Welcome note for the first Queenstown Deanery Pastroral Council

Fr Matthias Nsamba

SATURDAY 21ST APRIL 2012, CATHEDRAL PARISH HALL, QUEENSTOWN

Dear Reverend Fathers, Reverend Deacons, the Religious, representatives of the Sodalities and Associations and the Parish Pastoral Councils members representing all the Parishes within Queenstown Deanery, I cordially welcome you to our First Deanery Pastoral Council.

Our Bishop, the Rt Rev. Dabula Anthony Mpako has asked has delegated me to greet you in his name and to thank you for all the great work you do in your various capacities. He is particularly grateful to you for the efforts taken to implement the Diocesan Mission Statement

It is right and fitting that we convene our Deanery Pastoral Council in the Easter Season, as we think and reflect on how to pass on the message of the resurrection to our brothers and sisters in a relevant and meaningful way.

Canon 555; stipulates the Powers, Duties and rights of the Dean.

Paragraph 1 of the same Canon states: “In addition to the faculties legitimately granted him in a particular law, a Vicar Forane (Dean) has the duty and right to promote and coordinate the common pastoral activity within the Vicariate. He is to promote and coordinate the general pastoral activity of the clergy, BUT it extends to the active involvement of all the people of God in the Mission of the Church.

As the Clergy of the Deanery we met on the 28th February 2012 here in this Hall to share our personal and pastoral experiences. What a touching experience it was for us all! We will be meeting on a regular basis and our next meeting will be on the 3rd of May 2012 in Whittlesea.

It is the decision and plan of our Diocesan Bishop together with the Clergy of this Deanery to give a platform to the Laity in this Deanery so as to achieve the following:

–  To influence and animate Parishes within our Deanery: to share skills and experiences, talents so as to promote pastoral ministry in our individual Parishes

–  To see to it that the program of the Diocese as reflected in the Mission Statement reaches to the grass roots level.

–  For our Parishes to have a common voice which reaches the Bishop for mutual benefit and vice versa.

–  To report, plan, implement, evaluate our Parish Pastoral programs

–  To know, understand better and make use of the different charisms of the Religious Congregations, Sodalities and Associations within the Deanery. This also helps the Pastoral Structures to work harmoniously with the Religious Congregations, Sodalities and Associations in a coordinated pastoral plan of action with one commonly shared vision.

–  On the Deanery level, we can genuinely evaluate the Mission Statement and be in a position to help the Parishes where there seems to be a need. We do not meet to compete but to listen, advise, support, encourage and learn from one another.

Having put forward the choice of the Diocesan Bishop in collaboration with the Clergy of Queenstown Deanery and the purposes outlined above, we do solemnly declare the Queenstown Deanery Pastoral Council as a lawful Pastoral Structure within the Diocese of Queenstown.

It is to be constituted of the Clergy and Religious working in this Deanery, the representatives of the following Sodalities and Associations on the Queenstown Deanery Level: Sodality of St. Anne, Knights of Da Gama, Sodality of the Sacred Heart, Catholic Women’s League, Union of Catholic Apostolate, St Vincent de Paul Society and the Catholic Men’s Association. The representatives from all the Parishes (Whittlesea, Tarkstad, St. Josephine Bakhitha, St. Theresa’s –Mlungisi, St. Theresa’s – Parkvale, Cathedral Parish, St. Vincent Pallotti – Ezibeleni, St. Michael’s Ilinge, Mary Queen of the Apostles Cathcart – Town Church, Mary Queen of the Apostles – Katikati, St Francis Xvier – Balfour, St. Josephs – Stutterheim, St. Martins – Stutterheim and St. Mary’s Stutterheim (Cumakala) who are leaders on the Parish Pastoral Councils with the following portfolios: Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer

The Clergy have their leadership as follows: Dean: Fr Matthias Nsamba, Vice Dean: Fr Edward Tratsaert SAC, Secretary: Deacon Tulani Gubula, and Vice – Secretary: Fr Barry John Reabow.

It therefore, calls for justice and fairness for the laity to have their leadership so that we can work together in promoting and coordinating the general pastoral activity in our Deanery.

With these words may I thank our Clergy for the excellent collaboration manifested so far. I kindly ask for cooperation from all of you and especially the Executive that will be elected today, as we all journey together with the help of the Holy Spirit towards a Caring and Self-supportive Diocese which utilizes the Talents and Skills of all in a Coordinated Pastoral Plan of Action with One Commonly shared vision.

Thank you all for coming and May God bless you all. Happy Easter Season!

At your service,

Fr Matthias Nsamba

Dean

Queenstown Deanery

21st February 2012.