We dare to dream of a peaceful Southern Africa

Memorial lecture: Fr Dumisani Vilakati’s address 

On Saturday 22 May 2021
our diocese held the third “Bishop Zwane Memorial Lecture”
under the topic

We dare to dream of a peaceful Southern Africa:
Reflections on Pope Francis’ Fratelli Tutti

Below is Fr D. Vilakati’s address

Memory does not mean a matter that has come and gone. On the contrary, memory, following the best of the Jewish and our liturgical traditions, means presence. Therefore, the memory of Bishop Mandlenkhosi Zwane is an act of making him present and participating in the life of the Church in the here and now. He is inviting us to continue engaging in a culture of encounter so as to foster peace and harmony in the Southern African Region.

Preliminary observations

The Title of the lecture this year is: We dare to dream of a peaceful Southern Africa; reflections on Pope Francis’ Fratelli Tutti.

The first point is to dream which indicates an important quality in the life of a people. I speak of dreaming as I am aware that the Church is currently celebrating the year of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He is the dreamer par excellance. In his dreams he received special messages from God which were meant for the flourishing of his family. This is why he took Mary as his wife, fled to Egypt so as to save the family from the murderous Herod, came back from Egypt and settled in Nazareth so as to live in peace away from the son of Herod by name Archelaus. His dreams are not self-serving. On the contrary, they are meant for service.

This reminds us of the earlier Joseph whose story is narrated in Genesis 37-50. He was a man of dreams. His dreams were not for self-aggrandisement. On the contrary, through his dreams he was able to save, not just his own family, but also the Egyptians who were his captors, his brothers who had sold him to slavery and indeed many other nations in the Ancient Near East. Pope Francis deals with this in the Encyclical as he invites all to see the possibility of peace, not as utopia but as a reality to be attained.

Click HERE to download Fr Dumisani Vilakati’s lecture