Dear Priest, Deacons, Religious and the Faithful of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo.

The economic situation of our country is not showing much signs of growth and improvement especially here in the southern part of the country. Added to it the drought situation has put stress on the availability of food especially in the rural areas. We will use the contributions we received from the Lenten campaign to procure food and supply to our rural missions to assist the vulnerable and needy people. I am very grateful to you all for your generous contribution during the season of Lent. 

The availability  of adequate cash is a major challenge in all our operations. Our boarding schools and hospitals are finding it very hard to provide adequate services to the children and patients due to this. In this hard situation we need to budget and use the available resources very wisely and minimize unnecessary expenditures at every level of our life. It is my appeal to all of you to be very conscious of the economic situation in our parishes and missions and to plan ahead well. We need to prioritise the expenditures very carefully to remain afloat in the present situation.

The latest encyclical of Pope Francis “Laudato Si” (Praise be to You) calls on us to use the resources of the world wisely for the common good respecting the mother earth. He says; “This sister (the earth) now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life”.

The Encyclical takes its name from the invocation of Saint Francis, “Praise be to you, my Lord”, in his Canticle of the Creatures. It reminds everyone that the earth, our common home “is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us”.

This encyclical  leads us to ask ourselves about the meaning of existence and its values at the basis of social life: “What is the purpose of our life in this world?  What is the goal of our work and all our efforts?  What need does the earth have of us?”

May I encourage all faithful to read this encyclical and  reflect upon it seriously.

1. Appointments of Priests

1.1. Christ the King Parish:  Fr. Adrian Maqhawe Ndlovu CMM as the Priest in Charge.

1.2. Ekusileni Mission: Fr. Achim Sidakara as the assistant priest.

1.3. Gwanda Mission: Fr. Timothy Simfukwe CMM as assistant priest.

1.4. Cape Town: Fr. Bernard Makore is appointed to the Archdiocese of Cape Town to do pastoral work for the Zimbabweans working there. We wish him many blessings for this new ministry.

2. St. Henry’s Mission, Inyathi

This mission  is being developed in honour of late Archbishop Henry Karlen. He had a passion for new missions and parishes. The new church was blessed on 11th July. We thank the Mariannhill Missionaries for their commitment to this mission.

3. St. Theresa  Mission, Fort Rixon

Mariannhill Missionaries have agreed to develop a new mission at Fort Rixon. Fr. Lungisani Moyo is already stationed there at the  primary school finding ways and means to develop the area. We wish them many blessings.

4. Coming Events in the Archdiocese

4.1. Priestly Ordination of Kevin Mapfumo and Bekimpilo Tshuma on 25th July at Our Lady of Fatima.

4.2. Archbishop’s Trophy Singing competition on 01 August at St. Mary’s Basilica.

4.3. Youth Congress at Ekusileni Mission  from 07-11 August.

4.4. Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima on 16th August.

4.5. Ekusileni Mission will celebrate its Golden Jubilee on 26th September.

5. Authority to use the name of the Archbishop

It has come to my attention that  there are instances where my name personally or the name of the office of the Archbishop  is used by priests and some faithful to get favours done and  to seek donations. I will only grant such permissions in writing. Any request without proper letters and approval from me will be considered illegal or fraud. Any faithful has the right to see a copy of such letters if requested for.  

6. With An Undivided Heart Part II

This is the second in the series of three pastoral letters addressed to priests, religious and seminarians in this Year of Consecrated Life. Part I was published in May this year. Part II will be published on 16th August and the final Part III will be in September. All priests, religious and seminarians are requested to read, reflect and follow it for the  common good and credibility of the Church in Zimbabwe.

7. Congratulations to Sr. Angeline Gwanzura SJI on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee of Religious Life. We wish her many blessings.

"If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself." - Saint Augustine.

+Alex Thomas
Archbishop of Bulawayo

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