PASTORAL LETTER, October 2018

18 October 2018

Dear Priests, Deacons and People of God,
I have just come back from the pilgrimages with renewed energy to serve you in this diocese with joy. Thank you for your prayers.

VOCATION PROMOTION
Those who have been discerning their vocations may apply with immediate effect so that we can meet the registration deadline with St. Francis Xavier, Orientation Seminary, Cape Town.
Let Father OupaKgage know immediately.The Word of God reminds that God calls people to serve his kingdom: Mk 1:16-17; Acts 13:2,5.

The Vocations Director will announce the dates for vocation camps, for boys, and another one for girls in December. Let the youth who are discerning their vocations be ready to attend.

The parishes are requested to receive the seminarians when they come for holidays in December. The Vocations Director will issue a letter requesting placement of seminarians in parishes, and will advice pastors on what to do with them. May the families commit themselves to feed them while they are doing pastoral work.
Some of our seminarians have been dismissed from their formation programme by their formators in KZN. It was a very harsh decision, but we respect it and will abide by it. Let us pray for them. If God has really called them, they will persevere and come back.

 

DEANS AND DEANERY WORK
I would like the Deans to be more committed to their Deaneries. Their focus is not just the wellbeing of their parishes. They must care about the clergy in their Deaneries and organize deanery clergy meetings. They must care about the lay faithful in their Deaneries and organize Deanery Pastoral Council meetings.
I would like to send an attachment with some of the tasks the church expects deans to do.
Deanery Pastoral Councils must read their DEANERY COUNCIL DRAFT STATUTES and comment. Bring comments to the Presbyteral Council for finalization.

 

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM OUR DEANS?
1. In each region of the Diocese it is fitting and necessary to have one priest who is assigned to provide a ministry of service to the other priests of that area. This priest is referred to as the Dean and the territory is known as a Deanery.

2. The Bishop may consult some of the priests in the deanery to get advice from them on who could be dean. Several names are suggested. It is the bishop who appoints. The Dean is to be a priest of the Deanery who is respected by the priests, has leadership ability, is willing to give leadership in the Deanery and someone to whom the priests will give support. The Dean is the Bishop’s representative in a very real way on the Deanery level. He should also be seen as a representative of the clergy and the people of his Deanery on a Diocesan level (cf. Canons 553-555).

3. The Dean is to see to it that the priests of the Deanery come together fraternally at least four times each year. This gathering is to be social, fraternal and spiritual and may include a topic for discussion or study, a time for prayer and adoration, opportunity for confession, a meal and some kind of entertainment. While the Dean is responsible for arranging the event it is properly hosted by different Pastors in different Parishes. The dean must never hesitate to invite the bishop or the Vicar General or the Chancellor to such gatherings.

4. The Dean may be asked by the Bishop to inspect the parochial books or to oversee certain parochial projects. Among the records to be inspected by the Dean on his visitation is the Mass Intention Book, the Sacramental Registers (Especially Baptisms, Marriage and Confirmation Registers), Funeral Registers, the Financial and Bookkeeping Records, Parish Files, parish archives and Parish Pastoral Council minutes. A Dean should confirm his examination by signing the record books (Canon 958).

5. The Dean, at the request of the Bishop, is also to inspect and report in a general way on the condition of the Parish building and parish yard as a whole. Special attention should be paid to sidewalks, stairways and other potentially hazardous areas.

6. The Dean is to inform the chancery immediately, of the serious illness or death of any priest in his Deanery. He is also to inform the Bishop immediately of any irregularities in the Parishes of his or any other Deanery.

7. The laity, for their part, have the responsibility of reporting to the Dean the concerns which they have regarding parish matters within the Deanery. Unless these clearly need to be reported directly to the Bishop, the Dean is to make sure that appropriate reports are sent to the Bishop. Parishioners must get used to their dean so that they can call on him for mediation and support. It is not necessary to go directly to the bishop. It is the dean who will raise any parish matter with the bishop. When the dean is, for some reason not able to intervene in a parish matter, he will advice the bishop to send the Vicar General and/or the Chancellor to intervene.

8. The Dean has the duty to see that during the illness or after the death of a Pastor, the books, documents, sacred vessels and other objects belonging to the Parish are not lost or taken away. He must take care that all personal effects of the deceased are kept intact until the executor of the will takes charge. The dean must encourage his priests to write their wills. Families have no right to claim properties without due process.

9. In the case of the death of any priest or deacon, the Dean is to make whatever arrangements are deemed necessary for solemn prayers and rituals for the deceased in consultation with the Bishop, care being taken that any specific directives in the will be fulfilled insofar as possible.
10. The dean must be committed and do everything in his power to unite the deanery and to motivate the clergy and laity to collaborate for the sake of the Kingdom of God and for the good fo the diocese.

11. The Deans are expected to bring written reports to the Presbyteral Council and to share with us the state of the deanery: activities, challenges and successes. The Bishop will organize a Deans’ Forum twice a year, to deal with some of the deanery issues on that platform. The dean has access to the bishop at all times.
We are an E-DIOCESE. Our last E is Endurance. We ask our Deans and all leaders in the diocese to endure and to serve without counting the cost.

 

MISSION SUNDAY
Mission Sunday is on the 21st of October. Feel free to celebrate it on the 28th of October with a special collection. Let me share with you part of the message of Pope Francis for Mission Sunday 2018.
You can google the full message.

Bearing witness to love
I am grateful to all those ecclesial groups that make it possible for you to have a personal encounter with Christ living in his Church: parishes, associations, movements, religious communities, and the varied expressions of missionary service. How many young people find in missionary volunteer work a way of serving the “least” of our brothers and sisters (cf. Mt 25:40), promoting human dignity and witnessing to the joy of love and of being Christians! These ecclesial experiences educate and train young people not only for professional success, but also for developing and fostering their God-given gifts in order better to serve others. These praiseworthy forms of temporary missionary service are a fruitful beginning and, through vocational discernment, they can help you to decide to make a complete gift of yourselves as missionaries.

The Pontifical Mission Societies were born of young hearts as a means of supporting the preaching of the Gospel to every nation and thus contributing to the human and cultural growth of all those who thirst for knowledge of the truth. The prayers and the material aid generously given and distributed through the Pontifical Mission Societies enable the Holy See to ensure that those who are helped in their personal needs can in turn bear witness to the Gospel in the circumstances of their daily lives. No one is so poor as to be unable to give what they have, but first and foremost what they are. Let me repeat the words of encouragement that I addressed to the young people of Chile: “Never think that you have nothing to offer, or that nobody needs you. Many people need you. Think about it! Each of you, think in your heart: many people need me” (Meeting with Young People, Maipu Shrine, 17 January 2018).
Dear young people, this coming October, the month of the missions, we will hold the Synod devoted to you. It will prove to be one more occasion to help us become missionary disciples, ever more passionately devoted to Jesus and his mission, to the ends of the earth. I ask Mary, Queen of the Apostles, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and Blessed Paolo Manna to intercede for all of us and to accompany us always.

From the Vatican, 20 May 2018, Solemnity of Pentecost
FRANCIS, Pope

 

HARVEST 2018
For the Harvest:
We know that this Harvest is very important for the life of the Diocese. Several times I cried out to our congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples for the fact that our expenditure exceeds our income. Their reply was that we must find a way of generating funds. Harvest is our best way of raising funds. Harvest helpsthe Diocese and the Bishop to:

  1. Run the Diocese and the Chancery
  2. Pay Salaries
  3. Support departments like Caritas, Justice and Peace, Catechetical office, etc.
  4. Support the Bishop to acquire vehicles, pay medical Aids for those who cannot afford and to support the Bishop’s House.
  5. Pay for Seminary fees

Our budget for 2018-2019 is R7 485 000.00. For that reason we need to raise R1, 000 000.00 to cover part of the budget.
Let those who can, be more generous.

i) Parish envelope: It is for that reason that on the day of the Harvest we expect every parish, every outstationand every sodality on the Deanery level, the youth and children’s movements to bring their own parish envelopes. The parish envelope must be the fruit of your parish in raising a substantial amount for the Harvest. Be creative.

ii) Family or personal envelope: When you bring your parish envelope, the PPC chairperson and PFC chairperson will be followed by families and individuals of their parish bringing their own envelopes. The envelope can have the name of the family, the parish name and if possible the phone number. Please do not throw family envelopes away. We need them to record the contribution in the chancery.

iii) Deanery Structures: Deanery structures are also invited to bring their own envelopes. For example the St. Anne of the Deanery can bring their own Deanery envelope.

All these efforts will help us to surpass the amount of 2017 which was R645 457.90.
We advise you to deposit the money in the bank and to bring the deposit slip or proof of payment to the harvest.
Be careful. Be vigilant. Crime is very high. We do not want to risk your life or the life of your pastor. Be discreet when you bank the money.
Thank you very much for your generosity. We are truly becoming a self-reliant, self-supporting Diocese. It is important that we take pride in our church and give thanks to God for all his gifts.
Please look at my Pastoral letter dated 27 September 2018. I have a reflection there called: The Harvest of Thanksgiving. Make it available for all parishioners.

 

SODALITIES AND ASSOCIATIONS
Our Sodalities are expected to live according to their constitution. They must develop their spirituality and do their apostolate. I have asked each to assist me with various tasks in the Diocese here are their tasks:
Daughters of St. Anne – Familiarize yourself with the child protection policy of the Diocese of Klerksdorp. Make sure that the PPC, ASB’s and catechists are aware of the policy. Make sure parishes are safe havens for children. Study the policy. It is simple and straightforward, then promote it.
St. Anne –Please make sure that Caritas exists in the parishes. Understand what Caritas is and where possible, collaborate with Caritas to bring charity to the poor.
Sacred Heart –Make sure that Renew Africa succeeds in parishes. Support the Renew Team and pray for Renew. Make sure that Justice and Peace groups are established in all parishes. Know the work and spirituality of Justice and Peace.
Kemoloya Maria – Promote Adoration of the Blessed Eucharist make sure that there is silence and order in the church. Promote rosary in the parishes, especially before Mass.

Legion of Mary –Pray for Vocations . Establish Vocations Teams in parishes. Work with the Vocations Director of the Diocese. Pray for seminarians and try to get to know them.

St. Agnes and Aloysious –Familiarize yourself with the New Catechetical Policy of the Diocese. Help the Diocesan Catechetical Coordinator in promoting it in parishes, so that it can be implemented. Help catechists, parents and PPC’s to understand the policy.

Catholic Women’s Association CWA–Ensure that there is Pastoral Care for the youth in every parish. Mentor the youth. Support their ASB’s. Train their leaders. Make sure that every parish has a Family Life Desk. Let them do their work. The task of Family Life Desk. For example: Renewal of marriage vows Day. A Day for the elderly and widows. Chlidren’s day. Care for the single parent families, child-headed families in the parish. Support the Diocesan Family Life Desk and the Diocesan Youth Chaplain.

St. Joseph –It is your task as men of St. Joseph to promote the harvest in the Diocese. Encourage people to give. Market Harvest and make sure it becomes a great success. Talk about it all over the Diocese. Focus on the harvest not only in your parish but neighbouring parishes as well.

Catholic Women’s League CWL –Assist the Vicar of Properties. Know the challenges around Diocesan properties. Support the Vicar for Finance andFundraising. Make sure that you assist him in his task and that our Diocesan Fundraising committee is strong and active.

Women’s Forum – Continue to support and encourage the priests. Pray for the priests. Contribute to their medical needs. Understand the call to the priesthood. Understand Diocesan and Religious priests. Encourage good behaviour and self-discipline.

Men’s Forum –Adopt a seminarian. A seminarian cost R70 000.00 per annum for a full scholarship. You are expected to raise this amount every year. Check security issues in the parish and improve security. Check maintenance and repair issues in the parish and do something about it. Discuss a healthy masculine spirituality and take a stand against child and women abuse.

St Cecilia – besides your work of promoting Sacred Music, the bishop invites you to support Liturgy committees in the parishes. Collaborate with the pastor and the PPC, to make sure that the Liturgy Committees are alive and active. They must be trained properly.
Please all chaplains and parish priests must support sodalities so that they can fulfil their tasks

 

RENEW AFRICA
As for Renew Africa. I thank you as you continue to launch Renew in the parish. NOW IS THE TIME FOR BIBLE SHARING.
We will send you the soft copy of BOOK 1 in Setswana and IsiZulu. You must order book 1 in other languages immediately for your parish.

a. Organize your parish into Small Christian Communities (SCC) or faith sharing groups.
b. Get the books for Season one; Encountering Christ Today from our Renew Africa office in Jouberton from Mrs Manyobe.
c. Identify facilitators for faith sharing
d. Open the beginning of the book and you will see guidelines on how the book is used and how faith-sharing is done.
e. Empower your facilitators to do their work and see it as part of evangelization. Train them yourself on how to conduct the sharing of faith.
f. Keep in touch with the Renew Office (Father Manana, Mrs Manyobe and the Diocesan Core Committee for training, support and advice)
g. Continue sharing until you complete the book. Do not rush. Sodalities, youth and children too can start sharing their faith based on the book.
h. Consult thePastoral letter of 27 September 2018 for more information.

 

THE HOLY FATHER ASKED US TO PRAY THE ROSARY AND TO ADD TWO PRAYERS AT THE END
Pope Francis has asked all Catholics to pray the rosary daily during the month of October, asking Mary and St. Michael the Archangel to intercede for the protection of the Church in a moment of “spiritual turbulence.”
A Sept. 29 statement from the Vatican said that Pope Francis had recently affirmed that prayer “is the weapon against the Great Accuser who ‘goes around the world seeking to accuse.’ Only prayer can defeat him.”
“The Russian mystics and the great saints of all the traditions advised, in moments of spiritual turbulence, to shelter beneath the mantle of the Holy Mother of God.”
The pope said that recitation of the rosary would invoke Mary’s intercession, placing the Church under her “protective mantle.”

The Pope also encouraged the prayer of Sub TuumPraesidium:
“We fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.”
(Re balehelatshireletsongyahao…)

The pope did not specify the “spiritual turbulence” to which he referred, but did say that prayer could help the Church to become “more aware of the faults, the errors and the abuses committed in the present and in the past, and committed to combating without any hesitation, so that evil may not prevail.”
Pope Francis also encouraged that Catholics end the rosary with the recitation of the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, composed by Pope Leo XII: “Saint Michael Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.”

I REQUEST THAT THESE TWO PRAYERS BE RECITED AT THE END OF THE ROSARY,
BUT IN THE DIOCESE OF KLERKSDORP LET US PRAY THEM ALSO AT THE END OF THE MASS BEFORE THE EXIT HYMN.

WE ARE CURRENTLY IN A STATE OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE. THE POPE IS AWARE OF THIS AND PRAYER IS OUR WEAPON.

HOW DO YOU WAGE A SPIRITUAL WARFARE?
One of the things you can do in your spiritual warfare is to constantly be in the state of grace. Clothe yourself with grace. Clothe yourself with Jesus Christ and trust in his Holy Name. Live in the Spirit and the evil spirit will run away form you. Live a Catholic Life: This means frequent confession, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and going to daily Mass as much as possible, in order to receive the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. It also means prayer, lots of prayer, every day. This can be done silently when driving or at work, or it can mean saying the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. It only takes 20 minutes to say one set of mysteries of the Rosary, and the heavenly protection it gives us is immense. By invoking the very humble Blessed Virgin Mary as your protector, the demons can’t get in through our senses as easily as they could before. Whatever your particular shortcoming is, like gluttony, lust, anger, greed, envy, pride, or sloth, pray that God will send you the grace to overcome it. Then pray for the grace to accept those graces, and not throw them away! And once God realizes that you are serious in your love for Him, and not just paying him lukewarm lip service, your vice will just disappear one day, and you won’t even want to go back to it!The reality of spiritual warfare is not something we should relegate to movies about possession. It is real and is literally as common as sin. Yet, the closer we walk to Christ, the more we can see the whiles of the evil one. We can then see what it wants and do the opposite.

The greatest quote in the Bible concerning Spiritual Warfare is from St. Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.

PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE
My Lord, You are all powerful, You are God, You are Father. We beg You through the intercession and help of the archangels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel, for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All saints of heaven, come to our aid.
From anxiety, sadness, and obsessions, We beg You: Free us, O Lord.
From hatred, fornication, envy, We beg You: Free us, O Lord.
From thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death. We beg You: Free us, O Lord.
From every thought of suicide and abortion. We beg You:
Free us, O Lord. From every form of sinful sexuality.
We beg You: Free us, O Lord. From every division in our family, and every harmful friendship. We beg You: Free us, O Lord.
From every sort of spell, malefice, witchcraft, and every form of the occult. We beg You: Free us, O Lord.
Lord, You Who said, “I leave you peace, my peace I give you,” grant that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may be liberated from every evil spell and enjoy Your peace always.
In the Name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

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