EMY – May: Men

Topic for May: Men
Saint to contemplate: St. Joseph

St. Joseph’s role in the early life of Jesus: “The Jewish father played an enormously important part in the life of the son because he embodied the spirit of the covenant.” St. Joseph’s fatherhood, he said, “with all its depth is immense value to world because within our society there is a crisis in the whole nature of paternity, which embodies the spirit of commitment, willingness to sacrifice for the good of his children, to endow them with values and prepare them for love in their own lives.” (Fr. Anthony Doe)

How, then, is St. Joseph the exemplar of fatherhood? He is, to coin a word, the prototype of what all human fathers should be. They should reflect, in their families the seven virtues which the Church specially honours in St. Joseph’s relationship to Jesus and Mary. Continue reading “EMY – May: Men”

EMY – April: Human trafficking

Topic for April: Human Trafficking
Saint to contemplate: St. Josephine Bakhita

“Defend the lowly and fatherless; render justice to the afflicted and needy” Ps 82:3
She was born in southern Sudan. Josephine was kidnapped at the age of 7, sold into slavery and given the name Bakhita, which means fortunate. She was resold several times, finally in 1883 to Callisto Legnani, Italian consul in Khartoum, Sudan.

Two years later, he took Josephine to Italy and gave her to his friend Augusto Michieli. Bakhita became babysitter to Mimmina Michieli, whom she accompanied to Venice’s Institute of the Catechumens, run by the Canossian Sisters. While Mimmina was being instructed, Josephine felt drawn to the Catholic Church. She was baptised and confirmed in 1890, taking the name Josephine. Continue reading “EMY – April: Human trafficking”

EMY – March: People living with disabilities

Topic for February: People living with disabilities
Saint of the month: Bl. Margaret of Castello

Blessed Margaret was born blind, with severe curvature of the spine; her right leg was an inch and a half shorter than her left, and her left arm was malformed. She never grew beyond 4 feet tall. Her parents kept little Margaret hidden away in their house in Metola in the Italian province of Umbria. She was 6 years old when the family travelled to a shrine at Castello, hoping for a miracle. When no miracle took place, Margaret’s mother and father abandoned her. Some women of Castello found the terrified child and took care of her. Later, a couple (Venfarino and Grigia) adopted her. At 15, she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic, which permitted her to wear the habit and take the vows of a nun.

Margaret’s disabilities did not make her bitter; rather, she became one of the most generous, sympathetic people in Castello. She nursed the sick, consoled the dying and visited prisoners. In the sufferings of her neighbours she saw the image of the suffering Christ. As for her own disabilities, she regarded them as a means to unite her pain with the pain Christ endured on the cross. Her courage, her patience and her deep religious devotion won her the affection of everyone in Castello. Continue reading “EMY – March: People living with disabilities”

Baptised and sent catechists

by Bp Jose Luis IMC

The diocesan commissioning of catechists is celebrated every year at the Cathedral during the month of February. This year was no exception. Even though it was a very hot day in Manzini, when I went into the church I found the place practically full with catechists coming from our 17 parishes.

As I was sharing with them during the homily, in this “extraordinary missionary year”, many might be wondering “where” and “to whom” God is calling them to go. Not them. They know. They have been called to be catechists and that is why they come together to be sent once again.

It is certainly a big challenge to accept to be a catechist as whoever sees them, sees our Church. It is to them that we entrust our children, young people and adults who prepare themselves to celebrate our sacraments. Continue reading “Baptised and sent catechists”