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October 3 to October 9, 2012

Preparing the soil of family

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DStv snubs South Africa’s Catholics

Special focus on 50 years of Vatican II

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What SA can expect from Year of Faith BY CLAIRE MATHIESON

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AITH is not only a code of morality, it is an encounter and we as Church, as parishes and individuals have to respond to Christ personally—but we must also work together and pray together to deepen our faith,” said Archbishop William Slattery of Pretoria in an interview with The Southern Cross about the Year of Faith which starts on October 11. The year-long theme will see various international events and faith-themed projects take place at every level of the Church in accordance with Pope Benedict’s desire to see Catholics embrace their faith, a move which he announced in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei (“Door of Faith”). “This is exactly what he wants. The Year of Faith is an invitation to experience a new faith—to enter a new more meaningful faith,” said Archbishop Slattery, liaison bishop for evangelisation. It is no coincidence that the year will be launched on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council. Events lined up over the course of the year will include a study of the Creed as well as the study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and its youth version, YouCat. It will also see the “primary study of the Bible”, said Archbishop Slattery. “We want to see Catholics embrace their faith and to pray more and to make the Lord more present in their lives.” The archbishop said the Year of Faith was well timed as it is a big challenge in the Church to keep people engaged in their spiritual life. “People get tired, they drift,” he said, adding that the Church was making a big effort to see ongoing formation in Catholics take place. The Year of Faith will be observed at every level of the Church. “First and foremost it should be a personal expression. Secondly, the Year of Faith should be expressed in the parish setting,” said Archbishop Slattery. In his archdiocese, meetings have been held and plans have been made to celebrate

the year and to “have a real response” to the Catholic theme. “Many dioceses will be responding with events. We want to see a physical expression of our faith,” Archbishop Slattery told The Southern Cross. Another timely event will be the launch of Renew Africa in the archdiocese of Johannesburg on October 7, an event which should also “help us to deepen our faith in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist,” according to archdiocesan vicar-general Fr Duncan Tsoke. “It is a time to revitalise our faith, empower lay people as missionaries in the Church as legitimate partners in mission, to deepen our catechesis, to heighten the value of family and to rekindle the faith amongst lapsed Catholics,” he said. With similar intentions, the Ecclesia programme was launched in Cape Town last year. Moreover, places of pilgrimage will be set up in the archdiocese. Archbishop Slattery said other events taking place over the course of the year would include the Department of Evangelisation rolling out phases two and three of the Interdiocesan Consultation. Meanwhile the world’s bishops attending the Synod on New Evangelisation at the Vatican this month are expected to share ideas on how to make the most of the year, said Archbishop Slattery, who will participate in the synod. The Year of Faith would also be a major theme in January at the bishops’ plenary session where a national response will be discussed. “It is my hope that the Church is able to engage people on their faith and that the liturgy comes alive,” said Archbishop Slattery. “I hope that people will respond in community as Church. And I hope that people will also learn to step outside the Church with their faith and religion,” he said. “People should be asking what impact their faith has on their lives and their work outside of the Church.” The archbishop said he hoped to see religion becoming a part of a person’s professional and personal life.

First bishop of Dundee dies at 83 BY CLAIRE MATHIESON

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HE first bishop of the diocese of Dundee died on September 23 after a long battle with cancer. Bishop Michael Paschal Rowland, who was 83, led the KwaZulu-Natal diocese from 1983 to 2005. Born in Grays, Essex, England, Bishop Rowland joined the Franciscan Order in 1945 at Chilworth, taking the name Paschal. On March 21, 1953 he was ordained a priest at the Friary East Bergholt, Suffolk, offering his first Holy Mass the next day. He would serve as a curate in the region for two years before coming to South Africa in 1955. After learning Zulu, he worked in many towns and rural parishes in the prefecture of Volksrust—the area which would become the diocese of Dundee. Franciscan Father Hyacinth Ennis of Waterkloof, Pretoria, called the late bishop a great missioner and brother, but “he was first a great friar”. From 1965 the young Fr Rowland was the superior of the Franciscan mission in the prefecture where he was committed to the ideal of a united Southern African entity of the order, and for a number of years worked for the unification of the Irish, English and Bavarian entities and the establishment of a common novitiate and formation pro-

Bishop Rowland, first bishop of Dundee. gramme for the order in Southern Africa. From 1977-82, Fr Rowland served as the first president of the Franciscan Federation of Southern Africa and Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe) and was instrumental in founding the Franciscan Regional Conference for SubSaharan Africa and Madagascar. When Pope John Paul II elevated the prefecture to the status of a diocese in 1983, Fr Rowland was ordained as the first bishop of the newly erected diocese of Dundee. “The bishop worked to build up the diocese, seeing it through difficult apartheid years to the change of the country to become a fully independent nation,” said Continued on page 3

National youth chaplain Fr Sammy Mabusela CSS shows his enthusiasm for YouCat, the version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which has been adapted for use especially by young Catholics. YouCat forms the basis of a daily SMS service which will launch on October 11 to mark the opening of the Year of Faith.

The Catechism by cellphone STAFF REPORTER

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OINCIDING with the October 11 opening of the Year of Faith and building on the Hope&Joy project that has been preparing Catholics for the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, a new SMS service will send daily extracts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church to the cellphones of subscribers. The cost of the service is R4 per week, said Raymond Perrier, director of the Jesuit Institute South Africa. “South Africa is again leading the world in using modern technology to spread the joy of Church teaching,” he said. The service will continue the Hope&Joy SMS service that has already seen the delivery of more than 700 000 text messages with extracts from Vatican II documents and papal encyclicals. “In the last 18 months the Hope&Joy network has been looking forward to the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. We have now reached that date and the Holy Father has called on us all to mark this with a Year of Faith, focusing in particular on deepening our familiarity with the Catechism,” said Mr Perrier. “It seemed ideal then to move the JOY SMS service to provide extracts from the Catechism in bitesized chunks.” The main text for the SMS service will be YouCat, which is based on the full Catechism of the Catholic Church that was originally approved by Pope John Paul II exactly 20 years ago. Fr Peter Knox, a Jesuit theologian who is helping draft the SMSs explained: “YouCat has been endorsed by the Vatican as a version of the Catechism suitable for young people. It uses a much easier-to-understand English and also benefits from illustrative quotations from people as diverse as Mother Teresa, St Augustine and C S Lewis. It really helps bring the Catechism to life.” The Hope&Joy SMS service was originated by the Jesuit Institute and the Redemptorists. “It is very easy to sign up to receive the

SMS. Whether you are on contract or pay-asyou-go, the process is the same,” Mr Perrier said. “You send the word JOY as an SMS to the number 31222. Once you get back a message asking you to confirm, just send the word YES in reply. The money is simply taken off your balance once a week.” Subscribers to the Hope&Joy service will automatically migrate to the new service. For queries call or SMS 078 590 0781. At R4 per week, there has been a small increase from the original price of the JOY service, “but it is still much cheaper than other SMS services on offer while still covering the costs of sending the messages,” Mr Perrier said, adding that the rate has been set at the minimum amount required to cover the costs of sending the messages. He said that there is even a way of getting the same material for free by following the Twitter account @hopejoy50. Spiritan Father Sammy Mabusela, national chaplain for youth and students, was enthusiastic about the project. “I am aware that many young Catholics just do not know the content of their faith. But to get that across, we have to communicate in the language that young people use and with the media that they are exposed to,” he said. “In that regard we are following the example of the incarnate Christ who lived among us and spoke our language.” Lebo Majahe, a young Johannesburg Catholic, said the SMS service “shows that the Church is responding vividly in usage of different media to promote her mission”. Archbishop William Slattery, who is attending the bishops’ synod on New Evangelisation in Rome this month, welcomed the initiative. “Vatican II challenged us to use all the ‘wonders of modern media’ to promote the Gospel and the teachings of the Church. In a country which has more cellphones than humans it is right that we use SMS as a way of inspiring people,” the archbishop said. “YouCat provides a perfect text not just for young people but for all Catholics, and this will be a great way of getting it more widely read.”


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LOCAL

The Southern Cross, October 3 to October 9, 2012

School needs help after fire BY CLAIRE MATHIESON

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OLLOWING a devastating fire at St Joseph’s boarding school in Aliwal North, teachers and learners are calling for assistance to help restore the school to its former glory. The school, which was founded by the Bishop Franz Demont in 1928, consists of a primary and secondary school for boys and girls as well as a trade school for boys. But in late August, the boarding school was gutted by a fire. “Fortunately, none of the boarders were injured due to the brave efforts of St Joseph’s staff, but everything was destroyed. The children literally only had the clothes on their back,” said Eric Tate, a former student at the school. After the fire, all learners were sent home. They are now back at school and teachers are “trying to make the most of a bad situation”, said Mr Tate. Sr Catherine Thomas got in touch with St Joseph’s alumni and a meeting was held with the diocese. “Many were concerned that so much history about the school would be lost if it was not repaired,”

said Mr Tate. But the main concern was for the school’s children, many of whom are disabled and “are learning trades so that they may be able to go out and find employment once they have qualified in their specific trades,” said the former student, adding that the teachers and religious sisters are “devastated”. “As old boys from the school it is with anguish and heartbreak that we see so many years of history and memories destroyed by the fire. We want to restore the school to its original state. This school has produced priests, nuns, lawyers, doctors, engineers, politicians, many great artisans and building contractors,” said Mr Tate. The school is now making an urgent appeal to former students and those associated with the school to get involved in the restoration. “Maybe you did not do your schooling at St Joseph’s, it could

St Joseph’s alumni with Sr Catherine Thomas MSC. (Left) St Joseph’s boarding school, in its present state of disrepair.

have been your grandfather, grandmother, your dad or mother, or maybe your brother or sister,” said Mr Tate. “Come on out there, old boys and girls and even our government officials, help us restore this blessed place called St Joseph’s. Friends and colleagues please help us.” n Contributions can be made to: Aliwal Diocese, account 51550157627, First National Bank, 210-120, with the reference “Save St Joseph’s”. For more details 082 924 9822.

Mike Hobden, bursar of Maris Stella school in Durban was awarded with the Bene Merenti Papal medal for his dedication to catechetics in the archdiocese of Durban. Mr Hobden is pictured with his wife Patricia and Cardinal Wilfrid Napier.

Renew Africa launches

Durban walks for life STAFF REPORTER

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ORE than 1 200 Catholics gathered in Durban to show their support to “end the genocide of abortion and to make reparation for it”. The Walk for Life was called by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban who said the Church needed to come together and act against abortion in public. “We are fully committed to stand up for life, particularly life that is still in the mother’s womb,” he said in his call for the walk. The walk and Mass that followed was organised by the archdiocese’s Justice and Peace and

Youth Commissions, and a Divine Mercy group. It was coordinated by the Right to Live Campaign. The event, which was considered an “overwhelming success”, was a morning of “reparation for the great sin of 15 years of legal abortion in South Africa,” said Fr Massimo Biancalani of the Right to Live Campaign. The day began with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at Holy Trinity church, during which South Africa was consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, said Fr Biancalani. “The Holy Hour was followed with a prayerful walk of two kilo-

metres displaying numerous prolife banners and interspersed with spontaneous singing, to St Anthony’s church, where a Holy Mass of Reparation was celebrated by Bishop Barry Wood.” Bishop Wood also represented Cardinal Napier whose prerecorded message of solidarity with the event was televised to the packed crowd in both church and parish hall. “Bishop Wood, in his address, made it clear that many genocides continue, not only because of the aggressor, but also because of the good people who remained silent and did nothing,” said Fr Biancalani, adding that the large turnout was a positive indication that Catholics were willing to come together to pray for the genocide to end and

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Durban’s faithful gathered to show their support with a “Walk for Life” against abortion. to make reparation for it. It is hoped the Walk for Life becomes an annual event in the archdiocese, said Fr Biancalani.

ATHOLICS in Johannesburg are called together as the archdiocese sees the introduction of a new initiative that will deepen the faith of local Catholics. Renew Africa will be launched with a special Mass on October 7 at the Standard Bank Arena at 10:00am, starting with a procession from Christ the King Cathedral at 9:00am. Archbishop Buti Tlhagale will be the main celebrant of the Mass which will coincide with the launch of the Year of Faith. Renew Africa will see an emphasis on Small Christian Communities where participants can draw closer to God through sharing with, learning from, and supporting each other. All are welcome to attend the event which will mark the start of a new faith-driven chapter for the archdiocese. n For more information contact Duncan Hyam 076 243 5772.

Help available for pregnant women BY CLAIRE MATHIESON

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IVINE Mercy Home on the West Rand of Johannesburg is available to shelter and support women in a crisis pregnancy situation. The home’s Joe Perreira said the West Rand shelter is now fully operational and ready to receive mothers in trouble. “So many women are turned away from their families. They have nowhere to go and no money. We are here to help them.” The home assists mothers through their pregnancy and helps with adoptions. “We help and ask them not to abort. Many change their minds and end up keeping their children,” said Mr Perreira. The home was opened through the Culture of Life Apostolate which was set up in the archdiocese in response to Archbishop Buti Tlhagale’s appeal to assist him with counteracting the problem of abortion, to defend and serve human life from conception to natural death, in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Two homes were opened—one on the East Rand and one on the West Rand. Divine Mercy Home offers stressed and traumatised pregnant mothers, who might otherwise terminate their pregnancy, the emotional, spiritual and material support they need. In a supportive environment the shelters will provide the opportunity to choose and embrace new life for both the mothers and their newborn children. “We have social workers and sisters who work closely with the women to ensure a positive future for them and their child,” said Mr Perreira. In addition to shelter, food and medical services, the home’s clients also receive training in skills that will aid them in finding employment in the future. “We are looking for women who need our services. We want to let them know we are here to help them,” said Mr Perreira. n For more information on the homes contact 011 648 5860


LOCAL

The Southern Cross, October 3 to October 9, 2012

DStv snubs SA’s Catholic subscribers BY CLAIRE MATHIESON

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HILE Catholic DStv subscribers in South Africa were petitioning for the broadcaster to offer Catholic programming found in the rest of Africa, the multinational company instead cancelled the service continent-wide. African Catholics outside of South Africa had for some time been able to access the US-based Catholic television channel EWTN through DStv’s standard package—a wish of many South African Catholic subscribers. South African Catholics who wanted to gain access to the channel had to recode their decoders, often with help from technicians, to bypass DStv. Many petitioned and requested that DStv make EWTN more

accessible as the broadcaster is offering television channels for evangelical Christians (such as Rhema TV and TBN) and for Muslims with Islamic channel ITV. But instead of answering the call to offer South Africans the same service in the rest of Africa, DStv cancelled EWTN continentwide. EWTN was informed by MultiChoice Africa, the operating company of DStv, that it would no longer carry the Catholic network on its channel lineup, effective from September. The official word from MultiChoice was that a number of factors were considered before making the decision. “When assessing the viability of a channel on the platform [assessments] include the cost of distribution, the channel offering within the context of

Retired Dundee bishop dies Continued from page 1 Fr Peter Cullen, administrator of Holy Rosary cathedral. The bishop oversaw the establishment of a large number of churches and presbyteries, a pastoral centre and a large orphanage, as well as the extension of St Antonine’s Home for Aged and Handicapped people at Amakhasi. Fr Ennis said it was under the leadership of Bishop Rowland that the diocese “grew fantastically. He continued the work of those before him”. Bishop Rowland worked hard to promote vocations. “He was also anxious that local men become priests in their own diocese as it could no longer rely of the missionaries that had come before,” said Fr Ennis. The bishop will also be remembered for his efforts to help combat the Aids pandemic. “The diocese now has a comprehensive HIV/Aids combating strategy that is continually developing,” said Fr Cullen. From working in industrial areas, to rural and reserve missions and townships, Bishop

Rowland was “a great man for working with local priests and people”, said Fr Ennis. “He was very active in the diocese until his death.” He would be also be remembered by the Catholic media in the country. He was a keen supporter of The Southern Cross, and Radio Veritas station director Fr Emil Blaser described him as a man who “knew the power of radio”. Fr Blaser called the late bishop a “good man, a good religious and a bishop everyone loved. He was down to earth and a thorough gentleman”. After his retirement in 2005, Bishop Rowland lived at Maria Ratschitz mission, a place affected by the apartheid Group Areas Act. “The restoration of the old church and the arrival of the Nardini Sisters at Maria Ratschitz in January 1998 pleased Bishop Michael immensely, as did the restoring of land to the local community which he worked hard to achieve,” said Fr Cullen. It was also the bishop’s will to be buried at Maria Ratschitz.

similar channels in that genre, subscriber feedback and the number of viewers and popularity of that channel,” said DStv’s Nthepa Chuma in a statement. “MultiChoice Africa has reached a mutual agreement with the various channel distributors to terminate [Nigerian news channel] NN24 and EWTN”. Catholics around Africa protested against the decision, with the bishops of Nigeria even threatening to sue to DStv. Fr Michael Umoh, director of the Centre for Media Development in Lagos, Nigeria, said the move by the broadcast company led to the mobilisation of Catholics protesting through social media in Nigeria. “Their office was inundated with mails upon mails. We also threatened that we would

A children’s entertainer on EWTN, a Catholic TV station which DStv refuses to host in South Africa. (Photo: Karen Callaway/CNS).

Dominican schools meet again STAFF WRITER

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OMINICAN Convent School in Belgravia, Johannesburg, hosted the 2012 King William’s Town Dominican Education Day, an annual event arranged by the Dominican Sisters with the aim: “To work together with teachers and staff at our Dominican Schools so that we may continue to inspire hope for the future in our learners, their parents and communities.” This year more than 60 delegates from Veritas College in Springs, St Anne’s Primary School in East London, St Vincent School for the Deaf in Johannesburg, St Thomas Aquinas School in Witbank and Dominican Convent School in Belgravia attended. After a “getting to know you” ice-breaker exercise and a stimulating address by Miriam D’Andrea, (ex-head of Holy Rosary Convent and Veritas College) entitled “Teacher and Child: our hope and our future”, the various school principals gave a feedback on the events of the last year. Paul Horn did a lively presentation on Dominican feasts, hymns

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mobilise all Catholics and men and women of good will to pull out of DStv. We also planned to launch a critical assessment on the impact of DStv programmes on the social and moral life of Nigerians,” Fr Umoh told The Southern Cross. EWTN was quickly returned to the standard Nigerian bouquet. “They saw we were desperate and knew what we were doing.” Fr Umoh said the great response and outcry from some of the 19 million Catholics in Nigeria was the reason for DStv retracting their decision, even though EWTN is also available from other broadcasters in that country. Meanwhile, South Africans are still without Catholic content on television—and according to DStv the decision is “final”.

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Lynn Holloway, teacher at Veritas College, Miriam D’ Andrea, ex-head Holy Rosary Convent and Veritas College, Sr Natalie Kuhn, ex-head Springs Convent (now Veritas College) and Dominican Convent, Belgravia, Sr Sandra Becker, Veritas College, ex-teacher and head of Springs Convent, Stafford Billson, Veritas College vice-principal, Freda Kelty, Veritas College, head of department. and ethos, which had the delegates singing and some even dancing to the music of the piano, marimbas and drums. Kannelelo Buthelezi, a Dominican Convent School alumnus, spoke about faith among young people today, highlighting challenges and real concerns facing young people in South Africa. Ms Buthelezi gave some insight into

the impact the negative use of mobile phones has on social interaction. Sr Mary Tuck delivered a visual, auditory and kinaesthetic presentation titled “Cosmic Walk”, which followed life from the beginning of creation, the evolution of the universe and our world and the history of the KWT Dominican Sisters in South Africa to the present day.


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INTERNATIONAL

The Southern Cross, October 3 to October 9, 2012

Record number of women at synod German Church defends BY CAROL GLATZ

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HOOSING men and women from every part of the world and from a wide variety of professions, Pope Benedict nominated 45 experts and 49 observers for this month’s world assembly of bishops. The October 7-28 gathering will include the largest bloc of women— ten experts and 19 observers—ever to participate in a world Synod of Bishops. The special Synod of Bishops for Africa in 2009 had ten experts and 20 observers who were women. Europe accounts for the overwhelming majority of the appointees, followed by North America, with ten people from the United States, two from Mexico and one from Canada. A number of the appointees are also advisers to the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation and other Vatican offices. Experts and observers, who include laypeople, are not voting members of the synod. According to Vatican rules, only priests, bishops and cardinals can be full members who vote and determine the propo-

sitions to be presented to the pope at the end of the gathering. The 45 experts include priests, nuns and laypeople, many of whom are professors, rectors or supervisors of catechetical or pastoral programmes. They will serve as resources for the more than 200 synod members as they discuss the theme, “New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”. The 49 observers can attend all synod sessions, participate in the synod working groups and have an opportunity to address the entire assembly. Many of the observers are leaders of religious orders, founders or leaders of lay movements or large Catholic associations, or professors or organisers of catechetical and pastoral programmes. None of the observers is from southern Africa. The continent is represented by Anthony Alaba Akinwale OP, rector of the Dominican Institute in Nigeria; Fr Paul Béré SJ, of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Burkina Faso; Fr JosephMarie Ndi-Okalla, vice-rector of the Catholic University of Central Africa

in Yaounde, Cameroon; Nigerian Fr Godfrey Igwebuike Onah, vice-rector of the Pontifical Urban University in Rome; Fr Kinkupu Leonard Santedi, professor at the Catholic University of Congo, president of the Evangelii Nuntiandi Foundation in Africa; Ernestine Sikujua Kinyabuuma, professor at the University Institute of Maria Malkia in Lubumbashi, and member of the Focolare Movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Joakim Kipyego Koech, head of the Communion and Liberation Movement in Kenya; Sr Nzenzili Lucie Mboma FMM from the Democratic Republic of Congo, executive director of the Service of Documentation and Study on Global Mission; and Patricia Ngozi Nwachukwu, member of the Knights of St Mulumba in Nigeria. The observers include Kiko Argüello, co-founder of the Neocatecumenal Way; Maria Voce, president of the Focolare movement; Michel Roy, secretary-general of Caritas Internationalis; Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Community of Sant’Egidio; and Chiara Amirante, founder and president of New Horizons.

‘no tax, no funeral’ rule BY JONATHAN LUXMOORE

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HE German bishops’ conference has defended a controversial decree that said Catholics who stop paying a Church membership tax cannot receive sacraments. “There must be consequences for people who distance themselves from the Church by a public act,” said Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg, conference president. “Clearly, someone withdrawing from the Church can no longer take advantage of the system like someone who remains a member,” he said at a news conference in Fulda. “We are grateful Rome has given completely clear approval to our stance.” “The Catholic Church is committed to seeking out every lost person,” said Archbishop Zollitsch. “At issue, however, is the credibility of the Church’s sacramental nature. One cannot be half a member or only partly a mem-

ber. Either one belongs and commits, or one renounces this.” A total of 126 488 Catholics asked to stop paying the membership tax and be removed from registers in the 27 German dioceses during 2011, according to the bishops’ conference. In 2010, some 180 000 Catholics took the same step. The decree said that departing Catholics could no longer receive the sacraments of penance, holy Communion, confirmation or anointing of the sick, other than when facing death, or exercise any Church function, including belonging to parish councils or acting as godparents. Church weddings would be granted only by a bishop’s consent and unrepentant Catholics would be denied Church funerals, the decree said. Parish priests would be asked to write to departing Catholics, inviting them to meet and explain their decision and have the consequences explained.—CNS

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ESTERN nations need to respect the people of the Middle East and trust them to solve their own problems, said an Iraqi diplomat, an Iraqi archbishop and a Syrian-born representative of the Melkite Catholic Church. The two religious leaders also called for an end to foreign military intervention and other interference in the region that they said only foment strife and hinder their citizens’ desire for peace. Their comments came during an event sponsored by the Iraqi embassy to the Vatican. Ali Nashmi, a Muslim professor and historian spoke on the contribution by Iraqi Christians throughout history to the preservation of both eastern and western cultures. In his opening remarks, Iraq’s ambassador to the Vatican, Habeeb Mohammed Hadi Ali Sadr, urged Arab nations to support Christians within their own borders and abroad, noting the contributions of Christians to national cultures and to providing social services,

including schools and medical facilities. “It’s also up to the Christian West to change its mistaken beliefs about Islam,” and recognise that “real Islamic values do not clash with other religious values”, he said, arguing that acts of violence committed in the name of Islam are the work of unrepresentative “degenerate groups”. The ambassador called on western nations to “treat important Arab and Islamic issues objectively and with balance”, steering away from double standards and focusing on shared interests. By sharing its cultural, economic and social assets for the promotion of peace worldwide, the west can join forces with the east in facing the world’s challenges—particularly religious fanaticism, intolerance and “abuse” of other religions “in the name of freedom of opinion”, he said. Iraqi Archbishop Jules Mikhael Jamil, the Syrian Catholic Church’s representative to the Vatican, said he felt the West had little regard for

Middle Eastern Christians. “In broad terms, we in the East feel that the western policies generally don’t think about eastern Christians,” he said after the event. “Western policies would prefer that eastern Christians not be there” because in some way their presence is hindering any foreign attempt to control the region’s natural resources, he said. Mgr Mtanios Haddad, the Melkite Catholic Church’s representative to the Vatican, addressed the audience and received loud applause when he said: “We don’t want protection from Europe or America; mind your own business.” He said people in the Middle East don’t want to be treated as “ignorant [people] who need saving”. The Syrian-born priest said the region can use help in negotiations and dialogue between conflicting parties, but that foreign help must be “without arms, without money, without terrorists. We want nothing but peace.”— CNS

Italian Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli (right), retired head of a Vatican court and a former Vatican diplomat, died on September 20 in Rome at the age of 77. Cardinal Baldelli had spent 43 years serving in the Vatican’s diplomatic corps before Pope Benedict chose him in 2009 to head the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican tribunal that deals with the most sensitive matters of conscience as well as with the granting of indulgences. Born in Valfabbrica, in Central Italy, he was ordained a priest in 1961 for the diocese of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino. After earning a graduate degree in canon law, he entered the Vatican’s diplomatic service in 1966. serving at Vatican embassies in Cuba and Egypt. He worked for several years in the Vatican Secretariat of State before being named the Vatican’s observer at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. In 1983, Pope John Paul II named him an archbishop and apostolic delegate in Angola. He then served as nuncio to São Tomé and Principe, Dominican Republic, Peru and, in an unusually long term, France (1999-2009). Cardinal Baldelli’s death leaves the College of Cardinals with 205 members, 116 of whom are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope.—CNS

Pope’s new book due out in December

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HE third volume of Pope Benedict’s book on Jesus of Nazareth should be published before Christmas, the Vatican has said. The volume, focusing on the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ infancy and childhood, will be the third and final volume in the series of books the pope has written “to make known the figure and message of Jesus”,

the Vatican said in a statement. The statement announced a Vatican publishing house agreement with the Italian publisher Rizzoli to handle sales of the rights to the book in languages other than Italian and the German original. Herder, the pope’s long-time German publisher, will handle the original German-language text.

The Vatican’s plan is to release the book simultaneously in the world’s major languages, including English, in time for Christmas. The first volume of Jesus of Nazareth, covering the period from Jesus’ baptism to his Transfiguration, was published in 2007. The second volume, looking at his passion and death, came out in 2011.—CNS


INTERNATIONAL

The Southern Cross, October 3 to October 9, 2012

5

Nigerians see social profit from pilgrimages BY CINDY WOODEN

P

RAYERS for peace and an end to terrorism and corruption in Nigeria filled Rome’s Church of St John the Baptist, as 50 Christian government officials and religious leaders visited the Eternal City in preparation for sending 30 000 Nigerians on pilgrimage. The Nigerian government gives financial aid to Christians visiting the Holy Land and New Testament sites in Greece and Rome, just as it pays for Muslims to make the hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. John Kennedy Opara, executive secretary of the government’s Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission, said that helping pilgrims is part of the government’s responsibility to “provide for the welfare of the people”. “We believe pilgrimage is a tool for moral transformation and spiritual rebirth,” he said, explaining that pilgrimages help Muslims and Christians deepen their faith and renew their commitment to living holy lives, which benefits the

Lutheran Archbishop Nemuel Babba (right) offers spiritual counsel to a pilgrim as 50 Christian government officials and religious leaders visit Rome. The Nigerian government is preparing to send 30 000 Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land and pilgrim destinations. (Photo: Cindy Wooden, CNS) whole country. At an ecumenical prayer service, the Nigerian group prayed softly for family members and loved

ones but grew more energetic when praying for the continued unity of Nigeria and an end to corruption. The volume rose dramati-

cally when one of the leaders prayed for the downfall of the “behemoth Boko Haram” a terrorist group. “We pray that these perpetrators of evil will be uprooted in Jesus name,” one participant called out. In the coming year, Mr Opara said, Nigeria hopes to help 30 000 Christians make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and in some cases also Greece and Rome. At the same time, some 90 000 Nigerian Muslims are expected to make the Hajj, a pilgrimage that all Muslims are encouraged to make at least once in their lifetimes. The government office for assisting Muslim pilgrims has existed longer in Nigeria, and “Muslims seem to understand more about pilgrimage than the Christians,” Mr Opara said. “But we are working with Christians and trying to help them learn about the importance of pilgrimage.” “A pilgrimage is a holy journey, a journey of a lifetime,” he said. “We let the pilgrims know that

they are going in order to pray and that they should go expecting something to happen in their lives. When they come, they will have a divine encounter, and God will touch their lives.” Archbishop Nemuel Babba, head of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, said religious and government leaders hope Nigerians will be spiritually transformed by their pilgrimage experience and return home ready to transform the country. But, he said, “it is not only Boko Haram that is destroying us. We have corruption that is destroying us. This kind of spiritual journey helps to transform us so we can help transform our nation.” While the government gives financial aid to poorer Nigerian pilgrims, many pay their own way or travel thanks to the generosity of relatives. The government assists them by arranging pilgrimage packages and providing them with advantageous currency exchange rates.—CNS

Excommunication for blood feuds

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LBANIAN Catholic leaders warned they would excommunicate anyone involved in the traditional gjakmarrja, or blood feud, after complaints of worsening violence. “People kill without hesitation in this bloody, barbaric system of revenge, often justifying their actions from a centuries-old tradition,” Archbishop Angelo Massafra of Shkoder told a news conference to present a pastoral letter against the blood feud. “They attach more importance to human tradition than the law of God, and through their murderous behaviour trample on the Gospel of Life and Cross of Christ,” he said. Archbishop Massafra said church leaders were alarmed at priests’ reports of an upsurge in murders during 2012, as well as

of worsening “domestic violence, [use of] force in relations between people and acts of revenge.” He said they decided to issue the excommunication decree after the killing of a 17-year-old girl. “The Church’s doors will remain open to those who repent and help calm the hearts of people,” said Archbishop Massafra, whose statement was carried by Albania’s Shekulli daily. “But every person of the Catholic faith who kills for motives of vendetta will be excommunicated. They will be unable to participate in Church services, attend confession, receive communion or be buried in a Church cemetery.” Catholics traditionally make up 15% of Albania’s population of 3,5 million, 70% of which is nominally Muslim, although no

new figures have been compiled since a 24-year communist-era ban on religious practices was lifted in 1991. A statement from the Shkoder archdiocese said “organised honour killings” were especially prevalent in largely Catholic northern Albania and reflected a “mentality of self-justice”. Speaking at the news conference, Bishop Lucjan Avgustini of Sape said the Catholic Church would demand life sentences for murderers who claimed justification under gjakmarrja rules and would seek compensation for victims’ families. “To change mentalities, it will be important for citizens to be confident the courts will punish perpetrators, and that the state authorities are proper, fair and uncorrupted in their judgments,” Bishop Avgustini said.—CNS

Step one in Smiling Pope’s sainthood cause BY CINDY WOODEN

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ROMOTERS of the sainthood cause of Pope John Paul I, who served as head of the Church for just over a month, met Pope Benedict to bring him up to date on their work. Bishop Giuseppe Andrich of Belluno and Feltre, Italy, the diocese in which the late pope was born, and Bishop Enrico Dal Covolo, the postulator (or official promoter) of the cause, said major documentation on Pope John Paul I’s life and ministry would be submitted formally to the Congregation for Saints’ Causes on October 17, the 100th anniversary of the late pope’s birth. The documentation, called a positio (or position paper), includes a biography, an analysis of the candidate’s writings and

summaries of testimony offered by people who knew him. A positio usually runs to several thousand pages. Bishop Dal Covolo, rector of Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University, told the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano that “what is most captivating today” about the figure of Pope John Paul I is that he was “a good shepherd who gave his life for his people”.

Bishop Andrich said people devoted to the late pope remember him for his “traits of humility and simplicity”. Born Albino Luciani, he was the cardinal of Venice when he was elected on August 26, 1978, to succeed Pope Paul VI. As Pope John Paul I, he served just over a month, dying suddenly on September 28. The diocesan phase of his cause for sainthood formally opened in 2003. The positio will be studied by the cardinal-members of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. On the basis of their recommendation, the first step toward canonisation would be the recognition by Pope Benedict that Pope John Paul I heroically lived the Christian virtues. Approval of a miracle would be needed for beatification.—CNS

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CATHOLIC SCHOOLS BOARD (CSB) jOHANNESBURG/PRETORIA

DEPUTy-DIRECTOR

The Board invites applications from suitably qualified and experienced individuals for the position of Deputy-Director of the Catholic Schools Office (CSO).

The CSO is the administrative arm of the CSB in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg and Pretoria and it is constituted to provide services, support and co-ordination of the Catholic education network in the region.

The successful candidate will have the following key qualities: c A sound understanding and commitment to the Ethos and mission of Catholic Education c Have the leadership ability to work with Principals, RE Coordinators and Boards of Governors c Strong leadership, management, and communication skills c Ability to implement the strategic vision and direction of the Catholic Schools Board c Strong interpersonal and team skills c At least five years’ experience in a senior management position, with a track record of effective application of management skills c Relevant educational qualifications c An understanding of present developments in education

Requirements: • The applicant must have a car and the appropriate driver’s licence. • Good oral and written English communication skills. • Computer skills. • Be able to commence duties on 2 January 2013, if possible

Applicants should submit Curriculum Vitae (please limit your CV to two pages) and the names, addresses and contact telephone numbers of three referees. Applications should be mailed to: The Chairperson Catholic Schools Board P O Box 614 Boksburg OR 1460 E-mail: ph000011@mweb.co.za Closing date for applications: 11 October 2012

The selection process is limited to the Catholic Education network and only applications from people involved in Catholic education will be considered. Only candidates short-listed will be contacted. The CSB reserves its right to make no appointment.


6

The Southern Cross, October 3 to October 9, 2012

LEADER PAGE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Editor: Günther Simmermacher

Understanding Vatican II

W

HEN Pope John XXIII announced his intention to hold an ecumenical Church council in 1959, he changed the Church’s course irreversibly. Bl Pope John, the supposed caretaker pope, lived just long enough to preside over the opening and first session of the Second Vatican Council in 1962. Under his successor, Pope Paul VI, the Council held three more sessions until it closed in December 1965. In that time, the Council produced 16 landmark documents. These documents—four constitutions, nine decrees and three declarations—introduced profound reforms, especially in areas such as the liturgy, the role of lay Catholics, dialogue with other churches and non-Christians, the way the Church relates to the world, and the way the Church sees itself as the “People of God”. The Council created a new consciousness of the Church’s mission, even if it was, and remains, subject to diverse interpretations (or hermeneutics). There are some who see the Council as a rupture with the past—a liberation “from a long night of oppression”, as the Jesuit theologian Cardinal Avery Dulles once put it—and a return to a vision which they believe reflects the practices of the early Church. Key to that is the ongoing reform of teachings and disciplines that reflect the circumstances in which the faithful live. Traditionalists within the Church and outside also perceive a rupture, albeit one they do not welcome. They reject much of Vatican II, seeing the Council as having repudiated the historic Catholic faith, especially on questions such as liturgy and religious freedom. In their view, according to Cardinal Dulles, the Council had the effect of “shattering the unity and order of the Church and introducing an era of contestation and doubt”. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have proposed a vision of the Council as a point of reform, but with reference to the past. That so-called “hermeneutic of continuity” has defined the Holy See’s methodology. Cardinal Dulles explained the “hermeneutics of continuity” like this: “Progress must be

made, but progress always depends upon an acceptance of prior achievements so that it is not necessary to begin each time from the beginning.” It is a flexible approach which has frustrated the proponents of both radical renewal and radical tradition. The renewalists discern in the Holy See’s governance a retrogression to the pre-Vatican II era which neutralises the perceived gains of the Council. They point to areas such as a hegemony of the Roman curia which impairs free theological inquiry and episcopal collegiality, a return to what they regard as anachronistic pomp and ceremony, the imposition of unpopular liturgical texts, an unwillingness to engage with reform, and so on. The traditionalists, especially the schismatic Society of St Pius X, cannot acquiesce in some central conciliar teachings, such as liturgy, ecumenism and the path to salvation. That most of the conciliar teachings they object to are, for now, quite irrevocable represents an obstacle to dialogue and eventual unity. Clearly there can be no consensus on how to interpret the Second Vatican Council. It would be a mistake, however, to pit the various strands of understanding the Council against one another, as though our faith was a terrain of ideological warfare. It is quite possible for proponents of the “hermeneutics of continuity” to sympathise with those who see Vatican II as a point of reform, and vice versa. These positions can even overlap, as the late Cardinal Carlo Martini demonstrated so eloquently. As the People of God seek to understand the Second Vatican Council, which we are called to do especially in the Year of Faith, we must acknowledge the content as well as the tone of the conciliar documents, and not descend into vitriol and condescension. And there is one concept that appears in these documents again and again, and also, prophetically, in Pope Paul VI’s 1964 encyclical Ecclesiam Suam— Dialogue. Dialogue, respectful and without fear, for the love of our Church, must serve as our guiding light now, just as it did for the Council Fathers half a century ago.

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.

Funding issues AM looking with interest at how Ipopular church funds have become a most topic of discussion among

the flock. I am particularly concerned about the fact that whether I speak to my friends in Cape Town my sibling in Port Elizabeth, or my relatives locally, they all share the same sentiment. It is the same everywhere. And the clergy quotes canon law

A point of clarity

I

READ Patrick Dacey’s letter (September 19) with interest and felt the need to provide some clarity. I must concede that the use of the word Darwinism can be ambiguous unless clarified—something I did not do. I was of course, referring to the body of thought to which the appellation atheistic naturalism refers. In some parts of the world this is referred to pejoratively as Darwinism; however in others Darwinism refers to evolution by natural selection—Darwin’s work. Was the thrust of my response conveying what I believed? I would hope so as this was the point of my writing. I think Mr Dacey, that if you read my response carefully, you will find firstly that I do not disagree with evolution per se and secondly, I do not presume to know the mind of God and readily acknowledge the mystery of God in creation. Tony Sturges, Johannesburg

Call for peace

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OUR editorial “Boycotting Israel” (September 12) is both thoughtless and short-sighted of the consequences of your apparently promoting Israeli boycotts. Your reference to apartheid boycotts is interesting—remember the South African Catholic Defence League condemned Church involvement in politics and effectively supported the abhorrent apartheid regime. Would you not better serve the cause of Palestinians by calling for peace in the region, recognition of the right of the State of Israel to exist and an end to the killing of innocent Israelis by Palestinians? Call for the end of corruption in the Palestine Authority that deprives its own people; contrast the conditions of Palestinians living in Israel with their counterparts in Lebanon, Syria and Egypt where they have no citizen rights, high infant mortality rates, poor education and poor medical services, if any. The Palestinians want the destruction of Israel, while the Israelis want peace in the region

this and canon law that. My concerns are where, on occasion, funds have gone missing and parishioners receive no explation. I feel that parishioners have the right to ask for information about where their contributions go, but for some reason will not approach their parish priest. I am also concerned about signatories who may misuse their positions, and parishioners remain ill-advised . I am uneasy about the fact that the clergy may choose without any

criteria whom they wish to handle church funds. Here, the clergy also cite canon law. Perhaps this is a good time for the clergy to be trained, skilled or advised about the law of the country. The Financial Intellegence Centre Act (FICA) 2001 gives a list of accountable institutions. It gives guidelines to persons who carry on the business of a money remitter. Leonie Arries, George

and prosperity for all who live in Israel. Rather call for Palestinians to cease firing rockets into Israel and call for an end to their sending suicide bombers into Israel to kill innocent women and children. Call upon them to respond to peace initiatives. Don’t get involved in the dirty propaganda game of international politics that you don’t understand—your thoughtless leader confirms this. Rather stick to the business you know and spread the good news of love and peace. Michael W Bouchier, Stanford, Cape Town

achievement” and who “act as sole custodians of the community’s resources not answerable to anyone”. He concluded that “what is called for is a rebirth of the African consciousness” and all “must be encouraged to help in this re-education (through) Catholic social teaching”. Africa is not alone in these attitudes of “me and mine” or “they are not from my family, clan (tribe) or ethnic group” or “they are far away, we have enough worries of our own”. Throughout the world, since the dawn of time, following instincts to survive and procreate, groups have formed for strength to acquire possessions and power, “outsiders” were shunned, and leaders varied from the strangest/wisest to the greediest and most cunning. History tells of countless empires and wars—we only recently had two “world” conflicts. Now South Africa holds the presidency of the African Union (and Africans seek World Bank/IMF leadership and a seat on the UN Security Council. Great world power!) However, a Walmart global review (East London Dispatch, June 15) showed South Africa and its allies, the BRICS countries, as among “the highest corruption risks”—are we going to add this, plus our poor governance and other problems, to Africa’s already turbulent “boiling pot”? We seem to ignore God’s promises: “If they [my people] pray to me and repent and turn away from the evil they have been doing, then I will hear them in heaven, forgive their sins, and make their land prosperous again” (2 Chron14) and “Ask, and you shall receive” (Mt 7:7-12). Many in Africa do much good work, and many do join in prayer, but often only for their own countries and people. We need to learn to pray for Africa, with faith and hope, and love for God and for neighbours throughout our continent, in order to build justice and peace in all aspects of our society, so that we all become “one human family”. Athaly Jenkinson, East London

Pray for Africa

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FRICA reminds one of Jeremiah’s vision (Jer 1:13): “I see a pot boiling in the north and it is about to tip over this way.” As in his prophecy, the reported conflicts in the north (September 12) are not always about religious differences but based on “ethnic differences and access to scarce resources”, and are now with us in the south of Africa. Nigerian Paulinus Ikechukwa Odozor CSSP, associate professor of moral and world theology at the University of Notre Dame in the United States, wrote that “in most traditional African societies, human rights were granted on the basis of kinship, the ‘known other’; there was no culture of equal humanity of common sonship or daughtership of God or universal recognition of a person’s humanity” (Tablet, July 2008). The professor felt that “this reason figures largely behind Africa’s many ethnic clashes”. He also suggested that another difficulty in Africa’s transition to modern democracy is “leaders who believe it is their right to rule as a birthright or because of superior 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.

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PERSPECTIVES

Vatican II’s treasure of social teachings

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NE of the most important events in the modern history of the Catholic Church will reach a historical milestone on October 11 when the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council will be celebrated by the Church throughout the world. On October 11, 1962, Pope John XXIII confidently threw open the windows of the Church, trusting that the Holy Spirit would blow through it with a fresh breeze of renewal. During this worldwide ecumenical council—the 21st in the history of the Church—more than 2 500 bishops approved 16 documents designed to enliven Catholic spirituality, and make the Church far more relevant to the modern world. The most important of these documents, in my opinion, is Gaudium Et Spes (“Joy and Hope”, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World”). It insists that the Catholic Church must be at the service of all humanity, especially those most in need. Its very first words powerfully proclaim this theme: “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these too are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ.” As a step in this direction, “the Church has always had the duty of scrutinising the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel.” We are then called to strengthen those aspects that conform to Christ’s teachings, and to change those elements that do not.

The world’s Catholic bishops insisted that the Church—“the People of God”— cannot show any bias in protecting the lives and dignity of human beings. As one of Vatican II’s active participants, Archbishop Karol Wojtyla, would later declare as Pope John Paul II: “We are all really responsible for all.” Action on behalf of the unborn, while largely ignoring the sins of militarism and the injustices that cause poverty, is an insufficient Catholic position. On the other hand, working to end militarism and poverty while ignoring the sin of abortion is also an insufficient Catholic position. “Therefore from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the

Pope John XXIII leads the opening session of the Second Vatican Council in St Peter’s basilica on October 11, 1962. The Council’s four sessions produced 16 landmark documents. (Photo: L’Osservatore Romano/CNS)

Preparing the soil of the family

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HREE bags of lawn dressing and a watering can. Those rather incongruous items are part of my new way of life in my mini-pad, into which I recently moved. In the old house I did from time to time put some lawn dressing down but the grass was allowed to go brown in the winter and be dependent on rain in the summer. Now my mini-garden has to keep up with that of the adjoining neighbours, most of whom are properly retired and free from the work obligations I have. Now that it is spring I see them spending quiet, relaxing days looking after their flower gardens, pottering and listening to the birds. My piece of garden is really minute—I can cover it with just one watering can—and I was sure one bag of dressing would be more than enough—but no, the village gardener instructed me to go back and buy more. As I think back, I can see that much of my life has really been spent doing the “bee” thing, busily flitting about from one flowerpatch to another, instead of devoting quality time to one particular area. If it is not the month of May for parents, then it is the marriage campaign culminating on Marriage Day (this year on October 7), and in no time there is another magazine to get ready, and, oh dear, the Year of Faith is starting already and while that will be part of the theme for the 2013 family year planner, I am not up to speed yet with my ideas and resources. I have been told that people are overwhelmed by so much stuff which might be good but is just too much. My approach is to keep up with what is cur-

October 7 is Marriage Day. rent in Church life, and to try and reflect on it in at least some depth. That aspect, of depth, is something modern-day technology militates against because the pace of life is just too busy, too fast and possibly too shallow. Tweets, BBM, WhatsApp and text messages are the order of the day while some keep their Facebook pages constantly on the boil, leaving little time for reflection. Maybe we can reflect on the statement by the Greek philosopher Socrates: “The unreflected life is not worth living.”

O

ctober is Mission Month and we focus on our mission at different times and different contexts in life. Surely at all times the mission of families is to bring God and be God’s presence to one another first of all. I have been very excited by the vision of family preservation of the South African Social Development Department as it ties in beautifully with the vision for family life of MARFAM and the Family Life Desk.

Tony Magliano

Point of Social Justice

greatest care, while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes” (No. 51). “God intended the earth and all that it contains for use of every human being and people. [...] Since there are so many people in this world afflicted with hunger, this sacred Council urges all, both individuals and governments, to remember the saying of the Fathers: ‘Feed the man dying of hunger, because if you have not fed him you have killed him’” (No. 69). Reflecting on “the horror and perversity of war”, the Council Fathers powerfully proclaimed: “All these considerations compel us to undertake an evaluation of war with an entirely new attitude. The men of our time must realise that they will have to give a sombre reckoning for their deeds of war. “While extravagant sums are being spent for the furnishing of ever-new weapons, an adequate remedy cannot be provided for the multiple miseries afflicting the whole modern world. “It is our clear duty, then, to strain every muscle as we work for the time when all war can be completely outlawed by international consent” (80-82). Let’s also strain every muscle to promote the Second Vatican Council’s entire pro-life, social justice and peace teachings. n Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist.

Toni Rowland

Family Friendly

“Keeping Families Together” is the main aim, and that is no easy task for young and old. To build the Church as family is a calling for all missionaries, religious or lay. Whether it is through Renew Africa, Ecclesia or some other programme, we dare not let the parish’s need usurp the prior family need. That is a seriously challenging statement for every member of the family. Marriage Day on October 7 is an opportunity to celebrate marriage with the whole community, not just couples. Honour the oldest, the youngest, pray with and for the newly-weds and those in difficulty or who have lost a spouse for whatever reason. But it does not end there. The same media that can be such a stress to family time also informs us of the serious needs in many other places. Let Mission Month and Mission Sunday on October 21 be a celebration of the mission of marriage and the family in the home and then reach out as a family to the broader needs of the wider family beyond our own doorstep. One can sit in one’s proverbial garden whatever its size, fertilise and water it with care, with watering can or sprinkler system and share with others the fruits of our labours. At the same time the mission is to prepare the soil for a future crop that will be evidence of the effort gone into its production, whether it is marriage, children, flowers, vegetables or one’s personal faith journey. Enjoy!

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The Southern Cross, October 3 to October 9, 2012

7

Michael Shackleton

Open Door

How should we dress for Mass? Please enlighten me and perhaps others who read your newspaper, about an appropriate dress code for Sunday Mass. I find it disrespectful to see not only teenage kids but also adults at Mass as if dressed for a day at the beach. Dennis Langton

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E all have biological urges that produce physical pleasure. Christians have to enjoy these in a healthy way and not go to such extremes as gluttony or lust. It is here we need to apply the virtues of temperance and modesty. St Paul gave this warning: “We must be selfrestrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world” while waiting for Christ's return (Titus 2:12). The virtue of modesty, as you imply, is not being observed in the way many Catholics dress, especially in the pews at Sunday Mass. This could be because the modern world seems to care little about it, seeing no harm in provocative fashions and advertising. Recent photographs of near-naked members of the British royal family published in some newspapers have raised awareness that everyone has a right to preserve their privacy, particularly that of their own bodies. It is here that the Christian virtue of modesty comes in. Modesty affirms the sacredness of the human person and so it preserves the human body from becoming an object of curiosity and lust. The Catechism tells us that modesty is decency, inspiring one's choice of clothing and keeping silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity; it is also discreet (2522). Mass-goers should be made aware of this. Most do not intend to be immodest or provocative, but they can forget that they are taking part in solemn worship in a holy place, not out on the public roads. St Peter's basilica in Rome, for example, enforces regulations forbidding admission to those wanting to enter in shorts and skirts above the knee, sleeveless garments, transparent or tight-fitting garments and the wearing of excessive jewellery. This demonstrates that the basilica is not for commercial or other secular use, but exclusively for the worship of God, in which unbecoming clothing is inappropriate and offensive. At Sunday Mass, similar restrictions ought to apply. This is not merely to stave off feelings of lust in others, but to help all present to focus on the sacred liturgy with as few distractions as possible. Apart from these self-evident norms, there is no fixed dress code for attendance at Mass.

n Send your queries to Open Door, Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000; or e-mail: opendoor@scross.co.za; or fax (021) 465 3850. Anonymity can be preserved by arrangement, but questions must be signed, and may be edited for clarity. Only published questions will be answered.


8

VATICAN II

The Southern Cross, October 3 to October 9, 2012

Vatican II, 50 years on As the Church prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, FR PETER KNOX SJ surveys how what happened then impacts on us today.

I

N his apostolic letter Porta Fidei, issued last year, Pope Benedict invited us all to spend an entire year in celebrating the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council—a Year of Faith, of study, of renewing our conversion to the Lord, a year to appreciate the greatest grace to the Church in the 20th century. On Thursday, October 11, the Church and the world will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Council as the pope launches the Year of Faith in St Peter’s Square. But what was this council? Another long-winded talk-shop? Another meeting of celibate men with mitres? Another paper-generating exercise? Well, yes and no to all of the above. Yes, it was a long talk-shop in the sense that the meeting was held over the autumns of four consecutive years, 1962-65. But the participants did more than talk. They prayed and meditated and listened to the Spirit of God and to each other’s experiences. They also attended lectures at night school, offered by eminent theologians who had gathered in Rome. Yes, it was primarily a meeting of bishops—some 2 300 of them from all corners of the world. But there were also patriarchs of the Eastern Catholic Churches. There were abbots and superiors of major religious orders. There were theological advisors (or periti). There were observers from mainline Christian churches as well as journalists from all over the world. In this sense it was the most representative meeting ever held in the Church, the first real gathering of the “World Church”, a truly catholic event—if you accept that

the women of the Church were adequately represented. Yes, it was a massive paper-generating exercise. From January 25, 1959 when, three months after his election, Pope John XXIII announced his plans for a pastoral ecumenical council to update the Church, till Pope Paul VI closed the Council on December 8, 1965, tens of thousands of pages of original text were generated. These were in preparatory documents (or schemata), in correspondence between bishops and Rome before the Council, in discussion papers during the Council, and in the 16 constitutions, decrees and declarations ultimately agreed by the Council Fathers. These are arguably the most exciting Christian texts since the Bible itself. But that was only the start of the paperwork. Since the Council ended these documents have been translated into dozens of languages (four times in English alone), printed and reprinted and now published on websites around the world, as Christians and nonChristians alike study the work of the council. And as we are encouraged to get to know the gift of the council, no doubt more paper will be generated in the coming years.

B

ut why this fascination with Vatican II? Quite simply because it represents a paradigm shift in the Church’s understanding of itself, of the world, of people of other faith traditions, of its liturgy and of modern sciences. It is nothing less than the Holy Spirit reinventing the Church for the modern world. From being the perfect society embodied in an admirable hierarchical structure, the Church’s new self-understanding is of a pilgrim people of God on the way to holiness. From a defensive and combative stance towards the Reformation, the Enlightenment and modernity with all that they represent, the Church has emerged as a confident, respectful and generous dialogue partner engaged in issues that affect the lives of billions of

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people around the world—Christian and non-Christian alike. From the former notion that we have the “fullness of the truth”, the Council forged a theology recognising that truth does in fact exist elsewhere and that the Spirit of God has always been at work in other religions and traditions and in created reality. From a static liturgy that created a sacred space for lay spectators’ private prayer and devotion, the operative words have become “full, active and conscious participation”. This has seen a flourishing in ministries of well-trained and well-informed laity. Of course, there is still room for growth in this regard, as there is in the training of clergy. Departing from its earlier assertions that “error has no rights”, the Church has come to recognise the dignity of all human beings, and their right to freedom of worship and conditions conducive to their fulfilment. In all this one might believe that a Copernican revolution has taken place. But these developments did not emerge out of nowhere. They are the fruits of painstaking research and soulsearching about Christ’s design for his Church—a process that had begun in the early 20th century and intensified in the wake of two world wars. Theologians had returned to the Scriptures and to the witness of the early Church. Monastic communities had been experimenting with alternative ways of celebrating the liturgy. Catholic laity and clergy were being educated in secular contexts and could thus appreciate modern sciences. As the “boy theologian” at the council said, relinquishing the conservative spirit that had preceded the council was the “great, astonishing and genuinely positive result” of the heady days of the Council. No wonder that theologian—then Fr Joseph Ratzinger and now Pope Benedict XVI— wants us to celebrate a Year of Faith informed by Vatican II.

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A candlelit gathering in St Peter’s Square following the opening session of the Second Vatican Council on October 11, 1962. The 50th anniversary of the opening of the council will be marked by Pope Benedict when he kicks off the Year of Faith with an October 11 Mass in St Peter’s Square. (Photo: L’Osservatore Romano via CNS)

Prophetic vision of a crucial Council Bishop EDWARD ADAMS was in Rome when the Second Vatican Council opened on October 11, 1962, and when it closed three years later. Here he reflects on the mood of the time and the fruits of Vatican II today.

I

T is said that the older one gets the shorter the memory becomes; that is why seniors tend to look back to the past. I fall in the category of “old people” since I am well over 75 years of age, and therefore I am allowed to reminisce. I was a seminarian studying at the Propagation of the Faith College (today Urbanian University), Rome, when the Second Vatican Council began, and I was still there when it ended. Recently much has been written of the Council in preparation for the celebration of its 50th anniversary on October 11. I would like to add my five cents to the Poor Box by reminiscing a bit. I remember the opening of the Council well. With many other theology students—the backroom boys—I contributed in a very minuscule way to the workings of the Council. I was a first-year theology student when the Council commenced and different commissions were set up to prepare papers for discussion during the Council sessions which in the end were voted on and became the various conciliar documents we have today in the form of constitutions, decrees and declarations. The task of the first-year theology students was to count the ballots during the voting for members who were to serve on the various preparatory commissions. The counting was done under very strict supervision and, of course, secrecy, as only the Vatican can do it (sub secreto). One has to bear in mind there were approximately 3000 bishops, so there was a lot of paperwork and counting to do. By the way, Archbishop Lawrence Henry, now retired of Cape Town, was at that time a fourth-year theology student and had the task of assisting bishops inside the Council chamber by fetching drinks from the two makeshift bars (which were called, with punning, Bar Jona and Bar Rabba) in St Peter’s basilica. The Second Vatican Council

was truly prophetic as Pope John XXIII was a prophet. Usually an ecumenical council was called to settle some dispute in the teaching of the Church. However, this council was called to update the Church and bring her more in line with the modern world. The windows had to be opened to let the fresh air in, a new Pentecost! Today, one can read the signs of the time and see clearly how God is leading his Church. As a young priest I was very impressed with the pastoral document Gaudium et Spes (The Church in the Modern World), and today I can see how prophetic it is. I have always tried to make the laity aware of their mission in the world following the example of Ss Philip Neri and Vincent Pallotti and Cardinal Joseph Cardijn, founder of the Young Christian Workers. It seems to me that this sleeping giant is awakening! Old religious orders are fading away and new vigorous movements are replacing them. The Holy Spirit is leading the Church, as John Paul II would say, “into the deep” to face the new challenges of our times. Why else is the theme for this year’s Bishops’ synod New Evangelisation? It is very encouraging to see that men are coming forward to spread the faith in new ways. For example, at Holy Spirit church in Koelenhof, Cape Town, a group of men is willing to sacrifice a long weekend to go to Namaqualand to share their faith with other men, and their parish priest will accompany them on this journey of faith. I call them the new Crusaders. Unlike the Crusaders of old, they will not be carrying swords and shields, but love and concern. The Second Vatican Council spoke of ecumenism; new evangelisation is not to tell others that we are right and they are wrong, but rather to try to show others that to serve Jesus Christ is to live in peace and harmony with one’s neighbour, no matter what the other’s religious persuasion may be. The Church in the Modern World encourages priests to involve the laity more, but it is sad to say that after 50 years some parishes do not even have parish councils or finance committees. Fifty years in the life of the Church is a very short time, and maybe the new evangelisation will change many things in parishes. Old age is creeping up: I have forgotten what the closing ceremony of the Council was like, but I am sure it was most impressive! n Bishop Adams headed the diocese of Outdshoorn from 1983 to 2010.


VATICAN II

The Southern Cross, October 3 to October 9, 2012

9

An eyewitness account of the Second Vatican Council As a young priest, MICHAEL SHACKLETON had the priviliege of witnessing some of the Second Vatican Council from the front-row. In this article he recalls some of his impressions.

I

HAD just returned to the archdiocesan chancery of Cape Town after lunch one summer day in 1963. My car could barely fit into a tiny space beside a large black car in the parking area. Entering, I stumbled across the vicar-general, Mgr Jack Galvin, who was puffing on a cigarette. Gesturing towards the black car he said: “The apostolic delegate is with him right now. McCann’s been made a cardinal!” We moved into the main office where other members of our small staff expressed mixed emotions of disbelief, delight and apprehension. We had the first South African cardinal as our bishop! In the new cardinal’s office I congratulated him. He replied: “I had no idea this would happen. It’s not an honour for me but for Cape Town and South Africa.” He said he would take me with him to Rome for the final session of the Second Vatican Council in September. So far, I had merely waved him off to the Council for its previous three sessions. Now I was given a privilege that few would get. Among his new robes was the cumbersome red hat that came in an enormous box the size of a medium drum. It was a widebrimmed galero with 30 tassels, more of a symbol of his status than of practical use. In recent years this bit of regalia has been done away with. But it had to go to Rome to be placed in Cardinal McCann’s titular church of Santa Praxedis, and I was the one who had to struggle to get it aboard the Scandinavian Airlines charter flight carrying our bishops from Johannesburg to Rome. A kindly air hostess took the box and stored it somewhere out of sight at the rear of the aircraft. Now we were all crammed into the economy class cabin chatting and mingling amicably. It was not a direct flight. We landed at other African airports to take on more bishops. Backs were slapped and the camaraderie displayed was impressive, considering that some could not speak or understand English and others were ignorant of French. But these men had met before and were not strangers to one another. We landed in Rome on a warm and sunny morning. The plane taxied to a halt, and we were met by various dignitaries. Then I abruptly halted in alarm. I had forgotten the big hat box, still in its hiding place on the aircraft. The airline staff stopped me from going back on board. But one of them, seeing my agitation, soon retrieved the box. I sighed gratefully.

W

itnessing hundreds of the Church’s bishops in one place at one time, was the most striking aspect of the Council, leaving aside its importance for the modern Church. When the session opened on September 22, 1965, the procession of bishops was spectacular. It snaked over a long distance into St Peter’s basilica. Pope Paul VI was borne aloft in a chair called the sedia gestatoria, supported on the shoulders of men of the papal household, to make him visible to the vast crowds. The sedia has since been abolished.

Fr Shackleton greets Pope Paul VI as (from left) Fr Dominic Scholten OP, Bishop Gerard van Velsen and Cardinal Owen McCann look on. I was given a permit to attend the daily sessions of the Council, in a front-row position, which was the envy of many. I had a brilliant view of the high altar and transept, with cardinals and bishops sitting in tiered seats on either side of the nave, stretching all the way along it. There were 2 000-odd of them. Bishops from the non-Latin Rite Church were scattered among them. They wore clerical dress of many different styles and colours. Their chests were festooned with chains and medallions of all sizes. Many carried staffs, but the crowning feature was the headdress in all shades and shapes. Besides that, most of them wore heavy beards of varying fashion and length, lending them a fearsome aspect. During the speeches in the Council, known as interventions, many bishops took the opportunity to go to confession. Looking at crowds of them on their knees waiting for the sacrament, which was dispensed in a variety of languages, reminded me forcefully that bishops or not, they needed the consolation of absolution from their sins, just like the rest of us.

T

hen in the streets of Rome in the evenings, as the trattorias and restaurants opened, bishops could be seen at the tables, tucking into the pasta and veal, amid flasks of the local wines. As bishops and theologians unwound, controversial subjects would be raised concerning the day’s agenda. A dominant theme often was the way Archbishop (later Cardinal) Pericle Felici, the Council’s secretary-general, controlled the proceedings, and the bishops too. He was intolerant of longwinded interventions and had a sharp tongue. Although he spoke in Latin, which was the language of conciliar business each day, his enunciation was so clear that few could fail to follow his gist. Once he lost his cool. He had been asked whether his office approved of a particular series of daily lectures by some theological scholars who were undoubtedly of progressive mind. He seemed to regard this as a frivolous question and bellowed: “Negative, negative”, which in Latin has four distinct syllables. Giving each of these its exact value, his raised voice had a thunderous effect on the Council Fathers. The kind of silence followed that you would expect after the school principal had read the riot act to the boys. The whole assembly was visibly shaken. Another experience of fellowship among the bishops and priests was the atmosphere in the coffee bars situated in the basilica itself. In these one could hear the latest gossip and rumours about the Council’s progress. Sometimes the powerful conservative wing seemed to win the day; at other times, progressive views prevailed. Cardinal McCann asked me to act as secretary to the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference for its weekly evening meetings, while the proper secre-

tary, Fr Dominic Scholten, took a break. I enjoyed this. In discussion, bishops are pretty frank with one another, and because of the debates and voting on some of the more prickly schemas before the Council, it was sometimes a battle for the chairman, Cardinal McCann, to keep order. It was obvious that among the Southern African bishops, some wanted greater reforms as opposed to those who dug their heels in and expressed their fear of change. “How could we explain this to our people?” was their general protest. There were also moments of disagreement that had nothing to do with Council business. As the autumn chill was keenly felt in the evenings, the bishops liked the room’s windows closed. In spite of this, Bishop Gerard van Velsen of Kroonstad continued to light up his pungent Dutch cigars. He was deaf to those who begged him to stop, arguing that the architects put windows in the room in order to let the smoke out, so why were they closed? In this way the atmosphere in the room was affected not only by cigar smoke!

The thenFr Michael Shackleton with Pope Paul VI and Cardinal Owen McCann of Cape Town.

Left: Michael Shackleton’s pass for the final session of the Second Vatican Council.

T

here was considerable attention paid by the bishops to Schema 13, which was the draft of the Council’s document on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes). Debates, amendments and voting in the Council chamber on its content seemed endless. This was because in discussion, the Council Fathers were grappling with a new world, an “atomic era”, from which the Church could not escape. This did not concern doctrine or internal discipline but how the Church could present itself to the contemporary world in a comprehensible and attractive manner. The South African bishops at first were uncertain whether the final document on the Church in the Modern World should be called a constitution, a declaration, a pastoral statement or a letter to the world. Eventually, they agreed on calling it a pastoral letter directed to the modern world, because this would imply some kind of response from the world. When it was promulgated by Paul VI on December 7, 1965, it was called a pastoral constitution. It is one of the masterpieces of the Council, arising from the experience of bishops faced with the signs of the times in relation to the way forward. No wonder it took years to thresh out. Vatican Council II closed in a splendid outdoor ceremony in St Peter’s square on December 8, 1965, the feast day of the Immaculate Conception. But the day before that, during the final session of bishops, a very moving moment took place. It took us all back to the Great Schism that began in 1054 when delegates from Rome and Constantinople excommunicated each other, resulting in the complete break between the Western and Eastern Church. But on this day in 1965, St Peter’s was treated to a magnificent procession of Greek Orthodox prelates, led by Metropolitan Meliton, representing Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople. After mutual expressions of reconciliation, the stand-off that had persisted for almost a millennium, was revoked. The excommunications were lifted and the two men embraced. The applause that followed was unforgettable. It was really a privilege to witness this striking historical milestone. n Michael Shackleton is a former editor of The Southern Cross, as was Cardinal McCann (twice).

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10

The Southern Cross, October 3 to October 9, 2012

COMMUNITY We apologise for delays in publishing photos. Please send your pictures to pics@scross.co.za

Pitter Patter Academy in Wychwood, Germiston, Wings of Hope Pre-School and Dominican Convent Pre-School in Belgravia, Johannesburg, held an arts and culture festival, which included individual and group poetry, dance and movement, choral verse and choir presentations.

Capetonians from various parishes went on pilgrimage to the basillica of Our Lady of Lichen in Poland. (From left) Ania Witaszek, Arek Witaszek, Gloria Brown of St Theresa's Welcome Estate, Bogdan Witaszek and Stepanie Johnson of St Catherine of Sienna, Kleinvlei, Danielle Witaszek, Jadek (their Polish driver) and Grazyna Witaszek.

21 candidates were confirmed at St Mary’s parish in Mamelodi West, Pretoria, by Archbishop William Slattery.

The Legion of Mary hosted its annual Day of Recollection at Our Lady Help of Christians in Lansdowne, Cape Town. Mass was celebrated by Fr Michael Clement SAC, spiritual director for the Legion in the archdiocese of Cape Town.

Fr John Pullokaren at the altar with some of the boys and girls who received their First Holy Communion at St Patrick’s church, East London.

Holy Family College in Durban celebrated a spring Mass. Pictured are Grade One and Two learners who participated in the Mass.

Our Lady of the Wayside church in Maryvale, Johannesurg, celebrated the patronal feast of South Africa with a solemn Mass and procession carrying a statue of Our Lady, led by parish priest Fr Simon Donnelly.

Youth at St Bendict’s cathedral in Eshowe received their First Holy Communion. Parish priest, Fr David Mthiyane, is pictured (back centre) with the children and their certificates.

The Catholic Womens League of the East London region held a morning of recollection at St Patrick’s church, East London. CWL regional president, Bernadette Quevauvilliers (centre), welcomed CWL members to the event.

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Fr Michael van Heerden, (right) president of St Augustine College, bids farewell to Dennis Seelen, an international Fidesco volunteer from Holland. He is seen receiving a plaque in recognition of the past two years that he was actively involved in refurbishing the Catholic university (as well as the Catholic Bible College) with his handyman and painting skills. Fidesco is an NGO for international solidarity.

Parishioners at St Mary Magdalene in Lentegeur, Mitchell’s Plain, were treated by the parish’s men’s ministry. Pictured is the men’s ministry with parish priest Fr Brandon West and Deacon Basil Sampson (right back).

Bishop Zithulele Patrick Mvemve of Klerksdorp celebrated the Mass of the Assumption of Our Lady at Holy Cross parish in Itsoseng, Pretoria. All members of Kemolo ya Maria from around the diocese were present.


The Southern Cross, October 3 to October 9, 2012

CLASSIFIEDS

Sr Emmanuel Nyeka HC

S

ISTER Cecilia Nokwayintombi Nyeka died on August 26, aged 63. She was born in Dordrecht in the Eastern Cape, the oldest daughter of a close-knit and devout Catholic family. At the age of 17, following a strong call from God, she entered the Holy Cross Sisters in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, and made her First Profession as Sr Emmanuel on July 16, 1973. She trained as a registered nurse at St Konrad’s Hospital, Taung, and did her midwifery course at Groote Schuur Hospital and later qualified with a BCur through UNISA. In November 1990, Sr Emmanuel was assigned to nurse in Holy Cross Home, Pretoria, which catered for elderly and frail Holy Cross Sisters, members of other religious congregations, priests and lay people of all denominations. She also took over the auxiliary nurse training that had been opened in 1984. Sr Emmanuel was a very devoted nurse who adhered to high standards for patient care and had a tender heart for anyone who was ill. In July 1996, she was appointed the first African matron of the Holy Cross Home. Under her leadership the process of integration and transformation continued. Outreach programmes, including a crèche and homebased care programme in an informal settlement were introduced. These evolved to include an orphans and vulnerable children programme and a drop-In centre for vulnerable children. In 2000, in response to a request from People Living With Aids (PLWA), a new unit was opened as a hospice for people dying from HIV/Aids. Sr Emmanuel helped to obtain funding for these additional services and projects and supervised them with the help of her staff. She also accessed funding so that promising staff members were periodically assisted to go for training upgrades. She herself

Liturgical Calendar Year B Weekdays Year 2

Sunday, October 7, 27th Sunday Genesis 2:18-24, Psalm 128:1-6, Hebrews 2:911, Mark 10:2-16 or 10:2-12 Monday, October 8, feria Galatians 1:6-12, Psalm 111:1-2, 7-10, Luke 10:25-37 Tuesday, October 9, St Denis Galatians 1:13-24, Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15, Luke 10:38-42 Wednesday, October 10, St Daniel Comboni Galatians 2:1-2, 7-14, Psalm 117:1-2, Luke 11:14 Thursday, October 11, feria Galatians 3:1-5, Luke 1:69-75, Luke 11:5-13 Friday, October 12, St Seraphin of Montegranaro Galatians 3:7-14, Psalm 111:1-6, Luke 11:15-26 Saturday, October 13, Memorial of the BVM Galatians 3:22-29, Psalm 105:2-7, Luke 11:2728 Sunday, October 14, 28th Sunday Wisdom 7:7-11, Psalm 90:12-17, Hebrews 4:1213, Mark 10:17-30 or 10:17-27

11

Births • First Communion • Confirmation • Engagement/Marriage • Wedding anniversary • Ordination jubilee • Congratulations • Deaths • In memoriam • Thanks • Prayers • Accommodation • Holiday Accommodation • Personal • Services • Employment • Property • Others Please include payment (R1,25 a word) with small advertisements for promptest publication. loved teaching the theory and practice of nursing and tutored the staff herself whenever possible. Sr Emmanuel was elected several times to the provincial council of her Holy Cross province and was also a delegate to the international general chapter in Switzerland. For the last seven years she served as assistant provincial. She was very involved in anything that concerned each Sister, each community and the province as a whole. She reflected on issues and gave her considered opinion in a forthright way. She was a woman of prayer and had a deep identity as a South African Catholic and as a Holy Cross sister. Sr Emmanuel was diagnosed with leukaemia in February. She died in Pretoria East Hospital in the presence of her brother, several Holy Cross sisters and Archbishop William Slattery of Pretoria. The funeral Mass was concelebrated on September 6 in Little Flower church at Lady Selborne by Archbishop Slattery, Archbishop Emeritus George Daniel, Bishop Sithembele Sipuka, Bishop Edward Risi OMI and 22 priests. Many officials, people she had assisted or worked with in the 21 years she had served in the Pretoria and Gauteng area, her family members, including her aged mother, relatives from the Eastern Cape and Cape Town and friends from different places came to pay their last respects. Sr Emmanuel was laid to rest in Zandfontein cemetery, Pretoria. Sr Maureen Rooney

Southern CrossWord solutions SOLUTIONS TO 518. ACROSS: 1 Pomp, 3 Prudence, 9 Tagless, 10 Tithe, 11 Ecclesiastic, 13 Cheats, 15 Stigma, 17 Pope Benedict, 20 Alive, 21 Britain, 22 Tunisian, 23 Used. DOWN: 1 Patience, 2 Magic, 4 Rustic, 5 Detest the sin, 6 Nothing, 7 Even, 8 Nevertheless, 12 Hastened, 14 Emotion, 16 Serbia, 18 Imams, 19 Past..

Word of the Week

MYSTAGOGY: A liturgical catechesis which aims to initiate people into the mystery of Christ. In a more specific sense, the catechetical period following immediately after the reception of baptism by adults (CCC 1075)

HOT POT PAINT AND HARDWARE PTY LTD

Pray that AFRICA may draw closer to the HEART OF CHRIST 2 Chron 7:14 Matthew 7:7-12

IN MEMORIAM

SATRAM—Tony. In loving memory of my husband and our dad who passed away on October 4, 2010. In our hearts, in our thoughts—forever part of our lives. We miss you more and more with each passing day. Rest in Peace. From your wife, Lorraine, children and grandchildren. VAN SCHOOR—Louis. Passed away peacefully on October 6, 1998. We hold you close within our hearts and there you will remain, to walk with us throughout our lives, until we meet again. Your wife Lorraine, children Kaylene, Ann, Laurence, Louis and Anthea, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Rest in peace.

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PRAYERS

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

man of Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor of all who invoke you, special patron in time of need. To you I have recourse from the depth of my heart and humbly beg you to come to my assistance. Help me now in my urgent need and grant my petitions. In return I promise to make your name known and publish this prayer. Pat. 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 where you are, Mother of God. Queen of heaven and earth I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to succour me in my necessity. There is none who can withstand your power, O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Holy Mary, I place this cause in your hands. Say this prayer for 3 consecutive days and then publish. PM.

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083 553 9856, vivilla@ telkomsa.net FISH HOEK: Self-catering accommodation, sleeps 4. Secure parking. Tel: 021 785 1247. GORDON’S BAY: Beautiful en-suite rooms available at reasonable rates. Magnificent views, breakfast on request. Tel: 082 774 7140. bzhive@ telkomsa.net KOLBE HOUSE is the Catholic Centre and residence for the University of Cape Town. Beautiful estate in Rondebosch near the university. From mid November, December and January, the students’ rooms are available for holiday guests. We offer self-catering accommodation, parking in secure premises. Short walks to shops, transport etc. Contact Jock 021 685 7370, fax 021 686 2342 or 082 308 0080 or kolbe.house@ telkomsa.net KNYSNA: Self-catering accommodation for 2 in Old Belvidere with wonderful lagoon views. 044 387 1052. LONDON, Protea House: Single per night R300, twin R480. Self-catering, busses and underground nearby. Phone Peter 0044 208 7484834. MARIANELLA: Guest House, Simon’s Town: “Come experience the peace and beauty of God with us.” Fully equipped with amazing sea views. Secure parking, ideal for rest and relaxation. Special rates for pensioners and clergy. Tel: Malcolm Salida 082 784 5675 or mjsalida@mweb.co.za MONTAGU: Victorian selfcatering cottage for families. Fully equipped 3 bedrooms, sleeps 5-7 people, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, TV lounge, braai patio with stunning views, garden for dogs and kiddies. Secure parking and central. Reasonable rates. Ph 074190 5634 gailellis@ telkomsa.net SEDGEFIELD: Beautiful self-catering garden flat sleeps four, two bedrooms, open-plan lounge, kitchen, fully equipped. 5min walk to lagoon. Contact 082 900 6282. STRAND: Beachfront flat to let. Stunning views, fully equipped. Garage, one bedroom, sleeps 3-4. R450 p/night for 2 peoplelow season. Phone Brenda 082 822 0607

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28th Sunday: October 14 Readings: Wisdom 7:7-11; Psalm 90:12-17; Hebrews 4:12-13; Mark 10:17-30

Filling the God-shaped hole within us

T

Nicholas King SJ

HE only thing that matters in life is the “God-shaped hole” that lies deep in our hearts. We are tempted to fill our longing for God with attractive-looking things, like pleasure or wealth or power; and none of them work. Perhaps next Sunday’s readings may help us to get it right. The first re ad in g is a reflection of Solomon, encouraging Greek-speaking Jews, who lived in the materialistic culture of Egypt in the centuries preceding the birth of Jesus, not to lose sight of their tradition’s values. The only thing that matters, says the Book of Wisdom, is “understanding”, the gift of not getting seduced by created things: “Understanding was given me...and a spirit of wisdom came to me; I placed her ahead of sceptres and thrones. And I thought of affluence as nothing in comparison with her.” Wisdom is contrasted with other allurements: gold is like sand, and silver like mud. The author puts “health and good looks” (and even “light”!) a long way below wisdom. And the result? “All good things come to me along

Sunday Reflections

with her, and wealth beyond computing in her hands.” The psalm shares the insight, asking the Lord to “teach us to count our days, and we shall gain a heart of wisdom”. All he wants is for the Lord to “fill us at dawn with your steadfast love, and we shall rejoice and exult all our days”. What he seeks is to glimpse what God is up to: “Show your servants your deeds, and your glory to their children.” For the psalmist, it is God alone who can make life worthwhile: “Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us: establish the works of our hands.” And this last petition seems so important that it is repeated. The second reading continues our expedi-

tion through the Letter to the Hebrews, and is alert to the [uncomfortable] presence of God: “For God’s word is living and effective, and sharper than any two-edged sword.” And he shares an experience that many men and women of prayer have had: “No created thing is invisible in God’s presence: everything is naked and with neck bared in his sight.” We shiver at this image of unprotectedness, and yet there is comfort in it. In next Sunday’s gospel, we meet a character who wants to hide from the “God-shaped hole”, and uses religion to do so (even religion can be a means of avoiding the demands of God). Jesus is “journeying out on the way” (and we should know that the “way” leads to the cross), when someone comes running up: “Good teacher—what am I to do in order that I might inherit eternal life?” Remarkably, it seems that “eternal life” is not what it is all about, but focusing on God and God’s demands. Jesus answers with a question: “Why call me good? No one is good except

How laughter can be a prayer W HEN I was a novice with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, our assistant novice director, a sincere but overly-stern man, cautioned us about too much levity in our lives by telling us that there is no recorded incident in scripture of Jesus ever laughing. I was a pious novice but, even then, that didn’t sit well with me. I combed the Gospels trying to prove him wrong, but found out that, technically, he is right. But is he? A couple of years later, during my seminary studies, I read a book by the sociologist Peter Berger entitled A Rumor of Angels,(1969 revised 1990) in which he tries to point to various places within our everyday experience where, he submits, we have intimations of the divine, rumours of angels, hints that ordinary experience contains more than just the ordinary, that God is there. One such experience, he suggests, is that of a mother comforting a frightened child at night, using soothing words and gestures to assure the child that he or she need not be afraid that everything is all right, the world is in order. In saying those words, if she means them—and normally she does— the mother is, in effect, implicitly praying the Creed. Another such intimation of the divine within ordinary experience, Berger suggests, is the phenomenon of laughter. In laughter, he submits, we

Conrad

Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI

Final Reflection

intuit our transcendence. Given that we are able to laugh in any situation shows that there is something in us that is above that situation, transcendent to it. In laughter, Berger believes, we have a rumour of angels. Fr Karl Rahner agrees, suggesting that laughter shows we are on good terms with reality and hence with God. Laughter praises God because it foretells our final state in heaven when we will be in an exuberance of joy. Commenting on the Beatitudes in Luke’s gospel where Jesus says, “Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you shall laugh”, Fr Rahner writes that what Jesus is saying suggests that the happiness of the final state will not just dry away our tears and bring us to peace, it will also bring us to laughter—“to an intoxication of joy”. Here are his words: “‘But you shall laugh.’ Thus it is written. And because God’s Word also has recourse to human words in order to express what shall one day be when all shall have been— that is why a mystery of eternity also lies hidden, but real, in everyday life; that is why the laughter of daily life

announces and shows that one is on good terms with reality, even in advance of all that all-powerful and eternal consent in which the saved will one day say their amen to everything that he has done and allowed to happen. “Laughter is praise of God because it foretells the eternal praise of God at the end of time, when those who must weep here on earth shall laugh.” But is this superficial? Human optimism substituting itself for hope? An upbeat-spirit masquerading as theology? The naive claim that if I am happy then God is on my side? Indeed, in the Gospel, where is there a recorded incident of Jesus laughing? Good scripture scholarship has long suggested that looking for an individual text to prove or disprove a certain point is not a good approach to scripture. The teachings of scripture are best gleaned by looking to scripture as a whole. And if we do that in this case, I believe, we will find that both Peter Berger and Karl Rahner are right. As Fr Rahner points out, Jesus himself teaches that laughter will be part of the final state in heaven. “You shall laugh!” But, beyond that, Jesus’ message as a whole invites us to joy, a joy that no one can take from us, and laughter is the exuberant expression of that joy. It is the height, the apex, the crowning jewel, of our final state in heaven. Hence, in laughter we do have a rumour of angels and we do intuit our transcendence. In laugher we do manifest that we are on good terms with reality, and on good terms with God. In laughter we affirm, loudly, joyously, and to the world, the great mantra of Julian of Norwich that, in the end, all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well—even though our world is not in that state today. My assistant novice director was a wonderful, sincere, gentle and overly serious man. Levity was not his thing and laughter was not his preferred method of implicitly praying the creed. He showed his deep faith in other ways, believing that laughter is not the only rumour of angels inside of ordinary life. But it is one of intimation of the divine within human life. Laughter, when it is healthy, when it is not forced or cynical, is, as Fr Rahner says, “an intoxication of joy”, the joy of our final state. Thus when we laugh we also pray the Creed.

One, namely God.” Having done that, he takes him through the commandments; but only those that relate to behaviour towards our fellows: no murder, no adultery, no theft, no perjury, nor fraud (not one of the Ten Commandments, but perhaps he needed to hear that one), and (oddly out of place) “honour your father and your mother”. Arrogantly, he claims to have “kept all these since I was a lad”, in response to which Jesus tells him to do the one thing he cannot do, “Off you go: whatever you have, sell it and give to the poor and then you’ll have treasure in heaven”. He goes away sulking, and Jesus astonishes the disciples by stressing the impossibility of rich people getting into heaven. He offers that alarming parable of the camel trying to get through the eye of a needle, just to remind us of the difficulty. Peter is startled into asking, “So what’s in it for us, then?” You might reflect on the answer he is given, and see whether it works for you.

Southern Crossword #518

ACROSS

1. Display with circumstance march (4) 3. Forethought expressed by crude pen (8) 9. Unlabelled teapot bag (7) 10. Church tax (5) 11. Member of the clergy (12) 13. Chaste way one is dishonest (6) 15. Mark of disgrace (6) 17. Today he is the sixteenth one (4,8) 20. Not dead yet (5) 21. Country known as great (7) 22. I unsaint person of this nationality (8) 23. Second-hand (4)

DOWN

1. Virtuous card game (8) 2. Magi came bearing a wonderful carpet (5) 4. The charm of the countryside (6) 5. Love the sinner but... (6,3,3) 6. From which God created (7) 7. Smooth and flat (4) 8. All the same, always a greater amount (12) 12. The dean’s turned and hurried (8) 14. Strong feeling of eastern movement (7) 16. Sir Abe in this country (6) 18. Muslim leaders (5) 19. Gone by in time (4) Solutions on page 11

CHURCH CHUCKLE

A

FTER dying in a car crash, three friends go to heaven for orientation. They are all asked: “When you are in your casket, friends and family mourning over you, what would you like to hear them say about you?” The first guy responds: “I would like to hear them say I was one of the great doctors of my time, and a great family man.” The second guy says: “I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher." The last guy thinks a minute and replies: “I'd like to hear them say...Look, he’s moving!” Send us your favourite Catholic joke, preferably clean and brief, to The Southern Cross, Church Chuckle, PO Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000.

The Southern Cross - 121003  

3 October - 9 October, 2012

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