by Maduduza Zwane
The St Joseph Sodality showed the works of mercy when they donated blankets, shoes, cooking appliance and clothing items to a torched family in Esigcineni. Below is Maduduza Zwane’s(Chairman of the Sodality) presentation on the day.
Father Mbongiseni Shabangu the parish priest for St. Don Bosco and caretaker rector at Salesian High School, Father Mahazule, Chairperson of St. Don Bosco Parish Council Sibongile Masuku, members of the St. Joseph Sodality and all present, I greet you with our important and significant greeting in the Catholic church. “Akadunyiswe uJesu Khristo! ” Izwi Laba yinyama:
Babe we are representing St. Joseph Sodality in the Diocese of Manzini an organisation of Catholic Married men.We have now a membership of more than forty men in the Sodality. Due to their work commitments, they could not come instead they delegated us to perform the presentation.
Thabo Nkambule a member of our Sodality and member of the St. Don Bosco parish informed us as a Sodality that one Catholic family in one of the outstations of your parish at Esigcineni had been torched down by unfortunately a member of the same family. He informed us that everything had been razed by the fire, people had no clothes and slept in the cold without blankets. He appealed for help from the Sodality on behalf of the family and the parish.
Members of the Sodality hastily put their heads together and went to their wardrobes to identify what they could find still reasonable to be used by the family with dignity. They approached friends to the Sodality to supplement what they had found in their wardrobes themselves. As married men they also asked their children to do the same. They did this to teach their children that the love of God extends to the love of thy neighbour.
Babe at this presentation of various items which include Blankets, shoes, cooking appliance and many other clothing items, I must state that in the Sodality we are agents of the church and stewards of Jesus Christ. As agents of the church we must therefore extend the doctrine of the church. We cannot operate in opposite to the beliefs and practices of the church.
Charity is also about stewardship. A steward is a person who is tasked with caring for another person’s valuables. The steward is accountable to the “owner” for how well he manages the property he oversees. As followers of Christ, we are stewards of our lives. We are accountable for how well we live it and how well we manage the blessings, resources, capabilities and gifts that we have. We must therefore share what we have to the other members of Christ’s family through charity work. Hence, we are here today.
The Catholic church uses a variety of approaches to deal with poverty, providing basic needs to individuals and advocacy to address systemic poverty. Through its member agencies among these agencies are us and Catholic Charities such as the Caritas Swaziland provides services to millions of people a year through activities such as housing, health care, and disaster relief. We are therefore providing remedial action to the disaster that has occurred in your parish.
Charity is integral to our faith as Catholics so how do we develop it? Here are three practical ways for living out this virtue in our everyday lives.
We must treat others with love
The simplest way we can express charity is to speak, act and think with love. We must keep in mind that charity is all about love and as it says in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.”
With this Bible verse in mind, let us remember to always treat others with compassion. When we have love in our hearts and minds, it is easy for us to put the needs of others first. We act without self-interest and always with the goal of helping others out.
We must Support charitable institutions
There are many charitable institutions that consider it their mission to help people in need and these groups usually get by with donations from people who share their advocacy. We impress on our members to develop their charitable spirit by supporting these organizations. As members of the Sodality we must start by praying to God for guidance in finding the charities that are fit for us. We have one in the Diocese the Caritas Swaziland.
We should also consider which causes burden our heart. There is no shortage of people and places that need our help. As we reach out to them, we can see our own lives and hearts transformed by the spirit of giving.
We must Volunteer in our parish
We don’t need to look very far to find a group or people to help. Our own churches are a great place to offer our help. Let’s remember that a church is not simply a building, it is a gathering of people who share the same love for God. We must all stand united in helping our parishes grow stronger. Members can start by contacting their parish priest and asking which parts of the ministry they can assist in. Thabo has shown us the way to do it.
Each one of us has a special gift that can be of use in God’s work. For example, if you love children and enjoy teaching, you may help in the children’s catechism of your church. Or if you have good management and accounting skills, you may help in the administrative work of your parish.
I am an Industrial Relations and Human Resources Management Consultant I can help in the employee/employer relationships in the parish or diocese.
In conclusion, Bobabe and members of the esteemed sodality this is what the Pope said about charity on the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul in 2017. Pope Francis said that charity is central to the Church’s mission, and we are called to share it with the world, especially those in need.
All of us, in truth, are called to water ourselves upon the rock that is the Lord and to quench the world’s thirst with the charity that springs from Him.
Charity is at the heart of the Church, it is the reason for its action, the soul of its mission.”
Pope Benedict XVI emeritus wrote in the encyclical Caritas in Veritate and stated that “Charity is the main path of the Church’s social doctrine. Every responsibility and commitment outlined by this doctrine is attuned to charity which, according to Jesus’ teaching, is the synthesis of all the Law,”.
With these remarks Babe we wish to present these donations for the Catholic Family at the outstation at Esigcineni. If they don’t need some of the items donated, encourage them to give to those who are in need.
Thank you. Izwi Laba Yinyama!