The annual Bishop Zwane Memorial Lecture

By: Bp José Luis IMC (Bishop of Manzini)

“The Catholic Diocese of Manzini, through the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Eswatini (CCJP), celebrates the life and work of Bishop Aloysius Zwane who was one of the most progressive priests of his time. In fact, ahead of his time, we remember him as a uniquely fearless opponent of social and economic injustices and a man of great honor and principle”

With these words, the CCJP announces the coming lecture to be held on Saturday 22 May 2021 at the Cathedral.

I am particularly grateful about being able to hold this coming event which started about three years’ ago when the first lecture was held at the Cathedral in 2018. The main speakers of the day were Fr S. Mkhatshwa and Babe M. Zwane. It helped us remember the impact of Bishop Zwane’s ministry in our diocese, in Eswatini, in Southern Africa. After the lecture I decided it would be held annually on the Saturday that precedes Good Shepherd Sunday (fourth Sunday of Easter) and it would deal with topics that Bishop Zwane carried then or would have carried at heart today.

It was so in 2019. Gathered at “Good Shepherd Parish” (Siteki) Archbishop William Slattery OFM spoke on the “Care for our common home” (read about it here and here). Though the attendance was good, it was mainly people from the area with few representatives from the parishes. Therefore, a second decision was taken: it will always be held at the Cathedral which is the Bishop’s seat and it is also central making it easier for people to participate.

COVID19 did not allow us to hold the lecture in 2020 and even though the virus is still among us, it will be held this year with a limited number of people present but offering the live streaming service for everyone who would like to follow it from home.

The guest speaker will be Fr Dumisani Vilakati who is serving at Director of the Secretariat at IMBISA (Inter-Regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa). I am particularly grateful he is able to make time to be with us (and to be back home!) aware of how demanded it is to be at the service of nine countries of Southern Africa in the midst of the constrains COVID19 have brought.