January 9 to January 15, 2013
What we can expect from pope’s 2013
Why men must embrace their chosen life
Book reviews on Hurley and Pope Pius XII
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Archbishop on how to be a good Catholic STAFF REPORTER
T A child walks below a large painting of Christ during Mass at a church near Taiyuan, China. (Photo: Jason Lee, Reuters/CNS)
Businessman offers donation of Our Lady of Fatima statues STAFF REPORTER
PORTUGUESE Catholic is making an offer to donate 12 statues of Our Lady of Fatima to churches in Southern Africa. The retired businessman, who previously lived in South Africa and prefers to remain anonymous, said his offer is intended to foster devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and to the rosary. “On May 13, 1917, Our Lady in the first apparition at Fatima asked us to recite the rosary daily. So in order to bring about Our Lady’s wish I will donate 12 statues to churches that apply in South Africa and also in neighbouring countries,” the donor said. He said that the offer comes with two requests. Firstly, he asks that the parish as a community recites the rosary once a month, particularly during the period from May 12/13 through to October. This, he said, would bring Southern African parishes in line with the rest of the Catholic Church. Secondly, the donated statue must be placed at an altar in the main church or in a side chapel or shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima. The statues measures about a metre in height. Parishes in Cape Town will be able to make arrangements to collect the statues. Statues can be delivered to parishes outside Cape Town by Advance Transport. The donor said that applications for the donations must be made by the parish priest via e-mail. He will then select the successful
parishes at his discretion. Applications should be received by February 1. Applications can be made by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
O deepen their faith, Catholics must make the Scripture the subject of their reflection and sharing, make Sunday truly the Lord’s Day and give time to make their parishes “homes where all experience belonging, profound unity and warm hospitality”, according to the archbishop of Pretoria. In a message to his diocese, Archbishop William Slattery outlined how Catholics should experience the Year of Faith, which was launched in October and will run until the last Sunday of November. Noting that he had witnessed “faith, generosity and love of God” in the Pretoria parishes he had visited in the past year, Archbishop Slattery encouraged Catholics “to make 2013 a Year of Faith and a special occasion of sensitivity to God”. He said there will be many events in 2013, at archdiocesan and parish levels, “to encourage us to know our faith, to be proud of it and to experience it together”. These events include monthly lectures on the meaning and history of the Catholic faith, to be held at Sacred Heart cathedral on weekday evenings. Santa Sophia in Waterkloof will be set aside as a church of prayer and host monthly days of prayer and recollection, with the opportunity for confession, adoration and spiritual conferences. The dates for both initiatives are still to be announced. Archbishop Slattery emphasised the importance of the parish in Catholic life. “The parish is the primary presence of the Church in neighbourhoods, the place and instrument of Christian life, which is able to offer opportunities for dialogue among Christians, for listening, and announcing the Word of God, for organic catechesis, for training in charity, for prayer, adoration and joyous eucharistic celebrations,” he said. The archbishop warned against division in the parish, saying that when disputes arise, these must be addressed through existing protocols, instead of “running to the media [which] creates scandal within and without the community,” he said. “Let our parishes be living cells, places to promote personal and communitarian encounters with Christ, places to experi-
Archbishop William Slattery during the opening of the Year of Faith in the archdiocese of Pretoria at Pilditch Stadium in November. (Photo: Mathibela Sebothoma) ence the richness of liturgy, to give initial and permanent Christian formation, and to educate all the faithful and priests in fraternity and charity especially towards the poor,” the archbishop said. He also expressed his gratitude to the archdiocese’s priests “for their generous service and zeal”. “All priests must experience that unity we share in the Priesthood of Christ. All priests, diocesan and religious and no matter where they originate, are equal priests of God and equally important here.” At present, some 14 young men are studying for the priesthood for the Pretoria archdiocese, the archbishop noted. Archbishop Slattery also commended the archdiocese’s permanent deacons for “their love for the Church, their closeness to the people and their helpfulness at important moments in the history of individuals and families”. He also praised laity who are involved Continued on page 3
Co-founder of Little Eden Home dies at 91 STAFF REPORTER
T Domitilla and Danny Hyams, founders of Little Eden Home in Johannesburg. Mrs Hyams died in January 2011; Mr Hyams followed his wife of 63 years on December 28.
HE co-founder of Johannesburg’s Little Eden Society for children with intellectual disability died on December 28 at the of 91. Danny Hyams founded Little Eden in 1967 with his wife Domitilla Rota Hyams, who died in January 2011. They were married for 63 years. A successful chartered accountant in the corporate
world, Mr Hyams was active in the local community. He was very involved in St Thérèse parish in Edenvale and also served on the Community Chest and the board of trustees of the Holy Rosary School. He was the honorary treasurer of the South African National Council for Mental Health from 1969 for over 25 years and served the council as president from 1980-82. After his retirement from
corporate life, he worked as the accountant for the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference for 16 years. Mr Hyams was the chairman of the board of governors of the Little Eden Society from 1967 to 1974 and served on the board from its initiation until recently. In 2003, Mr Hyams was presented with the papal Bene Merenti medal, one of the highest papal awards which
can be bestowed on a lay person in recognition of a parishioner’s dedication, service and work for the Church and the community. Mr Hyams is survived by six children, 21 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. His funeral was scheduled to take place on January 7 at St Thérèse church. Donations in lieu of flowers could be made to the Little Eden Society (011 609-7246).
The Southern Cross, January 9 to January 15, 2013
Hurley fêted by province
N his State of the Province address for 2012, KwaZuluNatal’s premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said that high on the province’s priorities for this year would be the erection of statues of “liberation struggle heroes”. He went on to list Archbishop Denis Hurley, among others. This will be the second statue of the archbishop in the province, the first being a statue commissioned by the Denis Hurley Centre Project and intended to be the focal point of the new centre to be erected in 2013. It shows the archbishop in his episcopal vestments, holding in one hand the decrees of the Second Vatican Council. It was largely paid for by the archdiocesan Sacred Heart Sodality (Inhliziyo), and will be unveiled during the
Hurley Weekend on February 9-10. The statue, commissioned by Dr Mkhize, will be donated to the KwaThintwa school for the Deaf at Inchanga founded by Archbishop Hurley after he met a profoundly deaf child in Bergville. This little boy kept tugging at the archbishop’s cassock, smiling broadly but unable to say anything or to hear what the archbishop was saying to him. The name KwaThintwa means “the place of being touched”. It will be erected in a prominent place at the school where the 800 pupils of the school mill around during breaks. The design of the statue is based on the accompanying photograph of the archbishop cutting a birthday cake, surrounded by pupils of KwaThintwa.
How to be good Catholics
Archbisop Denis Hurley cuts a birthday cake with pupils at KwaThintwa school for the deaf.
Continued from page 1 in parish ministries and sodalities, acknowledging especially catechists who, he said, “prolong the ministry of Jesus himself and carry forward the transmission of our faith”. “Every Saturday and Sunday I am overjoyed to see so many marvellous young people in Church, being confirmed, participating, singing, and living out their faith,” Archbishop Slattery said. An important part of the archdiocese’s evangelisation efforts is played by religious and secular institutes which “by their witness of a life which manifests the primacy of God and service of human life is a powerful proclamation for the Kingdom of God”.
St Peter’s in Kroonstad diocese blessed B DAMAziO NgOMA OP
Bishop Peter Holiday of the diocese of Kroonstad blessed St Peter’s church during Mass and dedicated it to apostle Peter.
ISHOP Peter Holiday of Kroonstad blessed St Peter the Apostle Catholic parish and dedicated it to Peter as the patron saint of the parish. The parish is in Nyakallong, with many of the residents working in the mining industry in Welkom. St Peter’s is one of the major religious institutions in the area that renders spiritual and certain basic social needs to the people. Parish priest Fr Thomas Chuma OP had a unique insight and vision for developing his parish: to build and renovate existing structures left unattended for years. To this effect, Fr Chuma, in conjunction with the
bishop of the diocese, embarked on a fundraising project locally and internationally in order to meet the financial requirements of the project. The local community used their skills in the construction work. They worked tirelessly knowing that this project was intended to help and develop their own community. Many people of goodwill contributed. The parish grounds were rehabilitated and the church hall was constructed, with three spacious rooms inside which can be used for various functions. After the completion of the project, Bishop Holiday officiated at a High Mass concelebrated by Fr Chuma, Fr Michael Rasello and Fr Hlomola Modise.
Special thanks was given to Fr Chuma, the parish financial council, all donors and the entire community who had invested their skills and time in the project. Finally, the community thanked almighty God for the many blessings they had received in the year. In view of the local bishop’s pastoral priority being “the family”, St Peter the Apostle started on the right footing addressing this issue seriously as it is one of the parishes confronted with a decline in parishioners due to the closure of mines in the area. In this regard, the “family” is the right forum to start with evangelisation—other people ought to feel touched witnessing Catholic Christians.
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The Southern Cross, January 9 to January 15, 2013
Closing the gap at Mmakau
M (From left) Sr Raphael Sakala of Christ the New Man church with students Masixole Mapasa, Daniel Mokhine and Mishack Mongwe.
A time to celebrate BY CLAiRE MATHiESON
tre has also been running a catering course. Mmakau is very excited that a relationship has been established with Peter van Aswegen, the catering manager of Netcare in Arcadia, Pretoria, as well as with Sr Raphael of Christ the New Man church in Garankuwa, Zone three. Both have agreed to offer learners “on the job experience” at their sites, which has been a missing component of the course. Learners from the two catering classes spent
one week at the two sites. While lessons in class impart skills to learners, hands-on training at the workplace is of paramount importance, as it exposes learners to the real environment in which they will work. The centre is very happy to report that one of its former learners has been employed by Netcare as a full-time employee. Sr Dorothea Lombaard, the catering course facilitator, said she
130 years of service BY CLAiRE MATHiESON
HE Schoenstatt sisters, with more than 250 people, gathered around the Schoenstatt Shrine at Villa Maria in Tamboerskloof, Cape Town, to celebrate its diamond jubilee. The shrine was built at the request of Fr Kentenich, the founder of Schoenstatt, who visited Cape Town in 1948. On October 18, 1952, Cardinal Owen McCann, then archbishop of Cape Town, officiated at the blessing and opening of the shrine. Six decades later, Archbishop Stephen Brislin, Archbishop Emeritus Lawrence Henry, Fr Rohan Smuts and Fr Peter-John Pearson concelebrated the jubilee Mass outside the shrine. “It was a family gathering of Schoenstatt members, friends, parishioners and pilgrims, some of whom have a weekly adoration hour in the shrine,” said Sr Kirchhoffer. In his homily, Fr Pearson likened the shrine to a sacred space in the midst of the city, offering new inspiration and a resurgence of hope especially during the Year of Faith. Various symbols were brought forward during the offertory procession. Besides the bread and wine, there was a slate from the roof of the original shrine in Germany, a wooden plaque of the praying hands to symbolise the adoration hours spent in the shrine, an image of the Pilgrim Mother which travels from hometo-home and big photos of the shrine on which the outline of the
MAKAU Adult Education Centre/Mmashiko Community Projects is based in De Wildt, North West Province. The following courses are currently being offered at the centre: ABET levels 1–4, construction, leatherwork, sewing, fast food and catering, confectionery and bread, cane and furniture manufacturing and end-user computing (basic, intermediate and advanced). For the past two years the cen-
The Schoenstatt shrine at Villa Maria celebrated its diamond jubilee. number 60 had been superimposed. Sr Kirchhoffer said people had prepared for the day by filling in the 60 with colourful thumbtacks, representing their acts of faith and thanksgiving, or prayers offered for others in the shrine. The “cost” of each thumbtack was a decade of the rosary. Before the final blessing, 88year old Miss Sheila Mullany, a member of the Schoenstatt Women’s League, presented a lively account of the early days of Schoenstatt at Villa Maria. At the time, she was part of a group which made many spiritual and practical efforts to prepare for the building of the shrine. Her comment: “Of course, the tennis court had to go!” raised a hearty laugh, said Sr Kirchhoffer.
APE Town’s Nazareth House became well known for its response to the Aids crisis in the 1990s. While this care is still present, the home should also be known for the service it offers the most vulnerable and needy in society today and over the past 130 years, continually changing to meet the needs of the community. “130 years after being established in Cape Town, Nazareth House is still caring for the elderly, orphaned, abandoned, destitute, incurable, aged and poor,” said the home’s general manager, Rosie Whittaker. Nazareth House is one of the few hospice environments for special needs children, with severe physical and mental disabilities. St Michael’s Care Unit is currently home to 11 children all of whom require 24hour care. Ons Tuis is another unit of Nazareth House. These children are more able, but still need fulltime nursing. “We bring dignity to these children and provide love in their lives,” said Ms Whittaker. Sr Margaret Craig added that the environment is “homely and holistic” as the sisters try to ensure Nazareth House does not have a clinical feel, despite being a place of high-end medical care. Sr Craig also heads the emergency place of safety that Nazareth offers. Known as Khuseleka (“we ask to be protected”), the cottage houses 24 children. From victims of domestic violence to dustbin babies
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Nazareth House in Cape Town has provided for the needy for 130 years. and lost children, Sr Craig’s cellphone is on 24 hours a day. “Sometimes the parents are arrested and the child needs a place to go, sometimes the child stays for months,” she said, adding that she works closely with local welfare organisations, police and social workers. Sr Craig said the home focuses on the child’s needs first and foremost and will work hard to put the child in the care of family. When there is no family, Nazareth House will provide the love and care needed, she told The Southern Cross. Nazareth House receives children from a range of backgrounds. “Every child is different. Every child receives an assessment and we look into how we can best provide for them.” Sometimes, this care
includes host, foster and adoption services. But the home is not only focused on children. It is also a sanctuary for the elderly. 42 residents, ranging from the very poor to very wealthy, call Nazareth House home. A frail care and retirement home is offered at Cape Town and Elsies River. Nazareth House is an interfaith community which does not discriminate, but the home is steeped in the Catholic ethos, something which the six sisters keep alive through their service. “We continually adjust to the needs of our communities,” said Ms Whittaker. “We always want to give back to the community, just as we were called to do 130 years ago.”
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The Southern Cross, January 9 to January 15, 2013
Eight events to look out for in Pope Benedict’s 2013 BY FRANCiS X ROCCA
ORTUNETELLING, like all occult practices, is strictly taboo at the Vatican; and prophecy is a rare gift among journalists. But Pope Benedict’s calendar for 2013 is already filling up with planned, probable or possible events. Here are some to watch for in the news during the coming year. Italian elections: When Italians go to the polls on February 24, the big story for most foreign observers will be the fate of a comeback attempt by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. For the pope and other Italian bishops, a prime concern will be whether voters instead elect a centre-left majority that could bring Italy into sync with other major Western European countries—and out of line with Catholic moral teaching—on such issues as in vitro fertilisation and legally recognised unions of same-sex partners. New Encyclical: Pope Benedict’s fourth encyclical will be released in the first half of next year, according to Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman. Treating the subject of faith, the encyclical will complete a trilogy on the three “theological virtues”; the previous installments were Deus Caritas Est (2005) on charity, and Spe Salvi (2007) on hope. Worldwide solemn eucharistic adoration: On the feast of Corpus Christi, June 2, Pope Benedict will lead an hour of eucharistic adoration to be observed simultaneously around the world, highlighting a tradi-
tional devotion that fell largely out of use in the decades after the Second Vatican Council, but which has lately grown more popular with the pope’s personal encouragement. This promises to be one of the most visually impressive of many events scheduled for the Year of Faith. New charter for health care workers: The Vatican plans to publish an updated version of its 1995 guidelines for Catholic hospitals, taking into account nearly two decades of technological developments and political trends in areas including abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research and human cloning. The document, whose target release date is in June, will reflect Catholic moral teaching on biomedical issues and Catholic social teaching on the equitable and effective provision of health care. World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro: Hundreds of thousands of young Catholics are expected to gather in Rio in July for a week of events whose highlight will be the presence of the pope, encouraging them to cultivate their faith and religious identity. This will be Pope Benedict’s second trip to Brazil, the country with the world’s largest Catholic population, where he is also likely to address problems of inequality in a developing economy, as well as the need for good government and civil peace in Latin America as a whole. New Secretary of State? Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has served as Pope Benedict’s top aide since 2006. Some commentators, especially in the Italian press, have
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accused him of neglecting necessary administrative reforms and blamed him for mismanagement documented in the so-called “VatiLeaks” of confidential correspondence. Pope Benedict reaffirmed his confidence in his long-time collaborator last July, but the cardinal is already three years past the standard retirement age of 75, so he could well leave the stage this year. His replacement would likely be another Italian, perhaps Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, currently prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. New cardinals? The number of cardinals under the age of 80, the only ones eligible to vote for the next pope, will be down to no more than 110 by October 19. Pope Benedict could choose to boost their number to the legal limit of 120 by calling a consistory on the day before the feast of Christ the King (this year on November 24), a traditional occasion for the creation of cardinals and the last day of the Year of Faith. Likely additions to the College of Cardinals include Archbishop Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, England. Anniversary of the Edict of Milan: 2013 is the 1 700th anniversary of the Roman Empire’s legal toleration of Christianity, a watershed moment in the history of the Church. Hopes have dimmed that Pope Benedict and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow might jointly commemorate the occa-
Pope Benedict arrives for a Taizé prayer service with young people in St Peter's Square at the Vatican on December 29. The pope’s 2013 will see the release of his third encyclical, a worldwide eucharistic adoration, a trip to World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro and more. (CNS photo /Paul Haring) sion at the Serbian birthplace of the Emperor Constantine I, who promulgated the edict. But the pope is almost certain to mark the anniversary in some
way, perhaps taking the opportunity to highlight one of his primary concerns, threats to religious liberty around the world today.—CNS
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The Southern Cross, January 9 to January 15, 2013
Catholic helps women get New system to suck education to beat poverty tourist muck out of BY JAMES MARTONE
the Sistine Chapel
HEN she heard from the village chief that a 14year-old girl was being forced to leave school and marry, Senegalese aid worker Constance Mbaye could think of only one thing to do. “I gave the chief my telephone number and address and told him to tell the girl that if she could escape and make it to the city, I would take care of her,” said Ms Mbaye, a Catholic who once thought she wanted to be a nun. She said the girl, Idiatou, fled her tiny village the same evening, walked 8km in the dark through forests and fields to the nearest road, then hitched a ride to Tambacounda, where she showed up in front of Ms Mbaye’s house the next morning. The event in 2007 marked the beginning of Femmes Entr’Aide, the charity Mbaye founded to help Idiatou and others like her study amid great obstacles in rural Senegal, where a 2012 UNESCO report shows 94% of women ages 15-24 have less than a lower secondary education. “They get married early, or their parents don’t have the means to pay for school, or it is far and they can’t get there,” Ms Mbaye said. “I grew up in the [Catholic] Church and learned to help others when I can,” said Ms Mbaye. “I consider that my efforts to educate young women are part of what Jesus meant when he told us to love each other.” This lack of educated young women in Senegal contributes to the country’s lack of development, said Ms Mbaye, who has worked for nearly 30 years on various aid projects across this West African nation of 13 million people. “Yes, we can teach older illiterate women to read and write, but often they don’t have the time and are too busy with chores to go to classes. So I understood long ago that we have to start early and at the basic level,” said Mbaye. “So it is imperative to get families to send their girls to school.” After Idiatou showed up at her house, Mbaye said she sought and received money from French and American donors to start her charity and build a hostel in Tambacounda for young women from Senegal’s rural villages.
n the countryside, a combination of poverty, illiteracy, traditions and absence of secondary schools keeps girls homebound to work and wed—sometimes at as early as age 11—despite Senegalese law that states the minimum marriage age is 20 for males and 16 for females. “One time there was an 11-yearold girl that was engaged to be married,” Ms Mbaye recalled, “and I complained to the village chief, who told me, ‘You want every girl
BY CAROL gLATz
Senegalese aid worker Constance Mbaye sits with children in the village of Dialamakhan, Senegal. Ms Mbaye, a Catholic, works to help rural women get an education. (Photo: James Martone, CNS) in the village to go to school? Take half, but leave half’.” Ms Mbaye said the safe and freeof-charge hostel encourages parents to let their young women leave their villages to study in Tambacounda’s public schools, as does the stipend that covers school materials and daily meals. Since opening its doors in 2008, Femmes Entr’Aide —French for “Women Aiding Each Other”—has helped 552 young women attend classes beyond the elementary level. Ms Mbaye spoke of a shortage of funds, noting that a recently fired employee was in jail for swindling thousands in hostel funds. “We have had to cut back on cooks and cleaners, and the amount of the stipend has decreased. We are looking at ways of making the hostel more sustainable,” she said. When not at school or studying, the young women take turns cooking and cleaning, and there are plans to build a reservoir to save on water bills, as well as plans for a boutique to sell soap the women will make to help defray costs. Ms Mbaye said that of the 131 students now living in the hostel, 35 are young men residing in a separate wing, and 59 male students have received assistance from her organisation since 2010. “Villagers get afraid [of educating their young women] and ask, ‘If we send the girls what will happen to the boys? Who will they find to marry?’ I say let’s send everyone to school,” said Ms Mbaye. She said her organisation recently used funding from the Catholic charity Caritas in the diocese of St Polten, Austria, to construct classrooms for both young men and women in Thies, her hometown.
Michelangelo’s depiction of the “Last Judgment” adorns the wall behind the altar of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. in an effort to protect the famed frescoes in the chapel, the Vatican Museums will be installing a new ventilation system to suck out the dust, dirt and humidity. (Photo: L'Osservatore Romano via CNS)
he said her paying job as a coordinator for a government rural energy project means she is often theological-cultural [game of] chain the field in remote parts of the rades where it is difficult to guess at country, giving her vital access to first glance,” he said. village parents and the opportunity A virtual tour beforehand would to advocate for their children’s eduhelp the 20 000 visitors a day cation. “understand the frescoed scenes— “I don’t tell [parents] they are to place them in time, history and wrong; this is not my approach. I the doctrine that gave them expresexplain to them the negative consesion and meaning”, he said. quences of not sending their young Mr Paolucci lamented the lack of to school and the effects this will an educational experience in have in the future” such as today’s museums because learning increased illiteracy and poverty, Ms Mbaye said. “evokes fatigue and study”. Idiatou, the catalyst behind “Ours is an era of fun, time off Femmes Entr’Aide, is now 18. and amusement; museums have At the time of her escape, Ms fallen for the mistaken idea that Mbaye insisted on meeting the people can understand by being girl’s illiterate parents to convince entertained,” he said. them they’d be better off with a “But without engagement, withdaughter who was educated. The out effort, it’s useless to tackle this parents consented, but married forest of figures we call a museum. Idiatou to a neighbour’s son on People leave exactly as they the second day of her first school entered—without any cultural break, when she was home for a enrichment,” Mr Paolucci said.— visit. CNS “Then I went back to the village and convinced the husband to allow his new wife to continue her studies CATHOLIC BIBLE FOUNDATION of SA BOARD in Tambacounda,” said Ms Mbaye. “He was emigrating and I explained how useful it would be if his wife was educated in order to look after the Board invites applications from suitably qualiﬁed and experienced their future children’s health individuals for the position of Director of catholic Bible Foundation of SA. and read important notices” while he was away, Ms the successful candidate will have the following key qualities: Mbaye explained. • Be a practising Catholic Soon after the wedding, • Have a deep love for the Scriptures the husband left for Spain • Have done at least one year of intensive Scripture Study and has not returned. • Have an appreciation of the new methods of presentation in the Idiatou, in the meantime, Biblical Pastoral apostolate has finished high school in Tambacounda and is now in • Have the ability to design and develop Scriptural programmes for all her second year of studies at levels: children, teenagers and adults a nursing college.—CNS • Teaching experience of at least ﬁve years
ST. KIZITO CHILDREN’S PROGRAMME St. Kizito Children’s Programme (SKCP) is a community-based response to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children, established through the Good Hope Development Fund in 2004 in response to the Church’s call to reach out to those in need. Operating as a movement within the Archdiocese of Cape Town, SKCP empowers volunteers from the target communities to respond to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) living in their areas. The SKCP volunteers belong to Parish Groups that are established at Parishes in target communities. Through the St. Kizito Movement, the physical, intellectual, emotional and psycho-social needs of OVCs are met in an holistic way. Parish Groups provide children and families with a variety of essential services, while the SKCP office provides the groups with comprehensive training and on-going support. In order to continue its work, SKCP requires on-going support from generous donors. Funds are needed to cover costs such as volunteer training and support, emergency relief, school uniforms and children’s excursions. Grants and donations of any size are always appreciated. We are also grateful to receive donations of toys, clothes and blankets that can be distributed to needy children and families.
if you would like to find out more about St. Kizito Children’s Programme, or if you would like to make a donation, please contact Shirley Dunn on (021) 782 2792 Email email@example.com. Donations can also be deposited into our bank account: ABSA Branch: Claremont, 632005; Account Name: good Hope Development Fund; Account Number: 4059820320 This advertisement has been kindly sponsored
N an effort to protect Michelangelo’s famed frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums will be installing a new ventilation system to suck the dust, dirt and humidity from visitors. With 5 million tourists pushing through the turnstiles each year, all that traffic is taking its toll as “dust, temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide are the great enemies of paintings”, said Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums. To lighten the heavy human footprint, the museums are installing a 100 metre long carpet leading to the chapel’s entrance to clean off people’s shoes, he told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. Suction vents will line the same path to vacuum hair, dust and other particles off visitors before they head into the chapel, and a new climate control system will lower temperatures “to remove heat and humidity from people’s bodies”. he said. Mr Paolucci has said reducing the impact by limiting the number of visitors was “unthinkable”. The construction of the new dirt-and grime-prevention system has “made a lot of headway,” and Mr Paolucci said he hoped it would be fully operational before the end of 2013. The museums’ director also wants to sweep away visitors’ ignorance about the cultural, historical and theological significance of the Renaissance master’s frescoes by offering an instructional preview virtual tour beforehand. Though it’s only in the brainstorm-stage, Mr Paolucci said the idea would be to build a pavilion where visitors could sit, watch large close-ups of the ceiling’s images and listen to an explanation of the artwork. “One who enters the Sistine Chapel, in reality, enters a huge
• Be a skilled and dynamic presenter • Possess the necessary managerial experience (minimum ﬁve years) • Have experience in ﬁnancial controls • Ability to fund raise Practical Requirements: • A driver’s licence – must be able and willing to travel all over the country • Computer skills • Good oral and written English communication skills • Knowledge of an indigenous language is an advantage • Essential to the post is the availability to work in the evenings and over the weekends • Be able to commence duties on 1 July 2013 Applicants should submit: • Curriculum Vitae (please limit to two pages) • A letter of recommendation from your Parish Priest • Names, addresses and contact telephone numbers of three referees
Applications should be mailed to: catholic Bible Foundation of SA Board of governors P.O. Box 1233 Rosettenville 2130 Or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Closing date for applications: 15 February 2013
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The Southern Cross, January 9 to January 15, 2013
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Editor: Günther Simmermacher
On men and women
N obscure Italian priest recently caused international headlines—and a repudiating response from the Vatican—when he attributed the abuse of women to their self-sufficiency, the way they dress, poor housekeeping and so on. Fr Perio Corsi of San Terenzo made his comment in the face of rising figures in domestic abuse in Europe. Last year the United Nations Human Rights Council urged Italy and other countries to take action against domestic abuse. The Vatican responded swiftly. “There is widespread, often dramatic violence against women and you cannot think at all that it’s the fault of women themselves,” Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Family, told Vatican Radio. In South Africa we are familiar with entrenched abuse of and discrimination against women. Sexual violence pervades our society, and the Traditional Courts Bill threatens to compromise the rights of women. A view has taken hold, one on which Fr Corsi’s comments feed, that some men are driven to violence because they feel emasculated by the greater rights and protection given to women, and by women insisting on and exercising their liberty. It may well be that this is so— even if one disregards a much longer history of violent subjugation of women—but the answer does not reside in blaming women’s rights for this. What needs to be addressed is the false expectation that men should dominate women. Pope John Paul II was a fierce critic of gender discrimination. In his letter to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 he even apologised for all that Catholics had done to perpetuate that injustice. In his letter, he noted: “Unfortunately, we are heirs to a history which has conditioned us to a remarkable extent. In every time and place, this conditioning has been an obstacle to the progress of women. “Women’s dignity has often been unacknowledged and their prerogatives misrepresented; they have often been relegated to the margins of society and even reduced to servitude. “This has prevented women from truly being themselves and it has resulted in a spiritual
impoverishment of humanity.” Pope John Paul continued: “There is an urgent need to achieve real equality in every area: equal pay for equal work, protection for working mothers, fairness in career advancements, equality of spouses with regard to family rights and the recognition of everything that is part of the rights and duties of citizens in a democratic state. This is a matter of justice but also of necessity.” And on sexual violence, the pope wrote: “The time has come to condemn vigorously the types of sexual violence which frequently have women for their object and to pass laws which effectively defend them from such violence.” Issues of domestic and sexual violence against women, or their continued discrimination, therefore are addressed not only by calling on men who engage in such behaviour to modify their views and behaviour. Men will have to relinquish their monopoly of social domination to coexist as social equals. It is here where social guidance is necessary. Religious bodies that subscribe to the philosophy of gender complementarity—the idea that men and women are different but equal— have a crucial role to play in this. Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, in his Southern Cross columns over the past few months, has stated the case for a ministry directed specifically at men. Such a ministry would serve to help men adapt to new social realities, not to react against them. The cardinal sees such a ministry, rooted firmly in the Gospel, as “a space where they can help each other to understand what has happened to them, what they can and must do to rediscover meaning and purpose in life”. Such a ministry will also need to address appropriate responses to perceived provocation. There never is a reason to assault a woman for exercising her rights, for expressing her views (regardless of the manner in which she might do so), for failing to perform domestic chores, for being sexually unavailable or for the way she dresses. Let the words of Nelson Mandela be imprinted on our collective mind: “For every woman and girl violently attacked, we reduce our humanity.”
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.
Guide to good preaching Code: Practical applications for OUR editorial on the subject of Y preaching (November 21) is my life or code of conduct. Cult: How these teachings stimuhighly appreciated if it leads preachers to better prepare their homilies. My very personal response and advice: the normal attention span is about ten minutes; anything over that is wasted, and threatens to spoil even the first ten minutes of attention. Also, a clear and distinctive delivery is essential. I find it practical to keep in mind what I call “the three Cs” in my reflection on the Sunday texts. Creed: What the texts teach me to illuminate my understanding of God.
OUR correspondent Rino Nicky (December 12) considers Latin to be a dead language unworthy of a place in the Church. The beauty of Latin aside, the fact that it is no longer the language of any specific country makes it a neutral binding force in the Church. Unfortunately liturgical or ecclesiastical Latin is a corruption of the Latin spoken by the Romans as well as St Peter when conversing with the authorities in the Holy Land or later as bishop of Rome. Italian plays a large part in this corruption but poor education over the centuries has altered the spelling of many words. Even in the Our Father we have “sicut et nos demittimus debitoribus nostris” when ut should have been used (“the same as” or “the same that” rather than “the same and”) as in “domine non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meam”. Poor pronunciation has resulted in the majority of people singing “Gloria in exselis Deo” or “Gloria in exchelsis Deo” when the letter C in Latin is pronounced only as a K to give “Gloria in exkelsis Deo”. There being no W in Latin, the letter V is pronounced as a W as in “adweniat regnum tuum”, “fiat woluntas tua”, “Awe Maria”, “benedictus fructus wentris tui Jesu”. Latin is hardly a dead language; in the US alone there is a large and growing number of Latin lovers. Without a knowledge of Latin, an English-speaker is verbally poorer. Anthony Caenazzo, Johannesburg
T Malachy was born in Armagh, Ireland, in 1094, consecrated a bishop in 1124 and became primate of Armagh in 1132. He was credited with the gift of prophecy, having had visions of all the popes (each with a short decriptive Latin identificcation) “till the end of the world”, during a visit to Rome between 1139 and 1140.
late and direct my participation in the Eucharistic celebration that follows. In fact, homilies are part of the liturgy and should always be felt as such. The Church has chosen the readings, the antiphons and the prayers to present a cogent message revolving around one or two themes, which are supposed to stimulate reflection, to inspire participation in the Eucharistic celebration, and to serve as an inspiration, mode of life and prayer for the entire week. He committed the visions to paper and gave the manuscript to Pope Innocent II who placed the list in the archives where they remained puplicly unknown until 1559. Visitors to Rome’s basilica of St Paul’s will know that there are medallions on the wall of all the popes, including Malachy’s list of 112 popes from Innocent III (1198 to 1215), with Malachy’s Latin inscription for each up to and including our present Pope Benedict XVI. There is one remaining space to be filled, that of Petrus Romanus (Peter the Roman) who, according to St Malachy, “in the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church will feed his flock among many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people”. These messages are a clarification of what Our Lady has warned us in recent reported apparitions. God is also unsealing passages of the prophet Daniel and the Book of Revelation, which are to be kept sealed till the times of the end (see Rev 22:10). John Lee, Johannesburg
Abortion and the Constitution
HE Choice in Termination of Pregnancy Act could not have been passed by our parliament if it had contravened the provision of our Constitution, which is paramount. In this regard attention is drawn to the following. Our country’s Constitution, despite its otherwise excellent qualiOpinions 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.
To fully understand the Bible message the preacher must consult reliable commentaries, dictionaries of theology and published homilies. Many priests give the impression that their biblical learning stopped with their last seminary exam. The application to daily life must originate from personal reflection on the practical needs of the congregation. The application to the Eucharistic celebration—an element which I find sorely lacking in most homilies—originates from the preacher’s personal faith in what he is doing and in his understanding of the needs of his community in the light of the biblical message. Rino Nicky, Hilton, KZN ties, is one of those most favourable to abortion in the world. During 1996 the Constitutional Court requested those opposed to the new Constitution to lodge their objections with the court before it certified that the said Constitution could become law. The Pro-Life organisation under the leadership of president Dr Claude Newbury accordingly briefed expert counsel, Advocate Johan van der Vyver, and lodged with the court an objection to the new Constitution on the grounds that portions thereof would clearly permit the future legislation of abortion on demand. Pro-Life was in fact the only organisation in the country to lodge an objection of this nature. The Pro-Life objection was, however, rejected by the Constitutional Court, the new Constitution was then declared law, and as predicted by Pro-Life the subsequent passage through parliament led to legalised abortion on demand. Had the objection succeeded, the abortion law could not at any stage have been promulgated. The right to life is, in theory, conferred by the Constitution on all persons by paragraph 11 thereof, which states that “everyone has the right to life”. However, as this right is so crucial, there should be no doubts whatsoever about its legal limits, either in terms of the Constitution itself which is paramount or in terms of any other legislation. Thus if our legislation is to accurately reflect the the present situation regarding the fundamental right to life, the aforesaid paragraph 11 should have at the end thereof, the words “after birth”. The alternative, definitely preferable, is that the right to life should be protected constitutionally and unconditionally from its first beginning, also by amending the Constitution, by the addition of the words “from conception” at the end thereof. Damian McLeish, Johannesburg
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Point of Reflection
Being part of the parish community
N African proverb states that man is nothing without man; he is born in his hand and dies in his arms. In traditional Africa, people live together in the harmony of a village, as members of a large family. In this family a person does count not so much as an individual but as a member of the community. Thus a human being is defined by his relationship with others because from the very beginning right up to the end of his life, he is with them and depends on them. In such a society it is the community which gives meaning to a person’s existence as far as it gives a sense of belonging, of identity and security. Outside the community, a person loses his identity because he no longer belongs to it. Human beings are God’s friends not because they were born at the same time or because they belong to the same clan but because they have been walking together for a long time. We go to God and experience God together as a community of believers. It is no coincidence that in our liturgy we use mostly plural pronouns: “we”, “our” and “us”. We who are related to God in and through our faith in God are ourselves related to each other as fellow believers. God calls each one of us into a personal relationship with him, but at the same time God’s call is a call to a community. We are called personally, but we are also called into a community. But how much do we feel part of our parish communities? So often we treat our parishes as petrol stations rather than as genuine communities where we should feel a strong sense of belonging. Like motorists dashing to a petrol station to fill their tanks, we pop in for a quick Mass instead of gathering around the altar as the people of God; and we only come back when in need of other services. Our parishes are not always the beautiful communities they ought to be. In these communities, sometimes the presence of certain people makes life difficult for others and that is so unfortunate.
ost people would rank the parish community far down on their list of the places where they belong and where they feel most at home, below places like football clubs and other recreational sites, the children’s schools, places of employment, and so on. No wonder many people would rather arrive just in time for the celebration and dash out as soon as the priest leaves the altar. Christians who don’t feel much part of the parish community become restless when the celebrations take long and sometimes even walk away because they want to get back to the comfort of their homes and other recreational places. It is interesting to note how many of us find it easy to adhere to the rules and regulations in all other places except in our parishes. We uphold and promote the ideals of our political parties, defend the constitutions of our various groups, but we overlook the teachings and requirements of our Christian faith. We throw parties for our families and friends, contribute heavily towards the agendas of our political parties or other organisations—but we tighten the purse strings when it comes to matters pertaining to our parish communities. Our parish communities offer us an opportunity to interact with others in diverse ways. The parish congregation contains a network of relationships—close, loose and anonymous—that form its human texture. Our celebrations form part of a sacramental graced economy where things divine and human act together. Jesus did offer the sacrament of community, the sign of the kingdom that was to come, as a gift in its own good time. Let us enjoy the gift of our parish community when we have the time to do so. It is ironic that when we imagine our lifeless bodies being brought into church for our funeral, we hope that our casket will stay long enough there for people to view our body and pray over it, to let the choir and congregation sing, and comprehensive eulogies be delivered before our ashes are placed in the parish wall of remembrance. But when we are alive, we might make no time for the same church. In a parish community, just like in every human society, things will not always be done the way we would like them to—but that should not be an excuse to let us be passive in our community activities. Let us support and accommodate one another in the parish community, since we are all children of the same God.
The Southern Cross, January 9 to January 15, 2013
How Church and state relate
N ancient times, before the reign of Constantine in the early fourth century, Christians were seen as a fundamental threat to public order because of their refusal to proclaim an absolute alliance with the Roman empire. So they were persecuted and killed in attempts to make them submit to absolute authority of the empire. Through Emperor Constantine, Christianity became tolerated in the Roman empire, and before the end of the fourth century it was the official religion. The Church became Roman and Catholic—in short, part of the political entity. After the political and religious turmoils of the Middle Ages the state was created as the negotiated platform for the stewardship of public goods, and to balance competing self-interests of members of society. Because competing self-interests were almost impossible to balance, leading to more wearying factionalism, some form of social contract had to be devised as a point of reference for social interaction and governance. This came to be known as the Constitution, the foundation of the modern state. When the use of religious controversy by political agents to justify military adventures for national consolidation brought untold tragedies to nation states, it was eventually agreed that the modern state had to be secular, and a guarantor of public order and peace. The proponents of this modern state came to be largely known as liberals, mostly because they wanted a non-confessional state and were against the idea of the Church as a visible political entity. The struggle for a right balance between the secular and religious in the modern state was present from the start, even after the successful separation of state and church. Yet, as far as back St Augustine’s pertinent book, City of God, the Church
argued that authentic secularism—the platform for public law—has direct Christian and theological roots. Accordingly, the sphere of public and political negotiations flourishes only when higher divine commitments are adhered to. Pope Benedict champions this view and is a crusader of solidarities which exceed and escape the boundaries of public life which must be integrated into it, to imbue public life with depth and moral gravity. Secularism requires faith if it is to guarantee freedom, because civilised politics must be attuned to the real capacities and dignities of the person, which is what authentic humanism is all about. It is a drive undertaken by people like St Benedict and the order he founded.
iberal politics tend to reduce the individual to an economic unit and a solitary accumulator of self-interest rights, sometimes at the expense of collective societal communal interests. In this manner the current pope is right that the ethos of liberalism, which is the default of a modern state, can be anti-humanist, and is in need of faith (theology) to arrest its degeneration. In the South African context, in a
A pro-life protest outside parliament in Cape Town, with the Catholic St Mary’s cathedral and the archdiocesan chancery at its back. (Photo: Claire Mathieson)
Pushing the Boundaries
nuanced micro stance, I notice the struggle of secularism and faith in the activities of the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO). The struggle is amiable because there is mutual respect between the CPLO and the parliamentary parties. As the respectable epitome of faith (Roman Catholic) engaging in public law, policy development and politics, the CPLO is one of the most respected organisations working within parliament— rightly so since its bulletins and submissions are accessible, well researched, and clear without losing the complexities of the issues. The CPLO sees itself as a bridge between the Church and government. The question is: are bridges not supposed to be links that allow passage from both sides? The CPLO distributes high-quality information bulletins explaining government policy and the content of legislation. It also makes submissions to parliamentary committees on Bills. However, what is not so clear is whether its service is designed to champion Church-canvassed views and positions, which are supposed to be filtered back as coherent input to public debates in parliament. It is also not clear how much influence, if any, CPLO submissions have in the process of parliamentary legislation. The CPLO relates very well with government, but does it gain in return? There is a widespread attitude of treating the Church, or its organisations, as fodder for human resource government departments like social development. But what does the Church gain in return? When the Church tries to influence the process government it is usually told to Continued on page 11
Men must embrace their chosen life Cardinal Wilfrid Napier OFM
OR the past few months we have reflected on the phenomenon of the violence of men in South Africa. We have looked at likely causes of this tendency: The nature of men? Patriarchy? The relegation of men by “political correctness” from leadership in the family and in society? The abandoning of Christian norms of behaviour? Whatever the causes, the brutal nature and frequency of violence by men is a flashing red light that we ignore at our peril. It points to a serious malfunction in relations between man and man, man and woman, and even man and child! The problem is so serious that the Church has to develop an appropriate ministry to address it. I believe, the first thing the Church needs to do is to present a clear vision of the Catholic man, modelled on the Man for all men—Jesus of Nazareth—who came primarily to restore the fullness of God’s image and likeness in man. He is the perfect model of relationships between man and God, and between man and man. From the beginning he called on us to acknowledge the disastrous effects that sin has on every man and woman, in particular on interpersonal relations. The creation story in Genesis gives us the framework for understanding that God sent Jesus to undo what sin had destroyed, but also to show us how to discover and do God’s will. It was Jesus’ humility and obedience that defined his relationship with his Father as the ideal for every man and woman: “I always do the will of my
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Father”; “The Father and I are one!” The Annunciation story gives us the next step towards becoming what God wants us to be. Mary exemplifies the kind of life we are called to live—one that is open to God, that listens attentively to his Word, that is humble in seeking his will, and that culminates in a simple faith that says: “Let it be done to me according to your word.” The divorce and marriage story in
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Matthew defines man’s vocation and role in marriage and the family. Jesus teaches unambiguously that he came to re-establish God’s original order: “He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said: ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder’” (Mt 19:4-6). So, in its ministry the Church is to set up the original order for marriage and family life as the benchmark for all relationships between men and women. This requires each man to embrace fully his chosen state in life. If it is marriage and fatherhood then he must be an equal partner and complement his wife especially in their common vocation of procreating and raising a family. I leave it to the great Apostle Paul to sum up what our men need to be and to do: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the Church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:25-28).
Holy land • Rome jOuRNeyS OF A liFetime! • Assisi • cairo
with Fr Sean Wales cSsR (Redemptorist speaker and author)
5 - 19 October 2013
See all the great sites of the Holy land, meet and pray with local Contact Gail at christians! then fly to Rome, with 076 352 3809 or papal audience, and visit Assisi, the 021 551 3923 place of St Francis. PluS: cairo with the Pyramids, Sphinx, Nile cruise email@example.com
The Southern Cross, January 9 to January 15, 2013
Fr Simon Donnelly (back, centre right), pastor at Our Lady of the Wayside in Maryvale, Johannesburg, with members of the Catholic Women's League at their year-end meeting.
16+ Outreach and Development, one of the projects attached to the Salesian institute, held a Christmas party for the kids at Philippi farm on the outskirts of Cape Town. The day was filled with games, a brief explanation of the meaning of Christmas, lunch and distribution of gifts for the children.
The Chiro children of St Vincent Pallotti in Pacaltsdorp, george, performed a nativity play. The concert was produced by Chiro leader, Julene February, and her staff.
Children role-playing the word of god at Our Lady of the Rosary church in Waverly, Pretoria.
Parishioners from Mary of the Angels church in Athlone, Cape Town, went on their first pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The group was led by Fr Albert goncalves (centre back) and Bernard Hermanus.
The final profession of Sr Priscilla Khobethi at the Capuchin Poor Clare convent in Oudtshoorn. The celebration was presided over by Bishop Francisco De gouveia.
New Pilgrimages for 2013 Pilgrimage to Fatima & Lourdes 10-23 May 2013 Divine Mercy, Poland 2-15 June, 2013 Pilgrimage of Italy/St Anthony 8-21 June, 2013
The Catholic Women’s League at good Shepherd parish in Bothasig, Cape Town, answered a need from Nazareth House in Elsies River. Members Adele Dawson (standing) and Merrill Reed (not pictured) delivered Christmas gifts to all the residents.
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Children from St John Bosco parish in Westridge, Cape Town, performed in a nativity play. The play was called “a Super Christmas”.
St Paul’s parish in Somerset West, Cape Town, held a Catholic men’s breakfast organised by Mark Eames and Peter Schwartz. The guest speaker was Fr Martin Pender from St Peter’s in Strand, Cape Town. His subject was the role of men in the Church today. Pictured are Mark Eames (with microphone) and (back left) Frs John Bartmann and Martin Pender (back right).
The Southern Cross, January 9 to January 15, 2013
Africa’s forgotten conflict Resolving the nationhood of Western Sahara has proven intractable, writes CLAIRE MATHIESON
N some maps, it’s a part of Morocco. To some people, it’s a former Spanish colony. To the United Nations, it’s a colonial dispute. But to 82 nations around the world, the African Union and Saharawis, it is a country without official status. The conflict in Western Sahara is one of Africa’s most long-lasting territorial disputes, and after three decades, there is no end in sight. Alout Hamoudi is a Saharawi who was born in a refugee camp in Algeria. His family fled Western Sahara when Spain withdrew from the region, leaving control to Morocco, which invaded the territory from the north, and Mauritania, which invaded from the south. Mr Hamoudi, who was an intern at the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO) and will next year work in the diplomatic service, was speaking at a round table discussion in Cape Town. “The issue has been on the UN agenda since 1966, yet the international community has failed to find a suitable solution,” he said. “In essence, the issue of Western Sahara seems to be a simple case of self-determination: the right of a people to decide their political status over their own territory.” However, he added, dimensions of history, politics, economics, and emotions contribute to making this a complex dispute.
he north African country, one fifth the size of South Africa, and mainly desert, is rich in natural resources, and has a population of 573 000, with 100 000 refugees living in Tindouf, Algeria. Spain took control of the region in 1884. Colonial conventions met unsuccessful military resistance from the Saharawi people. In 1970, a new movement of Saharawis held a large, peaceful demonstration, demanding the right to independence. “It ended with the massacre of civilians and the arrest of hundreds of citizens,” Mr Hamoudi told the round table. While other countries in Africa were gaining independence, Western Sahara was facing hurdles to its goal. “A more united and organised front that included all the Saharwi political and resistance groups was established,” said Mr Hamoudi. Known as the Polisario Front, the movement aimed to end the Spanish colonisation. In 1974 Spain proposed a local autonomy plan in which the
native Saharawis would run their own political affairs, while sovereignty would remain under Spanish control. The plan was rejected and the military struggle continued. Instead of dealing with Sahawari people and keeping the promise to hold a referendum, Spain signed a tripartite agreement with Morocco and Mauritania, dividing Western Sahara between the two while securing the economic interests of Spain, which remained the legal administrative power. It was then that Morocco and Mauritania invaded and thousands of Saharawis fled. The UN never accepted the Moroccan and Mauritanian occupation of Western Sahara and it is still considered illegal. While Mauritania would abandon all claims to the region in 1979, war continued between the Polisario forces and the Moroccan army until a UN-sponsored ceasefire in 1991.
2 700km-long wall, dubbed the “Wall of Shame”, was constructed with the help of the US and Israeli governments to divide the area controlled by the Moroccan army and the region controlled by the Polisario front. Children who grow up in the Algerian refugee camps are schooled in primary education on site and then attend school for nine months in northern Algeria, returning to the camp in summer. When Mr Hamoudi reached high school age, he was sponsored by the Algerian government to continue his schooling. He said the camps are well organised, are assisted by international humanitarian aid and are predominantly led by women. Most men are either members of the liberation front or studying abroad, like Mr Hamoudi would go on to do. Attempts to settle the dispute have taken place multiple times. However, the two parties have argued over how to identify an electorate for a referendum—the Polisario maintained that only Saharawis should vote, whereas Morocco believes people living in the disputed region should vote, the region which has been populated with non-native Saharawis and likely to vote in favour of Morocco. Mr Hamoudi believes the weakness of international law has been a reason for the lack of progress. “There is no mechanism to enforce its resolutions.” In addition, “France and America’s continuous political support for Morocco in the Security Council has undermind a just and lasting solution, with the result that Morocco continues to occupy the disputed territory illegally.” The Polisario’s position has been clear and consistent. “The
St Francis of Assisi cathedral in Western Sahara’s quasi capital El Aaiún, which was built by the Spanish and is attended mainly by United Nations personnel. (Photo: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen)
Front wants the people of Western Sahara to exercise their right to self-determination. The Polisario declared the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic in 1976 and now controls 20% of the territory. The self-proclaimed republic enjoys full membership with the African Union and has been recognised by more than 80 nations. The claim has been endorsed by the UN since 1966.” However, Morocco wants Western Sahara to be an integral part of its territory. The army controls 80% of the territory. Saharawis living in the Moroccan territory have been victims of human rights abuses at the hands of the Moroccan army. There is no human rights delegation in Western Sahara. But with no journalistic access to the region, and with Morocco’s allies on the Security Council, a move to place a delegation in the region would be vetoed. South Africa has been one of Western Sahara’s greatest supporters, with strong traditional ties with the ANC. The former president, Oliver Thambo, visited the region in 1988 and described the situation as similar to that of South Africa’s apartheid. Nelson Mandela also sympathised with the Sahawari, however, official recognistion was only given in 2004 under Thabo Mbeki. Spain is still legally the colonial administrative power of the region. However, the current Spanish government has connected Spain’s security to Morocco’s: it feels that cooperation with Morocco in areas such as illegal immigration and terrorism is crucial to Spanish interests. Meanwhile, it is well aware of the strategic importance of its other southern neighbour, Algeria. Algeria is a key oil- and natural gas-producing country, and is an economic and political partner of Spain in the region. But Algeria has also been the longest-standing and main supporter of the Polisario movement and provides vital political, military and logistical support. The support is part principled and part struggle for regional supremacy with Morocco.
Commemoration of the Saharawi Republic’s 30th anniversary in liberated territories of Western Sahara in 2005. (Photo: Jaysen Naidoo)
rance has been the main supporter of the Moroccan position. It has threatened several times to use its veto power at the Security Council if the UN ever decided to enforce a solution undesirable to Morocco. In addition, while the US supports the right of self-detemination in principle, its position, like that of France, has been favourable to Morocco for geopolitical reasons. “The US has consistently provided decisive political and military support to Morocco, without however, overtly supporting Morocco’s irredentist claim or recognising its sovereignty over Western Sahara. During the Cold War, Western Sahara was aligned with Cuba and Libya, and Morocco with the US. Morocco is also a major ally of the US in terms of contemporary security matters.” Mr Hamoudi said due to the non-action of countries, the situation is a stalemate. When asked what he would do, he said three things: Lift the media block to give international attention to the troubled area, monitor human rights abuses, and lobby the African Union to do something. “Why should we use the United Nations when we have our own governing body in Africa?” he asked. Like most South Africans, those at the round table were unaware of the complex conflict. CPLO director Fr Peter-John Pearson said faith communities could also rally behind the cause. NGOs could call for assistance too.
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The Southern Cross, January 9 to January 15, 2013
Hurley bio now in an abridged version DENIS HURLEY: TRUTH TO POWER, by Paddy Kearney. UKZN Press. 2012. 272pp. ISBN: 978-1869142193 Reviewed by John O’Leary ADDY KEARNEY has produced a concise and easy to read account of the life and times of the late Archbishop Denis Hurley of Durban. This is an abridged version of his 2009 book Guardian of the Light. In affordable paperback format this is a timely publication, particularly for younger readers who may not have had first hand experience of the contexts in which Archbishop Hurley worked. Truth to Power describes the key events which shaped the compassion and courage of a man who became bishop at the age of 31 and Archbishop at the age of 35 (in both instances the youngest in the world at the time). Some of the stories told include: l his life as the son of a lighthouse keeper (including a time on Robben Island, during which Denis was born in a Cape Town hospital);
l how he was lost in a cave for nearly a day during his high school years in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, and found his vocation in the profound darkness and uncertainty of that experience; l his studies for the priesthood in Ireland and Rome (he was in Rome at the time of Hitler’s state visit to Mussolini, and he was strongly influenced by Pope Pius XI’s firm stand against the dictatorships of Hitler, Mussolini and others); l his early experiences as a priest at Emmanuel Cathedral and as head of a seminary in Pietermaritzburg (during which time he became a member of the local Parliamentary Debating Society); l his leadership in the South African bishops’ growing opposition to apartheid and his courage in speaking truth about the evil of apartheid to those in power at the time; l his leadership in the Church, being an enthusiastic participant in the Second Vatican Council from 1962-65, and especially in the International Commission on
English in the Liturgy, and locally serving several terms as president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference; l his ecumenical commitment, working throughout his 45 years as a bishop with people of other denominations and faiths and with secular leaders and ordinary citizens of all walks of life (he founded the Diakonia Council of Churches, an ecumenical body which Kearney led for many years); l his later years, during which he was greatly concerned about the increasing poverty and economic inequality in South Africa and saddened by the lack of implementation of the collegiality which had been central to the Second Vatican Council, but encouraged by the preservation of that spirit of collegiality in communities and organisations in different parts of the world, such as the community of Sant ‘Egidio. A book like this can be viewed in many different ways—as biography, as history, as theology, as prophetic literature.
Kearney shares with Archbishop Hurley a gift for conveying prophetic, sometimes painful, insights in a dignified manner, and this is apparent from his writing. Apart from the narrative, from which I have selected only a few highlights, the importance of the book lies in the themes which recur throughout. It is a book which South Africans of all ages and beliefs will find interesting and challenging. Interesting because it is an excellent account of 20th century South Africa as experienced by one of its most courageous leaders. Challenging because it leaves the reader feeling uncomfortable about many things. To mention only a few of these: the lack of collegial debate at all levels of Church and society; the role of language in theology and liturgy; the shift in ecumenism from a search for common values and beliefs to a search for likeminded compliance; the priority of eradicating poverty; and the inspirational example of commu-
nities which live out and preserve the values he believed in. Archbishop Denis Hurley was born on November 9, 1915 and died on February 13, 2004 n Denis Hurley: Truth to Power can be obtained at R150 plus R25 for packaging and postage to anywhere in South Africa, from Hester Joseph 0837994136 or hester.joseph@ diakonia.org.za
Eyewitness accounts to show Pius XII helped many Jews THE POPE’S JEWS: The Vatican’s Secret Plan to Save the Jews from the Nazis, by Gordon Thomas. Thomas Dunne Books (New York). 2012. 336 pp. ISBN: 9780312604219 Reviewed by Eugene Fisher ORDON THOMAS, the author of The Pope’s Jews, is a British journalist who has written numerous works, a number of them on the intelligence services of Britain and the United States, and a couple on the Vatican. In this book, he relies on personal interviews with Catholics and Jews who lived in Rome during World War II and the archival sources of diplomats, especially the British and Americans who lived in the Vatican during that period. This gives Thomas interesting perspectives on the day-to-day life of those in Rome under Mussolini, Italian fascism and German occupation. He is able to place the specific
decisions made by Pope Pius XII and Vatican officials with regard to harbouring Jews into the larger context of the Italian Resistance to the Germans and efforts by Allied diplomats and Vatican representatives to give refuge to Allied soldiers fleeing capture by the Germans. The result is a highly readable, and often riveting, book that gives a very good sense not only of the difficulties faced by the Catholics in saving their fellow Jewish Italian citizens but also in surviving the daily obstacles of finding food for themselves. For this book, Thomas relied on a network of “researchers” from the current Jewish community of Rome and in Israel, some of them close relatives of the people whose lives he narrates in the book, as well as in Britain and the United States. He is thus able to draw on memories, memoirs and diaries, some for the first time, in sketching the portraits of those involved,
including Pope Pius XII. Thomas describes the actions of the spies of various countries, including the plot by some in Germany to kill Hitler and Hitler’s plot to kidnap the pope, and the awareness of and reactions to these by the Vatican. He describes the “secret network” of British spies and Catholic priests who worked with the Vatican to bring to safety within the Vatican and Castel Gandolfo Allied troops who had escaped from the Germans and who worked also to bring Jews to Italy from occupied countries and into the safety of the many Vatican properties in Rome. He narrates the perilous work of Catholic religious such as the Sis-
ters of Sion who hid thousands of Jews both before the German roundup of Jews and especially afterwards. He notes the role played by Vatican Radio in exposing the anti-Semitic actions of the Nazis—broadcast content that the pope would have had to approve. This in itself belies the false charge that Pius XII was “silent” about the fate of the Jews. This is a rich, complex story, and one filled with ambiguities, from which the author does not shirk, of “what ifs” and “it could have been more effective if”. In general Thomas concludes that much of the activities of Church personnel took place with the direct knowledge of the pope. Thomas often uses the phrase “the
pope ordered” when referring to the actions of Catholic authorities and religious to save Jews. Certainly these saving deeds were done with his knowledge and approval, though not necessarily at his “order”. Indeed, many would not have needed “orders” to save Jews. My one major criticism is of his scant, less than two-page summary of the treatment of Jews by the bishops of Rome over the centuries. That treatment, in the main, was far more positive and protective of Jews, often in times in which they were persecuted elsewhere, than Thomas describes. This overall relatively consistent positive treatment of the Jews explains much in terms of Pope Pius’ desire to help the Jews, on the one hand, and, on the other, the sense on the part of the Jews that the pope would (and could) defend them as popes had in the past .—CNS
Austrian chancellor’s son recalls father’s ‘heroic’ opposition to Adolf Hitler
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We invite all interested people to join the Canon Law Society of Southern Africa and ask all members to send us their names and contact details with a view to our 2013 Canon Law Conference as our records have been lost and we would like to reconstruct our database of membership. Contact: Marieke Vrugtman (secretary), see contact details above or 082 399 1419.
WHEN HITLER TOOK AUSTRIA: A Memoir of Heroic Faith by the Chancellor’s Son by Kurt von Schuschnigg with Janet von Schuschnigg. Ignatius Press. 2012. 306 pp. ISBN: 978-1586177096 Reviewed by Graham Yearley HEN Hitler Took Austria is the memoir of Kurt von Schuschnigg, the son of the chancellor of Austria between 1934 and 1938. Young Kurt grew up in a world of aristocratic privilege, cosseted by his mother, Herma, and nanny, Fraulein Alice. Kurt’s father, also Kurt von Schuschnigg, struggled in those years to keep Austria from being annexed by Adolf Hitler into “Greater Germany”. But Hitler, determined to possess the country of his birth, marched into Austria on March 12, 1938, and was greeted in Vienna by a rapturous crowd of 200 000. Young Kurt, born in 1926, was only 12 when the Anschluss occurred, but his world had already been rocked three years before when his mother was killed;
her car had been driven into a tree by a saboteur acting as chauffeur. Kurt’s father remarried another aristocrat, Countess Vera Fugger-Babenhausen. Vera became a tireless advocate for her husband when he was imprisoned in Austria and visits were difficult to arrange. Vera shared his imprisonment when the family was moved into Germany and, finally, to the con-
centration camp Sachsenhausen, where the family was housed in a small cottage on the edge of the camp. The former chancellor had to stay within the barbed-wire confines of Sachsenhausen, but Vera and her stepson, Kurt, could come and go, an important advantage when food became ever scarcer. Besides providing protein by fishing, young Kurt also travelled regularly to Berlin to bring the consecrated host to his father. But in early 1943, when it was already clear the war was going badly for the Germans, young Kurt was forced to join the armed forces. The navy was considered the safest branch of the services as they could not be sent to the Eastern front, but this safety proved to be illusory when Kurt’s ship was sunk in 1944 and he was badly burned and injured. Determined to never be trapped on a boat again, Kurt escaped from his hospital in Königsberg in East Prussia and began his journey across the chaotic, bombed-out land-
scape of Germany in 1945. Lacking legal documentation and travelling papers and facing instant execution if caught as a deserter, Kurt slowly moved south towards the mountains of the Tyrol where he planned to hide until the war’s end. But, fortunately in early 1945, resistance fighters arranged for Kurt to cross over the mountains into Switzerland. Kurt’s parents also survived the deprivations of Sachsenhausen and, after the war, emigrated to Italy. When Hitler Took Austria is an amazing story of adventure and survival, but it is not a story where Catholicism or the Christian faith plays a vital role.—CNS
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The Southern Cross, January 9 to January 15, 2013
Ntabeni on religion and politics Continued from page 7 mind its own business and not overstep its boundaries. It is my belief that the CPLO, which operates under the auspices of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, should not just be a one-way bridge, but rather a conduit to express and explain Catholic identity to the public and to influence government processes. As a Catholic I would like to see it push for the Church's
principled position on issues of policy development. But the CPLO is not a lobbying organisation. What is its ultimate goal then? Let me emphasise that if the CPLO was a lobbyist organisation it would not be taken too seriously by government. Most faith lobbyist groups are perceived by state institutions as unprofessional, soft organisations. This, for me, demonstrates the tension between faith and the state, in our South
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CAPE TOWN: Mimosa Shrine, Bellville (Place of pilgrimage for the Year of Faith): Rosary, 7.30pm, Holy hour and Benediction every 2nd Saturday, from January 2013, 9.00-10.00am. Confession available during Holy hour. Tel: 076 323 8043 Padre Pio: Holy hour 3.30 pm every 3rd Sunday of the month at Holy Redeemer parish in Bergvliet. Helpers of God’s Precious Infants meet the last Saturday of the month except in December, starting with Mass at 9:30 am
at the Salesian institue Community Chapel in Somerset Road, Cape Town. Mass is followed by a vigil and procession to Marie Stopes abortion clinic in Bree Street. For information contact Colette Thomas on 083 412 4836 or 021 593 9875 or Br Daniel Manuel on 083 544 3375 NELSPRUIT: Adoration of the blessed sacrament at St Peter’s parish. Every Tuesday from 8am to 4:45pm followed by Rosary Divine Mercy prayers, then a Mass/Communion service at 5:30pm.
African context. The CPLO must serve as a beacon of hope in influencing the drafting of legislation, and I say so as someone working within a parliamentary institution. It is regrettable that the CPLO bulletins don’t always reach parishes, and even when they do, they are not effectively utilised by Catholics to participate in the public discourse and law-making.
Liturgical Calendar Year C Weekdays Cycle Year 1
Sunday, January 13, Baptism of the Lord Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7, Psalm 29:1-4, 3, 9-10, Acts 10: 34-38, Luke 3:15-16, 21-22 Monday, January 14 Hebrews 1:1-6, Psalm 97:1-2, 6-7, 9, Mark 1:1420 Tuesday, January 15 Hebrews 2:5-12, Psalm 8:2, 5-9, Mark 1:21-28 Wednesday, January 16, St Berard Hebrews 2:14-18, Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9, Mark 1:2939 Thursday, January 17, St Anthony Hebrews 3:7-14, Psalm 95:6-11, Mark 1:40-45 Friday, January 18 Hebrews 4:1-5, 11, Psalm 78:3, 4, 6-8, Mark 2:112 Saturday, January 19, Memorial of the BVM Hebrews 4:12-16, Psalm 19:8-10, 15, Mark 2:1317 Sunday, January 20, 2nd Sunday Isaiah 62:1-5, Psalm 96:1-3, 7-10, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, John 2:1-11
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HYAMS—Daniel george (Danny). it is with great sadness we announce the death on Friday 28 December 2012 of Daniel george (Danny) Hyams, founder of LITTLE EDEN Society, and husband of the late Domitilla Rota Hyams. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to LITTLE EDEN Society. Queries can be directed to the office on Tel: 011 609 7246. HYAMS—Daniel george (Danny).*01 June 1921— †28 December 2012. Our treasured Dad and Lele—husband of the late Domitilla, father, father-in-law, grandfather, great-grandfather, embraced by Our Blessed Lady, has earned his place to rest in the arms of Jesus and bask in the glory of god for eternity. He was an extraordinary example of living the Word of god and did everything in his power to improve the lives of those who needed help. Rest in Peace dearest Dad and Lele, we love you. Mary, Elizabeth, Veronica, Lucy, Agnes, Tarcisius (Tots); Domenico, Peter, Luigi, Peter; Roberto and Natalie, Jason, Danielle and garnet, Dina, Michael and Xelda, giovanni and Donné, Elvira, Douglas, Marco and Juliette, Paolo, Davide, Carl and Lyn, Louise, Nicholas, Anna-Marie; Alessandro, Vincenzo, Michele, giovanni Paolo, Luca, Angelo, Aaron, Rebecca; and Matty.
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may she rest in peace. Amen. Lovingly remembered by: Mary, Elizabeth, Veronica, Lucy, Agnes, Tarcisius (Tots); Domenico, Peter, Luigi, Peter; Roberto and Natalie, Jason, Danielle and garnet, Dina, Michael and Xelda, giovanni and Donné, Elvira, Douglas, Marco and Juliette, Paolo, Davide, Carl and Lyn, Louise, Nicholas, Anna-Marie; Alessandro, Vincenzo, Michele, giovanni Paolo, Luca, Angelo, Aaron, Rebecca; and Matty.
ABORTION is murder— Silence on this issue is not golden, it’s yellow! Avoid ‘Pro-abortion’ politicians. NOTHING is politically right if it is morally wrong. Abortion is evil. Value life!
HEAR MY cry, O god, listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth i call to you, i call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than i. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. i long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. (Psalm 61:1-4).
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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. MDC. 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.
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HYAMS—Domitilla Maria Rota. *05 May 1918— †18 January 2011. Our beloved Mum and Doma. Nearly two years have passed and we love and miss you each day. Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her and
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HAVE MERCY on me, O god, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:112. FOR YOU created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. i praise you because i am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, i know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when i was made in the secret place, when i was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139. HOLY ST JUDE, apostle and martyr, great in virtue
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2nd Sunday: January 20 Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5, Psalm 96:1-3, 7-10, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, John 2:1-11
EXT Sunday we lapse back into “ordinary time”, after the excitements of Advent and Christmas, and we begin the journey towards Lent, in our Mondaymorning world. The readings for the day suggest that our task must be to find God even in the most ordinary details of our life. The first reading is taken from a text that was very popular with the early Christians. In its original setting, it is addressed to those who had returned from exile in Babylon, and found that Jerusalem was not all it was cracked up to be, and that as a matter of fact its inhabitants, far from welcoming them back, did not even want to know them. To those miserable people the prophet Isaiah describes what Jerusalem is one day going to be like: “For the sake of Sion I shall not be silent; and for Jerusalem’s sake I shall not be quiet”; and then he sketches a beautiful picture of her “vindication and salvation”, which might equally be translated “justice and victory”. Then he draws the beautiful picture of Jerusalem as the formerly “abandoned” wife, who is instead going to be called by the beautiful names of “Hephzibah” and “Beulah” (“my delight is in her” and “married lady”), and the relationship between this forsaken city and her God is expressed in the rather
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God salvages triumph from tragedy Nicholas King SJ
daring image of husband-and-wife. It is a beautiful picture of God’s ability to salvage triumph from tragedy, and we shall do well to reflect upon it this week. The psalm, as so often, offers a wonderful vision of God’s majesty, a song that celebrates God’s kingship over all the world; armed with that vision, even our ordinary time can seem to make sense: “Sing a new song to the Lord, sing to the Lord, all the earth.” Then comes the invitation to “bless God’s holy name”, which will be the key to our survival of the ups and downs of life. And this message is to go out to absolutely everybody: “Proclaim among the nations his glory, and among the peoples his wonders”, “tremble before the Lord, all the earth, say among the nations ‘God reigns’!” And the upshot? “The world is firm—it shall not be moved.” This is a God to accompany us through life.
In the second reading for Sunday, Paul is trying to deal with the divisions in the church in Corinth; the divisions had arisen, it seems, partly because of overdone loyalties to this apostle or that (“my apostle is better than your apostle”), and partly because they had an exaggerated view of their own spiritual gifts (“I’m so much more spiritual than you are”); and when either of those things happen in the Church then you get factions. So Paul patiently reminds them that no one spiritual gift is better than another, and no one emissary of God is better than another: “It is the same Spirit...one and the same Spirit works all these things, to distribute them privately to each person as [the Spirit] wishes.” The Spirit that unites all our diverse gifts and personalities is the one who will guide us through our “ordinary time”. The gospel for this start of ordinary time is the first “sign” of Jesus’ ministry in John’s Gospel. It is the wonderful story of the wedding at Cana, and it takes place, we notice, “on the third day”, which John’s readers will have inevitably have understood as a reference to the Resurrection; and it concludes “he revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him”. That is what must happen to us in our
My top books in the past year C ONCERNING taste, there should be no disputes! St Augustine wrote those words 1600 years ago and their truth applies not just to taste in food, but also to taste in literature. Not everyone’s soul is fed in the same way and we eventually gravitate towards where we are fed. So I am not sure what books are best for you. I pick up a good number of books each year and tend to finish them, even if their subject matter doesn’t always measure up to their attractive cover and title. Mostly though, they feed me. What a poor world we would be if we didn’t have books! Among all the books that I picked up during 2012, which do I most recommend? Reiterating again that taste is subjective; here are the books that most spoke to me this past year: • Jennifer Haigh: Faith. This is a novel set in Boston during the height of the clergy sexual abuse crisis. It is insightful, fair, knowledgeable as to the lay of the ecclesial and clerical land, and a great narrative, a page-turner. Few books will give you this kind of insight into the clerical sexual abuse crisis. • Julian Barnes: The Sense of an Ending. Barnes won the Booker Prize for this novel. Lots of emotional intelligence here, a bit over-earthy at times, and a quick read. Amoral to the simplistic eye, but a moral book at a deeper level. • Kate O’Brien: The Land of Spices. First
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Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
published in 1941 and condemned by the Catholic censors then for a single passage which today could appear in a high school catechesis book. A look into the inner-life of a convent boarding school in Ireland, it focuses on the growth of a young student and the inner religious and emotional struggles of the Mother Superior in charge of the school. Deeply insightful, a rare piece of literature. • Rachel Joyce: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Unlikely indeed. Set in England, a retiree sets off to mail a letter and just keeps walking. At first no one notices, then the world notices, and eventually nobody notices. Delightful and a pageturner. • Joseph Girzone: The Homeless Bishop. Perhaps more a treatise of spirituality than a novel, and perhaps more naïve than realistic, but a wonderful idealistic vision of what the Church could be if we in fact took the Gospel seriously. • Vannay Radner: Under the Shadow of the Bunyan Tree. Historical fiction, an account of one family’s nightmare under the Khmer Rouge during the genocide in Cambodia. A haunting book, no doubt
largely autobiographical. • Marilynne Robinson: When I Was a Child I Read Books. Known mostly as a novelist, Robinson has given us a book of essays, mostly commentary on our religious, political, and cultural situation today. Great insight and great balance. An important read vis-à-vis the tension between faith and culture today. • Tomas Halik: Patience with God, The Story of Zacchaeus, and The Night of the Confessor. Thomas Halik is a Czech priest, ordained underground during the Soviet occupation, who now teaches spirituality at a university in the Czech Republic. His books are finally available in English. I recommend both these works, particularly the first one, Patience with God, whose thesis might be summed up in the words: An atheist is just another word for someone who doesn’t have enough patience with God. • Peter Tyler: John of the Cross. The great Spanish mystic, John of the Cross, is a Christian treasure. Unfortunately, because of his distance from us in time and language, his writings are best approached with the aid of a guide. Peter Tyler is such a guide and this book can be a good introduction to John of the Cross. • Thomas Keating: Manifesting God. Thomas Keating is one of the major spiritual leaders of our time and perhaps our foremost guide in contemplative prayer. His insights are scattered within a large number of books; but if you are looking for a single book, a handbook so to speak, on Thomas Keating and his vision of contemplative prayer, this is his most synthetic book. • Michael W. Higgins & Kevin Burns: Genius Born of Anguish–The Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen. Michael Higgins is the official authorised biographer of Fr Henri Nouwen. This book is not yet the definitive biography but an interim look at one of the most popular and influential spirituality writers of the last half-century. The book will perturb both the devotees and the critics of Nouwen. It is neither hagiography nor brutal deconstruction. What Higgins and Burns do in this book is show us Nouwen as he was: a man who was almost pathologically needy, often depressed, and forever aching for more affirmation, even as he was a person of extraordinary insight, extraordinary faith, and extraordinary honesty. An anguished genius, he was an imperfect saint, but a saint nonetheless. Not everyone’s taste or needs match my own. Each of these books, for its own reasons, spoke to me. I offer them under that canopy. But—go where you’re fed!
“ordinary time”. We should notice how the evangelist sets up the story: “The mother of Jesus” (who in this gospel appears only here and at the crucifixion) is present, and “Jesus was invited to the wedding—and his disciples also.” There is a clear implication that these thirsty fisherpersons have drunk all the wine, as Mary reproachfully indicates, “They have no wine”. To this maternal incitement, Jesus responds, apparently dismissively, “my hour has not yet come” (and later in the gospel we discover that his “hour” is the time of his Passion). Then, however, his mother utters a word (to the servants), which we shall do well to observe in our “ordinary time”: “Whatever he tells you, do.” The results, of course, are astonishing: by some calculations, a hundred and eighty gallons of the best wine. And no fuss at all is made of the miracle itself (it just happens, without any magic formula or wave of a wand); what we are invited to do is contemplate the blazing out of Jesus’ glory in this very ordinary, slightly tricky, situation, and, like his disciples, believe in him. Then, even in the darkest of times, we shall be able to say, with the astonished chief steward, “You have kept the best wine until now”.
Southern Crossword #532
ACROSS 1. Cheerful drink for the New Year (6) 4. Her other name was Tabitha (Ac 9) (6) 9. She met the risen Jesus (Jn 20) (4,9) 10. Learn at the Treaty starting the Vatican (7) 11. Elite circle where sinner loses a point (5) 12. Later than noon (5) 14. Gentle members of the flock? (5) 18. Bird sounds inexpensive (5) 19. Treat what's holy with irreverence (7) 21. State of being born again (13) 22. Gets Di to assimilate (6) 23. More unwilling to give (6)
DOWN 1. Kind of bee that can't make a beeline? (6) 2. Sacrifice made at the braai? (6,7) 3. Some pale murals show an ape (5) 5. On a car I turn to wind instrument (7) 6. Perfect sacrifice to God (5,8) 7. Asparagus weapons? (6) 8. Jesus' anguish (5) 13. Believes Jesus is arriving soon (7) 15. Sacred yet fearful (6) 16. Gush out (5) 17. More enthusiastic as a wailing mourner (6) 20. Egg-shaped. Solutions on page 11
AINTS Dominic, Francis and Ignatius of Loyola are transported back in time and place to the birth of Our Lord. St Dominic, seeing the Incarnation of the Word, is sent into ecstasy. St Francis, seeing God become a helpless child, is overcome with humility. St Ignatius of Loyola takes St Joseph and Our Lady aside and asks: “Have you given any thought to his education?” Send us your favourite Catholic joke, preferably clean and brief, to The Southern Cross, Church Chuckle, PO Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000.