St Mary’s raffle

IMG_4373On Saturday 27 December 2014 we gathered at the Sibane Hotel in Ezulwini for the draw of a Chevrolet bakkie. It was the end of a journey that started months’ ago when the “St Mary’s Parish” at Lobamba (Swaziland) launched this fundraising event towards the building of a new church.
St Mary’s Parish was born in 1925. It is probably the third oldest parish in the diocese of Manzini. For some time they have been working on the idea of building a new church that would replace the prefabricated structure being used at present.
In 2013 I was invited to launch the fundraising journey with the celebration of the Mass and the blessing of the site where the new church would be built. The “Swazi TV” was present and interviewed both the chairperson of the committee and myself.
The church being “dreamed” would welcome 600 people and would cost around 1.5 million Emalangeni (around US 150.000). While every Emalangeni counts, it was important to think of an important fundraising event.
The first thing that touched me on Saturday was to see the diocesan commitment towards project. The hall had about 15 tables with 10 people each and the place was full though each person had to pay E 200. The spirit was joyful and, of course, there was lots of excitement while waiting for the draw to take place.
There were three other “consolation” prices and those were the first one to be given. Everyone was waiting for the most important one: the bakkie! It was 9.39 pm when the time came to draw the number. People had been there for more than three hours.
When the name was announced, everyone clapped with joy and surprise. The one who won it had also won the first consolation price: Vuyiswa Motsa. She was present and could not contain her tears.
Before the final blessing I congratulated the St Mary’s team first led by Fr Chris Maseko and later by Fr Ncamiso Vilakati. The tickets promised the draw to take place on December 27 and… so it was! No delays. No excuses. No waiting for a bit longer to collect more money. A promise kept. An event well organised.
I then thanked the people of the diocese for making this project their own. It was seen not only in the attendance but on the pledges that took place during the evening.
Finally I invited St Mary’s to make sure that while “building the Church” they also “build the community”.
“Swazi TV” was present for most of the evening. We are grateful to the Swazi media for their constant support.

Our stars…!

IMG_4412Like every year, on January 6 we gathered at St Juliana’s to celebrate with the Swazi Servite Sisters the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord.
This year the celebration included the Golden Jubilee of Sr Dominica Dube OSM and Sr Stephania Ngwenya OSM. Fifty years have passed since the day they said for the first time: “Today I consecrate my life to God…”. 
At the beginning of the Mass I joked saying it was a continuation of our “centenary celebrations” as we had “two fifties” (Golden Jubilees) and then underlined how providential it is that it came to happen during this special year dedicated to “Consecrated Life” in the church all over the world.
I see them as our “stars” leading us to where Jesus is. Then, taking from Pope Francis’ letter I invited them and all to be stars by:

  • deepening their passion, passion for God and passion for his people. Passion for God manifested in reading, reflecting and living God’s Word. Passion for people sharing their joy and struggle;
  • being people of hope (and not hopeless people!) in a time of lack of vocations, trusting the One who called them;
  • being experts of communion. In a world so many times divided, they should live in such a way that we could become places where we could learn to live together.

Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Conference

2014-09-07 10.09.25On the 04th to the 07th of September 2014, the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin, commonly known as the “Children of Mary”, held their Annual Conference at Christ the King Mission (Hlathikulu).

The sodality had as its theme the first part of the Marian prayer “Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with you…” which was explained by Fr. Sandile Mswane during the opening Holy Mass.

The conference was attended by more than 200 young girls and boys.

The sodality was honoured to have its guest speakers Rev. Fr. Dumisane Mazibuko who spoke of the importance and stages of Holy Mass; Sr. Lindiwe Sithole  expanded on the topic “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?” (1 Cor 6:19).

The sodality made sure that the young girls and boys are assisted to grow spiritually, generally (human development) and more on the understanding of the Blessed Virgin 2014-09-07 13.19.43Mary. On the last day of the conference, the sodality was honoured to have the bishop of the diocese, the Rt. Rev. José Luis Ponce de Leon, who presided over holy Mass and welcomed knew members into the sodality.




Pastoral Appointments 2014

coarms_LRDear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


I am happy to present to you new and old pastoral assignments and express my profound gratitude to the priests for being supportive on this restructuring process.


Priest in Charge

Assistant Priest in Charge

Our Lady of the Assumption

Fr. Sandile Mswane

Fr. Sakhile Ndwandwe

Fr. Giorgio Massa IMC

Salesian Priest

Christ the King

Fr. Pius Magagula


Fr. Dumisani Mazibuko

Fr. Joseph Mafola

Good Shepherd

Fr. Victor Mabuza

Fr. Mandlenkhosi Makama

Fr. Martin Bhila

Holy Rosary

Fr. Theodomir Sibomana

Mater Dolorosa

Fr. Jeconiah Mahazule

Fr. Christopher Maseko

Our Lady of Sorrows

Fr. Gaspard Ntakirutimana

Regina Mundi

Fr. Rodney Khuluse

St. John Bosco

Fr. Jonathan Daniels SDB

St. Joseph’s

Fr. Angelo Ciccone OSM

Fr. Francis Motsa OSM

St. Mary’s

Fr. Ncamiso Vilakati

St. Peregrine’s

Fr. Zweli Ngwenya

Wiseman Nkhomo (Seminarian)

St. Phillip’s

Fr. Gaston Nkurunziza

St. Constantine

Fr. Goodman Dlamini

The new appointments become effective from the 1st September 2014, 22nd second week of our Liturgical year A.

May I also inform you about Fr. Giorgio Massa IMC an Italian member of the Consolata Missionaries who will be joining the Diocese of Manzini in the next few weeks. He will be residing at the Bishop’s House and assisting at the Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral. He served the Church in South Africa for more than 40 years.

Meanwhile may I request all priests involved in these appointments to make some introductions on the following but not limited to:

  • Parish Community and Sunday and weekday Mass schedule

  • Register of the Sacraments

  • Finances and signing powers

  • Parish Pastoral Councils and lay organizations present in the parish.

  • Projects (if any) being held at the Parish for instance who is running it and the administration.

I have requested Fr. Jeconiah Mahazule (Vicar General) to be present in the different Parishes when the handover is being done. Where it won’t be possible for him to be present Fr. Sakhile Ndwandwe (Bishop’s Secretary) will be present.

With sincere thanks for all that you are doing in the Diocese!

Yours in Christ our Lord

+ Jose Luis Ponce de Leon IMC
Bishop of Manzini