Blessing of solar panels

By: Bp José Luis IMC (Bishop of Manzini)

At the beginning of the Season of Creation  we gathered at St Theresa’s Clinic thanking God for the gift of the recently installed solar panels
Below is my address and the prayer we shared

Click HERE for photos of the event

“In 2015 Pope Francis wrote an encyclical letter called “Laudato Si” about the care for creation, our common home.

He writes:  

Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years. Yet we are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness. The problem is that we still lack the culture needed to confront this crisis. We lack leadership capable of striking out on new paths and meeting the needs of the present with concern for all and without prejudice towards coming generations. (53)

Continue reading “Blessing of solar panels”

Lone Swaziland bishop says country can’t take painkillers without understanding the pain

By: Inés San Martín (ROME BUREAU CHIEF)

ROME – As violence continues to grip the small southern Africa nation of Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland and the continent’s last remaining monarchy, the country’s lone Catholic bishop says the challenge isn’t just to stop the bloodshed, but to understand why it’s happening.

“We need to understand how we reached to this point,” Bishop José Luis Gerardo Ponce de León told Crux. “It won’t be possible to move forward without it. It would be like going to the doctor because we are in pain and accepting to live on painkillers, without really knowing where the pain comes from.”

The current round of violence began in late May with the murder of a young law student, speaking protests from thousands of people which, in turn, triggered a harsh government crackdown.

Continue reading “Lone Swaziland bishop says country can’t take painkillers without understanding the pain”

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

Praying for healing

 By Bishop José Luis IMC

(On 11 February 2021, I presided Mass for the feast
of Our Lady of Lourdes – live streamed on Facebook and YouTube.
Below is part of the homily)

The virus seems to be everything we can see in this moment. I would like to invite you to look deeper. To me, the virus has been like a magnifying glass revealing an unhealthy society. To avoid being too long, let me just point out a few things to help you understand what I am talking about. You could add your own: Continue reading “Praying for healing”