church, a Church where one can say with confidence: “We are all Church”.
The Southern Cross, November 16 to November 22, 2011
Let’s put the new Missal into action O
VER the past six weeks we have explored the new English translation of the liturgy of the Holy Mass. The aim of this series has been to inform Catholics of the changes, to help them to understand the reasons for the changes, to help them to participate more fully in the sacrifice of the Mass— but always with the end-objective of facilitating and enriching worship of God within our faith community, as members of the universal Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. It is very important that people are aware of the Phase Two and Phase Three changes and the reasons for them. In addition, this series has, I hope, provided an opportunity for priests, deacons and catechists to help people to better understand the reasons for the Phase One changes that have been in place since 2008. The changes can be referred to in homilies and other catechesis. The bishops’ conference arranged for Catholic Link to include a seven-week series of inserts explaining the changes, with the text of these also made available to all parishes that do not use the Catholic Link. In order to facilitate the implementation of the new English translation, the bishops’ conference also obtained the rights to an outstanding catechetical programme. The DVD-based interac-
Chris Busschau New Missal Decoded
tive training programme called Becoming One Body, One Spirit in Christ provides an exceptional formation tool that fulfils two functions. Firstly, it leads us through a careful and thorough process that assists us in understanding the Mass more fully. This can be a very special and valuable path to deeper personal spirituality and also to greater community worship. Secondly, it also provides considerable insight into the new English translation. The bishops strongly recommend that every parish make use of the DVDs to run a series of formation workshops, either before or after Mass on Sundays or else on weeknights. They also provide a wonderful resource for catechists, both at a parish level and also for use in Catholic schools. A new sub-committee of liturgical musicians has been formed and they have been tasked with exploring the opportunities of bringing our liturgical music into alignment with the sense and wording of the new translation. This committee has been asked to work towards providing recommended sung Masses in time for the introduc-
tion of Phase Two in November this year. Their work of developing a resource of excellent Catholic liturgical music will continue into the future. The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) has asked that every parish and community in its region commence using the new English edition of the Roman Missal (in other words, the new translation of the entire Order of the Mass) on the first Sunday of Advent, November 27. The bishops’ urge every parish and community to mark this important liturgical and catechetical development by introducing the new missal. Each parish should use its own special character to plan a small ceremony that emerges from its own culture. Some parishes are planning to display the new missal in the porch of the Church or some other public place for a week or two leading up to Advent, in order to draw people’s attention to it. At the main Mass on the first Sunday of Advent the new missal could be brought into the Church either in a special procession or in the normal entrance procession, showing it to the congregation, then incensing it and sprinkling it with holy water before starting to use the book. It would, of course, be wonderful if every parish planned a similar ceremony to introduce the new lectionary at the beginning of Lent next year.
PO Box 11095, Mariannhill 3624 DECEMBER 24-1 jaNUaRY
a sPIRITUaL ChRIsTMas hOLIDaY “CaThOLIC FaITh - God’s mysteries in our lives.” Led by Fr Urs Fischer:
2012 jaNUaRY 2-FEBRUaRY 1 sPIRITUaL EXERCIsEs according to st Ignatius of Loyola. Thirty days of prayer and meditation Led by Fr Urs Fischer jaNUaRY 6-jaNUaRY 14 7-Day preached retreat by Fr Declan Doherty: aCCEPTING ThE WaY OF jEsUs jaNUaRY 6-jaNUaRY 14 7-Day directed retreats By Fr Urs Fischer and Br Crispin LENTEN LECTUREs Mondays 19h30 Feb 27, Mar 5, 12, 19, 26 The Eucharist: Source and Summit of Our Christian Life. Led by Mgr Paul Nadal MaRCh 9 - MaRCh 11 Trusting in God by Fr Pierre Lavoipierre MaRCh 16 - MaRCh 18 The Four Last Things: Christian thinking about
Death, Judgement, Hell, Heaven. Led by Fr Urs Fischer hOLY WEEK MaRCh 31 - aPRIL 8 1. Preached Retreat by Fr Christopher Neville OFM 2. st Faustina & Bl john Paul II: Divine Mercy Week by Fr Urs Fischer aPRIL 13 - aPRIL 15 The Eucharist: Source and Summit of Our Christian Life Repeat of Lenten Lectures by Mgr Paul Nadal aPRIL 20 - 22 Questions and answers: about your journey to God Led by Fr Urs Fischer NOVEMBER 9 - NOVEMBER 11 search for Life by Fr Pierre Lavoipierre NOVEMBER 23 - 25 Mary, the Mother, has the message by Deacon Tony de Freitas DECEMBER 7 - DECEMBER 16 8-Day directed retreats by Fr Urs Fischer and Br Crispin Graham DECEMBER 24 - jaNUaRY 1, 2013
a sPIRITUaL ChRIsTMas hOLIDaY:
Praying constantly, bring your faith to life by Fr Urs Fischer
Personally guided retreats may be arranged at any time throughout the year to suit individual need. For Bookings: Reception: Fr Urs Fischer Fax
031 700 2155 031 700 2890 031 700 2738
Cellphones: 083 9633848 083 5441504 082 7307180
Fr Urs Fischer Bro Crispin Mrs N Qupa
In the last of Chris Busschau’s seven-part series on the new English translation of the Roman Missal, he puts the new Missal into use.
n 80-page, pocket sized book with the full text of the Order of the Mass together with the Eucharistic Prayers (but no readings) and a 16-page pocket-sized booklet reflecting only the Order of the Mass (no Eucharistic prayers) are available at a low cost. The 80-page book costs R15 and the 16-page costs R2. These have been distributed to all dioceses for onward distribution to parishes before Advent this year. The new lectionary will be available in 2012. The SACBC plans to distribute it to all parishes before Lent next year. Parishes are urged to start to plan special ceremonies for the introduction and implementation of the new lectionary. This ceremony could take place on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday (that is, Week 7 of Ordinary Time, in February 19) or on Ash Wednesday itself, with the lectionary being used from Ash Wednesday onwards. Small missals are also being published and these will be made available through Catholic bookshops as well as through parish repositories or other parish channels. The publishers have indicated that these will also be available at the same time as the new lectionary, namely by Lent 2012. These small Missals will be made available in two formats: • A Sunday Missal that will contain the full Order of the Mass, Eucharistic Prayers and readings for all Sundays in the three-year
cycle as well as major feasts. • A Daily Missal that will cover every day of the cycles, including all Sundays and major feasts as well as weekdays. This means that daily Mass goers will no longer be have to purchase two missals. All of the missals (the large altar missals, chapel editions, and the Sunday and daily missals) are being published by the Paulines in Kenya as an African edition, and as a happy result will include African saints. This has also ensured that the cost of the missals will be far lower than was the case previously when we had to import missals from British or American publishers. This will not be the last time that a new translation is implemented. The speed of change, the emergence of new technologies, the rapid development of language, and the ongoing evolution of the “global village” will all continue to contribute to the need for future new translations. Change is one of the constant elements in human life. We can reject change, staying in our comfort zones; or we can accept change, allowing it to take over our lives; or we can welcome change and work with it in order to extract the most benefit from new things. Jesus showed us and taught us to welcome a new way in him— let’s continue on that road! n This concludes Chris Busschau’s seven-part series on the new English translations of the Roman Missal.
The Southern Cross, November 16 to November 22, 2011
Sr Marie Bergin HF Coronationville community in 2002, and until her death. From Coronationville she was sent back to Durban in late 1958 to take on the principalship of the school at St Andrew’s. Under her leadership, the school was soon to move up the hills to Glenmore, where Convent High started. Once again her excellent management and fairness to all presented an unforgettable impact. After serving for eleven years she joined the provincial leadership team of her congregation, and then herself became provincial. When her term of office was complete she did not retire but learnt and used the skills of facilitating, spiritual direction and retreat-giving. She assisted many congregations with the formation of their constitutions, with the running of chapters, and she was a great promoter of the Better World Movement. During this time she actively supported the bishops’ Justice and Peace Commission, helped detainees and was always available to give any kind of assistance that could bring about a better society. She was very keenly involved in South Africa’s first democratic
OLY Family Sister Marie de Lourdes Bergin died on October 22, at the age of 96 years. Many people who came to visit her during her last 16 months, while she waited for her Lord to come, remarked on her astonishing memory and clear mind. In August this year she celebrated her 75th anniversary in religious life. Born in Loais, Ireland, she completed her primary schooling in Ireland and secondary education in Leeds, England with the Holy Family Sisters. She did her novitiate formation in Rockferry, England. She came to South Africa in 1935, and taught at the Holy Family schools in Durban while doing her teaching and education degrees. In 1954 she was sent to Coronationville, Johannesburg, to extend an existing primary school to a secondary one. As principal she stayed there for four years. In that short space of time she made a lasting impression on her learners, who constantly visited her after she returned to the
Family Reflections November theme: Eternal life, Eternal peace November 20: Christ the King. Jesus is the royal shepherd king who is also described by Isaiah as the Prince of Peace with whom we will be for all eternity if we follow his leadership. Not all kings are such good leaders. Discuss this as a family. This day should be a joyful celebration of the end of the Church’s liturgical year. Some parishes have a procession or an outdoor Mass followed by a parish picnic.
Community Calendar To place your event, call Claire Allen at 021 465 5007 or e-mail email@example.com, (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. 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. PRETORIA: First Saturday: Devotion to Divine Mercy. St Martin de Porres, Sunnyside, 16:30. Tel Shirley-Anne 012 361 4545.
Births • First Communion • Confirmation • Engagement/Marriage • Wedding anniversary • Ordination jubilee • Congratulations • Deaths • In memoriam • Thanks • Prayers • Accommodation • Holiday Accommodation • Personal • Services • Employment • Property • Others
Please include payment (R1,15 a word) with small advertisements for promptest publication.
elections in 1994, actually managing a joint operation centre. Sr Marie will always be remembered for her beautiful creative open mind, inclusivity and enquiring spirit which often lead her into groups of interfaith, interracial, intergender experiences. Her Requiem Mass on October 27 was celebrated by people from all walks of life, and most importantly by people who loved her and whom she loved. Her ashes will be interned in the grave of her aunt, Mother Margaret Mary Bergin, in West Park, Johannesburg. Shelagh Mary HF
Liturgical Calendar Year A
Sunday, November 20, Christ the King Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17, Psalm 23:1-3, 5-6, 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28, Matthew 25:31-46 Monday, November 21, The Presentation of Our Lady Daniel 1:1-6, 8-20, Daniel 3:52-56, Luke 21:1-4 Tuesday, November 22, St Cecilia Daniel 2:31-45, Daniel 3:57-61, Luke 21:5-11 Wednesday, November 23, feria Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28, Daniel 3:6267, Luke 21:12-19 Thursday, November 24, St Andrew Dung-Lac Daniel 6:12-28, Daniel 3:68-74, Luke 21:20-28 Friday, November 25, feria Daniel 7:2-14, Daniel 3:75-81, Luke 21:29-33 Saturday, November 26, feria Daniel 7:15-27, Daniel 3:82-87, Luke 21:34-36 Sunday, November 27, First Sunday of Advent Isaiah 63:16-17, 19; 64:2-7, Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19, 1 Corinthians 1:3-9, Mark 13:33-37
Southern CrossWord solutions SOLUTIONS TO #471. ACROSS: 3 Estranged, 8 Ewer, 9 Jerusalem, 10 Talmud, 11 Cells, 14 Ruing, 15 Yarn, 16 Eject, 18 Awes, 20 Yokel, 21 Darns, 24 Belles, 25 Reformers, 26 Stir, 27 Thursdays. DOWN: 1 Sectarian, 2 Declaimed, 4 Seed, 5 Rouse, 6 Nearly, 7 Eyes, 9 Judge, 11 Chess, 12 Sackcloth, 13 Enclosure, 17 Types, 19 Savour, 22 Named, 23 Leah, 24 Bray.
READ YOUR CATHOLIC WEEKLY WHEREVER YOU ARE A perfect gift for someone you love living abroad! Read The Southern Cross on-line, exactly as it appears in print, on the day it appears – Anywhere in the world.Only R291,50 a year! Or receive the print edition in the post every week in SA for only R416 a year!
A Christmas gift that will last the whole year! Sending a subscription gift is EASY! Go to www.scross.co.za/subscribe Or e-mail Avril at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 021-465-5007
MOORE-YOUNG—In remembrance of the 100th birthday of our parents - Bertram Moore born 29 November 1911 killed in action 22 November 1941 and Winnie Young born 14 November 1911 died 25 April 2008. Your children Kevin Moore and Deneen Gibson, grandchildren and great grandchildren
DEATH HOBAN—Carmel. Passed away peacefully in Dublin, Ireland on November 3. Will be sadly missed by her sister Therese. HOBAN—Carmel. Passed away peacefully in Dublin, Ireland on November 3. Will be sadly missed by her nephews and nieces in South Africa.
IN MEMORIAM CLOETE—In loving memory of my husband, father and grandfather who passed away 20 years ago on November 20, 1991. Always in our thoughts and prayers. RIP. Lovingly remembered by your wife Catherine, children Agnes and Martin, Bernadette and Keith, Gregory and Carol and grandchildren HEUVEL—Ninah LeighAnne. September 22, 1985 - November 17, 2006. Our only daughter and sister to Craig and Ryan, passed on to be with her Heavenly Father on Friday, November 17,
2006. “Although it has been five years since your passing, your treasured memories will be with the family until we are called by the Almighty to join you in His Kingdom”. As dawn brings a new day, and twilight shadows fill the night –we think of you. You will always be remembered by your Mom Doreen, Dad Bev, brothers Craig, Ryan and daughters-in-law, Verna and Nicki. WILLIAMS—Andrew. Passed away November 14, 1996. We cherish and honour the memory of Andrew, beloved husband and father. Eternally in our hearts. Memories keep you ever near us, though you left us 15 years ago. Forever loved and remembered by Sylvia and family.
PERSONAL ABORTION WARNING: ‘The Pill’ can abort, undetected, soon after conception (a medical fact). See website: www.hu manlife.org/abortion_ does_the_pill.php CAN YOU be silent on abortion and walk with God? Matthew 7:21 See www.180movie.com
SERVICES ANNUAL REPORTS, newsletters, books etc, designed and edited at competitive rates. Phone Gail at 082 415 4312 or
email@example.com PAVE-SAVE (Western Cape) We specialise in all domestic & industrial paving work. No job is too big or too small for us. From R80/m2. Repair jobs are most welcome. Phone John 082 803 3885. www.pavesave.co.za SPECIALIST in TV and Audio Installations. All TV and Audio sound connections wall mounted. Free advice P Knott 079 611 6111, ptel@webmail. co.ca
PRAYERS 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 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”.
ACCOMMODATION OFFERED CAPE TOWN—Cape Peninsula: Beautiful homes to buy or rent. Maggi-Mae at Aida Cape Lifestyle Homes 082 892 4502. 021 782 9263, maggimae@aida capelifestyle.co.za SUNWICH PORT—One bedroomed furnished garden cottage, 180 degree sea view, walk to beach and shops. Suit single quiet person. R2 L000pm. L/W included. Contact Patrick 082 774 7760
HOLIDAY ACCOMMODATION BALLITO: Up-market penthouse on beach, selfcatering. 084 790 6562. BETTY'S BAY: (Western Cape) Holiday home sleeps six, three bathrooms, close to beach, R600/night (winter) R800/night (summer). 021 794 4293 marialouise @mweb.co.za 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, vivil firstname.lastname@example.org 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 KNYSNA: Self-catering accommodation for 2 in Old Belvidere with wonderful Lagoon views. 044 387 1052. KOLBE HOUSE: Is the Catholic Centre and residence for the University of Cape Town. Beautiful estate in Rondebosch near the university. From
mid November, December and January, the students’ rooms are available for holiday guests. We offer self-catering accommodation, parking in secure premises. Short walks to shops, transport etc. Contact Jock 021 685 7370, fax 021 686 2342 or 082 308 0080 or firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com NEWLANDS-THE CATNAP: Self-catering accommodation available December/January. For details phone Leslie Pretorius 021 6852821. SOUTH COAST, Uvongo: Fully furnished three bedroom house, Tel: Donald 031 465 5651, 073 989 1074. 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 STELLENBOSCH: Five simple private suites (2 beds, fridge, micro-wave). Countryside vineyard/forest/mountain walks; beach 20 minute drive, affordable. Christian Brothers Tel 021 880 0242, cbcstel@ gmail.com 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
PO Box 2372, CAPE TOWN, 8000 firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (021) 465 5007 Fax: (021) 465 3850
www.scross.co.za Editor: Günther Simmermacher (email@example.com)
Advisory Editor: Michael Shackleton Editorial staff: Claire Mathieson
Manager: Pamela Davids (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Advertising: Elizabeth Hutton (email@example.com)
Subscriptions: Avril Hanslo
Dispatch: Joan King
Accounts: Desirée Chanquin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published independently by the Catholic Newspaper & Publishing Company Ltd, Cape Town Opinions expressed in this newspaper do not necessarily reflect those of the editor, staff or directors of The Southern Cross.
The Southern Cross is a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa. Printed by Paarl Post, 8 Jan van Riebeeck Drive, Paarl. Published by the proprietors, The C a t h o l i c Newspaper & Publishing Co Ltd, at the company’s registered office, 10 Tuin Plein, Cape Town, 8001.
Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000 • 10 Tuin Plein, Cape Town, 8001 Tel: (021) 465 5007 • Fax: (021) 465 3850 Editorial: email@example.com
083 640 5848
1st Sunday of Advent (Year B): Nov 27 Readings: Isaiah 63:16-17, 64:1,3-8; Psalm 80:2,3,15-17,18-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37 EXT Sunday, remarkably enough, is the first Sunday of Advent. And the point of Advent, of course, is precisely that it means “Coming”: for the Lord has not yet come, whatever they may be telling you in the shops just now. That is the note on which the Church invites us to begin this season. The first reading may come from that painful moment when Israel had just gone into Exile, and the Temple had been destroyed. The memory still seems very fresh, and the people are coming to grips with their responsibility for the disaster. The reading starts and finishes with God as “Father”: “Father and Redeemer” at the beginning, who is chided (as though it were God’s fault!) for allowing us to stray from God’s ways, and, at the end: “Lord, you are our Father: we are the clay, and you are the potter.” God, that is to say, is completely in charge, “and all of us are the work of your hands”. The point, and we must not lose sight of this during the run-up to Christmas, is that God is in charge of restoring things to how they should be.
Business manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital edition: www.digital.scross.co.za
Wake up as we await coming of Christ
Nicholas King SJ Sunday Reflections The psalm knows all about this, addressing God as “Israel’s shepherd, who dwells on the cherubim”, and begging God to “come to save us”. It is all about what God will do, as we ask for him to “please come back... and visit this vine”. The “vine” is a symbol of Israel, and that, of course, is us. “May your hand be on the man of your right hand, and on the son of your strength”. We echo, perhaps with our fingers crossed, this Advent, the promise that “we shall not turn away from you; give us life, and we shall call upon your name”. In the second reading, Paul gives us an idea of the Christmas present that he would like us to receive at the end of our Advent: “Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” And it is no good your yawning like that: for it is an urgent prayer. The Christians in Corinth were hopelessly
divided, and in this letter Paul is trying to get them back on track. Notice two elements of his strategy: first, he expresses his thanksgiving on behalf of the Corinthians in a series of passives, to emphasise that what had been given them was all God’s doing, and none of theirs: “You have been enriched...Christ’s witness has been confirmed in you...you cannot be found guilty on the day of our Lord”. Secondly, he brings them back, always, to his beloved Jesus, who is the answer to all their problems: he is mentioned (as Jesus or Christ or Christ Jesus or Jesus Christ) nine times in these seven verses. It will be good if we can start to prepare for Christmas, this week, by recognising what God has done for us, and by admitting that Jesus is everything for us. The gospel for the first Sunday of Advent is eminently suitable, telling us that we have to wait. There is a series of imperatives here: “Look”, it starts, and then, three times, no less, we are told to “stay awake”, because
Our fear of death is holy, healthy W HEN I was a 22-year-old seminarian, I was privileged to have a unique kind of desert experience. I sat with my siblings in a palliative care room for several weeks, watching my father die. My father was young still, 62, and in good health until being struck with pancreatic cancer. He was a man of faith and he brought that to his final struggle. He wasn’t afraid of God, whom he had served all his life, nor of the afterlife, which his faith assured him was to be joy-filled. Yet he couldn’t let go of life easily, struggling almost bitterly at times to surrender. There was a deep sadness inside him, ultimately more soft than bitter, during his last weeks of life. He didn’t want to die. But his sadness was not rooted in a fear of death, of God, or of the afterlife. His sadness had to do with leaving this world, leaving his wife, his family, his community, his dreams for his retirement years, and with his own enjoyment of life. He was sad at the bitter fact that he was dying while the rest of us and the rest of life were continuing on, without him. I was reminded of this recently while reading an article in America magazine by Sidney Callahan within which she shares about her own fear of dying. Here’s the salient part of her text:
Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
“But less severe losses also seep into my fear of dying. Intense sadness arises over giving up one’s part in the ongoing drama of one’s daily life and one’s times. The familiar local round and love of one’s own family and people (including my adored dog) strongly bind us to our specific and beautiful world. To have this story interrupted is a painful prospect when we could go on forever. “When your life is a blessed Sabbath banquet given by God here and now, leaving your place at the table can be hard—even for a more glorious celebration. In dying we will inevitably be entering into an unimaginable, novel existence, like a fetus being born. “Despite the promised wonders in the world to come, I am afraid I identify with the happy, contented foetus in the warm womb who does not want to come out.”
efore dismissing this as an immature or less-than-a-holy feeling, we might want to examine Jesus’ own fear of dying. The gospels present his agony, his “sweating blood”, as a moral drama rather than as a physical one. It’s Jesus in
his humanity, as lover, who is sweating his death. The gospels make this clear. In describing his death they highlight his intense loneliness, his isolation, his being “a stone’s throw away from everyone”, and his feeling of abandonment. The pain he expresses in the Garden isn’t fear about impending physical pain, it’s fear about impending abandonment, about his losing his place at the table, about the moral and emotional isolation of dying, of dying alone, of dying misunderstood, of dying as unanimity-minusone. It can be helpful to contemplate this for a number of reasons. First, a deeper understanding of this can help us recognise and deal more openly with some of our own fears about dying. We need to give ourselves permission to be sad at the thought of death. As well, a deeper understanding of this can help us prepare ourselves for the loneliness we will one day all have to face. As Martin Luther put it: You are going to die alone. You had better believe alone. Next, a deeper understanding of this can save us from making simplistic judgments about how other people deal with death. Too common is the simplistic belief that if a person has real faith, he or she should be able to let go of life easily and die peacefully. There’s truth in this, but it needs tons of qualification. As Iris Murdoch once wrote: “A common soldier dies without fear, Jesus died afraid!” Jesus, as the account of his death in the Gospel of Mark makes clear, did not go through the death-process, the process of letting go, serenely. He faced his death with faith and courage, but he also faced it with deep sadness, intense struggle, near bitterness, and seeming darkness at the centre of his faith. Healthy people, people who love life, find it hard to give up their place at this world’s tables. Small wonder that Jesus struggled! Finally, a deeper understanding of this can, paradoxically, help us to enter life more deeply. Jesus tells us that we must lose our lives in order to find them. Among other things, this means accepting that one day we will lose our place at this world’s tables. And that acceptance can give us a deeper appreciation for the tables of family, community, and enjoyment that we sit at now in this specific and beautiful world. Life and love are precious, on both sides of eternity. Our fear of losing our place inside of them is a healthy, holy fear.
“you do not know when the time is”. So it is no good your looking at your diary, and saying: “I think that Christmas is on the 25th of December this year”, for the Lord’s coming could be at any time. Then we are offered a characteristic parable for what time it might be: “A man who goes overseas leaves his house, and gives his slaves authority, each one for his own job.” And, not surprisingly, in an unstable society, “he commands the gate-keeper to stay awake”; as we wait for the Lord’s coming, it is our task to recall that we are the gate-keeper in the apparent absence of the Lord. For “you do not know when the Lord of the household is coming, in the evening, or at midnight or at cockcrow or in the morning”. One of the things that happens to us as we learn to pray is that all our cherished certainties melt before the Lord’s unpredictability”. We do not want him to “arrive unexpectedly and find you asleep”. Let us pray for wakefulness, this Advent.
Southern Crossword #471
ACROSS 3. Alienated spouse will be (9) 8. Find a container in a brewery (4) 9. Place of the temple (9) 10. Body of Jewish Law (6) 11. In which monks sleep (5) 14. Showing regret (5) 15. Thread of a rambling story (4) 16. Expel (5) 18. Inspires with reverence (4) 20. Son of the soil (5) 21. Mends for rands (5) 24. Pretty girls you'll hear in church (6) 25. Rome’s freer Lutherans (9) 26. Cause a storm in a teacup? (4) 27. Holy days in Holy Weeks (9) Solutions on page 11
DOWN 1. Traces Ian as a nonconformist (9) 2. Announced, and indeed declared your right in it (9) 4. Some of it fell short in the parable (4) 5. Wake up (5) 6. Not quite (6) 7. They look for you (4) 9. He hears the case (5) 11. Board game found in church essentials (5) 12. Penitential textile (9) 13. It’s in the sealed envelope in the monastery (9) 17. Writes with keys (5) 19. Saviour loses one taste (6) 22. Christened (5) 23. Jacob’s wife (Gen 29) (4) 24. Town of the donkey’s cry (4)
CHURCH CHUCKLE imothy Murphy of Ireland and Angelo Secola from T Italy were born on the same day, entered Catholic schools and then seminaries on the same day. They were ordained on the same day, and became archbishops and then cardinals on the same day. Both men amazed the world. And when the pope died, everyone knew that one of the two who would become the next pope, though it was generally acknowledged that Cardinal Secola was just a cut above Cardinal Murphy in all respects. Soon the white smoke rose from the chimney and the new pope was presented on the balcony overlooking St Peter’s Square. The new pope was Murphy. Behind the scenes, a devastated Angelo Secola asked the cardinals: “Why? Why Timothy?” Finally an old cardinal answered: “We knew you were the better of the two, Angelo, but we just could not bear the thought of the leader of the Catholic Church being called Pope Secola.”