Our Diocesan Sacred Heart Sodality as always embarked on their mission at the beginning of last month following their constitution. One of their objectives is to take Christ’s love and concern to all people especially those in need, the poor and the oppressed, it is of this reason that members of the sodality in the diocese of Queenstown ensures that each year they are involved in the outreach program. This program we are told rotates among the three deaneries. The council together with their spiritual adviser sit in a meeting at the beginning of each year and plan as to which deanery will be visited. This year was the council mandated the Eastern Deanery to choose a place for such a mission. The deanery committee decided on the home for the abused and abandoned children in Butterworth called Siyakhana. The home takes about fifty children between the age of three months and seventeen years.
At the beginning of the year the deanery committee was sent to assess the situation there as well as to identify the things that the home needs for children and also for the home itself to be what it should. The manager told the team that they are not fussy, they are accept any donation. The team that was sent there noticed that there were no floor mats, there was also one television set which the staff claimed that children always fight over it.
The 8th August 2015 was the big day at the home as members of the Sacred Heart painted the yard of the home navy as they were on their full uniform. They bought 50 inch flat screen television set, floor mats, second hand clothing, a cake for the children’s celebration as well as drinks. A sum of R300 was also given out for the electricity. You can imagine how touching was this celebration. Thinking of those young stars with innocent faces. Truth be told, all those children need their mothers by their sides but they are denied of that chance. We thank the Sacred Heart Sodality for being so considerate.We understand that it is not that they have it all but the love of Christ in their hearts make them not to rest till they contribute in some other people’s lives.
Special thanks goes to Rev. Fr. Sivuyile Wani for his dedication as the spiritual adviser of the Sacred Heart in our diocese, Ms Ntombi Gijana the president of the sodality and her executive for the good work they are doing we so thank the Almighty God. Keep on touching more lives and more people through your good works will not see you but the works of Jesus Christ through you. Facts of this story were provided by Ms Siphokazi P. Bongweni the Diocesan secretary of the sodality and pictures by Fr. Wani.
Edited and published by Fr. Thembela 0723024959
As we continue reflecting on the Consecrated Life, it comes to my mind every second day that there is a special need for prayer for vocations. Let us reflect on Matthew 9:35-38, “Jesus made a tour through all the villages and towns, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness. and when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to His harvest'”. People of God lets take it on our shoulders to push Christ’s agenda about the Heavenly Kingdom. In or outside the Consecrated Life but we need to do something. Together we can always recite a prayer: Loving God, you call all who believe in you to grow perfect in love by following in the footsteps of Christ your Son. Call from among us more men and women who will serve you as religious. By their way of life, may they provide a convincing sign of your Kingdom for the Church and the whole world. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen!!!
Have a great afternoon zithandwa zikaThixo, God bless!!!
Fr. Thembela 0723024959
Priests of our Diocese decided on starting a women’s month on a high note with a training. This was three day training course on Addressing Family Violence. There were three major topics that were addressed, namely, Gender sensitization, Link between gender based violence and HIV/AIDS as well as Models of preventing and dealing with family violence. The training started on Tuesday the 4th August to the 6th. The facilitators were Mrs Brenda Snyders and Mrs Nosakhele Mpushe. They took their time in explaining this to the priests. They gave a clear picture of what is happening in family violence though some other things are seen as normal things.
The main aim of the training was to make the priests aware of the gender issues and gender based violence with the focus on understanding the environment that we work in or with. With the first section priests were helped to understand what gender and gender violence is, how people are conditioned into specific gender roles and also causes and effects of violence. Also they were helped to see how it affects children. There were interesting discussions and what made it to be even more interesting was the fact that it was addressed by women. They helped the priests to realize the need of addressing such in different ways, for example, in their homilies, talks in different sodalities and so on.
The second part addressed how violence against woman increase their risk of and vulnerability of HIV infection. Also there was emphasis on the Domestic Violence Act and how it gives women protection from domestic violence by creating obligations on law enforcement bodies. Here it was clear that in most cases women are taken as servants in their houses. They are hardly appreciated in all they do, to get a thank you from their husbands is something like a bonus. They always agree to do things even those that they do not want to do. Women who experience domestic violence, live in an abnormal and confusing situation as the person who she loves and the society says she should depend on is the person who is hurting and harming her. She is always worried as to what will happen next.
I found it so helpful especially to priests as they live alone they hardly know about these things. People are so much afraid at times even to go to the office and share with the priest about such issues. This will really help the priests explore common responses or rather models to gender based violence in the communities they are serving. Priests decided that there should be some on-going workshops for the laity to understand these things and share them with their families, friends and the community they live in so as to fight this. Direct and indirect approach should be used to do such. An indirect approach is found to be very good to gender based violence and often allows men and women to discuss openly. Brother priests do not grow tired of doing what is right. Keep it up and let us try and implement this in our parishes and help the people of God do away with the slavery they are living in but in a very polite and indirect manner.
Today friends and family let us reflect in our calling. In whom do we place our trust? People put their trust in many things or souls, are we trusting in ourselves, in material things or in Jesus Christ? We all have a temptation to put ourselves at the center, to believe that we are the axis of the universe, to believe that we alone build our lives or to think that our life can only be happy if built on possessions, money, or power. But we all that it is not so.
Certainly, possessions, money and power can give a momentary thrill, the illusion of being happy, but they end up possessing us and making us always want to have more, never satisfied. We need to be very serious and strong about our calling. Whether you are the father or mother of the family, that is your calling, a religious person in consecrated life or not but you are in your calling. Know what fills you up. Know what desires do you you have that should be fulfilled by God Himself instead of what your mind thinks and body wishes for.
Take time in your prayer corner and have a direct communication with our loving father who will not even judge you. Ask Him to be with you in all your doings and though the Holy Spirit realize the importance of our calling. Look into your heart and ask yourself, where do I really put my trust in? How many times have I let the Spirit of the Lord down by choosing my ways than following the Lords commands? Enjoy your lunch!!!
Love and care
Fr. Thembela 0723024959
When Paul writes to the Ephesians he says, “But now in Christ Jesus, you that used to be so far off have been brought close, by the blood of Christ” Eph 2:13. The blood of Christ broke the walls that separated us from God. That was made for nothing but to show how special we are in His heart. He does not want us to be far from Him but to be close so as to understand His Word. He wants us to get it straight that everything is possible for the one who believes (Mark 9:23). You may not have food on your table presently but God is there with you in that struggle. You can be on a sick bed, hospital or home, do not loose hope, He is there with you. Count your blessings. Do not focus more on what you have lost, it could be time, family, friends, your loved one, money and so on but at least you did not loose God and your faith in the whole process. That is how lucky you are. NEVER GIVE UP!!!
Remember the gospel according to Mark, Then Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Mk 10:21) There are so many things that we focus on and forget the cross. We tend to concentrate more on the earthly things forgetting Jesus our Savior. We need to do away with all our weaknesses and go back to God. We are the chosen race, remember at the last supper when Jesus turns to His disciples he said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you” (Jn 15:16). It is Christ Himself who called you to the kind of life you living. Try to focus on him and the cross. We are more than special to God! In any circumstances that you find yourself in know that God is just standing by giving you power and more power to fight the devil. NEVER GIVE UP!!!
Quitters never win yet winners never quit. You are the winner in Christ Jesus. Remember, “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” 2Tim 1:7, do not allow situations to control you because you have power over all that. You have power over it all. You can fight all those because you have power. You have been brought closer to God through the blood of Christ. That is how special you are, walk tall all the time thanking God for His blessings on you. Let us us God to continue showering us with His gifts this afternoon especially the gifts of Faith, Love and Charity. NEVER GIVE UP!!!
Have a wonderful afternoon and be blessed.