Fr Ncamiso Vilakati’s address at the Fundraising gathering
“The honourable Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini, Your Excellency Bishop Jose Luis Ponce de Leon, Minister of Finance, Mr Martin G Dlamini, and your beautiful wife Make laLephoto, The Vicar General and the Clergy present here today, religious, members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, PPC members, all protocol observed, brothers and sister in Christ good evening.
It gives me the honour and pleasure on behalf of St Mary’s Parish, the gateway and receptionists of the Diocese of Manzini to welcome you all in this fundraising gathering. St Mary’s Mission is as old as a museum, as it was established on the 25th January 1925 when the Order of the Servants of Mary arrived at KaLobamba area with a dream to establish a Catholic community. It was full of hope and promises and amongst those dreams achieved so far, has been the great number of the local produced clergy and religious alike. The faith has been deepened to this community in such a way there has a been a gradual increase of congregants which has compelled us and our predecessors to fundraise with the aim of constructing a bigger church in order to accommodate the higher number of congregants. The present structure that we have is a prefabricated one, a kind gesture from Fr Rurpel, which is not only dilapidated but has proven to be too small to cater for all congregants in our lifetime.
As people who discerned about what befell us, we have listened to the directive given to Solomon by his father David in 1 Chronicles 22: 11- “Now my Son, may Yahweh be with you and give you success in building a house for Yahweh your God, as he has promised about you”. Thanking our immediate predecessor, Fr Christopher Maseko, the PPC who established a Church Building committee, we are indeed indebted to them for having come up with a strategy to sell raffle tickets for a car. Indeed on the 6th July 2014, Lobamba area was sent abuzz as Manyeva streets and KalaFaro road in ululation rejoiced as the St Mary’s Catholic Church launched a Chevrolet utility van. It was the beginning of a tedious job, where they embarked on the sale of raffle tickets. It was never easy but worth it as we purchased 240 batches of which one has 20 tickets at E50.00 each. As early December with God on our side, we eventually managed to get even and obviously, our Youth played an important role in this achievement. Because of the zeal of these young people, we are praying unceasingly that God accompany us as we endeavour in his ministry and ensuring that the house of God comes to a completion. As earlier stated in our previous gathering, we engaged one of the renowned local Architects to help us with a suitable plan that can accommodate the number of congregants in our parish. The number we thought of was 600 people. That building which could sustain us cost around 1.5 million emalangeni. From the amount, we had last time we have added a E100000.00 and once more, we reiterate the fact that be rest assured we will not sleep until God’s house comes to a completion.
In conclusion as I welcome you to this free and fair draw, I would like to add that it pains us to see ourselves sleeping in a mansion when our Lord and Saviour lives in tatters. We can assure you that we will not lie idle whilst Jesus in the most holy sacrament of the Altar lives in a tattered house, whilst we enjoy ourselves in houses built on cedar trees. We seek for your prayers as the community of St Mary Mission continues to solicit some funds in order to build God’s house.
May the Lord bless you as you continue with your generosity of heart.
Welcome to this event.
Fr Ncamiso Vilakati
Priest-in-charge of St May’s