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January 25 to January 31, 2012

R5,50 (incl VaT RSa) Reg No. 1920/002058/06

Making religion exciting in SA schools

Let there be living water Page 7

Page 2

No 4754

Positive upbringing, positive sounds Page 9

Catholic ethos is key in education By CLaIRe MaTHIeSoN

vant for the future of our society and country,” said Mrs Schmidt. HILE the National Senior Certificate Similarly, the CIE said the Catholic ethos results were released with very in education needs to continue to be develmixed reviews, the Catholic Institu- oped “for it is this bedrock of Christian values tion of Education (CIE) said the country’s and vocational teaching that enables schools Catholic results were “very commendable” to succeed,” said Ms Baker. and have shown that a Catholic ethos in eduShe said many teachers who worked closecation must be maintained. ly with the religious are ageing and it was 104 Catholic schools, with 7 440 pupils, vitally important that all Catholics inspire wrote the National Senior Certificate—and young people to become teachers by uphold6 565 passed. CIE deputy director Anne Baker ing the teaching profession and honouring said the 88,3% pass rate was actually a drop the teachers. She said it was the Catholic compared to what was achieved in 2010, but foundation that led to the positive results in still significantly higher than the 70,2% the matric exams. national pass rate. In fact, Catholic schools “The CIE will further analyse Catholic outperformed non-Catholic schools in every schools results once more data is received. province. Schools and pupils who worked hard to Ms Baker added that 26 Catholic schools achieve these results are to be congratulated wrote the IEB examination achieving a 99,9% and celebrated.” pass rate which was also above the national CIE’s research and IEB pass rate. communications offi“We can be proud cer Cullen Mackenzie of the Catholic said it was clear a schools in the Eastern more consolidated Cape, Western Cape, effort to education Limpopo and Northwas needed. “Teachers ern Cape provinces. have to be committed In the Eastern Cape, to doing their best, Limpopo and Northparents have to ensure ern Cape Catholic that their children are schools achieved subworking hard and stantially above the each child has to work provincial pass rate,” hard to make sure that the deputy director he or she realises his said. or her dream. Notably in the Every citizen of this Eastern Cape, the Bhekisisa Nyembe received seven distinctions country needs to schools achieved and is among the top learners in Gauteng. He think of ways to help 30,9% above the is one of only three who got 100% in Matheour children,” said Mr provincial pass, with matics and one of the ten learners who got Mackenzie. 29,7% above in 100% in Physical Sciences. Researcher at the Limpopo. The NorthCatholic Parliamenern Cape Catholic tary Liaison Office, Kenny Pasensie said schools achieved an 89% pass-rate, which is instead of criticising the results, we should 32,2% above the provincial average. “celebrate the successes of those who manMs Baker said the CIE would be looking aged to pass despite the serious hardships that into areas where the pass rate declined. “Even many of the candidates had to overcome durthough the Free State Catholic schools ing the long journey to matric.” achieved 10,3 % above the provincial average, He said it was an achievement just to make the pass rate declined from 88,7% in 2010 to it to matric, considering only 38% of those 86% in 2011.” There was also a decline in the who started school 12 years ago passed their KZN Catholic school pass-rate to 79,2%. final exams. Principal of St Martin de Porres high While minister of basic education Angie school in Orlando West, Duma Sithebe, said Motshekga said there was an increase in the the 2011 matrics recorded a 95% pass with overall results, there were 41 453 fewer fullone learner, Bhekisisa Nyembe having time candidates who wrote matric in 2011 achieved seven distinctions including a per- compared to 2010, and fewer candidates fect score in mathematics and physical sci- passed. ences. “He is amongst the top learners in Mr Pasensie said this decline in the numGauteng and one of only three who got 100% ber of learners finishing school was seriously in Mathematics and one of the ten learners concerning. “If fewer and fewer pupils are who got 100% in physical sciences,” Mr going to get as far as even attempting matric, Sithebe said. then despite healthy increases in the pass rate The principal added three other students, we will still be left with huge numbers of Siyabonga Mbonani, Mpeoane Khodumo and young people for whom the doors of further Nape Nkadimeng received 11 distinctions learning are effectively shut”. between them. But Mr Pasensie said there was hope. He Deputy principal of Maris Stella in Durban said the top performing schools have someJoan Schmidt said the Holy Family school was thing in common: “Strong school leadership very proud of another 100% pass rate. “60% with dedicated principals, department heads of our subject marks were As or Bs.” Mrs and governing bodies; teachers that have Schmidt said the positive results were attrib- good content knowledge and a good underuted to the dedication of teachers, parents standing of the best teaching techniques; and the formation encouraged by the Holy responsible and disciplined students; and Family sisters. families and communities that take an active “Maris Stella can be described in terms of interest in the education of their children.” the evident faith that underpins all that we Mr Pasensie says the challenge for all do and gives meaning and purpose to our schools across the country is to find ways of efforts, our family values, and the quality of making these factors the norm in our schools, our education which we strive to make rele- rather than the exception.

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archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town stands in front of a new banner which has been placed on the walls of St Mary’s Cathedral in the city’s centre. The archbishop blessed the banner and called on the National Council of Provinces, on behalf of the Catholic Church of Cape Town, to amend the Protection of State Information Bill in such a way as to “bring it in line with our constitutional right to freedom of information”. archbishop Brislin addressed a crowd at the blessing and said South africans are morally justified in opposing the Protection of State Information Bill because it does not serve the common good. The 3m tall banner, which faces parliament is emblazoned with the words “The truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32) and “Say no to the secrecy bill”. (Photo: Claire Mathieson)

Priest who survived cancer takes on Kilimanjaro By LISa BouRNe

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PRIEST from a Des Moines, Iowa diocese in the United States has experienced a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with the hope that it will bring others to God. Mgr Frank Bognanno, 72, pastor of Christ the King parish in Des Moines since 2000, is among a group of cancer survivors who climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, a trip organised by Des Moines oncologist Dr Richard Deming and led by world triathlete Charlie Wittmack, of St Augustin parish in Des Moines. The group of 17 cancer survivors and 20 caregivers reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in January becoming participants in the world's highest “relay for life” at 5 896m. A priest for nearly 47 years, Mgr Bognanno had completed triathlons in the past and continued to run and walk regularly. But in the six weeks before he began the climb, his fitness regimen changed to prepare him to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. Dr Deming, who is the director of the Cancer Centre at Mercy Medical Centre, led a group to Mt Everest last April, said that climbing a mountain is a metaphor that many cancer survivors use to describe their cancer experience. It has been 17 years since Mgr Bognanno’s initial diagnosis of prostate cancer, from which he experienced full recovery. Three years ago the cancer reappeared, but at a level so low that the approach had been to simply continue monitoring things.

He’d been seeing Dr Deming for treatment, who at one point asked Mgr Bognanno to join the cancer survivor expedition. “I was a little hesitant at first,” the priest said. “I mean, my idea of camping is a motel with black and white television.” Mgr Bognanno has moved on from his original hesitation toward taking the trip to embracing the expedition for its potential to evangelise. He’ll begin radiation treatment upon return to Des Moines. Mgr Bognanno celebrated Mass each day for the group on the expedition. He has also given the experience up to God for the success of his parish’s upcoming mission.—CNS

Dr Richard Deming and Mgr Frank Bognanno on their trek up Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The priest from Des Moines, Iowa, was in the group of 17 cancer survivors that reached the 5 896m summit. (Photo:John Richard courtesy of Mercy Medical Centre, CNS)


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LOCAL

The Southern Cross, January 25 to January 31, 2012

Making religion exciting in South African schools STaFF RePoRTeR

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HIS month Hope&Joy has taken on the task of teaching Vatican II to young people— and it is two ordinary parishioners who have led the work. Raylene Nadasen, a teacher at McAuley House in Johannesburg, and Dillon Naicker, a freelance photographer and actor from the East Rand, have been working with the Jesuit Institute to produce a set of materials that can be used to teach the importance of Vatican II to children aged 10-15. Mr Naicker confessed that he had not even heard of Vatican II until Hope&Joy was launched last May but now realises that it is the Church that he was living in all along. As a youth leader at St Martin de Porres parish in Geluksdal on the East Rand, he hopes that these materials will help young people to really learn about the modern

church. “God was waiting for the right time to help me to see,” he said commenting on his own faith journey. “Now I am on a mission to serve and so when I heard about Hope&Joy from Radio Veritas I wanted to offer my talents to the cause.” Mr Naicker’s work can be seen in the Hope&Joy Inspiration cards and also in the Hope&Joy calendar for 2012 (both available at Catholic bookshops). For the schools cards, he did black and white images that featured young people and would photocopy easily. “I like taking pictures of children,” he said, “because even when they are posed they still look natural!” Ms Nadasen also volunteered after being inspired by a talk she heard about Hope&Joy. To prepare the text she read Vatican documents for the first time and she admits that she learnt an awful lot about the Church. “It taught me

how all-embracing the Church is and also showed me that religion is not ‘pie in the sky’—it is faith in action.” Ms Nadasen has taught in private and in public Catholic schools and is used to working with classes in which many of the children are not Catholic. “That is why Hope&Joy attracted me because it shows how embracing our Church is.” The challenge she felt was to bring to the classroom the excitement of Vatican II. “To do this I came up with the idea of using holy men and women that young people could relate to—to show how they can choose to follow in their footsteps.” Role models range from Blessed John Paul to Archbishop Hurley to Wangari Maathai. The materials on CD are being launched on February 4 at the Catholic Schools Conference AGM in Johannesburg and are being dis-

Raylene Nadasen and Dillon Naicker at Mcauley House discussing how to make Vatican II exciting for children as part of the most recent Hope&Joy project. tributed by Catholic Institute of tation versions of the cards for Education and the Catholic older learners or adults that can be Schools Office to every Catholic projected in the classroom. school in the country as well as to The sets of full colour cards can diocesan catechetical departments. also be bought by schools from The CD contains 13 black and Mariannhill Press at the special white double-sided cards which price of 5 sets for R100. can be printed or photocopied and n For more information on the used in schools and youth groups. Hope&Joy CD and the launch call It also contains computer presen- 031 700 8978 .

Late bishop’s youth vision becomes reality By THaNDI BoSMaN

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Honouring those who were slain at Pretoria Central Prison for fighting for freedom were (from left) Fr Mathibela Sebothoma, Ms Cecilia Moloantoa, Deacon Samuel Molebale and Fr Jordan Ngondo.

VISION of the late Bishop Michael Coleman of Port Elizabeth turned reality in December when the annual Port Elizabeth diocesan youth rally marked the opening of a new youth centre in Lilyfontein, East London. Hosted by the King Williams Town deanery, the rally was attended by 90 youth members along with their leaders, mentors and guardians and was held on the newly developed Lilyfontein grounds, which were originally home to a convent and school. “The late Bishop Michael Coleman always had the dream that the youth would have their own centre to have gatherings at and then also to become self sustainable,” said seminarian Russell Williams, who provided

the spiritual guidance at the rally. “The weekend consisted of teambuilding, spirituality and fun, all arranged by the host deanery. Topics such as vocations and life of celibacy were also part of the programme with two local seminarians directing those parts,” Mr Williams said, adding that the youth were encouraged to discuss their faith. Mr Williams said the event was very well organised and ended with Mass celebrated by Fr Gabriel Muyenga. Mr Williams said that he and Br Runaine Radine attended the rally as seminarians of the diocese and were both youth leaders and “part of the leadership of the diocese for many years”. Mr Williams and Br Radine have attended all the past rallies to focus on spirituality and

vocations with the youth and “hoping to encourage more young people to give their lives to God” Mr Williams added. “The leadership are encouraging the youth in our diocese to become part of youth groups, so that by doing so, we are able to influence others and reduce the rates of crime and corruption in society,” the seminarian said. Mr Williams said that the youth centre was built because of the shortage of facilities for big youth gatherings, and other venues were expensive to use. The new youth centre has received positive responses from youth leaders Mr Williams said. “The youth chaplains and leaders were very happy to share in this experience of the youth of the diocese owning their own centre,” said Mr Williams.

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LOCAL

The Southern Cross, January 25 to January 31, 2012

3

Cancer awareness and education needed By CLaIRe MaTHIeSoN

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CCORDING to the World Health Organisation, cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and accounted for 7.6 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) in 2008. The picture is much the same in South Africa where cancer is the second biggest cause of death and according to one local Catholicfounded organisation, Can-Sir, it’s time to start talking about cancer—with men in particular. Cancer survivors Ismail-Ian Fife and Stephen Small formed the organisation when they realised the difficulty men were experiencing when it came to cancer treatment, coping with cancer in their family lives, coping with the disease and openly talking about cancer due to either being ill informed

or uncaring medical staff, cultural differences or the stigma attached to cancer. With World Cancer Day falling on February 4, Can-Sir has called for churches and communities to emphasise the importance of regular examinations and early detection of cancer—prostate and testicular cancer in particular. Mr Fife said the prostate cancer can be found in up to 30% of men over 50, many of whom often are not aware of having the disease. Awareness, testing and education could be the difference between life and death, he said. The organisations’s approach is “insightful and practical, will cross the cultural line and educate and supply information to those who do not have any information on their particular cancer”—something Mr Fife says is severely lack-

ing in the country. Accordingly, Can-Sir aims to reach communities through educational facilities such as schools, clinics, hospitals, as well as local churches. “Our ultimate goal is to test, screen and educate as many teenagers, younger and older men as we possibly can and to empower everyone, not only those affected by a cancer diagnosis,” said Mr Fife adding that Can-Sir appeals to men’s informational, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs by way of education and awareness. Mr Fife said while the executive body of the organisation is 90% Catholic, the overall membership which includes various volunteers and social workers, is diverse. Can-Sir is closely associated with local NGO People Living with Cancer who set about developing

volunteer peer to peer counselling guidelines that are aligned with international protocols. “Through this association, CanSir benefits from one of the most established volunteer psychosocial programmes in the country,” said Mr Fife. “Can-Sir is committed to improving and equipping cancer patients and family members with a powerful, integrated approach to the cancer journey—helping people to heal by way of educating and giving them the necessary psychosocial support structure they need. Can-Sir draws on the best of medical science, the vast teachings of world spiritual traditions, and the inherent wisdom within each person.” While currently only based in the Western Cape, the organisation plans to expand across the

country as the issue is present in every community around South Africa, the founder said. “As an organisation we strive to contribute and focus particularly in the rural, impoverished, less fortunate and previously disadvantaged communities, although not limited to those communities as we strongly believe that cancer is an ever increasing problem in South Africa and all communities.” Can-Sir works predominantly through volunteers who are trained and educated “which will enable them to get involved and take ownership in the fight against cancer by sharing their resources and their talents in their own communities”. n For more information on Can-Sir visit www.can-sir.co.za or call 021 761 6070

International students learn from SA’s churches STaFF RePoRTeR

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GROUP of students from Taylor University in Indiana, USA visited South Africa to learn about justice, mercy and faithfulness from a few of the country’s religious and educational institutions. Dominican Sister Alison Munro of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference Aids desk said Koinonia conference centre in Johannesburg hosted the group of first year honours students who were “pursuing a course on ‘Restorative Justice in the Arts’” by examining justice, mercy and faithfulness, with reference to Mt 23:23, in the context of the past

and ongoing struggles in South Africa”. The students, involved in medicine, international studies and other programmes at the interdenominational Christian University also travelled to Cape Town where they heard from Arts faculty members at the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch, visited a film project and the National Art Gallery, interacted with theologian Professor John de Gruchy, and visited District Six and Robben Island. Sr Munro said the group visited churches around the country of different denominations. “In Cape Town they participated in services at St George’s Anglican

Cathedral, and at the Anglican Christ Church, Kenilworth, and in Johannesburg at the Central Methodist Church where they met Bishop Paul Verryn, a well known activist on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers,” the Dominican nun said. “[While staying at] Koinonia, the group visited the Apartheid Museum, the Constitutional Court, the Johannesburg Art Gallery, and interacted with Arts faculty members at the Universities of Johannesburg, Witwatersrand and South Africa.” The group also watched the local theatre production “Yellow Man”—“a powerful play about race, dysfunction and love, set in

Students from Taylor university in Indiana, uSa, visited South africa to learn about justice, mercy and faithfulness. Carolina, USA in the 1960s. Sr Munro said the students sign a covenant as part of their profession of faith, committing them-

selves to loving God and one another and the South African tour was a valuable part of the students’ studies.


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The Southern Cross, January 25 to January 31, 2012

INTERNATIONAL

Imprisoned clergy ‘damaging for China’ By FRaNCIS RoCCa

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Christine oke holds her child as she attends a Catholic Relief Services anti-malaria meeting in the village of Sochanoue, Benin. CRS helps fight malaria by providing prevention education, medication and mosquito nets in the community that resides on a lake outside the capital of Cotonou. Malaria is the leading cause of death for children under five in Benin. (Photo:Paul Haring, CNS)

Jesuits: Mexico’s Tarahumara hunger crisis By DaVID aGReN

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RIESTS working in Mexico’s remote Copper Canyon in Chihuahua state have warned of widespread hunger among the indigenous Tarahumara, who have been negatively impacted by drought conditions considered to be the worst in more than 70 years. The St Ignatius of Loyola foundation began a campaign to raise money to buy corn, a staple in regional diets and a crop unable to be grown in an area that has received only 25% of its normal precipitation in 2011. The foundation estimated that 60 000 Tarahumara were impacted and 90% of the local bean crop had failed. Mexico is experiencing drought in seven northern states, where the federal government says a lack of rain has caused the driest conditions in 70 years

and negatively impacted 2,5 million residents. The drought has hit the Tarahumara especially hard as the indigenous group inhabits an impoverished region of rugged natural beauty in the Sierra Madre that has attracted tourists and adventure seekers, but remains underdeveloped, impoverished and exploited by illegal logging and drug runners in recent decades. Mexicans responded with generosity and outrage after an erroneous story was broadcast saying the Tarahumara were committing suicide after being unable to find food. Jesuit Father Javier Avila said the suicide stories were false, but he described the situation as dire. “The drought this year in the sierra is atypical...there wasn’t rain and now, in the winter, there wasn’t snow,” Fr Avila added.—CNS

HE Vatican’s highest-ranking Chinese official called on Beijing to release nine arrested Catholic bishops and priests, saying their continued detention “damages China’s international image”. Archbishop Savio Hon Taifai, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, made his remarks in an interview published by AsiaNews, a Rome-based missionary news agency. “We need to pray for these bishops and priests...but we must also appeal to those who are holding them”, Archbishop Hon said, endorsing a public campaign recently launched by AsiaNews. Eight of the arrested clergy are members of the so-called “underground” or clandestine Catholic community, whose leaders refuse to register with the Chinese government. The government’s refusal to acknowledge the Church leaders’ detention shows that the priests and bishops “disappeared

for religious reasons,” Archbishop Hon said. “If these people have done something wrong, please send them to court, not to prison or isolation.” Asked what the Vatican is doing to obtain their release, Archbishop Hon said that requests were being made through personal channels and diplomats from other countries. But he also noted that the “Holy See cannot publicise all the help it gives and its closeness to them”. Noting that the Vatican does not distinguish between Catholic communities that register or do not register with the government, the archbishop called for unity of the Church in China in spite of government persecution. “It is also important that the underground communities learn to forgive,” he said. “The martyr, like St Stephen, is also one who forgives.” China requires bishops to register with the government, but many refuse, believing registration forces them to operate within certain limits. Those

Bishop Joseph Wu Qinjing of Zhouzhi, China, is among nine bishops and priests listed as imprisoned or detained by the Chinese government. (Photo: CNS file) who, for decades, refused to register and suffered persecution at the hands of communist authorities have sometimes felt resentment toward those who opted to register and cooperate; initially they were forced to keep their loyalty to the Vatican secret. A 2007 letter from Pope Benedict to Chinese Catholics “leaves the decision to the individual bishop,” having consulted his priests, “to weigh...and to evaluate the possible consequences” of registering with the government.—CNS

Women religious work to ward off sex trafficking at Super Bowl By MaRK PaTTISoN

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ICKING up from efforts to stem sex trafficking at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, 11 women's religious orders from Indiana and Michigan are working to stop sex trafficking at this year’s Super Bowl. The orders are members of the Coalition for Corporate Responsibility (CCRIM), established in the early 1990s. The coalition is a member of the Interfaith Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), which spearheaded the anti-sex trafficking efforts two years ago in South Africa. The nuns aren’t always the biggest sports fans, but they’ve picked up some of the terminology. When ICCR’s human trafficking working group mentioned during its meeting last June that Super Bowl XLVI would be held in Indianapolis, “we picked up the ball and ran with it,” said Sr Ann Oestreich, an Immaculate Heart of Mary sister who ministers as justice coordinator for the Sisters of the Holy Cross in South Bend,

Samantha Bernadette alvarez, 7, one of the youngest participants in the La Freedom Walk, holds a sign during the anti-human trafficking event. (Photo:Victor aleman, Vida Nueva, CNS) Indiana. “We decided to take a look at the hospitality industry and purchasing stock in their companies so we could get into a conversation with the hotels.” Coalition representatives contacted the Department of Health and Human Services for assistance. “They were kind

enough, when they heard what we were doing, to provide 2 000 printed copies of those brochures.” The coalition prepared its own fact sheet to help hotels detect sex trafficking, including a list of phone numbers to call as well as a shelter for trafficked women. The goal was to contact 220 hotels within a 80km radius of the site of Super Bowl, and to date the response from the hotels has been quite good, Sr Oestreich said. “We’ve got about 50 responses so far for the hotels,” she added. “About half of the hotels have asked for further info that we’re offering them in terms of training, in terms of signing the ECPAT code.” ECPAT is an acronym for Ending Child Prostitution and Trafficking, which has developed a code of conduct to deter child sexual exploitation. Once all the hotels have been contacted the coalition plans to leave them be. “The Super Bowl is a celebration, but we don't want exploitation to be part of it.”— CNS

ST. KIZITO CHILDREN’S PROGRAMME St. Kizito Children’s Programme (SKCP) is a community-based response to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children. SKCP was established through the Good Hope Development Fund in 2004 in response to the Church’s call to reach out to those in need. Operating as a movement within the Archdiocese of Cape Town, SKCP empowers volunteers from the target communities to respond to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) living in their areas. The SKCP volunteers belong to Parish Groups that are established at Parishes in target communities. Through the St. Kizito Movement, the physical, intellectual, emotional and psycho-social needs of OVCs are met in an holistic way. Parish Groups provide children and families with a variety of essential services, while the SKCP office provides the groups with comprehensive training and on-going support. In order to continue its work, SKCP requires on-going support from generous donors. Funds are needed to cover costs such as volunteer training and support, emergency relief, school uniforms and children’s excursions. Grants and donations of any size are always appreciated. SKCP is also grateful to receive donations of toys, clothes and blankets that can be distributed to needy children and families. If you would like to find out more about St. Kizito Children’s Programme, or if you would like to make a donation, please contact Bonus Ndlovu or Marian Hendricks on (021) 633 7701, or Shirley Dunn on (021) 782 2792. Email info@stkizito.org.za. Donations can also be deposited into our bank account: Bank: ABSA; Branch: Claremont, 632005; Account Name: Good Hope Development Fund; Account Number: 4059820320


INTERNATIONAL

The Southern Cross, January 25 to January 31, 2012

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Pope prays for refugees seeking a better life By CINDy WooDeN

wise guide. “I would like to underline the HE millions of refugees and decisive role of a spiritual guide migrants in the world are in the faith journey and, in parnot numbers but people in ticular, in responding to the search of a better life for themvocation of special consecration selves and their families, Pope in the service of God and Benedict said. his people,” the pope said. “They are men and “The call to follow Jesus women, young and old, more closely, to give up who are looking for a forming one’s own family place they can live in in order to dedicate oneself peace,” the pope said, on to the larger family of the World Day for Migrants Church, normally passes and Refugees. through the witness and The pope welcomed suggestion of a ‘big brothmigrants living in Rome to er’, usually a priest,” he his recitation of the said. Angelus in St Peter’s The role of parents, square and told the thou“who with their genuine sands of people gathered and joyful faith and their for the midday prayer that conjugal love demonstrate migrants and refugees are to their children that it is not only recipients of the beautiful and possible to Church’s outreach, but a girl skips rope in the Dereige camp for internally dis- build your entire life on also can be agents of evan- placed people in Sudan's troubled Darfur region. The the love of God”, also preg e l i s a t i o n i n t h e i r n e w pope's message for the annual World Day for pares young people to hear communities. Migrants and Refugees highlighted the plight of young the call to priesthood and I n h i s m a i n A n g e l u s people who live in temporary shelters and camps. religious life, he said.— a d d r e s s , P o p e B e n e d i c t (Photo: Paul Jeffrey, CNS) CNS

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spoke about the day’s Scripture readings at Mass and how Samuel in the Hebrew Bible and Simon and Andrew, James and John in the New Testament recognised the Lord’s call with the help of a

Fr Hailegebriel Meleku, deputy secretary general of the ethiopian Catholic Secretariat, said the country is now better poised to address its humanitarian problems, in part because Church bodies have been mobilised during recent crises. (Photo:Chris Herlinger/CNS)

Mexican priest investigated for Dublin whistle-blower helping displaced Guatemalans praised by archbishop By MICHaeL KeLLy

By DaVID aGReN

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EXICAN human rights groups and the migration ministry of the Mexican bishops’ conference have expressed outrage at the attorney general’s office for pursuing anonymous criminal complaints against a priest who provided material and spiritual support to a group of displaced Guatemalans. The groups also took issue with Mexican immigration officials forcibly removing some of the Guatemalans, who had been residing in a camp they established in Tabasco state near the MexicoGuatemala border since August after fleeing a violent displacement in their country. Franciscan Fr Tomas Gonzalez Castillo is accused of human trafficking for doing what his supporters say was nothing more than providing food and shelter to the displaced Guatemalans. Fr Gonzalez was in Mexico City

to meet with judicial officials. He told reporters his migrant shelter in the border town of Tenosique and a parish human rights centre were the only organisations that offered support to the Guatemalans who “arrived with nothing more than the clothes on their backs”. Federal officials removed 72 Guatemalans from the camp during a predawn raid, saying their actions were done for “humanitarian” reasons and due to poor sanitary conditions at the camp. A press release distributed by the Jesuit-run Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Centre in Mexico City alleged federal agents lured children and then used them to take their parents away. About 150 individuals escaped capture and remain in the area, while the rest are being housed in a parish-run shelter in the Guatemalan border town of Tecun Uman, Fr Gonzalez said. He also

alleged that Mexican immigration officials reneged on a promise to process the camp residents and added that negotiations between both Guatemalan and Mexican officials on repatriation were continuing. The Guatemalans arrived in Mexico, saying they were violently displaced by security forces from a farming settlement known as Nueva Esperanza. A report distributed by the human rights centre said the settlement supposedly was built in violation of Guatemalan environmental laws. Fr Gonzalez said that allegations of residents’ involvement in the drug trade were made. “There aren’t conditions for returning,” he said. The allegations against Fr Gonzalez continue a trend in which Catholic priests face charges of human rights violations against the very migrants they serve.— CNS

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RISH journalist Mary Raftery, whose pioneering investigations into the Irish Catholic Church’s handling of allegations of physical and sexual abuse against priests and religious led to government inquiries, was laid to rest in Dublin after dying from cancer. She was 54. Raftery spent many years working in the news and current affairs department of state broadcaster RTE. However, it was her investigation of abuse allegations against clerics and advocacy on behalf of victims for which she will be best remembered. Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said her work has made the Church in Ireland a better place for children. Her 1999 “States of Fear” documentary exposed for the first time the testimony of former residents in state-funded Church-run institutions who alleged that they had suffered decades of abuse and neglect. Her report led the Irish govern-

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ment to establish the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, which reported a decade later that physical abuse was widespread and sexual abuse was endemic in many institutions for boys. Many former residents of the institutions attended Raftery’s funeral. Raftery’s original documentary was followed in 2002 by a report, “Cardinal Secrets”, which alleged that Cardinal Desmond Connell, who retired in 2004, had failed to report allegations of abuse made against priests to the police. The programme led to the establishment of the Murphy Commission, which reported in 2009 that successive archbishops had put the avoidance of scandal and the protection of the Church’s reputation ahead of the needs of children to be protected from abusive priests. Paying tribute to her work, Archbishop Martin said “bringing the truth out is always a positive thing even though it may be a painful truth”.—CNS

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The Southern Cross, January 25 to January 31, 2012

LEADER PAGE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Editor: Günther Simmermacher Guest Editorial: Michael Shackleton

The Catholic school

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N page 9 of this week’s issue we feature a report of how Catholic schooling has had a positive influence on the success of the South African pop group Freshlyground and, in particular, its lead singer Zolani Mahola. Her religious upbringing in her family and in the classroom helped to provide her with Christian values that are expressed in the group’s music and in their practical, compassionate outreach to the needy. This, seen in parallel with our front-page lead story of last year’s matric results in Catholic schools being significantly higher nationwide than in nonCatholic schools, indicates that our schools, teaching staff and educational objectives are not deviating from their mission. That mission is not only to provide the knowledge and ability to pass matriculation exams but also to see that pupils experience a good allround education in the spirit of the gospel of Jesus to love and help our fellow human beings, and to exercise responsibility to the world around us. Zolani Mohola says that through her Catholic education she learnt to communicate with different cultures and backgrounds so that she could interact with people of all walks of life. For her, it is important that “we all do what we can to make our world a better place for all”. By her songs and music she aims to spread a message of love and unity, she says. Freshlyground also works with the Desmond Tutu HIV foundation and are actively involved in the campaign to prevent rhino-horn poaching. Catholic schools are there to form their charges in skills and activities in and beyond the classroom. They call for the cooperation of teaching staff, parents and pupils so that the young person is given an allround values-based education. This values-based education that underpins the Catholic school’s ethos has been

brought into sharper focus by Pope Benedict in a practical way. In his World Day of Peace message this year, the pope said the family was the place where education began. It was then developed in schools where adolescents learn a profound sense of justice in regard to others, to the point where they are prepared to make sacrifices for them with forgiveness and reconciliation. Aware of the sense of disorientation among the young, the pope reminded them that Christ is “the key, the centre and the purpose of human history” of which they are a part. The “Catholic ethos” in our schools is essential for a comprensive education in contemporary society. This ethos helps to give all, Catholics or not, a profound respect for human life and the human person. Teachers have to be filled with this vision and, by good example, demonstrate their living by it. Reportedly, about 73% of pupils in Catholic schools are not of the Catholic faith. Some critics may wonder how, in such circumstances, our schools can then be called Catholic. The concept of the Catholic school has altered over time. It is not simply to provide religious and academic education for its pupils, as it once was, but to open its doors and guide young people of all backgrounds to appreciate fundamental human values so that they can share the future with hope. Again, the words of Pope Benedict are apt here. He said it was indispensable to teach young people the art of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect, dialogue and understanding. He stressed that this amounted to a “solid education of their consciences” so that they would not embrace intolerance and even violence. And this is the essentially Christian purpose of our Catholic school system in present times.

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.

Faith at home a key factor in catechesis N response to the letter to the “evangelisation” should happen in some parishes, catechists on Iclasses” editor “Blame dull Catechism for children—the witness that fire with the love of God and (July 17), I would like to God is important in our everyday wanting to share this passion commend the young woman, a confirmation candidate. She is spot on, very insightful, able to articulate well what is most important about catechesis for young people. And I thank her for saying it so respectfully, not blaming catechists who try, but not quite getting it right. What she really is describing is the need for “evangelisation” before offering too much knowledge that doesn’t make sense without faith nor a desire to know more or deepen faith in Christ. She is right in saying a key factor is faith at home. That is where

life, that Jesus’ love is a great gift to us. In catechesis today, we need to work with families more to make any catechesis effective for children. The General Directory for Catechesis states (no 80) that the “definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy with Jesus Christ.” If this is not happening in catechetical sessions, catechists and parish need to be challenged. The system does need to change. I am sorry that this young woman and so many have not had a more positive experience. I want to assure you that there are

with more contemporary methods. There are young adults who develop in their high school sessions a relational ministry with the youth leading them to want to know more about Christ and the faith they witness in their leaders. Have hope! Let’s light those fires in our Catholic Church communities. I hope some day this young woman will be a catechist—she sees so clearly the most important message to be “echoed” the message of Christ. “Come and see.” Sr Annette St-Amour, IHM Greyville, Durban

Call it wilful murder

hell-fire to those who disobeyed “like passing through a fire”, in the words of our letter writer. One cannot pass on the faith to others if the joy of knowing Jesus personally is not a normal experience, the most important single factor in one’s Christian walk. Small wonder that our young people walk out and seek more vital pastures among the evangelicals who have everything our young people are looking for: an alive faith, a liturgy in their home language, bible study, warm fellowship, and most important: nurturing, as stressed by your correspondent. It is frightening that we often read of this “walk out” on the part of many young people, directly after being confirmed! The saving message, the kerygma has not been appropriate to millions of Catholics. Nor do they, despite the sacrament of Confirmation, experience the effective power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. To catechise in a situation such as this can only produce a misshapen Christianity, producing “Christians” who simply do not know how, or are afraid, to witness to their faith. As Pope Paul VI stresses in Evangelii Nuntiandi: “The modern man listens more willingly to wit-

ness than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses”, as also admirably quoted by Steven Edwards “The joy of youth ministry” in the same issue. John Lee, Johannesburg

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RANK Bompas (December 21) lauds and rejects my criticism of, the “seamless garment” theology; which postulates the equal viewing and treatment by the Catholic Church of all sins, including that of abortion. Abortion is, however, the crime of wilful murder, the worst evil that humanity can perpetrate, and to equate this crime with, for example, social or economic injustice, is (morally and logically) patently absurd. I thus respectfully ask Mr Bompas to substitute the words “wilful murder” for that of “abortion” wherever the latter appears in his above-mentioned letter; and then reflect on whether he can continue to support its content. Damian McLeish, Johannesburg

Evangelised catechism needed

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HREE cheers for “Blame dull catechism classes” (January 11) and its writer. We seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel in finding truly committed catechism teachers in our parishes. The problem is a vital lack of commitment to Jesus Christ in a personal relationship with the Lord, on the part of many catechism teachers. In the past (before Vatican II) the faith was presented as a philosophy—a forbidding system of do’s and don’ts with threats of

opinions expressed in The Southern Cross, especially in Letters to the editor, do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or staff of the newspaper, or of the Catholic hierarchy. The letters page in particular is a forum in which readers may exchange opinions on matters of debate. Letters must not be understood to necessarily reflect the teachings, disciplines or policies of the Church accurately.

A community experience

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FOUND “Unity in the Church” (January 8) really encouraging. Yes, we in We Are All Church (WAACSA) are indeed lovers of the Church. Our raison d’etre is to dig into her deeper vitality—as promulgated by our bishops, during Vatican II. Earlier this year Archbishop Tlhagale’s response was most encouraging: “Let’s listen to one another.” That’s the healthy response to WAACSA among adults. As you quoted Cardinal Schonborn of Vienna, “a lot can and must be cleared up by dialogue”. I have found, personally, that being in WAACSA is a real community experience. When you have a group of faithful members of the Church, made up of university lecturers, scientists, writers, doctors, philosophers, psychiatrists, clergy and religious, teachers, nurses, lawyers and more, as well as those of us who are housewives like myself, then the scene is set for open, dynamic, hugely interesting discussions about the life and witness of the Church in the world today. Dorothea Russell, Cape Town

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PERSPECTIVES

Let there be living water

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HE idea of Christian unity as a “return” of one ecclesial community to another has posed a serious obstacle in the history of ecumenism, especially for those for whom a “return” seems impossible. That is why there have been attempts to find better and more acceptable ways of conceiving, discussing and achieving Christian unity. Today we no longer speak of ecumenism as “return”, and this new outlook has given the process a new breath, achieving significant strides in this ongoing journey. However, at the risk of appearing like I am pushing the clock backwards both in time and concept, I dare say Christian unity really is a “return”. And that begs the obvious question: Who returns to whom? Let us first see how this return was understood in the past. Every time when there was a threat of division, the Catholic Church has been committed to ensure reconciliation to safeguard the unity. Even after a separation happened, new efforts were made, according to the means and the understanding at the time, to heal the broken communion. At one time, the understanding of unity was very much in the sense of waiting and working to bring the so called “separated brethrens” back to the Mother Church. This return to the Mother Church was not only in terms of communion with the bishop of Rome, but it meant also in some cases embracing the usages of the Roman Catholic Church, the Latin rite. For this reason, even Eastern Catholic Churches, although already in communion with Rome, were seen as still separated as long as they kept their proper rites. Somehow, they were still expected to fully come back. That conception of ecumenism was rejected not only by the “separated brothers” but also by some sections within the Catholic Church. So when I refer to ecumenism as “return”, I do not think in terms of the past. I too find such return narrow and unworkable. So, what kind of return am I talking

about here? The inspiration of ecumenism as “return” was born during my visit to Neot Kedumim, a biblical garden situated between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in Israel. In this garden you have the reproduction of the biblical cultures. Once there, you can walk the Old Testament or the New Testament paths. I did the New Testament ones. There were so many things I saw about the religious, cultural and natural life of the people in those New Testament times. Of all that, what touched me most was a humble cistern. Since then it has become for me a great image for Christian unity. Let me explain.

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n Palestine we think of desert life. There is a very short rainy season and little rainfall. People who lived far from the sea, lake or river needed some mechanism to ensure that they had water for use. The cistern was one of those ways. It was a domestic water reservoir, still evident in the ruins of the old Palestinian settlements. In the Old City of Jerusalem, beneath the floors of some houses, there still are cisterns, though they are not used. Rain water was collected and stored in the cisterns, thereby assuring a family of water supply for months. But it was the quality of such water that touched me most.

a woman fills a jug with water at a sand dam in Kenya. In his article, Fr evans Chama uses water as a metaphor for faith and unity. (Photo: Jennifer Hardy, Catholic Relief Services)

I don’t know how she does it

Evans Chama M.Afr

The Southern Cross, January 25 to January 31, 2012

Chris Chatteris SJ

Point of Reflection Imagine the water in the cistern for months! Stagnant! Thick! Smelly! Indeed, a breeding ground for insects, especially mosquitoes. Certainly it is not what we would classify as safe water. But people had to do with that. At the same time, you can imagine people’s longing, yearning for the next rainfall when they would have the joy of drinking, bathing and cooking with fresh water. That is why when Jesus promises not just water, but fresh, living water (Jn 7:37-38), he is in fact just playing the right code. He is touching at the very need, the desire of the people. How does that link up with ecumenism, especially the return aspect? Is it not true that in our state of division, cut off from others, somehow we have become wrapped up on ourselves, on our usages? We have closed on ourselves in a sort of stagnation of selfrighteousness, pride and on our point of view. We have become so used to this that we might not realise how thick, how smelly and how unsafe is the water of our reservoir. Christian unity is the challenge to open up our perspectives, especially to listen to this invitation of Christ. We are required to have the courage to abandon the security of our cistern water and return all together to one source, Christ himself, so that he can quench our thirst with fresh and living water. In fact, this fresh, living water is also an image of the Holy Spirit. Ecumenism is exactly that: putting down our arms of defence, open our windows and doors to let in the breeze of the Spirit to refresh our dens. Ecumenism is to open our hand and let ourselves be led by the Spirit. In this way, Christian unity is indeed a return. But it is not a return of one church or ecclesial community to another, but rather of all Christians setting themselves together on this shared march towards their one, and only one, source of living water, Christ himself.

Toni Rowland Family Friendly

Not uncommon these days too is a wife HAT a nice way to start the new being offered promotion or a special year. I don’t go to movies very assignment away from home leaving husoften, do occasionally watch a band and father to mind the nest. ing our skills. Throughout the year the movie on TV but find so many films basiNew beginnings of whatever kind need family themes provide many ways and cally immoral, to be carefully means to bring God into family life at simalthough often thought through ple and deeper levels. funny or clever. and ideally disWatch particularly when we focus on This particular cussed with whothe role of men and parents during May one “I don’t know ever is involved. and marriage around September. how she does it!” Nowadays in most Don’t let anyone idly say, “I don’t know was both clever families we no how he, or she, or God does it.” The “how” and funny, dealing longer impose consists of trust, confidence, faith, commitwith a very serious these kinds of ment, energy and love. These can make family situation in decisions on the much happen for all of which we are etera humorous way younger generanally grateful. and with good tion. A favourite statement of mine is one by moral values. “I don’t know Teilhard de Chardin, referring to energy. One can’t give how she does it,” He said, “When we truly discover the the whole plot or he does it for power of love we will again have discovaway but the issue that matter, is also ered fire.” addressed was a “I don’t know how she does it” opened a compliment, So fire away and let this be the year to pertinent one for December 30 and stars Sarah Jessica Parker expressing admirashine. this time of the and Greg Kinnear. tion for the amazyear on the family i n g theme of “New ability Beginnings”. some family members have to Many school leavers will be looking for achieve what they do. work, many other people choose to change Moms are the ones known to jobs at this time, bonuses having been paid be able to multitask, but others, in December. dads and children too have Some will take anything at all, desperate their own God-given talents, to find work but for many people there is a personal abilities and skills to be great challenge of “marrying” work and admired. “It is a holy and wholesome thought to family life. I hope that some families are pray for the dead, that they may be At a recent conference with one of the using a technique like the Famisodalities I asked the question: “Is your ly Hour I promote so frequentloosed from their sins” (II Macc XII,46) sodality more important than your fami- ly, not as an opportunity to ly?” For some it is more so, for some equal- solve problems but to commuHoly Mass will be celebrated on the  first ly so and others wouldn’t entertain such nicate with one another on a Sunday of each month in the All Souls’ an idea. How we view this question of jobs meaningful level. Family Hour chapel, Maitland, Cape Town at 2:30pm and family differs from culture to culture, of course is a recommended from family to family. for all souls in purgatory and for all those weekly activity but the 2012 Some people will choose to stay in a theme for the year is “Day by buried  in the Woltemade cemetery. place near their extended family, others Day with God and Family” and want to get away, some will break up a so invites a possible deeper spirFor further information, please contact family for work, some are forced to do so itual awareness. St Jude Society, for financial reasons, while others, usually February’s theme is “Caring men are able to take their family along to a for the Sick”, praying with and Box 22230, Fish Hoek, 7975 new destination, which might be a stress for them, ministering to them Telephone (021) 552-3850 for mothers and the children. day by day and always improv-

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REMEMBERING OUR DEAD

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Pray with the Pope

Water is life! General Intention: That all peoples may have access to water and other resources needed for daily life. ATER and life are inseparable, as anyone who has suffered real thirst will know, and the person who gives water to the thirsty gives life. There is a gripping passage in the writings of the French aviator-author St Exupery’s in which he describes how he and his co-pilot crash-land in the Sahara. Uninjured, but with a dead radio and very little water, they make the fateful decision to try to walk to safety. On their last legs, and mad with thirst and the mirages of thirst, a Bedouin Arab finds them and shares his water with them. St Exupery writes a sublime almost prayerful passage in praise of water culminating with the line, ‘Water, you aren’t the source of life; you are life!’ He follows this with another beautiful passage in which he describes the Bedouin who saved them as a brother and a symbol of our universal humanity. As we move into this 21st century some regions will become more like the Sahara, more people will suffer from lack of water and there will be greater need to share this simple yet essential resource. We are already seeing this even in parts of the developed world such as Texas and Australia. But in the developing world when the water fails, famine is not far behind. Providing enough clean water and adequate nutrition for all is well within the capacity of our collective humanity, if the well-fed and wellwatered sections of humanity can be persuaded to share their technical and economic capital. It is a scandal that predictable periodic droughts still apparently catch the international community unawares and necessitate emergency food and water aid. Some Papal intentions are also examinations of conscience and this one can be seen as an invitation to examine ourselves about how we use our scarce water and the valuable food it produces.

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Protect the helpers Missionary Intention: That the Lord may sustain the efforts of health workers assisting the sick and elderly in the world’s poorest regions. ANY health workers in the world’s poorest regions are torn between serving the sick and elderly of their own countries or seeking a better life elsewhere. They are frequently deliberately targeted by Western countries bent on recruiting them. These richer countries save money in this way since they don’t have to pay for the expensive education of their developing world recruits. So the poor countries are doubly exploited – they pay for the training of health workers that rich countries take from them and the health of their peoples suffers as a result. Two things need to be done to reverse this iniquitous situation, and these should be the object of our prayers and practical political goals. Firstly, the developed countries must be persuaded to agree to stop “poaching” and to start spending enough money to train sufficient workers for their own health systems. And secondly, the affected countries need the political stability and economic development which will encourage their professionals to remain at home or return there if they have already fled. Some redemption in this deeply unjust situation is to be found in the generosity of Western volunteers in NGOs which work to provide health services in poorer countries. And yet, noble as their efforts are, there is a sense in which this is “band aid” masking an underlying running sore. It’s impressive and uplifting if a volunteer doctor works in Zimbabwe for a year, but it would be far better if all the Zimbabwean doctors who have left their country were able to return home to a reasonable wage and political stability and thus make a contribution to the health of the Zimbabwean people. For this we pray.

M

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8

COMMUNITY

The Southern Cross, January 25 to January 31, 2012

assumption Convent in Johannesburg Grade 12 learners visited the Bosco youth centre for a retreat. (Submitted by Nhlanhla Mdlalose)

The men’s group of our Lady of Good Health of Vailanganni parish in Raisethorpe-Northdale, Pietermaritzburg attended an inter-diocesan men’s conference which was held at Holy Family parish in Bethlehem. The guest speaker was Lionel Samuel of Durban who spoke on choices we make. Pictured with Cardinal Wilfrid Napier are some of the men who attended. (Submitted by Pamela Singh)

IN FOCU S 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: pics@scross.co.za Edited by Lara Moses

on the feast of the epiphany at St Mary’s parish in De aar, three of the youths dressed up as the three kings. accompanied by music they took up the offerings during the eucharist. (From right): Carla Sequeira Fr Douglas Sumaili, Cladio Sequeira and Mark Pringle. (Submitted by Carol Smith)

Bishop Dabula Mpako of Queenstown confirmed young people of our Lady Queen of apostles parish in Cathcart. Seven young people received the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. (Photo: Sr Jacky-ann Fortune Burmeister)

Become an Associate of The Southern Cross to help us spread the Catholic News Southern Cross associates are kept fully informed about progress achieved in the various projects undertaken; benefit from the Holy Mass to be said annually for Associates on the feast of St Francis de Sales (January 24), patron of the Catholic press; are remembered on All Souls Day in a Mass for deceased Associates and their families; have their name published in the Christmas issue of The Southern Cross (of course, you may remain anonymous if you wish).

There are three categories of Associate: Cardinal Owen McCann Associate: named after the former editor of The Southern Cross (1942-48 and again 1986-92), for those whose annual contribution is R1 500 or more. In addition to the above, Cardinal Owen McCann Associates will receive a free postal or digital subscription to The Southern Cross*. St Maximilian Kolbe Associate: named after the modern martyr and heroic Catholic newspaper editor and publisher, for those who assist our apostolic efforts by means of an annual contribution of between R500 and R1 499. St Francis de Sales Associate: named after the patron saint of Catholic media, for those whose annual gesture of support for The Southern Cross is R100 or more. Since Associateship is renewable annually there is no long-term commitment, but should you not wish to become an Associate we would be very grateful to receive whatever contribution towards our projects you may wish to make. * Cardinal Owen McCann Associates outside SA will receive a digital subscription.

Yes, I would like to be an Associate

The Catholic Newspaper in favour of The Catholic Newspaper 071534342

Catholic Newspaper account 071534342 at the Cape Town branch of the Standard Bank

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hen we introduced The Southern Cross’ ASSOCIATES’ CAMPAIGN in 2002 our aim was to safeguard the future of the newspaper by building up reserves that would ensure its survival in bad times as well as bringing Catholic news to people who might otherwise not receive it. The wonderful generosity of so many of our readers and supporters helped place The Southern Cross on a sound footing, and it has enabled us • to engage in outreach activities to prisoners and hospitals, • to provide every seminarian in South Africa access to the country’s only weekly Catholic newspaper, and • to develop new models of spreading Catholic news by using new technology, especially the Internet.

All these needs require continuing support! The global economic crisis is affecting The Southern Cross. Even as we are holding our circulation steady – one of the very few South African newspapers to do so – and advertisers have remained loyal, rising production and distribution costs are hurting us. But with the Associates’ Campaign we are also looking to the future. We know how important it is to reach young people with Catholic news, reflections and discussions, all of which help in the on-going formation of our youth. We already have developed some means of reaching young Catholics through the Internet, and the next new frontier will be cellphone technology.

By becoming an Associate, you can help us make that happen!

Chris Moerdyk (Chairman)


FOCUS

The Southern Cross, January 25 to January 31, 2012

9

Positive upbringing, positive sounds By CLaIRe MaTHIeSoN

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HERE is little doubt that if you listen to the radio, walk in local shopping centres or attend any outdoor sporting event or carnival, you’ll know Freshlyground. What you might not know is that lead singer, Zolani Mahola, was brought up Catholic and reveres her Catholic education as being one of the factors for her musical success today. From children singing “Doo-bedoo” at the top of their lungs (on repeat), to international football stars jiving to “Waka waka (This time for Africa)” to the indie-afrojazz-loving music fundi approving of “Castles”, it seems everybody, regardless of background, age or music preference, has encountered Freshlyground in one way or another. The group has been on the South African music scene for eight years and, with a new album on the horizon, shows no sign of slowing down. Before she was the internationally recognised big voice in a small, yet stylish, package per-

forming to thousands, Ms Mahola attended St Dominic’s Priory in Port Elizabeth from primary through to high school level— then called Trinity High School. It was here that she says she learnt to communicate with different cultures and backgrounds. “I had a great education; besides the fact that the teaching was great it was also fantastic going to multiracial schools. It has really given me a fantastic base for learning to interact with people from all walks of life.” Ms Mahola, who attended St Don Bosco parish in Walmer and later Holy Name parish in New Brighton in the diocese of Port Elizabeth, attributes her success to “a family that has loved and supported me throughout the years, to teachers and other adults who have taken a special interest in my well-being and in my own interests”. From humble beginnings, Ms Mahola has gone on to share the stage with international superstars in front of some of the world’s biggest audiences. And in return, Ms Mahola

believes in giving back. “I am very passionate about this country! That passion is a huge part of what keeps me in the music industry and spreading a message of love and unity.” Such messages of unity and togetherness are found in the very essence of the group. The seven piece group is made up of musicians from different musical and cultural backgrounds. Peter Cohen, formerly a member of the band Bright Blue famous for the song “Weeping,” plays the drums; Kyla-Rose Smith, formerly a member of hip hop group Tumi and the Volume is the group’s classically trained violinist; Simon Attwell is an internationally acclaimed flautist; Mozambican Julio Sigauque can be found on guitar; Josh Hawks, who has played with the likes of Johnny Clegg, is the basist; and Seredeal Scheepers, responsible for keyboard and percussion; these make up Freshlyground. And then if you listen closely, not only is the music an amalgamation of various musical backgrounds and influences, but the lyrics also highlight a spirit of ubuntu. The song “Potbelly” talks about self image and how “fat thighs, flabby arms, a potbelly still gives good loving”—a stark change to most popular music which perpetuates an unhealthy body-image. The haunting “I’d like” talks about the uncertainty of falling in love and the life-like “Mowbray Kaap” refers to a popular taxi route taken in Cape Town but says it doesn’t matter where you are going to or coming from, being African means we are all the same.

F Former learner Zolani Mahola of South african pop group Freshlyground speaks to the current learners of St Dominic’s Priory in Port elizabeth during a visit.

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reshlyground write about issues that affect all South Africans. They are realistic, experimental and positive—a common theme found in their songs and personal backgrounds. While it’s always positive music, that’s where the obvious

award-winning South african pop group Freshlygound’s lead singer attributes her Catholic schooling at St Dominic’s Priory in Port elizabeth as one of her musical influences. disappears. Even the international hit Waka Waka, the anthem of the 2010 soccer world cup, which brought together the South American pop sensation Shakira and Freshlyground which was considered an unlikely collaboration but one that shows not only the versatility of the group but also the positive attitude the group embodies. Ms Mahola even joked about her not being the biggest sporting fanatic despite being partly responsible for the anthems at both the soccer and rugby world cups (a collaboration called “Let’s do it Again” with local group Gold Fish), “I am far less passionate about sport though fate seems to have drawn me into the centre of two major sporting events!” she said, not having regretted the association at all. For Ms Mahola, the reason she finds it so easy to accommodate so many influences is down to a “certain freedom I was afforded by my father in my own life”. She believes the support he offered and the independence he endowed her with, allowed her to learn more about herself in a safe way. As a result, she believes she has truly found her calling and says the best part of her job is simply “making people smile”. This favourite attribute is a driving force behind much of what Freshlyground do. “I believe that everyone who is doing their work with passion gives back to all of us because we are all reflections of the wonder of the world.” This was a message she took back to her former school. Not only did the visit to St Dominic’s include a catch up with former teachers, an opportunity for the

learners to sing with their famous alma mater but it was a good opportunity for the singer to pass on important lessons she had learnt. “When we carry out our works with love and sincerity we encourage each other and make the world that much better,” the singer said. Today, apart from delivering smiles through their music, Freshlyground also works with the Desmond Tutu HIV foundation and are actively involved in the anti-rhino poaching campaign. “It is important that we all do what we can to make our world a better place for all,” Ms Mahola said. As the group writes all their own music, Ms Mahola said they will be a bit quieter in 2012, rather focusing on producing another “killer album!” “Usually we all get into a room together and bash out ideas until we come out with a shiny new song,” Ms Mahola said. She has no personal preference for the type of song produced. “I just love good music and whether it is a dance song, ballad or an anthemic piece I believe it has to move one.” With four albums already recorded, international collaborations, international acts lining up to cover their songs and a great number of awards and nominations, Freshlyground has certainly moved South Africa and hope to do the same across Europe when they embark on a tour during the middle of the year. Ms Mahola said the band appreciates their roots—an important aspect of their music. And her education, a Catholic education, is very much a part of that.


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The Southern Cross, January 25 to January 31, 2012

CHURCH

Tradition: How Vatican II was conservative ‘T

RADITION is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. And, I suppose I should add, it is traditionalism that gives tradition such a bad name,” remarked Jaroslav Pelikan, the great Lutheran and later convert to the Russian Orthodox Church. And, we might add, tradition is often an ideological battle ground. In a sense Vatican II was all about tradition, the passing on of the faith to a new generation in a new era. But before we look at what the Council said about tradition, let us consider what the word means in itself. The Latin root of the word traditio is in the verb tradere: to hand on or hand over. Paul the Apostle refers in his letters of to this “handing over of what I received” (for example 1 Corinthians 15:3). In passing something on there is always an element of change—an object becomes a gift: it’s meaning changes in the handing over as much as the object stays the same. One might well say that traditions express things that can, indeed must, both change and stay the same. If one person might be singled out as an example of this living dynamic understanding of tradition at Vatican II, my vote would go not to Cardinal Ottaviani (with his motto Semper idem—“always the same”) but to Maximos IV Saigh, patriarch of the Melkite Catholic Church of Antioch. Patriarch Maximos came from an Eastern Catholic Church, one of a group of churches (including the Maronites) which are in commu-

Anthony Egan SJ

a Church of Hope and Joy

nion with Rome but not part of the Latin Rite. In style and worship closer to the Orthodox, the Melkites’ theology is rooted in the first millennium of Christianity. Their liturgy is vernacular, their priests both married and celibate, and the style of governance collegial: as their “pope”, Maximos was very much a “first among equals”. The interventions of Patriarch Maximos (made deliberately in French, not Latin) emphasised a need for a return to an earlier, purer form of Christianity untainted by religious schism and the trappings of a papacy that until 1870 had been a state in central Italy. He also insisted that the consciences of ordinary Christians could and should be trusted to make up their minds about serious moral matters such as birth control. It’s not surprising then that historian John O’Malley has called Maximos the most radical bishop at Vatican II—precisely because he was the most “conservative”. This sense of tradition—change in continuity, returning to and renewing the sources—is found in many of the documents of Vatican II. It is first hinted at in the opening paragraph of Sacrosanctum Concilium (1963), where the intention is expressed “to adapt more closely to the needs of our age those institutions which are subject to change” (1).

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It comes up again more explicitly in decrees on Priesthood, Religious Life and the training of priests, where the emphasis is placed on the return to founders’ charisms for religious orders, the renewal of spiritual sources, and the study of Scripture and early Church Fathers. On the latter two themes, Dei verbum (The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, 1965) is most revealing. Christ “in whom the entire Revelation of the most high God is summed up” commanded the disciples and their successors to preach the Gospel, “the source of all saving truth and moral discipline” (7).

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his Tradition “makes progress in the Church, with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on...through the contemplation and study of believers... [though] the intimate sense of spiritual realities which [believers] experience... [and] from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth” (8). “Thus, as the centuries go by,” Dei verbum continues, “the Church is always advancing towards the fullness of divine truth, until eventually the words of God are fulfilled in her” (8). Elsewhere in the Council documents we see this concept of developing insight into the Gospel manifested in changed attitudes: openness to other Churches and other faiths; openness to science, technology and communications; and

Melkite Patriarch Maximos IV Saigh, seen here greeting Pope Pius XII, was Vatican II’s most radical bishop precisely because he was so conservative, Fr anthony egan SJ writes. a commitment to bring the moral vision of the Gospel into the worlds of work and politics more fully. By returning to the sources as the Council called for—to Scripture and ancient theology texts of Eastern and Western Christianity—and by rigorous engagement with the insights of modern secular knowledge (science, philosophy, history and so on) the Church is more able to proclaim the good news credibly to the people of today—and tomorrow.

Traditionalism fears, and denies or downplays, the truth that all our words and actions are by their nature rooted in historical context. If we are to be effective, we can and must reject the unhelpful, “fixed” mentality of traditionalism and adopt the open yet wellinformed method proposed by Maximos Saigh and endorsed by Vatican II. Dare I say it—this rigorous reading of the past in the light of the present must extend too to Vatican II itself.

Religious orders and the Church’s history THE LORD AS THEIR PORTION: The Story of the Religious Orders and How They Shaped Our World, by Elizabeth Rapley. Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Co, Michigan. 2011. 349 pp. Reviewed by Sr Mona Castelazo N The Lord As Their Portion, Elizabeth Rapley offers insights into the story of religious orders against the background of the Catholic Church’s history. Beginning with the desert ascetics of the fourth century, the author describes 17 centuries of monastic and convent life, ending with the missionaries of the 19th century. Rapley’s purpose is to inform modern people with either a vague memory of, or no knowledge at all about, vowed religious. Religious orders have diminished greatly in numbers and in visibility, but have significantly influenced our present world. Religious were the thinkers, writers, evangelists, explorers, teachers, hospital staff and welfare workers (even soldiers at times) that built the Christian world. Although religious life has always been a personal call from the Spirit, inviting individuals to deeper life in God, groups of like-minded seekers have traditionally gathered to live their life together. But there has always been an element of ambiguity concerning their relationship to Church authorities and official structures. The book reveals a pattern of initial idealism begun by an inspirational leader who emphasised freedom of spirit over structure or law. Ecclesiastical powers who did not share the inspiration or vision of the founder, whose original inten-

I

tion was that the group be neither cloistered nor clerical, then reacted. In almost all cases, the group was ultimately required by Church authorities to submit to following one of the rules of religious life similar to the Benedictine, the Augustinian or the Franciscan way. Rapley gives detailed examples of this process in the experiences of Francis of Assisi, Francis de Sales, the Ursulines and the Daughters of Charity. The author shows how, at the time of Constantine when the Roman Empire embraced Christianity, the lines of authority became blurred. Kings gained control over religious orders, many governments sending members as missionaries with mixed messages of religious conversion and European adaptation. By the 16th century onesixth of the property of Europe was in ecclesiastical hands, much of it monastery land. Kings appointed both bishops and abbots and therefore controlled both the monks and nuns and their property. Rapley describes how the early preaching friars became a threat to the bishops through succeeding with the people above the diocesan clergy: “For far too long, parish priests had been appointed with little regard to training or moral worthiness and they had fulfilled those low expectations to perfection.” The growth, influence and power of religious orders later often threatened governments who then suppressed and dispersed the groups. Major disputes took place when nuns began to seek active service in the world outside the cloister. In Italy and France both religious men and women were

only tolerated if they were useful to society in practical ways. In the 18th and 19th centuries, religious orders were banned entirely, sometimes suffering violence from the government. In addition to external conflicts, internal disputes in individual congregations and between orders developed. The author provides insights into the great influx of religious orders at certain periods, and also accounts for the diminishing numbers of both men and women religious today. For instance: The convent was a safe haven for surplus daughters of wealthy families at one time, as well as an opportunity for a professional life. Numerous younger sons, who did not inherit titles or property, could find status and stability in monastic or clerical life. Rapley also explores the influence of the ideals, theology, trends, beliefs and practices of the time as factors. The book is well written, carefully researched, detailed and readable. It offers an absorbing history of the Church as well as of the religious orders of the time.


The Southern Cross, January 25 to January 31, 2012

Childlessness causes cancer not the pill presence of oestrogen. Once a IMON Cadwell’s report on Dr full term pregnancy (more than Kara Britt and Professor 32 weeks) has been achieved the Short’s article in the Lancet breast ducts have become fully promoting the hormonal pill to mature and the cells now no help prevent the onset of cancer longer divide actively in the presof breast, ovaries and uterus in ence of oestrogen providing relawomen who have never had chil- tive breast cancer protection. dren, referring to the article In the special situation of a “Nuns told to take the pill” religious sister (and any woman (December 21) is misleading and who has never had a first full medically flawed. term pregnancy), their breast Professor Lanfanchi, a breast ducts are never matured, hence surgeon and co-founder of the their natural increased risk of Breast Cancer Prevention Insti- breast cancer. It should also not tute has clearly summarised in a be surprising that medical document “The breast physiolo- research has now clearly and gy & the Epidemiology of the definitively shows that in this Abortion breast cancer link” that group of women the taking of breast cancer incidence can be additional oestrogen (and progesbased on three basic fundamen- terone) in the form of the hortal medical principles: monal pill, the rate of breast can1. The total life time exposure cer increases and does not of oestrogen a women has; decrease the risk of breast cancer 2. How soon a woman as the above mentioned report matures her breast ducts by a leads one to believe. first full term pregnancy and, With regard to protection 3. Genetic predisposition. against ovarian and endometrial It has been well established cancers, yes this is true but again that women who have not had a the facts need to be explored. first full term pregnancy have Furthermore the contribution immature breast ducts, the cells of the contraceptive pill on of which actively divide in the another cancer of the woman reproductive system, viz. cervical cancer To place your event, call Claire Allen at 021 465 5007 has been or e-mail c.allen@scross.co.za, (publication subject to space) ignored.

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Community Calendar

BETHLEHEM: Shrine of Our Lady of Bethlehem at Tsheseng, Maluti mountains; Thursdays 09:30, Mass, then exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. 058 721 0532. CAPE TOWN: Good Shepherd, Bothasig. Perpetual eucharistic adoration in the chapel. all hours. all welcome. Day of Prayer held at Springfield Convent starting at 10:00 ending 15:30 last Saturday of every month— all welcome. For more information contact Jane Hulley 021 790 1668 or 082 783 0331. Fundraiser Car Boot Sale and Morning Market at St Brendan's Corvette Rd cnr Longboat Rd Sunvalley, last Saturday of every month 7am-1pm R25 per lane Maggi-Mae 021 782 9263 or

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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.

1. The frequently quoted figures for “protection” against ovarian and uterine cancers are based on the high-dose hormonal contraceptive pill of the 60’s and 70’s that prevented ovulation more frequently than do the current low-dose hormonal contraceptives, thereby decreasing the protective effect of ovarian and uterine cancers. 2. The increased incidence of breast and cervical cancer as a result of hormonal pill use far outweighs the protective effects of ovarian and uterine cancers. It is also not uncommon for medical doctors to prescribe the hormonal pill for the treatment of acne, irregular cycles (which is normal and not require corrective “regulating” medication) and painful periods, all of which can be treated (if needed at all) with other medication. This avoids subjecting the young woman to the overall increased risk of reproductive malignancies (particular by where a family of breast cancer already exits) in addition to interfering with normal cervical development which continues until the age of 25, an important factor for future fertility. In addition there are recent reports of increased risk of HIV transmission in young women who are on the contraceptive pill. Dr Heinz Wirz, Johannesburg

Liturgical Calendar Year B Sunday, January 29, Fourth Sunday Deuteronomy 18:15-20, Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9, 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, Mark 1:21-28 Monday, January 30, feria 2 Samuel 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13, Psalm 3:2-7, Mark 5:1-20 Tuesday, January 31, St John Bosco 2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30 -- 19:3, Psalm 86:1-6, Mark 5:21-43 Wednesday, February 1, feria 2 Samuel 24: 2,9-17, Psalm 32, 1-2, 5-7, Mark 6, 1-6 Thursday, February 2, Presentation of the Lord Malachi 3: 1-4 or Hebrews 2: 14-18, Psalms 24: 710, Luke 2: 22-40 Friday, February 3, feria Ecclesiasticus 47: 2-13, Psalms 18: 31-47, 50-51, Mark 6: 14-29 Saturday, February 4, feria 1 Kings 3: 4-13, Psalms 119: 9-14, Mark 6: 30-34 Sunday, Fifth Sunday Job 7: 1-4, 6-7, Psalms 147: 1-6, 1 Corinthians 9: 16-19, 22-23, Mark 1: 29-39

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IN MEMORIAM DA SILVA—Terence. Passed away January 25, 2006. In loving memory of my dear husband. you are always in my prayers. Rest in peace. always remembered by his wife Mary, all the families, friends, parishioners of our Lady of Fatima and Holy Family Parish, Bellville, the Legion of Mary – Care Group and Prayer Group, Bellville.

publish this prayer. amen. SN. O GREAT St Joseph of Cupertino, who while on earth did obtained from God the grace to be asked at your examination only the questions which you knew. obtain for me a like favour in the examinations for which I am now preparing. In return I promise to make your name known and cause you to be invoked, through Christ our Lord. St Joseph of Cupertino pray for us. amen. PMD.

PERSONAL ABORTION is murder— Speak out on this issue. ABORTION WARNING: ‘The Pill’ can abort, undetected, soon after conception (a medical fact). See website: www.humanlife.org/abor tion_does_the_pill.php GEBORE Hollander, wewenaar, 77 jaar jonk, onafhanklik, nog vol lewe. Soek ‘n gelykstaande dame 60-70 jaar, om die skadu van die lewe nog saam te geniet en rond te toer. Verkieslik omgewing Pretoria of Rand. Briewe Bus 1877, Bela-Bela, 0480. of skakel 082 782 7857.

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PRAYERS HOLY ST JUDE, apostle and martyr, great in virtue and rich in miracles, kinsman of Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor of all who invoke you, special patron in time of need. To you I have recourse from the depth of my heart, I humbly beg you to come to my assistance. Help me now in my urgent need and grant my petitions. In return I promise to make your name known and

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 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 Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. (say 3 times) Holy Mary I place this cause in your hands (say 3 times) Thank you for your mercy towards me and mine. amen. Say this prayer for 3 consecutive days and publish. PMD.

THANKS MY GRATEFUL thanks to the Sacred heart of Jesus, the Little Infant of Prague, our Lady, the Mother of Jesus, St Jude and St Martin as well as the Holy Spirit for prayers answered. Peter.

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5th Sunday: February 5 Readings: Job 7:1-4, 6-7, Psalm 147:1-6, 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23, Mark 1:29-39

“I

S God really up to it?” is a question that is sometimes in our heart, though we might not quite formulate it in those words. That is undeniably the question that Job is putting to the universe, as he contests the simple-minded suggestion of his “friends”, that his appalling sufferings must in some way be all his own fault. Consider the first reading for next Sunday. Job is reflecting on the miseries of life: “A person’s life on earth is a drudgery, isn’t it?...One is like a slave, longing for the shade”, and Job offers an impressive description of what his life is like, endless nights, and unsatisfactory dawns. Then the reading omits for some reason, a line about the physical aspects of his suffering (perhaps the compilers of the lectionary thought it might put you off your Sunday lunch). And have you not often joined Job in saying: “My days are swifter than the weaver’s shuttle; they come to an end without hope”? In our reading, his last word is, “never again shall my eyes see what is good”. Have you not frequently found these sentiments on your lips? If so, remember that at the end of all his complaining, Job is compelled to accept the greatness of God; but remember

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The awesome power of God Nicholas King SJ Sunday Reflections

also that his “friends”, the conventional religious establishment of the day, are roundly rebuked by God for having attacked Job, and having misinterpreted what God was doing. The psalm for next Sunday, characteristically, shows no doubt at all about God’s competence or benevolence: “Praise the Lord, for he is good, sing psalms to our God”; and the Lord is described as “the one who builds Jerusalem, who gathers together the scattered of Israel, who heals the broken-hearted”. Then the singer reviews the astonishing power of our God: “Who counts the number of the stars, each one of them he calls by name.” Not only, however, is God powerful; God also favours those who are at the bottom of the heap: “the Lord looks after the oppressed, but makes the wicked fall to the ground”.

In the sec o nd reading Paul is talking about the power of God that he has experienced, not entirely comfortably, for “I am under constraint: woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.” “What is my salary? It is that in preaching the gospel I should make the gospel available at no charge, so as not to abuse my authority in the gospel”. Paul explores the tension in his position: “Although I was free in every respect, I made myself a slave for everybody, in order to win over the majority...I became every thing to every person, to save some [of them]”. In the g ospel we are invited to see the benevolent power of God at work; and there are three aspects to it. In the first place, Jesus, fresh from a triumph over an unclean spirit comes out of the synagogue at Capernaum, and goes straight into the house of Simon Peter, where he shows that he is decidedly “up to it”; Simon’s mother-in-law has a fever, which means, in the days before antibiotics, that she is likely to die. She is also, presumably, in the women’s quarters, where Jesus should not really go; but Jesus is not worried about contracting ritual impurity (which he

Purity of heart and intention T O live a chaste life is not easy, not just for celibates, but for everyone. Even when our actions are all in line, it is still hard to live with a chaste heart, a chaste attitude, and chaste fantasies. Purity of heart and intention is very difficult. Why? Chastity is difficult because we are so incurably sexual in every pore of our being. And that is not a bad thing. It’s God’s gift. Far from being something dirty and antithetical to our spiritual lives, sexuality is God’s great gift, God’s holy fire, inside us. And so the longing for consummation is a conscious or inchoate colouring underlying almost every action in our lives. So it is hard to pray for chastity because to pray for it, seemingly, is to pray that sexual yearning and sexual energy should lessen within us or disappear altogether. And who wants to live an asexual and neutered life? No healthy person wants this. Thus, if you are healthy, it is hard to put your heart into praying for chastity because, deep down, nobody wants to be asexual. But the problem is not with chastity but with our understanding of it. To be chaste does not mean that we become asexual (though spirituality has forever struggled to not make that equation). Chastity is not about denying our sexuality but about properly channelling it. To be chaste is to be pure of heart. That’s the

Conrad

Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI

Final Reflection

biblical notion of chastity. Jesus does not ask us to pray for chastity, he asks us to pray for “purity of heart”: Blessed are the pure of heart, they shall see God. They also channel their sexuality properly. What is purity of heart? To be pure of heart is to relate to others and the world in a way that respects and honours the full dignity, value, and destiny of every person and everything. To be pure of heart is to see others as God sees them. Purity of heart would have us loving others with their good (and not our own) in mind. Karl Rahner suggests that we are pure of heart when we see others against an infinite horizon, namely, inside of a vision that sees the other’s dignity, individuality, life, dreams, and sexuality within the biggest ambience of all, God’s eternal plan. Purity of heart is purity of intention and full respect in love. When we understand chastity in this way we can more easily pray for it. In this understanding we are not praying to have our sexual energies deadened, we are praying instead to remain fully redblooded but with our sexual energies,

intentions, and daydreams properly channelled. We are praying too for the kind of maturity, human and sexual, that fully respects others. In essence, we are praying for a deeper respect, a deeper maturity, and a more life-giving love. And this is a much-needed prayer in our lives because sexuality is so powerful that even inside of a marriage relationship sexuality can still have an intentionality that is not wide enough. Charles Taylor, in his book, A Secular Age, argues the point that sex too-easily loses the big picture and becomes narrow in its focus, a point that is often missed in our understanding of it: “I am not trying to be condescending about our ancestors, because I think that there is a real tension involved in trying to combine in one life sexual fulfillment and piety. This is only in fact one of the points at which a more general tension, between human flourishing in general and dedication to God, makes itself felt. That this tension should be particularly evident in the sexual domain is readily understandable. Intense and profound sexual fulfillment focuses us powerfully on the exchange within the couple; it strongly attaches us possessively to what is privately shared. It is not for nothing that the early monks and hermits saw sexual renunciation as opening the way to the wider love of God...[And] that there is a tension between fulfillment and piety should not surprise us in a world distorted by sin, that is separated from God. But we have to avoid turning this into a constitutive incompatibility.” Unfortunately that is forever what both the secular world and Christian spirituality (without a proper understanding of chastity) struggle not to do. Given the power of sexuality inside us, and given the power of our human drives and yearnings in general, it is not easy to live a chaste life. It is even more difficult, and rare, to have a chaste spirit, a chaste heart, chaste daydreams, and chaste intentions. Our hearts want what they want and pressure us to ignore the consequences. We can easily feel a certain repugnance to praying for chastity. But that is largely because we do not understand chastity properly: It is not a deadening of the heart, a stripping away of our sexuality, but a deeper maturity that lets our sexual energies flow out in a more life-giving way.

might catch from her, since she is not only a woman but also nearly a corpse), and simply, daringly, takes her by the hand, and sends the fever packing. That, for Mark’s gospel, is a clear sign that “the Kingdom of God is among you”. Secondly, Mark gives a summary of what Jesus was like: once the Sabbath is over, they bring him the sick (and have no doubt that he is “up to it”), and he “cured many who were in a bad way with different kinds of diseases and expelled many demons”, and shows his authority by preventing the demons from speaking “because they knew him”. Finally we see the source of this authority: “he got up very early in the morning, and went out, and went off into a desert place, and started praying there”. Then, when Simon and the rest of the mob uncomprehendingly nag him to get back to the job, instead of wasting his time in prayer, he has the authority and inner freedom to divert the mission elsewhere: “ Let us go to the other villages...for that is why I came”. Jesus is undeniably “up to it”. And so can you be, if you will, this week, spend time in prayer.

Southern Crossword #481

ACROSS 2. Franciscans relying on alms (10) 8. Nests coroner turns over at church walls (12) 10. Not how to walk in solemn procession (5) 11. Isaac’s two sons: Jacob ... ... (3,4) 12. Single places for the hearths (6) 13. Hurtful results of having hives? (6) 16. Noble at being one worthy of attention (7) 18. Never in a legal union (5) 19. Tropical fruits with stones (7,5) 20. Gets rid of contamination (10)

DOWN 1. Processions going backwards? (10) 3. One who’s been voted in (7) 4. Dreary as mild (6) 5. Perhaps the many people gathered around Jesus (5) 6. Andrew can see he requires another vehicle (5,1,3,3) 7. Privileges for the elite (12) 9. Like church school given state funds (10) 14. Angels will make it sound loudly (Mt 24) (7) 15. A bleed from old parish official (6) 17. Philosopher who could be rasher (5)

Solutions on page 11

CHURCH CHUCKLE Four adages to live by: 1. Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you're the statue. 2. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. 3. Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. 4. Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their maker. Send us your favourite Catholic joke, preferably clean and brief, to The Southern Cross, Church Chuckle, Po Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000.


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