From the Bishop’s Desk

To the clergy, the religious and the faithful of the Diocese of Queenstown

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is hard to believe that we are already well into the new year. Naturally, I would have liked to communicate with you at the beginning of the year but, unfortunately, it is only now that I am able to do so. Quite a few important things have happened since my last letter to you.

The Pope’s Resignation

Understandably, the resignation of Pope Benedict VI took all of us by surprise, as it is something that has not happened in the Church for a very long time. However, after recovering from the shock, we are able to appreciate the reasons for which the Pope has had to make this decision. We pray for him and we pray that God may protect and guide the Church during this time of transition.

For the official response of our Bishops Conference to the Pope’s resignation, I refer you to the letter written by Archbishop Stephen Brislin, the President of the Southern African Bishops Conference (SACBC), which is published as part of this edition of our newsletter.

New Priorities for the Local Church

Beginning with the August Plenary Session of 2012, the bishops have been working out a new vision and a new pastoral plan of action for the Church in Southern Africa. To this effect, a set of priorities has been worked out in order to guide us in our pastoral work as we strive to become a “Community in service to Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.”

I call upon all in our Diocese to familiarise themselves with these identified priorities and to seek for effective ways of implementing them as part of our pastoral plan as a diocese. Again, these are published at length as part of this edition of our Newsletter.

The Year of Faith

Let us all continue to apply ourselves to the spiritual renewal we have been committed to by the Holy Father during this Year of Faith. I continue to urge parish priests and parish pastoral councils, in particular, to find ways of facilitating this renewal in all our parish communities. We are still working out other appropriate ways of celebrating the Year of Faith as a diocese. These will be made known as soon as definite arrangements have been made.

Priest Transfers

After the transfer of parish priests that affected quite a few of our parishes the present situation regarding the distribution of priests is as follows:

  • Cathedral Parish: Fr. Barry Reabow SAC
  • Queenstown Pastoral District: Fr. Ludwe Jayiya and Fr. Mlungisi Maphumulo
  • St. Theresa, Afrikaans: Fr. Edward Tratsaert SAC
  • Whittlesea Pastoral District: Fr. Heinz Schöder SAC and Fr. Dijo Matsoso
  • Stutterhein/Cathcart P. District: Fr. Siphiwo Vanqa SAC and Fr. Thulani Gubula
  • Lady Frere Pastoral District: Fr. Mthuthuzeli Mncwabe
  • McKay’s Neck Pastoral District: Fr. Mark Fongoqa
  • Qoqodala Pastoral District: Fr. Matthias Nsamba
  • Zigudu Pastoral District: Fr. Stanley Hatile
  • Cofimvaba Pastoral District: Fr. Karl Frings SAC
  • Tsomo Pastoral District: Fr. Sonwabiso Zilindile
  • Butterworth Pastoral District: Fr. Sivuyile Wani
  • Idutywa Pastoral District: Fr. Anthony Shai
  • Willowvale Pastoral District: Fr. Dezilina Mbulawa

I thank all the priests for their cooperation in the carrying out of the transfers. I appeal to the faithful to accept and welcome warmly their new parish priests and to support and work well with them.

I hereby extend my blessing and best wishes to all for the upcoming Easter celebrations.

Yours in Christ,

+ Dabula A. Mpako

Bishop of Queenstown