PASTORAL LETTER- February 2018

05 February 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,


I would like to request you, on the 11th of February, to take a Holy Childhood collection. If you are not satisfied with the amount collected, ask the parish to take another one during the Easter Season. Last year we sent R30 000 to the National Office and they in turn sent it to the Holy Childhood Office in Rome. We in turn received over R40 000 from Rome to assist us with our children’s ministry in the diocese. Let us see if we can improve this year.

For the Lenten Appeal 2017, we managed to contribute R230 000 to the Bishops’ Lenten Appeal. The two largest contributions came from Cape Town which gave R1, 816.610 and Johannesburg which gave R1, 725.O24. Please give generously and send the money to the diocese immediately after Easter.

Good Friday collection: Thanks to you as you assisted us to give a generous contribution to the suffering church of the Holy Land, including Palestine, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, etc. this year we gave better than other years. We gave R44 350. Once more we ask the finance committee of each parish to send the Good Friday collection to St Michael’s account. Thanks to St Michael for taking care of this collection and for sending it speedily to the Custodian of the Holy Land.

Lent means ‘springtime’ – a new beginning. During this time we are called to re-examine the practice of our faith, consider what we want to change in our lives, and prepare for Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. We are entering a period of Lent. Let me share with you the 10 tips we received from Pope Francis. Let us try to practice them.
Every year Catholics try to answer the age old question: What should I do for Lent? Well, who better to pick for as your Lenten spiritual director than Pope Francis? He has some great ideas for you!

1. Get rid of the lazy addiction to evil

“[Lent] is a ‘powerful’ season, a turning point that can foster change and conversion in each of us. We all need to improve, to change for the better. Lent helps us and thus we leave behind old habits and the lazy addiction to the evil that deceives and ensnares us.” – General Audience, March 5, 2014

2. Do something that hurts

“Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.” – Lenten Message, 2014

3. Don’t remain indifferent

“Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience. God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation.” –Lenten Message, 2015

4. Pray: Make our hearts like yours!

“During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: ‘Faccor nostrum secundumcortuum’: Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.” – Lenten Message, 2015

5. Take part in the sacraments

“Lent is a favorable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him. This happens whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. There we become what we receive: the Body of Christ.” – Lenten Message, 2015

6. Prayer

“In the face of so many wounds that hurt us and could harden our hearts, we are called to dive into the sea of prayer, which is the sea of God’s boundless love, to taste his tenderness. Lent is a time of prayer, of more intense prayer, more prolonged, more assiduous, more able to take on the needs of the brethren; intercessory prayer, to intercede before God for the many situations of poverty and suffering.” – Homily, March 5, 2014

7. Fasting

“We must be careful not to practice a formal fast, or one which in truth ‘satisfies’ us because it makes us feel good about ourselves. Fasting makes sense if it questions our security, and if it also leads to some benefit for others, if it helps us to cultivate the style of the Good Samaritan, who bends down to his brother in need and takes care of him.” – Homily, March 5, 2014

“Fasting makes sense if it questions our security…” – Pope Francis

8. Almsgiving

“Today gratuitousness is often not part of daily life where everything is bought and sold. Everything is calculated and measured. Almsgiving helps us to experience giving freely, which leads to freedom from the obsession of possessing, from the fear of losing what we have, from the sadness of one who does not wish to share his wealth with others.” – Homily, March 5, 2014

9. Help the Poor

“In the poor and outcast we see Christ’s face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ. Our efforts are also directed to ending violations of human dignity, discrimination and abuse in the world, for these are so often the cause of destitution. When power, luxury and money become idols, they take priority over the need for a fair distribution of wealth. Our consciences thus need to be converted to justice, equality, simplicity and sharing.” – Lenten Message, 2014
10. Evangelize
“The Lord asks us to be joyous heralds of this message of mercy and hope! It is thrilling to experience the joy of spreading this good news, sharing the treasure entrusted to us, consoling broken hearts and offering hope to our brothers and sisters experiencing darkness.” – Lenten Message, 2014
You probably won’t be able to take huge steps forward in all of these areas. Instead, pick a couple that stand out to you and try to find practical ways to grow in your love of God and your love of your neighbor.

Valentine’s Day, named after St. Valentine, a third-century martyr, is all about romance with its emphasis on cards, candy, flowers and nice dinners. Ash Wednesday takes a more sombre tone as the start of 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving of Lent. It is a day of fasting and abstinence, not only for Catholics, but for Lutherans, Anglicans, Orthodox, etc. Catholics throughout the world recognize Ash Wednesday as the solemn beginning of a period of prayerful reflection and penance. On that day, we attend mass and receive ashes on our foreheads.
Ash Wednesday also is one of two days, along with Good Friday, that are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholic adults — meaning no eating meat and eating only one full meal and two smaller meals. In other words, not a day for consuming candy hearts, ice cream, chocolate cakes or fancy steak dinners. In view of the significance of Ash Wednesday the obligation of fast and abstinence must naturally be the priority in the Catholic community.
For die-hard, Valentine fans, I recommend that you use these dates for celebrating your Valentine: 9-13 February and 18 February which is a Sunday, a day when we do not normally fast. Sunday is the day of the Resurrection of the Lord.
Let us respect the 14th of February 2018 since it is Ash Wednesday. Let us use that day to pray, fast, read the Word and yes, wish others well. Use this time to forgive and strengthen your relationships with family and friends. REFRAIN FROM VALENTINE PARTIES AND CELEBRATION ON ASH WEDNESDAY. Remember the words of Saint Mother Theresa in a way that is called the Simple Path:
The fruit of silence is PRAYER.
The fruit of prayer is FAITH.
The fruit of faith is LOVE.
The fruit of Love is SERVICE.
The fruit of service is PEACE.
It is important for Catholics to tone-down parties and celebrations.
It is a time for reflection and spiritual renewal, a time to examine one’s relationships with God and with others. The Church also calls Catholics to a spirit of penance, above all fasting, prayer and almsgiving, “which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others” (CCC 1969, 1434.)

WHY FASTING AND ABSTINENCE (self-denial)? To foster the spirit of penance and of reparation for sin, to encourage self-denial, and to guide us in the footsteps of Jesus. Church law requires the observance of fast and abstinence (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1249-1253).

1. Abstinence: All persons who have already celebrated their 14th birthday are bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent.

2. Fasting: Everyone, from the celebration of their 18th birthday to their 59th birthday, is bound to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. (Fasting is not compulsory for children, the sick and pensioners, but they are free to fast, for their own spiritual growth). Voluntary fasting on other weekdays of Lent, especially on Wednesdays and Fridays, is highly recommended. Fasting is generally understood to mean eating one full meal each day. Two other small or partial meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken; but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids are allowed. Instead of meat, eat Inkomas, morogo,fish, fresh mild, veggies. In Medjugore, every Wednesday and Friday, children and adults survive on bread and water as their way of fasting.
Other forms of “fasting,” especially regarding alcoholic drink, needless television, video games, Internet use and social entertainment, is of true spiritual value and is strongly encouraged. Reduce and limit the things you enjoy or things you are addicted to, to give more time to God, Works of Mercy and your fellow human beings. When health or ability to study or to work would be seriously affected, neither the law of fasting nor the law of abstinence obliges. If in doubt, one’s parish priest or confessor may be consulted.

3. Prayer: In order to deepen one’s love for Christ, Catholics are urged to read and pray over sacred Scripture; to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church; to participate in devotions offered by the parish; and to pray more fervently — individually, as families, and in common with others. The faithful are exhorted to pray the rosary, to make private visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and to pray especially for vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, for world peace, and for the new leaders in parishes and sodalities and for the preparations for the launch of Renew Africa in the diocese

4. Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation: Lent is a privileged time for celebrating this sacrament. Parishes generally make readily available the Sacrament of Penance, including its communal celebration. Once more, I request our deaneries to continue with Penitential Services with individual confessions as they did in the past. It was good to see priests helping each other. I encourage parents and catechists to prepare their children and youth for confession. Some of them have already forgotten how to confess. I also worry about children who receive either First Communion or Confirmation and then stop confessing. I encourage all of us to reconcile with God and with our neighbour. This is the time for forgiveness.
4. Lenten Mass Schedule: Daily Masses during Lent are so scheduled so as to facilitate the attendance and spiritual growth of the faithful. The faithful are urged to attend Mass on weekdays. The Lenten Scripture Readings are very rich and you will really enjoy. We have a few copies of the Liturgical Diary, with Readings and reflections – for the whole year. They sell for R100.

5. The Stations of the Cross are celebrated publicly in each parish on Fridays during the Lenten season. Parishioners are urged to participate. Let the outstations to organize their own Stations of the Cross.

6. Wedding Masses: may not be celebrated during the Easter Triduum, on Sundays of Lent, Ash Wednesday, or during Holy Week. I discourge people from celebrating marriages during lent. But, from my experience as a pastor in Pretoria, I did not succeed to ban marriages during lent in my parish. If marriages take place during Lent in your parish, the proper liturgical norms and provisions must be followed. Be courageous and inform your people that it is contrary to the penitential spirit of the season to have elaborate weddings or lavish receptions during lent. Ask your parish to tone-down. Ask them to tone-down celebrations, parties, festivals, etc, during lent. Our people will understand. It is not an outright ban, but a request for them to celebrate remembering that it is Lent!

7. Funeral Masses may not be celebrated on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, or Holy Saturday, nor on the Sundays of Lent. When pastoral reasons require that a funeral be celebrated on these days, a Liturgy of the Word, with the final commendation and farewell rite, is held. There is no mass on Good Friday and Holy Saturday!!! We wait until the Easter Vigil to celebrate mass.

8. Easter Duty: All the baptized must receive Holy Communion around the Easter Season. All Catholics who have been initiated into the Holy Eucharist are bound to receive Holy Communion worthily at least once during the Easter Season. Catholics are encouraged to receive Communion as often as possible, not only during Eastertide, but throughout the liturgical year. However, “Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to Communion” (CCC 1385.)
9. Almsgiving: see the comment about our LENTEN APPEAl.
In our Lenten pilgrimage of faith and ascent to the holy mountain of Easter, may God direct our steps to Him, and show us how to walk always in His way.

I took a trip to Kongolo in the Democratic Republic of Congo in January. Two of our priests, Fr Bernard and Fr Nkeba are still incardinated there. It was good seeing their families and their bishop. On your behalf I said a big ‘Thank You’ to them all for their generosity. They received mewith great love. I learnt a lot and I would like to thank the bishop of Kongolo, His Lordship Oscar NgoywaMpanga, C.S.Sp who together with his clergy and laity welcomed me, showed me around and took care of my stay. I want to thank Abbe Edouard Makimba, the coordinator of Kongolo Caritas-Development and the Caritas staff who took their time to explain to me their activities, projects and vision. I thank the sisters who were very kind and who, when I suggested that they could come to open a house in Klerksdorp Diocese showed a lot enthusiasm. Their work is in education, health, social work and diocesan administration. I will continue to share with you the lessons I learnt in the course of time. In Lumumbashi Archdiocese, I was hosted by the Salesians and I celebrated Mass on Wednesday evening with a Small Christian Community and on Sunday I celebrated Mass in KiSwahili at St Elizabeth parish, under the Spiritan Fathers. I visited the families of Fr Nkeba and Fr Bernard and visited some convents including formation houses of young sisters. I received a visit from the family of Fr Paulin. They all showered me with gifts which unfortunately I could not carry back home, I was already overweight. They are a loving and kind people who were excited to see me. It was a joyful experience. The pictures will be on the diocesan Facebook page soon.

Last year I shared our Draft policy with the clergy and I asked them to have a look at it and to discuss it with catechists so that we can find a way of implementing it. I will be issuing a decree by Easter, thus making it an official policy for the diocese. We will hopefully get a Diocesan Catechetical Coordinator, whose job it will be, to see to the implementation of the policy and to the training of our catechists. For those who are concerned about translations of the policy, I ask you to be patient. We shall work hard to get it translated. We have catechetical books (Cycles) in the office, buy for the parish. We have ordered confirmation books Year B, they should be here by the 17th of February. We are sending you the commissioning of catechists in English. We can organize the Tswana version if you need it. Parish coordinators must work with the parish priest to see to the commissioning of catechists, the appointment of new catechists, the launch of the new catechetical year and other logistics. Our policy guidelines are very clear about the duties of a parish catechetical coordinator. I recommend that you study it and start using it ad-experimentum, until the decree is issued.

We are responding to the call of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who has called us to ensure that the Child Protection Policy is in place, in every diocese. I sent our draft Child Protection Policy to the parishes. I requested the clergy to engage with the PPC’s about this. I tasked Baradi Ba Anna when they invited me last year, to assist the parishes in the implementation of the policy. At the moment, what is important is dialogue in the parish, workshops, meetings and plans on how the parish will implement the policy and empower those who are dealing with youth and children to understand it. I will issue a decree in 4 months’ time, declaring the draft ourofficial policy. Before we can do that, let us empower ourselves with knowledge and understanding.
Our diocese recognizes the dignity and rights of all children and young people and is committed to ensuring their safety and well-being in a way that promotes their human dignity, integrity and worth as children of God.Each child/young person is to be affirmed as a gift of God and has a right to dignity of life and bodily integrity, which must be respected, nurtured and protected. These rights are inalienable by the very fact of their human dignity.
The Church recognises the importance of its ministry with children and young people and its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children and young people entrusted to the church’s care. The welfare of the child is always paramount. Klerksdorp diocese must understand that we have to provide a safe and caring environment for children and young people. We need to come to terms with the reality that children and young people can be the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect. We, as the diocese of Klerksdorp, must be committed to offering pastoral care and support to those attending the church and catechetical lessons, who have been affected by abuse. This policy will help us to do just that.
The diocese and the parishes will have to ensure that all those who work with children in the Church are trained, supported and supervised appropriately. Decisions as to whether or not a particular person should be appointed to work with children or young people will be taken by those who are responsible in parish. It is their responsibility to find out if that person has child abuse cases or not.
PLEASE STUDY THE POLICY NOW!!! Invite the police, nurses, social workers, psychologists and other specialized persons to assist you to understand it so that we can implement it.

We are blessed to have a sodality in the diocese, whose sole purpose is to spread the love and mercy of God through a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They are celebrating 50 years this year and we thank God for them. WE WISH YOU MANY MORE YEARS!!! HAPPY GOLDEN JUBILEE! Thanks to all the pioneers, those who are dead and those are still with us. May the soul of Fr Abie MosaTlhapi, the Sacred Heart Chaplain, rest in peace!

I hope that the process of elections IS now over. I hope they were peaceful and democratic as we had agreed. It is time now for a peaceful handover and the formation on new leaders. We must also make sure that the committees of the PPC are also in place. You need:

They can invite a rep of lay ministers and altar servers. Their task is to ensure that there is ongoing liturgical formation in the parish; See to it that there is order in the sacristy and ensure that it is well resourced. They have see to it that the choirs are strong and are improving the standard of Sacred Music in the church. They see to the training of altar servers, urshers, the training of leaders, liturgical dancers, proclaimers of the Word and other important role players in the liturgy. The head of this committee can represent them in the Parish Pastoral Council.

YOUTH COMMITTEE (4-6 members)
They are supposed to assist youth leaders in the parish to make sure that the youth groups or youth formations are strong and viable. These adults and young adults in the committee act as mentors to the youth and help in the training of leaders. They help the youth to understand the new constitution of the youth in Klerksdorp as compiled and edited by Fr Ledimo. They see to it the youth have ASB’S and have a spirituality, social action and church participation. While the youth must be represented in the PPC, it is also important that an adult or young adult who is a member of the Youth Committee be present as well. They must assist with matters of discipline and must make sure that the youth have an Adult Supportive Body. This committee must ensure that there is a youth pastoral ministry in the parish. Our youth must receive pastoral care. Our youth must be organized better so that they can know the Lord, know themselves, know life and the world and use their talents to build the kingdom of God.
They reflect about how to deepen our own understanding of the Church’s Social Teachings, especially by our own reading, study, reflection and prayer. They use the Pastoral Cycle Method to analyse and to understand the situation they live in. They try to provide means for others – especially their own parishioners – to learn the Church’s Social Teachings, especially by devising strategies and projects to enable people to have a personal encounter with Jesus and to have a personal encounter with people who are poor and marginalized. They help the parish and the community to respect the dignity of human life: this includes abortion, Human Rights, Workers’ Rights, Children’s Rights and Women Rights. They speak on behalf of those who are suffering and they defend the defenceless. They address issues such ascultural values, racism, ecology and environmental issues, euthanasia, gun violence and gangsterism, service delivery, corruption, health care, the causes of hunger, immigration challenges, poverty, prejudice, racism and segregation, religious tolerance, unemployment, urban renewal, abuse, rape andsocial welfare. They work with the diocesan Justice and Peace and attend their meetings. They must send a representative to the PPC.

In this committee one or two couples who are married sacramentally. We need a single person, a youth, a widow or widower and a young adult. They are there to support families and marriages. They must be available to counsel families and couples who need help. They must assist the priest with Marriage Preparations. They must prepare the retreat of married couples and the Mass for the renewal of Marriage vows. They must prepare the day for grandparents around July (The feast of Sts Anne and Joachim). They must prepare a children’s day sometimes in October and support Holy Childhood in the parish. They must prepare young people for marriage by talking to them at early age, explaining that Marriage is a Sacrament and it is beautiful. They must defend life from conception to death. They must help the parish to celebrate Family Day. They must organize seminars and workshops to do with Family matters and marriage in particular.

Their role is to promote charity in the parish. The must encourage the parishioners to love one another and to care for the poorest of the poor. They assist in identifying families in need, starving children, abused or neglected elderly members of the community, the sick especially TB, HIV and Aids. They care for orphans, help with food gardens, the distribution of food and blankets. They make sure that when there is a disaster they inform the Diocesan Caritas Office to assist with relief aid. They care about skills and training for women and for the poor. They care about sanitation and water. They care about housing for the poor, the protection of the vulnerable, and medical care for the needy. They must ensure secure, safe and healthy living conditions for families, do more sanitation projects and help people to access clean water and hygiene practice. In our diocese they must focus on agriculture and food security programmes to improve families’ livelihoods and to help them to increase their incomes through initiatives such as setting up community gardens, supplying seeds and equipment, and improving adaptation techniques to increase food crop yields.
Our aim is to set up a strong Diocesan Caritas, ready to intervene and to provide emergency and humanitarian assistance, giving lifesaving aid to the lives of those affected by natural disasters and who are suffering from poverty and hunger. During a severe drought two years ago, I watched helplessly when farm workers and the poor in villages were literally starving and we as church in the diocese of Klerksdorp had no capacity to intervene and to provide food.

Please check the Diocesan Catechetical policy as it explains what this committee is all about.

RENEW Africa invites communities to pray, reflect on Scripture, deepen communion with one another and with Christ, and reach out in service to others. This is an essential expression of their faith. Training sessions encourage the development of new lay leadership, so essential to becoming a truly self-sustaining church.
In his Letter, St. James reminds us to “be doers of the Word and not merely hearers who deceive themselves” (1:22). As a response to the Word of God and the shared word among the small community members, there is always an invitation to respond. Ideally the response ought to flow from the Word and the sharing. Action does not necessarily mean adding on “something else.” It means following God’s call to live our faith. Through the faith-sharing experience, communities grow in their awareness of their own gifts and in their ability to put them at the service of the Mission in a variety of ways.
The parish Renew Core Team exists to assist the parish and the PPC to implement Renew in the parish. They will see to it that the Small Christian Communities are alive and that those who will be facilitating faith sharing in the SCC are trained. Their work at the moment, is to be trained and then to help the parish to form SCC’s or faith-sharing groups. They must see to it the other teams of Renew are formed and trained (for example Small Community leaders, Healing team and the Mission Team, among others).
They prepare the parish for the launch of Renew in the Diocese which will be in July this year. They promote Renew in the parish and help the parish to understand that Renew involves faith sharing and action; prayer and learning; mutual support and a personal relationship with Jesus. I hope that all parishes have a Renew Core Community because without it we will not go anywhere.
NB: Renew Faith Sharing in groups or in Small Communities will start after the launch, somewhere in September. By that time we must have done a lot of formation and we are lagging behind as we not getting the support and the cooperation of many parishes in the diocese.

REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE: Make it their responsibility to see to it that Church Property is taken care of. They must be concerned about leaks, broken windows, cracks, etc. they must either do the work themselves or if it entails a professional, they must identify the person who can do the work. They must be concerned about the maintenance of our buildings, our fences, our yards, etc.

Together with the parish priest, they work towards the fostering of vocations to the priesthood, religious life and the dedicated lay apostolate. They pray for vocations and encourages the parishioners to pray for vocations. They support the work of the Diocesan Vocations’ Director. They must support the Vocations’ camp and get to know those who have responded to the call so that they can pray for them. They must get to our sisters, brothers and seminarians who have responded to the call.

To foster an outreach to members of other Christian Churches as well as those of non-Christian faiths with a view to developing a better understanding and to promoting common projects within the community, especially for the needy and deprived. It is important that we are seen to promote ecumenism on the parish, diocesan and deanery levels. This committee must be more active during the Novena of Pentecost when we have our Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Week. They can organize Ecumenical Services in the parish and assist the parish to visit other neighbouring churches for ecumenical service. The diocese will make sure that materials for that week arrive on time.

THE ROLE OF THE PFC (Taken from our September 2017 – Pastoral Letter
Section 1: The PFC is a consultative body which advises the parish priest as administrator of the temporal goods of the parish, in all matters of major financial concern, in particular any acts of “extraordinary administration” (see Article IX).
Policy is carefully discerned by the PFC together with the parish priest in accordance with the provisions of the Code, the diocesan Directives and these Statutes. However, while the parish priest is not bound to follow the advice given by the members of the PFC, even if it is unanimous, nevertheless he should not act against their advice, especially if it is unanimous, unless there be a reason which in his judgement is overriding (cf canon 127, §2,2º).
Section 2: The PFC, through close cooperation with the parish priest, is to consider carefully the financial needs of the parish and develop and promote a plan of action to meet those needs.
Section 3: Together with the parish priest, the PFC is responsible for preparing an annual budget for parish operational and capital expenditure. It is also responsible for assisting in the preparation and the approval of an annual statement of income and expenditure to be submitted to the diocese.

To assist the members of the PFC in these tasks, the diocese provides formation programmes for them. Insofar as possible, parish priests are to ensure that the members of the PFC avail themselves of these opportunities.
Section 4: The PFC, together with the parish priest, is to ensure that the annual statement of income and expenditure submitted to the finance department of the archdiocese is made available to the members of the parish (cf canon 1287, §2), in whatever way is deemed appropriate.
Section 5: The PFC is to review the income and expenditure of the parish on a regular basis and to determine whether the parish is operating within its budget.
Section 6: The PFC is to review all parish banking arrangements.
Section 7: The PFC is to co-ordinate planned giving campaigns in the parish and make recommendations for increased participation of parishioners on planned giving, pledges, 1-3% and for other fundraising projects in the parish.
Section 8: The PFC is to review annually, together with the parish priest, the inventory of parish movable property and, together with him, to conduct an annual inspection of parish buildings and grounds and make recommendations for necessary repairs, renovations and general maintenance.

Section 1: Membership of the PFC shall consist of ex officio and appointed members. The PFC shall have a three-year term of office.
Section 2: The senior assistant priest and the senior parish deacon shall be ex officio members of the PFC.
Section 3: The parish priest shall appoint at least three lay persons to the PFC after consulting the Parish Pastoral Council executive. The size of the parish and the availability of expertise in the parish should be the determining factors with respect to the number of appointed members. (You can have a civil lawyer, an accountant, a banker, etc.)
Section 4: Those appointed to the PFC shall be members of the Christ’s faithful (canon 537) in communion with the Church and be resident within the parish and be registered on the parish roll or registered on the parish roll, though resident elsewhere. They should be outstanding in moral integrity, actively involved in the life of the local Church, possess expertise in and/or experience in financial management/administration.
• the chairperson of the PFC represents them in the Parish Pastoral Council
Looks after the temporal goods of the church- administrates the goods of the church.
• Accounting- Financial administration. Prepare budget for income and expenditure Implement budget
Special collections- Draw Financial Reports- Give reports at the PPC meetings, remind the faithful to provide for the material needs of the church- Be self-supporting. Inventory of movable and immovable. UIF- contracts for employees.
1. A confirmed and practicing Catholic. Must be God-fearing.
2. Must align him or herself with the Teachings of the Church.
3. Must be married in Church sacramentally, or living a single life. Masihlalisane, Vat en Sit and trial marriages are not according to Church teaching. Customary marriages are not enough. Civil marriage is not enough. We want a church marriage – a Sacrament.
4. Must attend church. Contribute time, talents and resources to the church, especially pledges and other church dues.
5. Must be respected by the community as a leader. Must be a team-worker, a builder of unity and reciprocal love.
6. Must be a hard-worker, committed and available to the Work of Christ.
7. Must be able to work with the parish community, the parish priest and the bishop.
8. How does he or she make a living? Is it in an honest way?

I request our Deans to convene meetings of the newly elected chairpersons and secretaries of the PPC’s so that they can choose a new Deanery Pastoral Council. This must be done by the end of March 2018.

These two structures will be convened by the bishop by May this year. The chairperson and secretary of the Deanery Pastoral Council will be part of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. The third member can be a youth. They will elect an executive from among them.
The President/Chairperson of the Sodality on the diocesan level will be part of the Sodalities’ Forum. They will also choose an executive which will automatically be part of the DPC.
This will be done by the bishop after consultations. All the clergy will be consulted before appointments. This year the bishop will appoint new chaplains, diocesan office bearers and diocesan. Vicars and diocesan coordinators.
The bishop will also ask for the election of members of the Presbyteral Council. Every diocese has a Council of Priests (a.k.a. the Presbyteral Council), whose members are elected by the priests themselves, or who are automatically members of the Council because of the job they have in the diocese. They advise the bishop on pastoral matters in the diocese.
The bishop will appoint a small number of priests who will constitute what is known as the College of Consultors. This is a stable body which the diocesan bishop must consult on certain matters, usually related to finances, alienation of property of a certain value and in the general administration of the diocese. In some cases I simply consult them to get their valuable advice, but in special cases I need their consent.For the sake of our laity, who may not be familiar with Canon Law: should something happen to me, God forbid! (e.g. let us say I leave office suddenly), the College can elect a diocesan administrator to govern the diocese until a diocesan bishop is appointed (and, I should note, a diocesan administrator has to get the approval of the College for even more situations than the diocesan bishop does). They elect an administrator only if Rome does not provide an Apostolic Administrator.
Pray for us because this is a very important year for us. THIS IS THE YEAR FOR LEADERSHIP!

God has answered our prayers. We have enough seminarians for now. When I came here, the senior priests in the diocese, (all of them are now over the age of 75), told me: “Bishop we are old, our time is up, prepare yourself to find people who will replace us when we retire”. The Vocations’ Director Fr Melusi, Fr Peter Choi, and myself have been working hard since, with the assistance of the chancery staff of course. When I came here in 2015, we had no seminarian in the seminary system.
Three of our seminarians will be in the diocese, doing their Internship and three new ones will familiarize themselves with the diocese, doing pastoral work. We will have 15 seminarians in the seminary this year and it will cost us not less than R900 000 – for this year only. (You can see where your Harvest money and your 10% go). Last year we spend about R800 000 for seminary training. We prayed for vocations, God answered and it is now our duty to support the diocese financially because they all receive a free scholarship.
Most of the students are form outside the diocese. Only 4 are originally from Klerksdorp. We recruited seminarians from outside because of our shortage. Most of those we invited to come to our diocese have done philosophy. They are here for theology and all of them have done very well. Their results and behaviour are impressive. We had to turn down 25 young men, who applied from outside the diocese simply – because we cannot afford anymore. WE SAID NO TO 25 APPLICATIONS FOR THE SEMINARY!!! WE ARE COMPLETELY FULL. WE CANNOT TAKE ONE SINGLE STUDENT FROM OUTSIDE. WE ARE A SMALL DIOCESE AND WE DO NOT HAVE THE MEANS! The doors are open for young men from this diocese who would like to serve as priests in the future. They must apply now, before June and must be in touch with the Vocations’ Director for accompaniment and discernment.

I will be introducing Fr Emmanuel Aghbor, MSP, an African missionary in Africa. He will serve the Delareyville district. Fr Godfrey, Apostle of Jesus – AJ, will help us in the chancery. Fr Peter Choi AJ will accompany our seminarians to Cedara as aformator. Let us pray for him.

As I promised you, the Sisters of St Brigid are coming to the diocese within a month. They will serve in the Itsoseng Pastoral District but will avail their services to the deanery and to the diocese. Pray for us as we are in the process of inviting the Companions of St Angela to come and help us in this diocese. There is a lot of work for Religious Sisters in the diocese and we need sisters desperately. I spoke to some sisters in Kongolo diocese who are involved in education, health and social work and they showed interest, we will discern and see where the Spirit will lead us.

Let us promote his Cause for sainthood. Let us pray the Novena and ask God for a miracle through his intercession. This miracle will open the way to sainthood. Thank you for celebrating the memorial mass of Blessed Daswa on the first of February, his Feastday. I would like to request every parish to have a picture of Benedict Daswa and all catechists to teach about him so that he can be our role model of faith and courageous witnessing.

The bishops requested the Justice and Peace commission in Khanya House to prepare some reflections on Racism and reconciliation. I have very few copies in the chancery. So we can afford to give a parish one copy and they can make copies for group sharing and for sharing in SCC’S. Let us reflect and pray. Let us reflect and come together. Let us reflect and allow God to heal all divisions and all the hurts of the past. Let us reflect and act to promote racial harmony and, mutual respect, tolerancein our parishes, our schools and the community at large. I ask the clergy to prepare the facilitators of this sharing, taking into account people’s sensitivities. Let us all start sharing once a week during the Easter Season which will be around April and May this year. Most dioceses in South Africa will do these reflections during Lent but I requested a dispensation for Klerksdorp. We will do our reflections during Easter so that we can talk and pray about this important issue.

We thank Fr Ledimo and the chancery staff for the hard work ensuring that our diocese is also represented at the World Youth Day. The seminarians and some of our priests were part of this event. It was a wonderful faith experience for all. It was a pilgrimage not an outing. Let us forgive the organizers for any inconvenience caused. To our youth: Congratulations! You made it to Durban and we are proud of you! The diocese gave a subsidy of over R150 000. We paid for transport and we paid for all our seminarians. Some dioceses like Johannesburg spent more on their youths, subsidizing them just to make the Mini World Youth Day a success. Unfortunately, our hosts being the Cardinal and the Archdiocese of Durban informed the bishop that we have a deficit of R6 million Rand as some donors did not keep their promises and the fees in Durban escalated in a way that was unexpected.
The bishops are coming up with some creative ways of dealing with the deficit. We sincerely hope that by the end of the year it will be paid off. As a diocese we need to prepare our youths properly, when they go for diocesan and national events. We need discipline, respect, cooperation and a Christian attitude all the way.This is my concern because we are failing badly and we are leaving a bad image outside. Let us talk about this and find a way of adopting new ways of behaving and celebrating.

The book with the constitution, hymns and prayers compiled and edited by Fr Ledimo is available at the chancery for R50. Every young person in the diocese must have a copy.

We ask all parishes to refund the diocese for their Insurance and Medical Aid. ACCOUNTS WILL BE SENT SOON, PLEASE SETTLE ALL YOUR BILLS. You have to back-pay from October 2017.

Rome requests us to send Annual General Statistics every year. You will be sent forms to fill. Do your best to fill the form and to send it back to us so that we can consolidate it. The parish secretary and someone with expertise in the parish can help you. Fr Donaat and Kelebogile will compile your report and get it ready to be sent to the Nuncio who in turn will send it to the Secretary of State in the Vatican where it will be captured. We need your cooperation.

Our Diocesan Directives must be updated. I invite the clergy and our lay leaders to read them and to identify areas that need to updated. We ask the Priests’ Council to lead this initiative. Let us involve the Diocesan Pastoral Council as well.
We need to revise our Stole fee policy as well.
We are called upon to become a diocese of:
This is my dream and my vision, that RENEW AFRICA will help Klerksdorp diocese to become an ‘E’ diocese. This should be the outcome of Renew. Get a DVD of the 4th of February 2018 to understand fully what this is all about.
May God bless you all and keep you united in service and in prayer.

Yours faithfully

† Bishop V. H. Phalana.
Diocese of Klerksdorp