S outher n C ross
May 8 to May 14, 2013
Bishop of Klerksdorp resigns
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C.S. Lewis’ influence still felt today
Exorcisms in SA: Fighting off evil spirits
Bishops: Secrecy Bill fails the country BY BRONWYN DACHS & CLAIRE MATHIESON
A mother and her child enjoy a day in the park. All mothers are honoured in special ways on Mother’s Day, which is on May 12 this year.
Bishops approve new translations for Afrikaans Eucharistic prayers BY STEPH JORDAN
HE Afrikaans translations of the Eucharistic Prayers I-IV have been made available after having been approved by the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) in January. According to Fr Vernon Meyer, generalsecretary of the Afrikaans Language Pastoral Region, a subsidiary of the SACBC, the revised Afrikaans prayers form part of a process to integrate the use of “people’s home language”. “Instead of discouraging people from worshipping in their home language, others should see that Afrikaans can be a worship language,” said the priest, a member of the Oratory of St Philip Neri. The use of Afrikaans in the liturgy has been a gradual process, he said. Afrikaans is mainly spoken in South Africa and Namibia, and the community of Catholic Afrikaans-speakers is not very big, Fr Meyer noted. The use of the language in the liturgy “depends on the priest of the parish and whether he is willing to allow the parish the right to be ministered to in their home language”.
He stated that Afrikaans Masses are most common in places such as Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape, Upington in the Northern Cape, Lichtenburg in the North West province, and Windhoek in Namibia. Fr Meyer noted the contribution of many people in the translations, in particular Bishop Edward Risi of Keimoes-Upington, who chairs the Afrikaans Language Pastoral Region, and Fr Martin Badenhorst OP. “The Afrikaans Language Pastoral Region meets four to six times a year to discuss and debate about the texts that we have been working on throughout the year,” Fr Meyer explained. “The translations we decide on are then sent to the Executive Afrikaans Pastoral Region where the bishops make the decision to send these translations for approval,” he said. “Because we work in increments of years, we are planning on not only finishing translations of the opening prayers, prayers over the gifts and the closing prayers but would like to translate the entire altar missal.” The prayer translations come in a 54page booklet, in large print, in either black or red at R80 each.
HE Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has expressed regret that parliament has passed the Protection of State Information Bill—popularly known as the Secrecy Bill—which expands protection for state secrets. The bishops noted that South Africa needs greater openness, not more secrecy, to fight corruption. The bishops urged President Jacob Zuma, who must sign the Protection of State Information Bill before it becomes law, to refer it to the Constitutional Court for deliberation in order to “protect the democracy which we all cherish”. The Bill “lacks a full public interest defence and will thus make the fight against corruption more difficult”, the bishops said in a statement, signed by conference president Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town. Referring the Bill to the Constitutional Court will help to avoid “a prolonged and expensive court battle”, the bishops said. Section 79 of the Constitution allows for the president to refer a Bill to the Constitutional Court for a decision, if he has doubts about a bill’s constitutionality. Last year Mike Pothier, research director of the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office, said that Mr Zuma should avoid the extreme expense, time and effort by sending the Bill to the Constitutional Court. Mr Pothier added at the time that it would also save the government from the potential embarrassment of having the Court overturn the Act. Opposition parties and civil society organisations have said they intend to launch a legal challenge should Zuma sign the Bill.
he controversial Bill was first passed by lawmakers in November 2011 and returned this time after amendments were made by the National Council of Provinces. The bishops objected to the revised Bill on four main counts, saying: • It lacks a full public interest defence and will thus make the fight against corruption more difficult. To fight corruption we need more openness not more secrecy; • The Bill allows for the decision to classify information to be delegated to a staff member of a sufficiently senior level without indicating what such level may be. This risks a situation in which classification decisions are taken by fairly low-ranked officials. • The definition of “national security” is
A banner opposing the Secrecy Bill hangs on the facade of St Mary’s cathedral in Cape Town, opposite parliament. It reads: “The Truth will set you free (Jn 8:32). Say NO to the Secrecy Bill”. (Photo: Günther Simmermacher) still too wide. • The penalty clauses provide that severe punishment (up to 25 years in prison) can be imposed if someone discloses a secret which the person “knows or ought reasonably to have known” would benefit a foreign state. This, in effect, creates an excessive penalty for a possible negligence crime. The bishops welcomed some amendments to the Bill, saying that in the new Bill “it is more difficult for minor state functionaries and departments to classify information as secret”. They also welcomed that a limited public defence has been included on the basis of a revelation of any criminal activity and that the clause empowering the Bill to override the Promotion of Access to Information Act has been dropped. While the Bill remains an “unsatisfactory piece of legislation”, its journey has been an object lesson in cooperation and engagement between civil society and parliament, the bishops said.
Israel’s president to pope: Visit Holy Land, the sooner the better BY CINDY WOODEN
SRAELI President Shimon Peres has officially invited Pope Francis to Israel, telling the pope “the sooner you visit the better, as in these days a new opportunity is being created for peace, and your arrival could contribute significantly to increasing the trust and belief in peace”. The Israeli president’s remarks were reported in a statement released by the Israeli embassy to the Vatican after Mr Peres met Pope Francis. Mr Peres left the meeting at the Vatican telling the pope: “I am expecting you in
Jerusalem—and not just me, but all the people of Israel.” Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi SJ told reporters: “The pope would be happy to go to the Holy Land,” although there are no concrete plans for the trip. The Vatican said that during their halfhour private conversation, the pope and the president discussed “the political and social situation in the Middle East, where more than a few conflicts persist”. Pope Francis and Peres expressed hopes for a resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians so that “with
courageous decisions and availability on both sides, as well as with the support of the international community, an agreement that respects the legitimate aspirations of the two peoples can be reached,” the statement said. Mr Peres met the pope in the library of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace; with the assistance of an interpreter the two spoke privately for about half an hour before the Israeli president introduced members of his entourage to the pope and the two leaders exchanged gifts. Talk about a possible papal trip to the
Holy Land already circulated in March after Pope Francis met Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Several news reports said the Orthodox patriarch had suggested that he and the pope meet in Jerusalem in 2014 to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic first step in Catholic-Orthodox rapprochement: the 1964 meeting there between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras. Three modern popes have made pilgrimage to the Holy Land: Paul VI in 1964, John Paul II in 2000, and Benedict XVI in 2009.—CNS
The Southern Cross, May 8 to May 14, 2013
Parish bids popular priest farewell
Klerksdorp bishop resigns
BY JUDY STOCKILL
HE parish of the Immaculate Conception in Rosebank, Johannesburg, has said farewell to Fr Harry Wilkinson with a Mass which will be remembered as a joyous celebration of love, gratitude and music. Deacon Kevin Kilroe, who has served with Fr Wilkinson in Rosebank for more than 20 years, expressed the love and gratitude that parishioners feel for the priest and on their behalf assured him of their continuing love and prayers. The combined Rosebank parish and chamber choirs sang Mozart’s Mass in C, “The Coronation Mass”, and John Rutter’s “Aaronic Blessing”—both favourites of Fr Wilkinson. For a grand finale the choirs led the congregation in a stirring rendition of “Jerusalem”. Fr Wilkinson was ordained in 1961 by Bishop Hugh Boyle of Johannesburg, the first diocesan priest to be ordained in the new cathedral of Christ the King. He was educated at CBC Boksburg and had ideas then of becoming a priest. However, Mr Pearse said in his tribute, he had to go out to work straight after school to support his widowed mother. Some seven years later, Fr Wilkinson was able to enter St John Vianney seminary. Former Southern Cross editors Mgr Donald de Beer and Michael Shackleton were among his classmates. After ordination Fr Wilkinson was appointed secretary to the apostolic delegate. In this capacity he attended the opening of the second session of Vatican II. Having left his cassock in Pretoria, Fr Wilkinson was offered the use of the archbishop’s overcoat and con-
BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
T Gathered to bid Fr Harry Wilkinson farewell are (from left) choir master Norman Buckle, Deacons Brent Chalmers and Kevin Kilroe, Frs Wilkinson and Tony Nunes, Deacon Jacob Modise and parish pastoral council chairman John Pearse. (Photo:Judy Stockill) sequently found himself allocated a seat in the sanctuary, only metres from Pope Paul VI and facing invited world leaders of all religions. Fr Wilkinson was then appointed to the cathedral of Christ the King as curate, in charge of catechetics, then as administrator of the cathedral, a position he held for 13 years after which he was appointed to Rosebank. Mr Pearse said that Fr Wilkinson commands respect by simply being a follower in Christ’s footsteps. He recalled that Fr Wilkinson had frequently advised him: “Focus on loving God and your neighbour.” Mr Pearse said that Rosebank is a special parish as Fr Wilkinson focuses on the goodness of people and doing good for people. He is courageous, flexible and fearless.
Parishioners gave Fr Wilkinson a standing ovation. Fr Tony Nunes, who will succed Fr Wilkinson as parish priest, thanked Fr Wilkinson for the gift of a Vatican II parish and asked for his prayers. Fr Wilkinson ascribed Rosebank’s special vibes to a spirit of cooperation and the practice of loving one another. “There is an unbelievable spirit of generosity in the parish,” he said. “My gratitude to you is unbounded. May God, himself never to be outdone in generosity, reward you for what you have done. ” After Mass there was a social gathering on the lawn. Fr Wilkinson has moved into a flat in Rosebank Village, around the corner from the church.
The Prayer of Parents to St Joseph for the Children O Glorious St Joseph,
to you God committed the care of His only begotten Son amid the many dangers of this world.
We come to you and ask you to take under your special protection the children God has given us born and unborn.
Through holy baptism they become children of God and members of His Holy Church.
We consecrate them to you today, that through this consecration they may become your foster children.
Guard them, guide their steps in life, form their hearts after the hearts of Jesus and Mary.
St Joseph, who felt the tribulation and worry of a parent when the
Child Jesus was lost, protect our dear children for time and eternity.
May you be their father and counsellor. Let them, like Jesus, grow in age as well as in wisdom and grace before God and men. Preserve them from the corruption of this world and give us the grace one day to be united with them in heaven forever.
HE Apostolic nunciature has announced that Bishop Zithulele Patrick Mvemve of Klerksdorp has resigned from his position. “He is a kind and gentle man,” said Fr Donaat Bohé OMI, who worked as the vicar-general for Klerksdorp under Bishop Mvemve. “We worked well together,” he said about the bishop whom he described as being “friendly and caring” to all. The diocese of Klerksdorp is relatively young, with Bishop Mvemve being only its second bishop. “It was Belgian Oblates who started the diocese. They built many churches and helped grow the region,” said Fr Bohé. When Bishop Mvemve was appointed in 1994 to Klerksdorp, the rural diocese was filled with parishes and outstations without priests. “This was his greatest gift to the diocese: he made sure parishes that were without priests for a very long time were finally given priests,” said Fr Bohé. As a rural and low-income diocese, with many outstations, finance has remained a challenge in the diocese. It is hoped the diocese will become self-sustaining in the future, and no longer reliant on international support, but “it will take a long time to undo this mentality,” and will continue to be a challenge for the future bishop, the former vicar general said. Bishop Mvemve was ordained to
Bishop Zithulele Patrick Mvemve the priesthood in 1969 and appointed auxiliary bishop to Bishop Reginald Orsmond of Johannesburg in 1986. The resignation of Bishop Mvemve, who is 72, was accepted by Pope Francis in accordance with Canon Law 401-402. Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg has been appointed apostolic administrator of Klerksdorp until a new bishop is appointed. At the time of going to press, five dioceses were vacant in the Southern African region: Kokstad, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, Manzini and now Klerksdorp.
Blessings of the motorbikes STAFF REPORTER
OTORCYCLE riders in Cape Town will have their bikes blessed at Good Shepherd church in the northern suburb of Bothasig on June 2. Assisted by Fr Bogdan Buksa of Bellville, chaplain of the archdiocese’s Knights of St Christopher Motorcycle Ministry, the blessing of the bikes ceremony will be conducted by Fr John Keough of Bothasig at a Mass. The blessing will be followed by a ride to a surprise venue for lunch. The knights motto is “He died for me—I’ll ride for Him”. All bikers are welcome, even if thery do not belong to the Knights of St Christopher. The Mass will start at
12:00 at Good Shepherd church, which is at 1 Goedehoop Street in Bothasig. n For more information on the Knights of St Christopher, contact Johann at 083 412 5047 or Mervyn at 082 564 5183. CORRECTION: In our feature spread “Vocations: just a job or a true calling” (April 17) we inaccurately identified Br Atty Sobayeni CFC as the principal of St Mary’s in Bloemfontein, a position he has not held for several years. We regret the error and apologise to Br Sobayeni for the inconvenience this has caused.
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The Southern Cross, May 8 to May 14, 2013
Healing seminars to train SA Church STAFF REPORTER
AITY, religious and clergy who are involved in healing ministry teams or those who would like to start a healing ministry have been invited to attend healing seminars organised by the department of Christian Formation, Liturgy and Culture of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC). “These are not seminars for people who simply need to satisfy their curiosity. It is not for people who want to do healing for fame and for personal gain,” said the department’s Fr Victor Phalana. Participants must be sent by their parishes or by their religious community. The seminar will be led by priests visiting from Uganda who are “coming here to train and to form disciples of Jesus Christ who feel that they have a call”. Fr Phalana said the ministry was inspired by the work of Jesus to give life and to proclaim the King-
dom of God—the kingdom of justice and peace. The ministry will deal with five types of wounds people suffer from: physical, emotional, spiritual, relational and sociological wounds, said Fr Phalana, who is also the vicar-general of Pretoria. The seminars are a result of consultations organised by the bishops over the past seven years as well as the “need to be convinced about the healing ministry of Jesus today in Africa. From this conviction we need to lead people to a deepening of their faith in the love and the healing compassion of the Lord Jesus in his Church. “Let us lead people to have a deep and personal relationship with the Lord and also to acknowledge the role of the Holy Spirit. It is time for us as the Church in Africa to be open to and to encourage charismatic gifts of the Spirit during this inculturation period. Our approach to healing must be integral,” said Fr Phalana.
In Africa, the Church has discovered that healing and justice go together, the priest said. The Catholic Church acknowledges that God requires justice, and a commitment, especially to the vindication of the poor and the oppressed, he said.
nculturation, Fr Phalana said, “reminds us of Jesus, the true, authentic, genuine human being and true God who is the one we follow. Through the incarnation, the God who is holy, ever distant, and beyond us, becomes the God who is near, hidden but present in our situation” and in the poor. “I am making an appeal to the Church in Africa, during these healing seminars, to admit that we are called to be a Church which understands the African worldview, a Church aware of African fears and aspirations, a Church which is aware of the need for a holistic approach to healing, particularly in Southern Africa,” he said.
“There is definitely a need for the use of natural and supernatural remedies. Natural remedies include medical treatment, psychiatric care, marriage and family counselling, knowledge of nutrition and exercise, listening and instruction. I urge the Church in Africa to explore the use of traditional herbal medicine. This medicine is affordable, is cheap and available,” said Fr Phalana, adding that the Bible acknowledges the use of prayer and medicine as seen in Ecc 38:1-14. However, the priest noted: “It becomes a problem for me when natural herbal medicine is connected with magic and superstition.” He said the healing seminars organised by the SACBC will give a very clear understanding of Christian healing in the Catholic Church. “We will also learn how healing and deliverance are related. These seminars will emphasise healing as a team work and not a work of an
individual for self-glory. We will learn all the dos and don’ts in the healing ministry.” “We are committed to the advancement of the kingdom through proclamation, dialogue, healing, deliverance and action on behalf of justice and peace. It is our understanding that healing is God’s gift: his grace, the manifestation of his loving presence in the world.” The seminars will take place from May 18-19 at Glenmore Centre: May 20-22 at Pallotti Farm, Queenstown; May 24-25 in Cape Town; May 27-29 at Maria Trost pastoral centre, Lydenburg; June 12 at Bertoni Centre, Pretoria; and June 7-19 at Mahalapye, Botswana. The facilitators will also be on Radio Veritas on June 4 and will lead an evangelisation crusade at the cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Pretoria, on June 3-5. n For more information, contact Sr Catherine Siyali at the SACBC on 012 323 6458.
Holy Mass to mark jubilees
(From left) St Francis de Sales Missionaries regional superior Fr Babychan Arackathara, Fr Abraham Mullenkuzhy, Archbishop Stephen Brislin, Fr Joseph Puliyilakat and Archbishop emeritus Lawrence Henry.
HE Missionaries of St Francis de Sales Southern African region celebrated 175 years of the congregation (1838-2013), with priests from Namibia and South Africa gathering in Cape Town for their annual retreat. They joined Fr Abraham Mullenkuzhy, celebrating his golden jubilee, and Fr Joseph Puliyilakat, silver jubilee for Mass. The main celebrant was Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town. Archbishop emeritus Lawrence Henry, vicar-general Fr Peter-John Pearson, and many others joined them in celebration.
Run Comrades for Hurley Centre STAFF REPORTER
ARDINAL Wilfrid Napier of Durban has invited runners to make the Comrades Marathon this year a sponsored run for the new Denis Hurley Centre. Project coordinator Paddy Kearney said the idea was for Comrades runners to appeal to their families,
friends, work colleagues and members of their parishes to sponsor them and help raise funds for the centre. “Runners from other parts of South Africa and even overseas are welcome to take part,” he said. On Saturday June 1, the day before the race, Cardinal Napier will say a special Mass for all those who are taking part in the project, their
families and friends—and will give a special blessing to those who will be running for the Hurley Centre. This Mass will take place at Emmanuel cathedral at 17:30. n To get official sponsorship forms and more information, contact the project organiser Mark Wardell at email@example.com or 083 789 5062.
A health care worker prepares to give a health check.
Ecumenical World TB event unites
SIPHILE e St James in the archdiocese of Durban hosted an ecumenical World TB event involving faith leaders from the Anglican, UCC, Methodist and Catholic churches. Adults and children attended and people were screened for TB and tested for HIV. People of different churches showed great respect
for one another. The health care workers were encouraged to be like salt and bring godly flavour into whatever they do for the sick. They were also thanked for dedicated volunteering in the community. Attendees said that such events should be encouraged as they promote unity and tolerance.
HOLY LAND • ROME PADRE PIO
HOLY LAND & CAIRO YOUTH PILGRIMAGE
11 – 23 May 2014 with ARCHBISHOP STEPHEN BRISLIN
5 – 14 July 2014
and Holy Land Trek author Günther Simmermacher Join The Southern Cross and the Archbishop of Cape Town (right) on a special pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Meet with local Christians before travelling to Italy to see the Pope in Rome and to pray at the places of Padre Pio.
FATHER SAMMY MABUSELA
and Claire Mathieson of The Southern Cross A special pilgrimage designed specifically for young Catholics from 16-36, with Fr Sammy Mabusela, national youth chaplain, as spiritual director. The programme includes holy sites, outdoor Masses, hikes in the footsteps of Jesus, encounters with local Christians and much more. A time of faith, friendship and fun!
HOLY LAND: Jerusalem (with Via Dolorosa, church of the Holy Sepulchre, Mary’s tomb). Bethlehem. Nazareth. Cana (with an opportunity to renew marriage vows). Mount of Beatitudes. CaperHOLY LAND: Jerusalem (with Via Dolorosa, church of the Holy naum. Boatride on the Sea of Galilee. Mount Tabor. Jordan River Sepulchre, Mary’s tomb). Bethlehem. Nazareth (with visit to a Baptismal Site. Ein Kerem. Dead Sea. And much more. recreation of 1st century life). Cana. Mount of Beatitudes. ITALY: Rome with PAPAL AUDIENCE, the Capernaum. Boatride on the Sea of Galilee. Mount Tabor. Jordan four major basilicas (including Mass in St River Baptismal Site. Armageddon. Caesarea. Mt Carmel. Dead Peter’s), catacombs, ancient sites. Monte Sea. And much more. Cassino. San Giovanni Rotondo (where Padre CAIRO: as a bonus, enjoy a visit to Cairo with the pyramids, Pio spent almost all of his life). Lanciano (site sphinx and a Nile Cruise. of the first Eucharistic Miracle recognised by the Catholic Church). ISTANBUL: as a bonus, enjoy a day-long exPhone Gail at 076 352 3809 or 021 551 3923 or cursion of sightseeing in the capital of Turkey, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org www.fowlertours.co.za the ancient Constantinople.
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The Southern Cross, May 8 to May 14, 2013
WYD security beefed up in crime-ridden Rio BY LISE ALVES
ECURITY officials at all levels are coordinating to make sure World Youth Day (WYD) is secure for pilgrims, including foreign visitors. WYD’s Local Organising Committee has released details of a contingency plan to be used from July 23-28, when the international event takes place in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s federal police and the federal highway police will be in charge of Pope Francis’ personal security, escorting the pontiff to the different event sites. Military police will be in charge of opening and closing of roads, as well as the security of tourist sites. The National Security Force will serve as a
contingency force and will be activated only if needed. Civil police will be in charge of crowd control. Municipal guards will patrol underground and train stations, guarding pilgrim sites. The defence ministry said it would not place troops on display on the streets with armoured cars and rifles. Army personnel will be seen only when necessary, so that their presence will not be overt. “The safety of a big event like World Youth Day involves all three levels of government”—federal, state and municipal, said Rio de Janeiro’s undersecretary for major events, Roberto Alzir Dias Chaves. He said Brazilians had exchanged information with Italian police and with Spanish officials—the
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last WYD was in Madrid in August 2011. Members of the WYD organising committee said one of Rio’s main attractions—the Corcovado, the mountain on which stands the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer—was the location for the training of 70 military police officers from the Special Battalion of Police Operations, canine units and Airmobile Grouping. The training included five stages: aircraft approach; recapture of the Corcovado train; rescue of victims; positioning sharpshooters; and equipment demonstration.
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In March, police officers and military personnel, as well as officers from the municipal guard, attended a course in crowd control that included officials from Europe. The goal was to prepare security personnel for large events in Rio, such as WYD, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in 2016. But while World Youth Day and government officials meticulously go over security issues, volunteers and pilgrims planning to attend voiced optimism about the success of the event. “We are so much more motivated now that the pope is a Latin
Israeli court OKs barrier through Salesian land BY JUDITH SUDILOVSKY
N Israeli court has approved the construction of the Israeli separation barrier along a route that will nearly surround a convent and its primary school and confiscate most of their land on the outskirts of Beit Jalla, West Bank. After more than six years of legal proceedings, the decision was handed down by the Israeli Special Appeals Committee for Land Seizure under emergency law. “This solution is still unacceptable for us because the school will be encircled on three sides by the wall,” said Anica Heinlein, advocacy officer at the Society of St Yves, which has been representing the Salesian Sisters of Cremisan, who operate the school and an after-school programme for 400 children. “The street leading to the school will go along the wall and will have a heavy military presence. Whenever the gate is open or there is some security concern, there will also be a military presence. Also you wouldn’t want to send your children to school with those conditions.” The Israeli separation barrier is a series of cement slabs, barbed-wire fences and security roads that would effectively separate Beit Jalla from
If you would like to experience what life as a Brother is like, we’d be happy to arrange a visit for you, where you will spend time with a Brother in a ministry, being part of a community.
To be effective agents in the liberation of oppressed and marginalised people from poverty, injustice, ignorance and the effects of sickness, especially HIV/Aids. To collaborate closely with the poor in the integrated ministries of faith-based education, community development, advocating for the transformation of unjust structures and in the care of people and the rest of creation.
Experiencing first-hand the ‘spirit’ of our Congregation is the best way to find out if you have a calling to join the Christian Brothers. Take time for prayer and discernment and let God lead you.
To be brothers to all, modelling our dream for a world of justice and love
two Israeli settlements, creating a strip of land that could be used for expansion and the eventual joining of the settlements on West Bank territory. The plan, which leaves the convent and school on the Palestinian side of the wall, will also cut off the Salesian sisters’ convent from the neighbouring Salesian male community, which will be on the Israeli side of the wall. Though a gate is to be placed in the wall to ease movement between the two communities, Ms Heinlein said that this is a violation of religious freedom. The Salesian men “come on a daily basis to the nuns to celebrate the holy Mass; this is not freedom of religion”, she said. The wall will also put limitations on two religious processions traditionally celebrated every year by the residents of the neighbouring village of Beit Jalla, she added. The gate is designed to also allow farmers and landowners access to their lands on opposite sides of the wall, though they will need permits to reach them. Ms Heinlein said the Society of St Yves is considering taking the case to the Israeli High Court.—CNS
This is the CD cover of Angels and Saints at Ephesus, the fifth album of sacred music to be released by the Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Missouri. The 17-track album features ancient hymns dedicated to a carefully chosen collection of saints and angels. It was produced by nine-time Grammy Award-winning producer Christopher Alder, who has produced albums for the likes of violinist Augustin Dumay, tenor Placido Domingo and conductor Gustavo Dudamel. The CD was due for worldwide release on May 7.
Contact: Brother Evenie Turner O.F.M. 082 599 7718, PO Box 914-1192, Wingate Park, 0153, 082 409-1457/ 012 345-1172
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American,” said Guilherme Sanches, a volunteer at the archdiocese of Campinas and leader of two groups going to Rio for WYD. “I have not heard of anyone changing their minds about [going to] Rio due to security issues. I know some people who will not be able to go due to time constraints and money problems.” Foreign volunteers already in Rio to help out before the event expressed confidence about the success of World Youth Day. “I know everything will work out and that everyone will enjoy the event,” said James Kelliher, 27, of London. He said he would like to see the same festive atmosphere seen during Rio’s famous Carnival.—CNS
A deep relationship with Jesus of Nazareth, embracing his vision for the reign of God. Right relationships in recognition of the dignity, connectedness and interdependence of all of God’s people and the earth Empowering others, especially the poor Responsible stewardship of, full accountability for, and fair distribution of resources
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New encyclical this year? Who we are
The Congregation of Christian Brothers is a world-wide religious community within the Catholic Church, funded by Edmund Rice. The Christian Brothers, as they are commonly known, chiefly work for the evangelisation and education of youth, but are involved in many ministries, especially with the poor.
Where to find us
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PO Box 614, Boksburg 1460 Tel: + 27 011 917 2836 Cell 072 245 2243 email@example.com
BY CAROL GLATZ
OPE Francis may publish his first encyclical this year, the Vatican spokesman has said. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said he “would not exclude” the possibility of the publication of the pope’s first encyclical “within this year”, Vatican Radio reported. The spokesman said that retired Pope Benedict XVI had already “fleshed out material on the theme of faith” for an encyclical. Vatican officials had said Pope Benedict completed work in late 2012 on what would have been his fourth encyclical—a letter on the theological virtue of faith. Its release was expected in the first half of 2013, but the pope resigned on February 28 before its publication. It is not unusual for a pope to pick up work begun by his predecessor, make changes and publish it in his own name. The second part of
Pope Benedict’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (“God is Love”), was a discussion of Catholic charitable activity prepared under Pope John Paul II. Nine months after Pope Benedict was elected, the document was released after the new pope reworked that section. Fr Lombardi also confirmed that Pope Francis will continue to reside in the Vatican guesthouse where he has been staying since the beginning of the conclave that elected him, instead of the papal apartment in the apostolic palace. The Domus Sanctae Marthae houses permanent residents as well as some guests who come to the Vatican for meetings. Pope Francis “likes it there very much,” the spokesman said, and, at the moment, it doesn’t seem he wants to change his accommodations, even though no “final decision” has been made.—CNS
The Southern Cross, May 8 to May 14, 2013
Shroud researcher: No clue how image came on Shroud BY LAUREN COLEGROVE
E Pope Francis kisses Malia Petulisa Malani, 18, of Tonga after administering the sacrament of confirmation to her during a Mass in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican. The pope confirmed 44 people from 22 countries. (Photo: Paul Haring, CNS)
Pope: Corruption worst sin BY CAROL GLATZ
ORRUPTION is worse than any sin because it hardens the heart against feeling shame or guilt and hearing God’s call for conversion, Pope Francis said when he was a cardinal. “Situations of sin and the state of corruption are two distinct realities, even if they are intimately linked to one another,” he said when he was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. The future pope’s comments come from a small booklet, Corruption and Sin: Reflections on the Theme
of Corruption, that was originally published in 2005. While many sins can lead to corruption, sinners recognise their own weakness and are aware of the possibility of forgiveness, he said. “From there, the power of God can come in.” People who are corrupt, on the other hand, have become blind to the transcendent, replacing God with their own powers and abilities. “A sinner expects forgiveness. The corrupt, on the contrary, don’t because they don’t feel they have sinned. They have prevailed,” he said.—CNS
VEN with modern scientific technology, the Shroud of Turin continues to baffle researchers. Barrie Schwortz was the documenting photographer for the independent, self-funded Shroud of Turin Research Project in 1978, an in-depth examination of what many people believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus. The project comprised US and British scientists, including a biophysicist, a nuclear physicist, a thermal chemist, an optical physicist, a thermodynamicist, electric power expert, and a forensic pathologist. In 1981, the project announced: “We can conclude for now that the shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of haemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin.” Raised in an Orthodox Jewish home, “it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I’m a Jew and involved with probably the most important relic of Christianity”, Mr Schwortz told Catholic News Service. “Isn’t it funny how God always picks a Jew to be the messenger?” he added. Mr Schwortz said that he, along with the other members of the research team who came from vari-
Vatican reform: ‘Calm down!’ BY CINDY WOODEN
MID widespread speculation about a complete and quick reorganisation of Vatican departments and rumours in the Italian media that Pope Francis was going to close the Vatican bank, a top Vatican official has told everyone to calm down. “It’s a bit strange; the pope still has not met the group of advisers he chose and already the advice is raining down,” said Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the substitute secretary for general affairs in the Vatican Secretariat of State. The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, ran a front-page interview with Archbishop Becciu, whose job is similar to a chief of staff. Asked about rumours that Pope Francis intended to close the Institute for Religious
Works, commonly called the Vatican bank, Archbishop Becciu said: “The pope was surprised to see attributed to him phrases that he never said and that misrepresent his thought.” Vatican bank employees had joined the pope on April 24 for his morning Mass; in his homily the pope said the story of the Church is part of the story of God’s love for humanity and human beings’ love for God; Pope Francis said bureaucracies, structures and offices—like the Vatican bank, for example— must never get in the way of living and sharing that story of love. “In the context of a serious call to never lose sight of the essence of the Church,” the pope’s reference to the Vatican bank was simply an acknowledgment that some of the employees were present, the archbishop said.
As for the panel of eight cardinals Pope Francis has named to advise him on “the governance of the universal church and to study a plan” to reorganise the Roman curia, Archbishop Becciu said, “at this moment it is absolutely premature to advance any hypothesis about the future structure of the curia”. “Pope Francis is listening to everyone, but wants to hear first of all from those he chose as advisers,” the archbishop said. In the meantime, Archbishop Becciu said, Pope Francis has asked all the heads of Vatican congregations and councils to stay on “for now.” “This shows the desire of the Holy Father to take the time he needs for reflection—and for prayer, let’s not forget—in order to have a complete picture of the situation,” he said.—CNS
ous faith backgrounds, had to set aside personal beliefs and focus on the shroud itself rather than any religious implication it might carry. “We were there to gather information...to do empirical science and do it to the best of our abilities,” Mr Schwortz said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with my personal religious beliefs. It has to do with the truth.”
he Shroud of Turin is a 4,3m linen cloth that has a fulllength photonegative image of a wounded man on the front and back of the cloth. The scientific team spent 120 hours analysing the chemical and physical properties of the shroud, paying special attention to the topographical information showing depth that was encoded in the light and dark shading of the cloth. “Our team went to Turin to answer one simple question: How was the image formed?” Mr Schwortz said. “Ultimately, we failed. “We could tell you what it’s not—not a painting, not a photograph, not a scorch, not a rubbing—but we know of no mechanism to this day that can make an image with the same chemical and physical properties as the image on the shroud.” Testing has been performed on the shroud since the initial analyses, and the results continue to be contested. In 1988 carbon testing dated the cloth to the 12th cen-
tury, leading many to conclude that the shroud is a medieval forgery. In a paper published in 2005, chemist Raymond Rogers, member of the 1978 research team, challenged the claim that the shroud is a fake. He said the sample used in the 1988 carbon testing was a piece used to mend the cloth in the Middle Ages and that the methodology of the testing was erroneous. Even though the controversy over the origin of the cloth does not seem like it will be determined any time soon, Mr Schwortz said the shroud can still be regarded as a bridge between science and faith. “I think the implication of the shroud, for those particularly of the Christian faith, is that this is a document that precisely coincides with the Gospel account of what was done to the man Jesus,” he said. Mr Schwortz said the public online technical database— www.shroud.com—that the team created should be used as a tool to learn more about the physical attributes of the shroud, but that individuals should draw their own conclusions about what it means for their faith. “People often ask me, ‘Does this prove the resurrection?’” Mr Schwortz said. “The shroud did not come with a book of instructions. So the answer to faith isn’t going to be on that piece of cloth, but more likely in the eyes and the hearts of those who look upon it.”—CNS
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The Southern Cross, May 8 to May 14, 2013
LEADER PAGE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Editor: Günther Simmermacher
The Editor reserves the right to shorten or edit published letters. Letters below 300 words receive preference. Pseudonyms are acceptable only under special circumstances and at the Editor’s discretion. Name and address of the writer must be supplied. No anonymous letter will be considered.
Why St Francis took off all his clothes
Models of motherhood I
EDICAL staff at prisons may well tell you that at the sight of a hypodermic needle, many a hardened gangster, bearing multiple scars of stabbing and gunshot wounds, cries out for his mother. It is a natural instinct to seek sanctuary from pain and fear in the person whose womb once provided the perfect shelter. No other love, outside the realms of the divine, is as fierce and unconditional as that of a mother. This is what we celebrate on May 12, when South Africa and other countries throughout the world observe Mother’s Day. Fittingly, in those countries Mother’s Day usually falls in May, the month which the Catholic Church dedicates to our Blessed Mother, Mary. It is a coincidence that Mother’s Day is observed around the time of the feast of Our Lady of Fatima—American Anna Jarvis’ campaign to have a day for mothers officially instituted on the second Sunday in May predates the apparitions in the Portuguese village by a few years. For Catholics, however, this fortuitous circumstance presents an opportunity to associate our appreciation of motherhood with the perfect model of maternity. Moreover, the Southern African Church marks May as the Month of the Family, which intrinsically ties in with motherhood. The convergence of Mother’s Day and Family Month is an opportunity to reflect on the present state of motherhood and the family. Traditionally motherhood is understood, especially in Western social structures, as being placed within the context of the nuclear family—a man and a woman, with their children born in wedlock. This exclusive understanding, however, is gradually changing as the family is being redefined. Some of that redefinition is a voluntarily process appointed by society, or at least by the political leadership which society has elected. Over the past four decades, divorce has become almost as common as marriage being a life-long commitment. Cohabitation has likewise become conventional, even in societies where religion is still in the mainstream. In many countries, children are conceived by couples who forego nuptial rites. The move towards same-sex marriages will increasingly see children being be raised by two men
or two women. Single-parent households, usually headed by the mother, are also becoming common. Though some of the causes for this may be attributed to circumstances beyond the intentional redefinition of family, they nevertheless contribute to a new interpretation of the word. Other shifts in the nature of the family are out of our control. Economic realities require that in many families both partners need to contribute to the household budget. The emergence of the working mother has recalibrated the traditional nuclear family, at least in the domain of child-rearing responsibilities. In Southern Africa especially, the HIV/Aids pandemic has destroyed much of the fabric of family by leaving great numbers of children orphaned. Those not left to their own devices are being raised by their grandparents, or by elder siblings (who often themselves are still children), or by caring individuals who provide them with a home. As we celebrate Mother’s Day, our thoughts must extend beyond the traditional models of motherhood, and include single mothers and those who care for children to whom they did not give birth. Mother’s Day ought not to be about flowers, pralines and breakfast in bed, commendable though it is to spoil Mom on a special day. Mother’s Day should also direct our focus on whether mothers, and women in general, have been invested with all their due rights. This begins within the marriage. Wives ought to be equal partners in their marriages, and husbands have an obligation to participate in householding and childrearing duties. It extends to society, where women still are discriminated against on many levels, including unequal payscales and career advancement opportunities. Even more seriously, of course, are the intolerable phenomena of sexual harassment, assault and exploitation, and domestic violence. On May 12 we shall rightly celebrate our mothers and the mothers of our children, and remember the mothers who have left us. Invoking our Blessed Mother, we pray for all mothers, including those who do not meet the traditional definitions of motherhood.
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HOPE it’s not an offence to disagree with a Franciscan on St Francis, but I feel that Fr Patrick Noonan’s article (April 17) has not told the whole story. Yes, Francis did take his clothes off in the presence of the bishop and onlookers in the town square, but did so because his father had summoned him to appear before the bishop—no doubt hoping the bishop could talk some sense into Francis. However, when Bernadone Sr saw this was not going to happen, he grew angry and said something like: “I am no longer your father and you are no longer my son.” In
other words, he disowned Francis. And Francis replied in like manner: “You are no longer my father. Henceforth I have only one father—he that is my heavenly father.” I cannot believe that the father was uncomprehending or baffled after this exchange. When Francis realised that he owned nothing, that even the clothes on his back belonged to his father, he took them off and handed, or threw, them back, whereupon the bishop covered Francis’ nakedness with his own cloak. I think this gives a much clearer and more credible picture of what
Tribute to a priest Preach well, long
N April 14 I heard of the passing of Pallottine Father Fritz Clemens. I had the privilege and blessing of having him in the diocese of Oudtshoorn from 1983 to 2006 while I was bishop there. We were not only co-workers, but also became great friends over the years. In my humble judgement, he is a saint. He was a man close to the heart of Jesus because he was always ready to do God’s will. He was a dream priest for a bishop and also for his religious superiors because he never refused to accept an appointment of his superiors. When I asked him to accept certain appointments which other priests refused, he would always say: “adsum”, meaning “I am ready”. For him the will of the superior was the will of God and no matter where he worked, the people were always the children of God to be respected and served. He loved to work among the poorest of the poor and they all loved Fr Clemens. I was very impressed by Pope Francis’ words to the priests of Rome at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday: “The shepherd must smell of the sheep.” In other words, they must visit their flock in their homes so that they can have a feel of their conditions and circumstances. Fr Clemens smelt very much of his sheep, he knew most of them by name. I thank God for the privilege of walking with such a beautiful person for more than 20 years and I know that all the people whose lives he touched are better people for it. I rejoice in the knowledge that we have one more intercessor at the throne of our loving Father who gave Fr Clemens to his family and the Church for 90 years. Bishop Edward Adams, emeritus of Oudtshoorn
EGARDING Margaret Mollet’s letter (April 24), why should we bow to the dictates of the world and the media in allowing our priests only very short sermons just because of the short attention span of today’s TV addicts and those influenced by the short messages in the social media? St Augustine of Hippo wrote that the desire to listen to the Word of God, and that includes preaching, is a sign of predestination. In the fundamentalist “churches”, the congregations relish their sermons, however long, thirsting as they do for spiritual sustenance. This is one of the fruits of being effectively evangelised. If Jesus is the centre, love and Lord of our lives, we would not want to limit the time we spent listening to his Word. The liturgy of the Word is as important as the liturgy of the Eucharist. The disciples were given the twin ministries of preaching and healing, ministries which continue in our priests as a necessary aspect of ordination in order to deepen the faith experienced by those under their care. Are our hearts being stirred by the “anointed” or inspired teaching we hear at Mass? When last did we witness a healing as the result of the administration of the sacrament of healing? I believe that inspired preaching should be the charism of every priest, not just the few. If we expeOpinions 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. Letters can be sent to PO Box 2372, Cape Town 8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 021 465-3850
went on. I thought this took place after the crucifix at San Damiano had asked Francis to “Rebuild my Church”, and that was why Francis was using money from the business to rebuild San Damiano and other churches needing repair, which is what made Bernadone Sr so mad! I feel Fr Noonan’s article made one sympathise with Bernadone Sr more than he deserved. After all, he was a businessman and was sore when he was being robbed of stock as well as profit. One can see his point of view, but not to the extent of disowning his son. M Neylan, Cape Town rience a deep and dynamic relationship with the Lord, we would not be “clock watchers” during the sermon at Sunday Mass, or those seeking out a parish where the priest is known for his short sermons! John Lee, Johannesburg
ITY your apology in your editorial “Reflection on a joke” (April 24) was spoilt by adding that the joke about the Risen Lord “could lead to deeper, fruitful reflection”. The joke was distasteful and offensive. Be sure no Jewish editorial would ever had printed anything so distasteful about Yahveh, nor the Muslims about Allah. Edith Papen, by e-mail
Do lighten up!
EFERRING to your editorial “Reflection on a joke”, I think you are wrong in saying that those who were offended by the joke should not be told to “lighten up”. They should lighten up instead of writing po-faced letters. It was just a joke, not a theological statement. As your editorial states, the joke might even mirror truth; why wouldn’t Jesus be “miffed” with his disciples who went to sleep when they should have stood guard and who were conspicuous by their absence on Good Friday. We should be offended by so many injustices in our world today. Why don’t your critics write about those instead? Paul Collins, Johannesburg
LIKED your editorial “Reflection on a joke”. Your response was thoughtful, respectful, balanced, theologically sound and even inspiring. Tony Magliano, Baltimore, USA
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What do you know? W
Faith and Society
HILE in many respects a hugely rich language, English is poorer in having only one word for
“know”. Other languages can distinguish between knowing a fact (savoir in French, wissen in German) and knowing a person or a place from personal experience (connaître in French, kennen in German). Thus, there is a difference between knowing that Cape Town is a city in South Africa, and knowing Cape Town. Being aware of this difference can help us to avoid falling into the trap of believing that because we know something— by knowing it intellectually or by listing some facts in relation to it—that we really know it in a way that our views might have some authority. And in the same way we might say that we do not know something—because we do not know how it works or what lies behind it—while we do at a more instinctive and personal level know it. Many people in South Africa know the reality of poor service delivery because they experience it all the time—but that sadly does not mean that they know it in a way that will make them politically active or able to protest about it. The use of the word “know” in relation to people is particularly problematic. I might say that I know someone because I have worked with her for many years. I know how she takes her coffee, I have met her husband, I have even socialised with her outside of work. But then something unexpected happens and I find myself saying: “I don’t think I ever really knew her.” One of the blocks to progress in South Africa is, I would suggest, the failure of each of us genuinely to know people who are not like us. It is not as bad as it once was. We have mostly now left behind the ghettos in which we only came across people who were just like us: Portuguese Catholics living, working, socialising with and marrying just other Portuguese Catholics; Cape Muslims living, working, socialising with and marrying just other Cape Muslims; Venda living, working, socialising with and marrying just with other Venda. Instead, the reality of living and working in this country today means that it is hard not to come across people from a different background—in offices, in shops, in government departments, in schools. So almost every Afrikaner can say that they know an Indian, almost every Indian that they know a Zulu, almost every Zulu that they know a Sotho person, almost every Sotho that they know an Anglo. But of course they don’t necessarily really know them. They might know their
Now you’ve met. But do you really know one another? names and a little about them (knowledge as a series of facts) but they do not know them in the sense of having a genuine relationship with them. The reality is that the stripes of the rainbow nation lie alongside each other but rarely mix. As a brown-skinned Brit living in Johannesburg I find myself in unlikely social situations—one evening I can be at a party where everyone is white apart from me, and the next evening at a party where everyone is black apart from me. When groups of people spend almost all their time socialising with people who are like them, can they really claim that they “know” people from different communities?
e might hope that this is a legacy of apartheid and that it is going to change in the next generations. Certainly, in terms of religious segregation we have seen great improvements. One of the curious advantages of having Catholic schools in which only a minority of the students are Catholic is that our young people grow up from an early age with an experience of meeting and studying alongside people from religious backgrounds that are not the same as their own. But in terms of differences of skin colour (raised up to the spurious status of “race”) our young people rarely get the opportunity to genuinely know people from a different community. And even when they do get these opportunities, they seem unwilling to take them. A walk around Wits University campus in Johannesburg would show large numbers of students of different colours—but it is sad to notice on closer inspection that they are clustering together in groups of brown students and black students and white students. What is true of skin colour is true of
This is Mission Possible
HRISTIANITY is not nice words and empty phrases, it has to be practised in a committed and sacrificial way that is clearly identifiable in the world and influences its surroundings.” These words of Bl Adolph Kolping (1813-65), the founder of the Kolping Society, challenge all of the laity today because we, as laity, are “in the world”. How do we make Christianity identifiable in the world? How do we spread the message of Jesus in the world? The unique contribution that the laity can make to the mission of the Church is to live out their Christianity with full intent so that the mission of Jesus is realised in the ordinary events that make up the life of the laity—in politics, economics, society, culture, human love, family life, their professions, and even their suffering—all of these are arenas where the lay people can make an impact in spreading the message of Jesus. Many times we are not clear on how we can participate in the mission of Jesus. Sometimes we do not understand what the word mission means. When we hear of missionaries, we may think of priests and nuns going out into the world to bring the Good News to people. Is that our mission? Sometimes we hear in sermons that we are all missionaries—what does that mean? Firstly, mission is a “doing” word.
The logo for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ strategic plan for the next four years sums up our Christian mission. When we use the word, in ordinary life, it always suggests an action, such as “I’m on a mission today”, meaning that we want to do something today. When we say “Mission accomplished”, it means that we have completed what we have set out to do. Or when we say “Mission impossible”, it means that what we are trying to do seems very difficult and it looks like we will not accomplish our objective. So our mission is to do what Jesus has asked us to do, and that is to “go and love as I have loved”. We have to do this in a very practical and concrete way. The everyday things we have to do, we have to do in the Spirit of Jesus. So everything we do, wherever we are, is part of the mission of Jesus.
almost every other basis of difference. Most able-bodied people do not know many disabled people. Most rich people do not know many poor people. Most professionals do not know many manual workers. Most Christians do not know many Muslims. Most straight people do not know many gay people (or at least they think they do not). Does this really matter? Is it not just a social reality that people will cluster with their peers? I believe it does matter and on four levels.
irst of all, the easiest way to combat prejudice is to enable people to interact genuinely and discover that the “other” is not as different/alien/threatening as they thought. We have experience this at first hand in the Catholic community through the fruits of ecumenism—our prejudices against “Prods” or their prejudices against “die Roomse gevaar” do not stand up for long once we actually get to know each other. This is a sure fire way of combatting all prejudice. Secondly, in spending time getting to know people who are different we can grow in ourselves. Whatever I thought I knew about people with disability was facile until I actually went on holiday with a friend in a wheelchair or lived with a priest who is deaf. Getting to know them more deeply and how they coped with life, taught me a lot about how some of my weaknesses could be strengths (and how my apparent strengths could be weaknesses). Thirdly, inherent in the comment above is the misplaced use of the word “peer”. That rather begs the question: to say that I only spend time with my peers allows me to define a group that includes some and automatically excludes others, the very definition of prejudice. It is a basic tenet of Catholic teaching that all human beings are equally children of God and we should feel equal responsibility for all other human beings. To rephrase the famous epigram of Terrence: I am human and no one human is alien to me. Finally, such behaviour could not be further from the model that Jesus gave us. He annoyed his closest friends by spending time with people who were not like him—women, Samaritans, tax-collectors, prostitutes, Roman centurions. He realised that only in that way could he genuinely claim to know them. If Jesus ever felt that he did not know a group of people, I would imagine that his reaction would not be to dismiss them or judge them, but instead to go out of his way to spend time with them.
Faith and Life
Secondly, we have to remember that we are not doing anything because of our own ideas and efforts, but because we have been sent by Jesus. And that is our vocation as laity: we are tasked to take into the world the message of Jesus in our everyday lives. Our lives are filled with many ordinary and mundane tasks, which do not make front page news or get honoured with public awards. But these ordinary and mundane tasks are opportunities of loving like Christ loves, thereby raising them as spiritual offerings to God. Take for example and ordinary activity like going to work. How do we bring the mission of Christ into our work? We can do this by doing an honest day’s work, by being faithful to the job, not wasting time and material, having respect for the ecology, speaking with respect to coworkers, bringing the spirit of encouragement and creativity to each other. This is how we make Christianity visible in the workplace. Think of ways you can make Christianity visible in other areas of your life. Christianity is not just a theory or a philosophy. It is action. It is living the mission of Christ in a very practical way. This is what Bl Adolph Kolping means in the quote that opened this article.
Point of Reflection
Eulogy to motherhood
T the funeral the daughter-in-law stood up to speak about her deceased mother-in-law. The younger woman thanked the older matriarch for the close relationship they had shared for more than three decades. She choked over her words remembering their early rocky relationship when she was first married to her son and how, if she had a problem with her mother-in-law, she quickly learned to address them directly to her. “My mother-in-law was the family matriarch,” she said through her tears. “She kept the family together, herding us, guiding us, feeding us. Every Sunday she worked from dawn to prepare our favourite dishes for the weekly sumptuous family feast. She never complained nor hinted at the cost. She taught us by example and hard work. We will always remember her.” In his book The Elephant Whisperer, the late Lawrence Anthony describes the elephant herd. “From Nana, the glorious matriarch, I learned how much family means. I learned just how much wise leadership, selfless discipline and tough unconditional love is the core of the family unit. I learned how important one’s own flesh and blood actually is when the dice are loaded against you,” he wrote. “From Nandi, I learned about dignity and how much a real mother cares; how she was prepared to stand over her deformed baby for days without food or water, trying right until the end, refusing to surrender until the last breath had been gasped.”
t the funeral, the daughter-in-law reached for a tissue when she spoke about how her mother-in-law had not left her side when she was once very ill. Nor had she left the hospital when her own son was dying, and how she never recovered from her loss. The eulogy was a tribute to all mothers who in their own way are the family matriarchs. The stories of Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel are told in the Book of Genesis. Sarah, the wife of Abraham, who had no children of their own during her childbearing years, gave birth to a son they called Isaac when she was in her menopausal years. Sarah is often called the “first matriarch” of the Jewish nation, and her daughter-in-law Rebecca and nieces Leah and Rachel are known as the “founding mothers”. This beautiful story is retold by Anita Diamant in her book The Red Tent. Through the voice of Dinah, the only daughter of Jacob, the story of her four mothers—sisters, concubines and wives of Jacob—is told. Leah was Dinah’s birth mother while Rachel, aunt and midwife, taught Dinah the art of delivering babies. Zilpah and Bilhah remained concubines because Jacob never married them. They braided Dinah’s hair and prepared her for womanhood through stories. In the New Testament the compelling story of cousins, Mary and Elizabeth, is told in Luke’s gospel. The scene described is when Mary, newly pregnant, visits Elizabeth who is in her last trimester. Elizabeth, known as a “devout woman”, one of the daughters of Aaron and the wife of Zacharias, was also past her childbearing years when she was carrying John. Being older and more experienced she might have given young Mary some advice to prepare her for what lay ahead when her son Jesus was born. Mary’s labour had to be endured while she and Joseph walked to Bethlehem, and she gave birth without the help of a midwife. The birth of Jesus is described in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Two millennia of Christian women have been taught and tried to follow the example of Mary set by a young woman who has become known as the “Mother of Christianity”. This brings me back to the ordinary mothers, like the mother-in-law, who do their best to follow in the footsteps of the matriarchs of our past. It was a farewell eulogy I will always remember. It was a funeral that reminded me of the awesomeness of mothers and women. It was a story celebrating Life.
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The Southern Cross, May 8 to May 14, 2013
Parishioners at Our Lady Help of Christians in Lansdowne, Cape Town, celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday. Nassie and Aggie Simaan have donated a statue of the Divine Mercy (inset) to their parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in Rivonia, Johannesburg. Mr Simaan started the devotion in the parish and recently celebrated his 91st birthday.
Four generations of a family came together as Beryl Marshall, an 88year-old parishioner from Holy Redeemer church in East London, held her two-day-old greatgrandson James Aidan Hartwanger, as daughter Rosemary Sutton and granddaughter Tamara Hartwanger looked on.
Three young parishioners from St Patrick’s parish in East London will travel to Rio de Janeiro in July to participate in World Youth Day. (From left) Kimberlee Willmers, Daniel van der Merwe and Rachel van Wyk.
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Grade 6 learners at Marist Brothers College Linmeyer in Johannesburg marked the start of Holy Week with a “Dressing of the Cross” service.
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Sr Mary Monica Ngcobo was received into the novitiate of the Holy Childhood sisters in Eshowe. Sr Ngcobo is pictured with Fr David Mthiyane (left), her mother (right) and her siblings (back).
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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.
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The Southern Cross, May 8 to May 14, 2013
Exorcisms for South Africa Ghost led to a blessing The department of Christian Formation, Liturgy and Culture of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference is gearing up for a series of seminars on healing and exorcism for bishops and priests. CLAIRE MATHIESON reports.
When a persistent unidentified presence—a ghost— would not leave a Pretoria home alone, the owners knew whom they were going to call. CYNTHIA BOLSMANN tells us about her experience with the ghost and the blessing that emerged from it
VER the past five years, healing consultations and seminars have been held in the conference area as the Church in South Africa promotes a renewed healing ministry. The latest development is to train bishops and bishop-appointed priests in exorcism—the practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person or an area which they are believed to have possessed. According to Fr Victor Phalana of the Formation, Liturgy and Culture department of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, more than 50 priests and five bishops have enrolled for the exorcism seminar to be held this month at John Paul II Pastoral Centre in Bethlehem, Free State. “This seminar will introduce participants to learn more about the history of exorcism in the Catholic Church and the Church’s magisterium on the ministry of exorcism,” said Fr Phalana. The course facilitators from Uganda will “share their experiences and guide all participants on the practicalities of this ministry”. Participants will learn how Satan can affects us by temptation, demonic possession, external physical pain, diabolical oppression, diabolical obsessions, and diabolical subjugation or dependence. “I believe that there is a need for a ministry of exorcism because many of our faithful are afflicted,” said Fr Phalana. The Church does acknowledge the existence of negative spirits, which is confirmed in the Gospels. “When we are united with Christ, we are conquerors. The evil one will try to influence our will, to tempt us, to intimidate us; but the greatest security is living in the presence of God,” said Fr Phalana. “Satan is a great deceiver and he exists in the realm of the supernatural.” Fr Phalana said the Christian worldview tells of the existence of the supernatural world which includes God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, angels and saints. The same view teaches of Satan and the demonic reality as is found in 1 Samuel 16:15-23 and 1 Kings 22:21-23. Jesus believed in the existence of Satan as a personal
and distinct being and his activity in the world (Mk 2:1-12; John 14:30; Mt 12:43; Mk 9:25; Lk 13:12), said Fr Phalana, who is also the vicar-general of the archdiocese of Pretoria. Each diocese in South Africa has an exorcist and has witnessed evil in varying degrees. Spiritual healing can react to the spirit of the occult, a result of the involvement in magic, spiritualism and astrology; or the spirits of sins which can manifest through pornography, addictions, substance abuse, immorality, greed and hatred. Many of these sins can be dealt with through confession. Other encounters with the evil spirit need counselling. These include the spirits of trauma through abuse, poverty or racism. But some spirits need exorcism. “Ghosts and evil spirits must be exorcised. Arrogant spirits of the dead, who bring about destruction, fear, pain and death, must be exorcised,” said Fr Phalana. “It is for this reason that we need exor-
cists in the Church.” Fr Phalana said spirits can have various outward manifestations. From violent reactions to the cross or consecrated people to irrational or negative reactions to the consecrated host can be a sign of the presence of a spirit. Some signs include breaking holy vessels, defacing bibles and churches, and committing blasphemy. Direct obstruction of the work of God is another indicator. “Many priests in the country have been obstructed while giving counselling, praying for healing, or while saying Mass, especially during the Consecration. This could be a sign of an obstructive spirit,” said Fr Phalana. It is important before ministry, counselling and prayer meetings to use our Christian authority to forbid any disturbance by enemy spirits, the priest said, but it is not always necessary to make such prayers publicly; some experts in the healing ministry encourage Continued on page 11
WILL always remember with much joy a Tuesday evening last month. It was an evening set aside to thank Fr Hyacinth Ennis OFM of St Pius X parish in Waterkloof, Pretoria, who had flash went off almost simultaneagreed to bless our Fine Art ously, but when the film was developed, there was no evidence Gallery in Brooklyn. Fr Ennis had also blessed our that a supernatural force had house last July—after praying been present. It was then that Fr Ennis came that an unidentified entity that had plagued us for a while, com- into the picture. Special prayers monly known as a ghost, may and holy water sprinkled liberally delivered us from the restless rest in peace. We had moved into the house spirit that had rather disrespectless than two years earlier. It was fully shown a special interest in not long before we were dis- our bedroom. If the reader thinks that the turbed by the unidentified entity entity had moved to who, usually as midthe gallery in a sepanight approached, rate building on our Usually as pushed our bedroom property, he is misdoor wide open. If taken. There was no midnight the door was firmly need to include closed, we heard approached, farewell prayers to the what appeared to be blessing of the gallery. hands bashing at the We intended to say it pushed door. a heartfelt thank you There was nothing our bedroom to Fr Ennis for his sucin the house that cessful “exorcism” and gave us cause to feel door open. the blessing of the uncomfortable, but it gallery, and to do so was nontheless a nuiamong friends and sance which I was not prepared to tolerate any longer. friends of friends who had come Our prayers to help the phenom- to be with us that evening. Few of the 30-plus guests were enom to go away were not answered. Nor were our pleadings Catholics. Of the South African guests no one seemed to be to leave us alone. My husband, Eric, had written Catholic but few eyes were dry a book, Ghosts of Pretoria, which when almost everyone joined Fr was published in 1997 but has Ennis in saying the Lord’s Prayer. The “formalities” came to a long since been out of print. He had never seen a ghost and al- conclusion when Eric, who is an though he interviewed hundreds artist specialising in oil paintof people who insist that they ings, presented Fr Ennis with a have had ghostly encounters of view of his church. Eric had sorts, he does not claim to be an completed the painting especially for this occasion. authority on the subject. No one had expected to witA friend of his, though, does. It is a poltergeist, he announced, ness a Catholic service offered to but failed to provide the means a non-denominational audience in an art gallery usually utilised to get rid of the spook. There are, of course, many for openings of art exhibitions. people who do not believe in It was an emotional event everyghosts at all. They want proof, one commented on with joy in possibly in the form of a photo- their heart as they savoured the graph. And to provide such undefinable sense of peace and proof was our next move. One goodwill among all present. evening when Eric anticipated The appearance of the some action, he was ready, cam- unidentified entity led to the era in hand, for the door to memorable evening coming open. The door did open, the about. For this I am grateful.
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Pretoria artist Eric Bolsmann presents an oil painting of St Pius X church in Pretoria to Fr Hyacinth Ennis in appreciation for the Franciscan priest’s dealing with a restless ghost.
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The Southern Cross, May 8 to May 14, 2013
C.S. Lewis’ exploration of faith still inspires Fifty years after his death, the English author C.S. Lewis continues to inspire new generations of readers with his exploration of the Christian faith, as JONATHAN LUXMOORE reports.
N a wooded suburb of the fabled university city of Oxford, a battered typewriter sits on a desk beside a bay window that overlooks a tangled landscape of oaks and beeches. Nearby, ancient bookshelves guard a leather armchair surrounded by wall maps and pictures depicting a fantasy world. When Clive Staples Lewis bought The Kilns, a former brick factory, in 1930, he used its remote calm to produce a stream of Christian stories, the best known of which, The Chronicles of Narnia, has since sold 100 million copies in more than 45 languages. But Lewis also gained renown for his Christian apologetics. His Mere Christianity, published in 1952, was rated “best religious book of the 20th century” by the US magazine Christianity Today. Until now, Lewis has been largely ignored at Oxford University, where he taught for three decades, until his death in 1963. With interest growing, however, and three books of the Narnia series now blockbuster films, things are changing. “Lewis wasn’t a professional theologian, but his sense of the world Christianity portrays was just as profound as the best modern theologians’,” said Judith Wolfe, an expert on the author and a theology faculty member of Oxford’s St John’s College. “He realised Christian literature wasn’t presenting good characters who were also interesting; the evil characters were always more compelling,” she said. “By portraying Christ as the lion Aslan in the Narnia stories, he hoped to reveal the real-life attractiveness of the holy.” A native of what is now Northern Ireland, Lewis won an Oxford
scholarship in 1916, graduating after fighting in the trenches of World War I. He became a fellow of Oxford’s Magdalen College in 1925. The city is full of landmarks connected to Lewis. There’s the Eagle and Child pub where his literary group, The Inklings, met; the walkways where he nurtured his fascination for Nordic, Celtic and Greek legends; and the Anglican Holy Trinity church where he lies buried. As a new generation is introduced to the world of Narnia, Anglican Father Michael Ward, a university chaplain, said he thinks Lewis’ Christian vision is gaining a new relevance. Lewis’ work has appeared on reading lists in both English literature and systematic theology at Oxford. The C.S. Lewis Society hosts weekly seminars at the university’s Pusey House. “Like his close friend, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis expressed his Christian faith through narrative and imagination which seems to be chiming in with contemporary needs,” explained Fr Ward, co-editor of the groundbreaking The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis. “People are picking up intuitively again on the timeless religious element in his books, even if they’re not directly aware of their fundamentally Christian message,” the priest said.
ewis was raised in the Anglican Church of Ireland, but abandoned his faith in school, recalling in Surprised by Joy: The Shape of my Early Life how he had received Communion “in total disbelief, acting a part, eating and drinking my own condemnation”. When Lewis returned to the Anglican faith at Oxford in 1931— thanks to the devoutly Catholic Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings trilogy—he described himself as “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England”. Although Lewis disappointed Tolkien by declining to become a Catholic, he was sympathetic to the Catholic doctrines of confession and prayers to the saints. His return to faith released new powers of imagination and launched
C.S. Lewis and his desk overlooking the garden in The Kilns in Oxford where he penned his Christian stories, including The Chronicles of Narnia. him on a fresh career as an interpreter who popularised Christianity. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, based on wartime broadcasts for the BBC, tackled popular objections to Christianity, stripping it to its essentials with simple arguments and observations. Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor of church history at Oxford, said Lewis’ non-denominational approach to Christianity explains his popularity and is giving him renewed appeal today. “Lewis has become a standardbearer for conservative Christians when religion seems to be undergoing a great realignment between the forces of tradition and change,” Prof MacCulloch said. “This tension runs across the theological categories and can now unite a conservative Catholic with a conservative Protestant, something which wouldn’t have happened half a century ago.” Other experts concur that Lewis succeeded in capturing the Christian imagination where the theological abstractions of churches often seemed too high brow. In The Screwtape Letters, a series of imagined exchanges between an older and younger devil, Lewis satirised human weakness and selfdeception, showing how Christian communities could be corrupted
with “uneasy intensity and defensive self-righteousness.” In The Great Divorce, he exposed the vulnerability of human selfawareness, while in Reflections on the Psalms he explained why the Old Testament’s contents, however “terrible and contemptible,” were needed to show humanity’s true colours.
alter Hooper, an American Catholic who was living with Lewis at the time of his death, remembers the author as affable and hard-drinking, but also as a man who sincerely attempted, against difficult odds, to live a Christian life. Now 81 and a trustee of Lewis’ estate, Mr Hooper has edited Lewis’ letters and diaries, some of which were rescued from a bonfire two months after the writer’s death. He agreed that interest in Lewis also is growing among Catholics. During a 1988 Cambridge University lecture, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger praised Lewis’ rejection of “destructive relativism”. Mr Hooper recalled how Bl John Paul II also revealed a knowledge of Lewis’ works when the two met during a 1988 general audience in Rome and the late pope lauded his 1960 work, The Four Loves, as well as Lewis’ devotion to a practical
apostolate. “Lewis owed it to his fans to avoid complexities and set Christianity’s core beliefs in place,” Mr Hooper said. “But he was adamant those core beliefs, the deposit of faith, must always remain, no matter how things change. If you get rid of Christianity’s sense and meaning, you’ll have nothing to come back to,” he said. Lewis has been criticised by atheists, while many professional theologians still maintain a haughty disdain for him. But Mr Hooper predicted Lewis’ contribution to popularising Christianity will gain ever greater acknowledgment, especially when the Christian faith appears in danger of being ignored. “Lewis believed he had a responsibility to spread the Gospel through his writings and showed how Christianity could be presented in almost any form, from science fiction to children’s fables,” Mr Hooper said. “Because the academics wouldn’t touch him, it’s taken a long time for his creativity to be taken seriously. But Lewis couldn’t deal with anything without illuminating it; and I think many people are now appreciating the inspirational power which runs through his work,” he said.—CNS
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The Southern Cross, May 8 to May 14, 2013
Fr Peter Dielwart OP
OMINICAN Father Peter Dielwart died on April 25 in the Netherlands at 82. He was born in Rotterdam on November 17, 1930. After World War II he entered the Dominican Order and was professed on September 18, 1953, and ordained to the priesthood on July 25, 1959. He came to South Africa in 1961 after spending some months in England learning English. Fr Peter was not a linguist although he did manage to master Sesotho. Fr Peter’s outstanding quality was his love of the poor. He was devoted to the people on the farms and often spoke about the simple people and the wisdom he learnt from them. He produced catechetical material which only he could have been able to use and which he prepared on his typewriter and assembled in his room. Fr Peter was a humble man entirely committed to whatever he was asked to do. People loved him for his simplicity and identification
with them. He always dressed in his Roman collar and proudly wore his Dominican habit. Fr Peter read a lot and was very devout. He reflected deeply on the scriptures and always spoke the Word with his people. He worked on his own and was certainly not a team person. Despite this he achieved much and won the admiration of the people he served. In his earlier years he played the piano and organ but eventually gave this up. He was a shy and retiring person and not the leader on the bandstand, never seeking popularity. His one desire was to do what he was sent to do: to proclaim the good news. He worked in the diocese of Kroonstand in places like Odendaalsrus, Viljoenskroon, Virginia and Sasolburg. It was in Sasolburg that he worked with Sr Elizabeth who was about the only person one could say was his team mate. Their mission was mutually enriching. When he reached old age he was encouraged to return to Holland
Call for St David’s Marist school memorabilia STAFF REPORTER
I which he did reluctantly in 2010 where he retired to the Berchmanianum in Nijmegen. His condition gradually deteriorated and he succumbed to Parkinson’s disease. A few days prior to his death he attended the funeral of a colleague after which he requested the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. Fr Peter was someone who lived a committed life and died peacefully after a very fulfilling life. He is survived by a sister and many people who remember him fondly. Emil Blaser OP
Exorcisms to battle evil spirits Continued from page 9 some prayers in private or quietly. “This type of silent prayer is very effective. Any activity you involve yourself in should be under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Focus on the Lord and on the Spirit. Avoid unnecessary concern about spirits,” Fr Phalana said. He said there are also paranormal phenomena such as oppressed houses and inexplicable movements of objects, doors and windows, which indicate spirits affecting the house and at times causing emotional disturbance in people. Fr Phalana said many priests and bishops have been asked to assist and to pray for families suffering as a result of this kind of phenomenon. Fr Phalana said discernment is key in the area of exorcism. While,
for example, some sicknesses are caused by spirits, many are not. “It is only when the normal treatments do not yield the expected results that you try to look for another explanation.” Similarly, an inner darkness and spiritual confusion is not always the work of an evil spirit. “One must check marked blockages in normal personality or spiritual development,” he said. The same goes for the bondage of temptation, irrational fears or phobias. “Since we do not have any guarantee, and since some of these manifestations can be a result of many other causes; we need discernment to be able to know what type of spirit we are dealing with. We need knowledge of medicine and psychology to get a clearer picture. We
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need to use common sense, prudence and discernment at all times. Let us not spiritualise everything; use your reason,” he advised. “Let us not see evil spirits in everything and at all times. This is totally unhealthy. A healthy spirituality focuses on God and on the good of creation. That is why this ministry requires people who are balanced and who use common sense.” “The Word of God is not only good information, it is also good inspiration, enlarging our perspective, encouraging our resolve and strengthening our faith,” Fr Phalana said. “Jesus continues to say to us today: Be not afraid! Let us pray for the exorcism seminar to be a success and to yield good fruits.”
Southern CrossWord solutions
SOLUTIONS TO 549. ACROSS: 3 Gladiator, 8 Wash, 9 Many tasks, 10 Traced, 11 Snout, 14 Halve, 15 Said, 16 Shows, 18 Fuss, 20 Celia, 21 Hagar, 24 Peewit, 25 In the know, 26 Snag, 27 Parthenon. DOWN:1 Switch off, 2 Establish, 4 Lead, 5 Doyen, 6 Abacus, 7 Oaks, 9 Medes, 11 Spoor, 12 Table wine, 13 Advantage, 17 Screw, 19 Sachet, 22 Ankle, 23 Anna, 24 Polo.
Liturgical Calendar Year C Weekdays Cycle Year 1
Sunday, May 12, the Ascension of the Lord Acts 1:1-11, Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9, Ephesians 1:17-23 or Hebrews 9:24-28; 10:19-23, Luke 24:46-53 Monday, May 13, Our Lady of Fatima Acts 19:1-8, Psalm 68:2-7, John 16:29-33 Tuesday, May 14, St Matthias Acts 1:15-17, 20-26, Psalm 113:1-8, John 15:9-17 Wednesday, May 15, St Isidore the Farmer Acts 20:28-38, Psalm 68:29-30, 33-36, John 17:11-19 Thursday, May 16, St Margaret of Cortona Acts 22:30; 23:6-11, Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11, John 17:20-26 Friday, May 17, St Paschal Baylon Acts 25:13-21, Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20 John 21:15-19 Saturday, May 18, St Felix Porri of Cantalice Acts 2:44-47 or Colossians 3:12-17, Psalm 131:1-3, Luke 12:22-31 Sunday, May 19, Pentecost Sunday Acts 2:1-11, Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34, 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13 or Romans 8:8-17, John 20:19-23
N anticipation of the 75th anniversary of the founding of St David’s Marist College in Inanda, Johannesburg, in 2016, the school has commissioned the writing of its history and, with it, a call for old stories, photographs or school memorabilia to add to the itss archives. “Research started two years ago and a great deal of ground has already been covered,” said Chris Busschau, an old boy of St David’s. “Interviews have been undertaken with the Marist Brothers themselves, with numerous old boys, with past and current staff members and also with people who have had other connections to St David’s over the years,”he said. “The Catholic Church has a long history of anticipating developments—whether it be in the fields of pastoral work, parish development, education, or just plain sound planning. This was never more evident than when the
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Marist Brothers decided to expand their presence in Johannesburg by building a new school in the farming areas far north of the city in 1941. The brothers were sure that the city would develop in that direction, and how right they were,” said Mr Busschau. “The small rural establishment of 1941 is now a vast centre of academic excellence in the heart of Sandton with over 1 100 learners, all boys, an academic and extramural record that places it alongside the most famous schools in Southern Africa, a deeply spiritual Catholic ethic and a proud history as a trailblazer in the fields of human and civil rights as well as community involvement.” To honour the school’s history, school historian Julie Egenreider has appealed to anyone who has a story, photographs or memorabilia to share that she could use in the history and add to the St David’s archives. n Please contact Julie Egenrieder on firstname.lastname@example.org or 083 263 3435 for more information.
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HOLY Saint Jude, Apostle and Martyr, great in virtue and rich in miracles, kinsman of Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor of all who invoke you, special patron in time of need. To you I have recourse from the depths 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. For prayers answered. MP
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Pentecost Sunday: May 19 Readings: Acts 2:1-11, Psalm 104: 1, 24, 2931, 34, Romans 8:8-17, John 14:15-16, 23-26
May the Spirit enhance us
Nicholas King SJ
EXT Sunday, our joyful Easter season comes to its sudden end, with Pentecost, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. It may be helpful to see what the readings for next Sunday have to say about the Spirit. The first reading is always the same on this feast, the account of what happened on the first Pentecost, when the Church was born. Notice that Luke says “when the Day of Pentecost was fulfilled”. This word “fulfilment” is one of the ways in which the author delicately hints that God is in charge. Then we get two signs of the presence of the Spirit: first “a sound from heaven, like the blowing of a strong wind”; second “divided tongues as of fire sat on each one of them”. After that the Spirit is unambiguously present and active: “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, just as the Spirit gave them to utter”. So the Spirit enables the preaching of the Gospel, in different languages, just as has been the case from that day to this. Then Luke gives us a little picture of what it was like: the Spirit, it seems, enables us to speak in the language of our audience (something that the Church needs to relearn from time to time). The hearers are startled that these men are Galileans (and therefore spoke the impenetrable dialect of Aramaic from
those parts, which used to make people laugh). But in fact people from all over the Roman world are hearing the Gospel, thanks to the Spirit: from the East (“Parthians, Medes and Elamites, and those dwelling in Mesopotamia”), then the locals (“inhabitants of Judea”), then to the north-west (“Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia”—all places where Paul would later be active). Then south across the Mediterranean to Africa (“Egypt and the regions of Libya round Cyrene”), and back north and a bit west to the capital of the world (“resident Romans”), then a cultural mixed bag (“Jews and proselytes”), then back east (“Cretans and Arabians”). And what happens to all these ethnic groups, under the power of the Spirit is described: “we are hearing them speaking in our own languages of God’s great deeds”. The psalm knows all about the Spirit; as in the first reading, it shows astonishment at
what God has done: “how many are your works, Lord”. Then it speaks of the effects of God’s spirit: “you remove your Spirit and they expire; they return to the dust”. So the Spirit gives life (the word of course means “breath”); but better than that, it is involved in God’s creation: “you send your Spirit, and they shall be created—and you renew the face of the earth”. And the Spirit also brings rejoicing: “may the Lord rejoice in his works...as for me, I shall rejoice in the Lord”. We need this Spirit today. In the second reading, Paul is coming to the climax of the section in the Letter to the Romans where he gives the grounds on which Christians can base their confidence; and here the Spirit has a vital role to play. In our reading, Paul explores his famous pairing of “flesh” and “Spirit”; flesh is, roughly, humanity as closed to God, while “spirit” is humanity as open to God, and Paul asserts that “those who are in the flesh cannot please God”, but his hearers are “in Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you”. And it all has to do with the presence of Christ: “if Christ is in you, the body is dead, because of sin, while the Spirit is life, because of righteousness”. And it has, inevitably, to do with Resurrection, which for Paul is at the
Ten rules for a life well lived T
WENTY-FIVE years ago, I wrote a column entitled “Guidelines for the Long Haul”. Revisiting it recently, I was encouraged that my principles haven’t swayed during the past quarter-century, only taken on more nuance. I still recommend those same commandments, nostalgically revisited, somewhat redacted, but fully re-endorsed: Be grateful...never look a gift universe in the mouth! Resist pessimism and false guilt. To be a saint is to be warmed by gratitude, nothing less. The highest compliment you can give a gift-giver is to thoroughly enjoy the gift. You owe it to your Creator to appreciate things, to be as happy as you can. Life is meant to be more than a test. Add this to your daily prayer: Give us today our daily bread, and help us to enjoy it without guilt. Don’t be naive about God...God will settle for not less than everything! God doesn’t want part of your life; God wants it all. Distrust all talk about the consolation of religion. Faith puts a rope around you and takes you to where you’d rather not go. Accept that virtue will give you a constant reminder of what you’ve missed out on. Take this the counsel from the US Jesuit Daniel Berrigan to the bank: “Before you get serious about Jesus, consider carefully how good you’re going to look on wood!” Walk forward when possible...or at least try to get one foot in front of the next! See what you see, it’s enough to walk by. Expect long periods of confusion.
Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
Let ordinary life be enough for you. It doesn’t have to be interesting all the time. Take consolation in the fact that Jesus cried, saints sinned, Peter betrayed. Be as morally stubborn as a mule; the only thing that shatters dreams is compromise. Start over often. Nobody is old in God’s eyes; nothing is too late in terms of conversion. Know that there are two kinds of darkness you can enter: the fearful darkness of paranoia, which brings sadness, and the foetal darkness of conversion, which brings life. Pray...that God will hang on to you! Distrust popularity polls. Trust prayer. Prayer grounds you in something deeper. Be willing to die a little to be with God since God died to be with you. Let your heart become the place where the tears of God and the tears of God’s children merge into the tears of hope. Love...if a life is large enough for love it’s large enough! Create a space for love in your life. Consciously cultivate it. Know that nothing can be loved too much. Things can only be loved in the wrong way. Say to those you love: “You, at least, shall not die!” Know there are only two potential
tragedies in life: Not to love and not to tell those you love that you love them. Accept what you are... and fear not, you are inadequate! Accept the human condition. Only God is whole. If you’re weak, alone, without confidence, and without answers, say so— then listen. Accept the torture of a life of inadequate self-expression. There are many kinds of martyrdom. Recognise your own brand. If you die for a good reason, it’s something you can live with! Don’t mummify... let go, so as not to be pushed! Accept daily deaths. Don’t seize life as a possession. Possessiveness kills enjoyment, kills relationships, and eventually kills you. Let go gracefully. Name your deaths, claim your births, mourn your losses, let the old ascend, and receive the spirit for the life you’re actually living. Banish restless daydreams; they torture you. Keep in mind that it’s difficult to distinguish a moment of dying from a moment of birth. Refuse to take things seriously... call yourself a fool regularly! God’s laughter fills the emptiness of our tombs. Keep in mind that it’s easy to be heavy, hard to be light. Laughter is a direct insult to the realism, dignity, and austerity of hell. Don’t confuse sneering with laughter. Laugh with people, not at them. Laugh and give yourself over to silliness; craziness helps too, as does a good night’s sleep. Stay within the family... you’re on a group outing! Don’t journey alone. Resist the temptation to be “spiritual, but not religious”. Be “born again”, regularly into community. Accept that there are strings attached. The journey includes family, church, country, and the whole human race. Don’t be seduced by the lure of absolute freedom. Freedom and meaning lie in obedience to community: community humbles, deflates the ego, puts you into purgatory, and eventually into heaven. Don’t be afraid to go soft... redemption lies in tears! All of Jesus’ teaching can be put into one word: Surrender. If you will not have a softening of the heart you will eventually have a softening of the brain. Hardness pulls downward. Softness rises. A bird can soar because a bird is soft. A stone sinks because it’s hard. Fragility is force. Sensitivity defines soul. Tenderness defines love. Tears are salt water, the water of our origins.
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heart of our faith: “if the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then the One who raised Christ from the dead will give life even to your mortal bodies, through his Spirit which dwells in you”. It also has to do with being adopted as God’s children: “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons-and-daughters of God”, for “you received the Spirit of adoption-as-children by which we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’.” And Paul pushes the argument: “the Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are indeed children of God; and if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and co-heirs with Christ”. We can just about follow Paul in grasping what is the Spirit’s gift, but it is all to do with being children of God, and in solidarity with the Resurrection. The gospel for the feast-day is from Jesus’ discourse at the Last Supper, when he is talking about the Paraclete, who will be a permanent gift from the Father, for those who love Jesus and keep his commandment; for such people, “my Father will love [them], and we shall come to them, and make our dwelling with them”. Then he returns to the theme of the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name; [the Paraclete] will teach you everything, and remind you of everything that I have said to you”. The Spirit, whose coming we celebrate next Sunday, has a range of activities to perform; let us pray for the Paraclete to come abundantly upon the Church, especially at this time.
Southern Crossword #549
ACROSS 3. Toga laird found in the Roman arena (9) 8. Blind man had to do it in the pool (Jn 9) (4) 9. Large number of jobs for Martha (Lk 10) (4,5) 10. Found by investigation (6) 11. Pig may have it in the trough (5) 14. Divide in two (5) 15. Stated the name of the port? (4) 16. Exhibits at the musicals? (5) 18. Much ado about first Freda, then Ursula, Sheila and Stella (4) 20. Alice has a name change (5) 21. Ishmael’s mother (Gn 16) (5) 24. Weep, it turns out to be a bird (6) 25. Be aware of secret (2,3,4) 26. Unexpected obstacle about gains I lost (4) 27. Phone rant about temple (9)
DOWN 1. Lose interest, and turn the light out (6,3) 2. Ascertain and set up (9) 4. ..., kindly light (hymn) (4) 5. Yonder, without right, becomes the most respected (5) 6. Frame you could count on (6) 7. Acorns start with these (4) 9. Their laws with the Persians were unalterable (5) 11. Animal’s track (5) 12. Jesus changed it at the Last Supper (5,4) 13. Tennis player’s benefit? (9) 17. Crews used by the carpenter? (5) 19. Little sealed bag for teatime (6) 22. Rank leader conceals part of leg (5) 23. Saintly woman shows Indian currency (4) 24. Game in the water or on the field (4)
Solutions on page 11
SOME MASS DEFINITIONS: Amen: The only part of a prayer everyone knows. Bulletin: Your receipt for attending Mass. Choir: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the parish to lip-sync. Holy water: A liquid whose chemical formula is H2OLY Incense: Holy Smoke! Send us your favourite Catholic joke, preferably clean and brief, to The Southern Cross, Church Chuckle, PO Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000.