By Maduduza Gabriel Zwane
St. Joseph Sodality in the Diocese of Manzini donates food items for the hungry as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the 27th May 2020, the St. Joseph Sodality donated food items ranging from maize meal, beans, cooking oil and more. This was in response of “Covid 19 Campaign” pioneered by the Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini, José Luis Ponce de León IMC.
The delegation of the St. Joseph Sodality led by the Deputy President Sthembiso Sibiya from Our Lady of Sorrows presented donations to the Bishop representing the Diocese of Manzini. In his remarks the Deputy President thanked the Bishop to have given guidance to his followers as to what interventions they would like to support those who have challenges brought to them by the pandemic.
The Sodality did not waste time convened conferences through Zoom and WhatsApp. Out of the five Appeals proposed by the Bishop, in these conferences the Sodality chose appeal 2: Hunger Alleviation. Each chapter of the Sodality would contribute according to its own capacity any or all the three food items namely maize meal, beans, cooking oil and any other that a Chapter would be comfortable to donate with. Hence on that day the delegation brought the items.
In his response the Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini thanked the St. Joseph Sodality to have moved swiftly in response to the Covid-19 campaign. He mentioned that he hoped other Sodalities and church associations would follow suit as hunger among people created by the pandemic continues unabatedly.
Of note among the delegation is that the President of the Sodality Maduduza Zwane could not attend the presentation because he was indisposed. However, he gave a message to the delegation that food is a basic human need. As Christians across Eswatini and Globally we should provide food support to people in need, in a variety of ways.
In the parishes there are Parish Caritas Committees which need to be utilised to provide food for the needy. As a Sodality there is a need that we support Caritas committees in our parishes and St Vincent de Paul. There is no way that we can educate people on the pandemic or send messages of hope and faith to them on lockdown while they are living on empty stomachs.
Not everyone can survive the lockdown as we are all waiting with hope that soon the Pandemic will be over. It is plausible that the Bishop found it fit that as a church in Eswatini it is about time that we made sure that the people are fed.
As a leader in the Diocese, the bishop adopted the principle that we need to rally together to support the needy. We know most of their plight even before Covid-19 pandemic.
Just before closing I would like to express my deep gratitude to all members of the St. Joseph Sodality those who have opened their hearts to those who face economic hardship and starvation by contributing to the Diocese of Manzini Covid-19 Appeal 2 hunger alleviation campaign. When the Bishop sent me a photo of the presentation in my hospital bed, I responded by saying “I hope babe this is not a once off love of thy neighbour” because this campaign must continue as many people, are in desperate need. Individually or as a collective please do contribute. The church appreciates every gift and we are grateful to those who have the means to be generous as they possibly can – the need is really great and we are all aware that the numbers of malnourished children are increasing.
The Lord Jesus, who himself said, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”’ (Acts 20:33-35). The Bishop is not asking for money for himself – for the Diocese – for the Church – he is asking for contributions on behalf of those “who go to bed wracked with the pangs of hunger”.
Josefa Ocwebileyo! Pray for us!