PROTOCOLISM ASIDE, EXCLUSIVITY ASIDE: SPONTANEITY, INCLUSIVITY: THE NEW ROAD MAP FOR THE CHURCH IN OUR MODERN TIMES

By Fr Ncamiso Vilakati

Many perceive the Catholic Church as a gentlemen’s club that seeks to protect those in positions of privilege. Sometimes words like mafia are synonymously equated to this esteemed institution that seeks to rejuvenate itself in modern times. Ever since the initial pontificate of Pope Francis the Church has not only been thriving to go towards the periphery, reaching out to those in need, but also calls for equal share in the governance of the Church. At the end of the Synod of Bishops on the paths for the church for an integral ecology, the Holy Father, announced on the 7th of March 2020, that in October 2023, bishops from around the world will meet in Rome to discuss the theme: “For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission.”

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From Womb to Tomb: A journey of Catholic Faith

By: Fr Francis Onyango IMC

Our FaithAs a departing shot, it gives me joy to share with you, and to assure you that indeed Catechesis begins from the womb and ends in the tomb. An ordained minister of the Church can bless one whilst still in the womb, and yes on his very last moments in his/her physical reality. It is on this juncture, and the spirit of this presentation that we can posit, that indeed Catechesis is for everyone.

First and foremost, the Catholic faith is planted like a seed and then nurtured all through one’s life, no one just wakes up and becomes a Catholic. One is prepared through a catechetical process to help the person to understand the Catholic faith and doctrine. A person is said to be fully initiated in the Catholic Church when they have received the three sacraments of Christian initiation; Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. This is achieved through a process of preparation. The usual practice is that a family will bring the baby to the Church for baptism but due to certain unavoidable circumstances or individual choices, this is not always the case and so sometimes a baby grows from infancy stage to childhood without having received the sacrament of Baptism.

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Pope Francis’ donation to Good Shepherd Catholic Hospital

By: Bp José Luis IMC (Bishop of Manzini)

On 11 August 2021 we gathered at Good Shepherd Catholic Hospital (Siteki) I presented a donation from Pope Francis of COVID19 response equipment

Click HERE for photos of the event 

Good Shepherd Catholic Mission Hospital – board chairperson
Lubombo Regional Health Officer
Good Shepherd Catholic Mission Hospital – CEO
Management team
Priests and deacon
Members of the media

Brothers and sisters in Christ,

We are gathered here today to present and thank Pope Francis’ donation to Good Shepherd Catholic Hospital.

From the very beginning of this pandemic affecting the whole world, Pope Francis took an active role and leadership:

  •  As soon as the first lock-downs were announced in Italy, he suspended all the public prayers and weekly audiences that were being held at St Peter’s square;
  • He called the world to prayer and prayed for the whole world. I still recall a very intense and moving prayer held last year on March 27. Intense and moving because Pope Francis chose to do it at St Peter’s square, like many other times. The difference, though, is that he was there all alone. It was the image of a world experiencing lockdowns but at the same time the image of a shepherd that remains close to the sheep;

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IMBISA: We dare to dream of a peaceful Southern Africa

By: +Lucio Andrice Muandula
Bishop of Xai-Xai, Mozambique
President of IMBISA

To: Bishops, Clergy, People of God in the IMBISA Region and all people of goodwill:

  1. We, the members of the Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA) Standing Committee (representing Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Sao Tome e Principe, South Africa (Republic of) and Zimbabwe) met in Johannesburg, South Africa on the 27th April 2021 so as to assess and reflect on the socio-political and ecclesial situation in Southern Africa. In the shared reflections it became clear that the Southern African Region is going through a difficult period which, as is our hope, can be improved through the efforts of all people of goodwill in the Region and beyond.

  2. In particular, we reflected on the unfortunate developments in the Cabo Delgado Province in Mozambique, especially in the town of Palma, which came under attack recently with the resultant loss of human life and livelihoods. The displacement of over half a million citizens in the Cabo Delgado Province has meant that many residents have been unable to enjoy a normal life where they can raise their children in peace and tranquillity. The aged too, having spent many years in that land, have been uprooted and forced to flee. This means that they cannot enjoy the beauty of old age which allows them to keep a certain relationship with the land in which they grew up.

  3. We also reflected on the situation of the general population in the region, especially on the difficulties faced by young people. Some have gone for long periods without school instruction due to the restrictions occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic. Even as learning moved online in some cases, the Covid-19 pandemic has simply revealed the problems of systemic inequalities in the economic sphere in our different countries with the poorer young people unable to access these online platforms. Some young people were left behind as those from more affluent societies easily forged ahead with their education. The problem of inequality, especially in the economic sphere, has left many young people exposed to exploitation by those who foment violence and other social ills. As a result of a certain disenfranchisement, some young people have tended to migrate so as to eke out a living elsewhere, far from home and their normal surroundings.

  4. The matters indicated above offend against the dignity of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1:26). The right to life is sacrosanct and should thus be protected, promoted and preserved at all times. Related to the basic right to life is the right for a people to live in peace where they can freely enjoy the fruits of the earth. “God blessed them and said to them, ‘be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it’” (Gen. 1:29). While the right not to emigrate is upheld, it is also proper to uphold the rights and dignity of persons who have, for one reason or another, chosen to emigrate (cf. Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, Nos. 38 &139).

  5. Despite the dark moments stated above, it is also proper for us to indicate some positive developments on some of the aforementioned matters:

    1. We applaud the recent statement issued by the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique condemning the violence in Cabo Delgado.

    2. We appreciate the positive efforts by the Church and other bodies who continually assist the victims of violence in that Region. In particular, we wish to express our support and prayers for the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Pemba and Auxiliary Bishop of Maputo António Juliasse Sandramo, for his continuous accompaniment of all those affected by the conflict.

    3. We are also encouraged by the efforts of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to find a lasting solution to the problems engulfing that Region.

  1. Notwithstanding the aforementioned positive elements, we also wish to appeal and invite to the following:

    1. We call upon the SADC and the African Union to be more engaged in addressing the unfolding crisis in that Region.

    2. We also call upon the Mozambican Government to spare no effort in engaging the International Community so as to address the violence in Cabo Delgado which has unfortunately led to the loss of lives and livelihoods.

    3. We further call upon our governments in the Region to rethink the economic systems that have all along been implemented as they have not succeeded in addressing the economic inequalities currently prevailing. Young people must be at the centre of every economic development in the countries of the Region.

  1. We are still within the fifty days in which we celebrate the joy of the risen Lord and as such look forward to the promised Consoler and Counsellor, the Holy Spirit who leads us to the whole truth (cf. John 16:13). The Easter Season fills us with much hope that indeed all these difficulties can be overcome and addressed. We thus invite all Christians and all people of goodwill to continue searching and walking together for peace like St. Francis of Assisi who “did not wage a war of words…he simply spread the love of God” (Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti No. 4). We dare to dream of a peaceful Southern Africa. “Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travellers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home” (ibid, No. 8).

27 April 2021