Dear Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Faithful of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo,

I. Lent

“Let us not waste this season of Lent, so favourable a time for conversion!”  This is what Pope Francis has urged Catholics all  over the world for this Year of Mercy. The  same sentiment we will hear on Ash Wednesday for the second reading  where St. Paul says; “Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2Cor 6:2).

Therefore  in this Year of Mercy we have to do everything possible to receive the abundant mercies of God in our personal lives, in our families and in our communities. May I urge each of you to commit seriously  in doing all possible to come closer to God during this season of Lent and to reciprocate the mercy of God to others.

The Liturgical Committee of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo accordingly would like to propose to you the following for your serious consideration as individuals and as a parish/mission community.

Lenten Spiritual Exercise:

1. Observe strictly days of fasting and abstinence. Days of fasting during lent are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. All the Fridays of lent are days of abstinence. Avoid any celebrations on Fridays during lent.

2. Parish/Mission could have novena to the Divine Mercy.

3. Parish/Mission could have a day of penance and charity. The charity could be in the form of feeding the needy, cleaning around church or location to respect environment  and to avoid litter.

4. Visit all the sick in the parish/mission as a team. You could have even a day where all the sick if possible be brought to the church for Holy Mass.

5. Avoid gossip especially damaging the good name of others. Mind the words we use in our conversation.

6. Forgive at least two people from your family or neighbourhood.

7. Parish retreat or revival programme. Every youth and adult to receive the sacrament of  confession.

8. Sing hymns of mercy  throughout lent.
Eg. Ngihawukela (Ndebele Hymn Book No.188)
Buya Ndodana (Ndebele Hymn Book No.183)
God of Mercy and Compassion (Joyful Praise No. 19)
Baba Ngincedisa (Ndebele Hymn Book No. 181)
Ngiphathisa (Ndebele Hymn Book No. 189)
Nkulunkulu Ngangiduha (Ndebele Hymn Book No. 198)
Xola Jesu (Ndebele Hymn Book No. 204)
Baba Vokudenga (Shona No. 43)
These hymns can be used for personal prayer as well.

9. Lenten Campaign: This year due to the severe drought that is experienced within the areas of our Archdiocese the amount collected will be channelled to feed the most vulnerable. Let us think seriously of the most needy during this season of lent.

10. Holy Thursday: On Holy Thursday or any day convenient during holy week we encourage the parish to feed or assist the elderly and most needy members.

11. Good Friday: On Good Friday we highly encourage all Catholics to spend their time morning till the end of the veneration of the Cross in adoration, praying the stations of the Cross etc.  

II. Chrism Mass

will be on  22nd March, Holy Mass starting at 17.15 at St. Mary’s Basilica.

III. A Level Results from our High Schools for 2015

Following are the results from our Higher Secondary Schools.
Empandeni High 95%; St. Bernard’s High 94%; Embakwe High 92% and Minda High 88%.  We congratulate the students and teachers for their hard work and wish them many blessings.

“One of the ugliest things about corruption,  is that the one who becomes corrupt thinks he has no need for forgiveness.”

“We are sinners, yes, O Lord, all of us, but [let us] never [become] corrupt! Let us ask for this grace.”  Pope Francis.

+Alex Thomas
Archbishop of Bulawayo
 01.02.2016

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