Jubilee of Mercy

LOGODear Brothers and Sisters


A Jubilee of Mercy
On 13 March 2015 Pope Francis announced the celebration of an “extraordinary Holy Year”, a “Jubilee of Mercy”.
God’s Mercy has been a theme very dear to Pope Francis from the very beginning of his service.
Four days after being elected in the homily he pronounced in the parish church of Saint Anne in the Vatican he said: “The message of Jesus is mercy. For me, I say this humbly, it is the Lord’s most powerful message”.
During the first Angelus on that day he added: “Feeling mercy, this word changes everything. This is the best thing we can feel: it changes the world. A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just. We need to understand properly this mercy of God, this merciful Father who is so patient” (Angelus, March 17, 2013).
The Jubilee of Mercy will commence with the opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter’s on December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and will conclude on November 20, 2016 with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

A unique event
The coming Jubilee Year is a first of its kind:
– while Jubilee Years occurred every 25 or 50 years, this one instead is based upon a theme: “God’s mercy”
– for the first time in the history of the Jubilee tradition, there will be an opportunity for individual dioceses to open a Holy Door – The Door of Mercy – either in the Cathedral or in a church of special meaning or a shrine of particular importance for pilgrimages.
The theme Pope Francis has chosen goes beyond welcoming God’s mercy in our lives. It is a call to witness to others the mercy of the Father: “Be merciful like the Father” (Lk 6:6) “How greatly I desire that all those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!” (Pope Francis, Lenten Message 2015)

The Jubilee of Mercy in the Diocese of Manzini
Together with the priests of the Diocese we have been reflecting on some initiatives to welcome this time of God’s grace for us, our Diocese, our country:
– The Jubilee of Mercy will start with a vigil prayer at “Our Lady of Assumption” (Cathedral) on Friday 11 December (to Saturday 12);
– Following Pope Francis’ invitation, a special “Door of Mercy” will be opened at the Cathedral during the vigil;
– The logo has been translated into Swazi;
– Pope Francis’ prayer for this year is already available in both our languages (Swazi and English);
– We encourage all our parishes to plan a one day pilgrimage to “Santissima Anunziata” (Florence) reflecting and celebrating God’s mercy to us;
– We invite all our sodalities and groups (St Anne’s, Sacred Heart, SCCW, SCCM…) to reflect on this jubilee and let us know how they will concretely manifest God’s Mercy according to their own call;
– We invite all our Catholic Schools, hospital, nursing college, clinics and other Catholic institutions to join us in this Jubilee of Mercy and plan their own initiatives.

Priests’ jubilee in Rome
As part of this year of grace, “Priests will celebrate their jubilee June 1-3. The first day will be dedicated to Eucharistic Adoration, lectio divina, and confessions. The Holy Father will preach their spiritual retreat June 2, and June 3 will say Mass with them.” (Catholic News Agency)
The priests of our diocese would like to attend this international gathering in Rome. The cost per priest (all included) will be around E 20.000. We therefore count on the support of all our parishes to make this possible.

Let us all be grateful for this season of grace and welcome God’s merciful love in our lives.

Fraternally yours in Christ,

+ José Luis IMC
Bishop of Manzini

“It is Rachel weeping for her children” (Statement)

CollageDear brothers and sisters in Christ,
A voice is heard in Ramah, lamenting and weeping bitterly:
it is Rachel weeping for her children,
refusing to be comforted because they are no more”
(Jer 31:15).
Jeremiah’s words quoted also by Matthew (2: 17 – 18) sadly resound once again among us.
We mourn the death of so many young girls at the accident on Friday 28 August 2015.
Let this be a time of prayer. I ask you all from today until next Sunday (06 September) to pray daily for those who died asking the Lord to welcome them home. Let us also pray for their families and friends that “the God of all consolation” (2 Cor 1:3) gives them peace and strength.
May it be a time of deep reflection in our lives. “‘Who, then, is the wise and trustworthy servant whom the master placed over his household to give them their food at the proper time?” (Mt 24:45) Each one of us had been entrusted by God with the safety and dignity of these young people. Aside from those directly responsible for Friday’s accident, we need to ask ourselves if there was anything more we could have done to prevent it. Why do we wait until something like this happens before we take every single life seriously?
Let it be a time of solidarity. I call on you all to be close to the families of these children and to support them in every possible way.
The Catholic Church in Swaziland is grateful for the prayer and solidarity messages from Cardinal Napier OFM and Archbishop Brislin in the name of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC).
Fraternally Yours in Christ,

+ José Luis Ponce de León IMC
Bishop of Manzini

“Sicknesses and temptations” (by Pope Francis)

LentDear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Last year before Christmas, Pope Francis addressed the Roman Curia and presented some “sicknesses and temptations that weaken our service to the Lord.”

Some people pointed out it sounded more of a Lenten message than an Advent one.

Being one or the other, it certainly can help us all (bishops, priests, religious, laity) in our journey towards Easter because as Pope Francis says at the end:

these sicknesses and these temptations are, naturally, a danger for every Christian and for every Curia, community, Congregation, parish, Ecclesial Movement, etc. and they can strike at the individual as much as at the communal level.”

That is why I thought of sharing his words with you all. Last month one bishop in Rome said in his homily: “I found most of these things in my own life…”

Another exercise we could do is to ask ourselves: are there any other important ones missing in this list?

Wish you all a blessed Lenten journey.

+ José Luis IMC

[gview file=”http://dioceseofmanzini.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Pope-Francis-151.pdf”]

#SACBC Pastoral statement on “the year of consecrated life”

30 November 2014 – 02 February 2016
I thank you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your generous will. (Matt 11:25)
Brothers and Sisters in the Consecrated Life, Priests and the People of God,
Speaking these words aloud, Jesus rejoiced immensely in the activity and wisdom of the Holy Spirit as he thanked and praised his Father whose mission he himself had come to accomplish.
We rejoice in a similar way in the lives lived and the wonderful activity and service carried out by so many consecrated men and women in our country and in our world. We welcome the invitation of Pope Francis to make this a year of thanksgiving and of deeper reflection on the calling of the consecrated men and women among us.
We think of all the consecrated men and women who have laboured in our countries, from Bishop Griffith, the first Vicar Apostolic of the Cape and Fr. George Corcoran, both Dominicans; the Missionary Sisters of the Assumption and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, to mention a few of the first ones, up to the most recently consecrated persons from within our countries and those who have come among us from elsewhere. Consecrated men and women established the local church in our dioceses and most of our parishes, schools and hospitals, and still today they minister in the local church and outlying communities, serving people of every background in countless ways. We pay tribute to all deceased Religious who have served in our countries and are buried in our soil, sometimes in obscure or forgotten graves. We appreciate all those Religious who have grown old among us, who have given courageous witness and led exemplary lives.
We ask that in our dioceses and parishes we celebrate the precious gift of consecrated life together with the contemplative and active Religious among us, also by visiting and supporting the sick and aged among them.


Pastoral Appointments 2014

coarms_LRDear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


I am happy to present to you new and old pastoral assignments and express my profound gratitude to the priests for being supportive on this restructuring process.


Priest in Charge

Assistant Priest in Charge

Our Lady of the Assumption

Fr. Sandile Mswane

Fr. Sakhile Ndwandwe

Fr. Giorgio Massa IMC

Salesian Priest

Christ the King

Fr. Pius Magagula


Fr. Dumisani Mazibuko

Fr. Joseph Mafola

Good Shepherd

Fr. Victor Mabuza

Fr. Mandlenkhosi Makama

Fr. Martin Bhila

Holy Rosary

Fr. Theodomir Sibomana

Mater Dolorosa

Fr. Jeconiah Mahazule

Fr. Christopher Maseko

Our Lady of Sorrows

Fr. Gaspard Ntakirutimana

Regina Mundi

Fr. Rodney Khuluse

St. John Bosco

Fr. Jonathan Daniels SDB

St. Joseph’s

Fr. Angelo Ciccone OSM

Fr. Francis Motsa OSM

St. Mary’s

Fr. Ncamiso Vilakati

St. Peregrine’s

Fr. Zweli Ngwenya

Wiseman Nkhomo (Seminarian)

St. Phillip’s

Fr. Gaston Nkurunziza

St. Constantine

Fr. Goodman Dlamini

The new appointments become effective from the 1st September 2014, 22nd second week of our Liturgical year A.

May I also inform you about Fr. Giorgio Massa IMC an Italian member of the Consolata Missionaries who will be joining the Diocese of Manzini in the next few weeks. He will be residing at the Bishop’s House and assisting at the Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral. He served the Church in South Africa for more than 40 years.

Meanwhile may I request all priests involved in these appointments to make some introductions on the following but not limited to:

  • Parish Community and Sunday and weekday Mass schedule

  • Register of the Sacraments

  • Finances and signing powers

  • Parish Pastoral Councils and lay organizations present in the parish.

  • Projects (if any) being held at the Parish for instance who is running it and the administration.

I have requested Fr. Jeconiah Mahazule (Vicar General) to be present in the different Parishes when the handover is being done. Where it won’t be possible for him to be present Fr. Sakhile Ndwandwe (Bishop’s Secretary) will be present.

With sincere thanks for all that you are doing in the Diocese!

Yours in Christ our Lord

+ Jose Luis Ponce de Leon IMC
Bishop of Manzini