AoB/Cir 01 2018
My dear Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Faithful of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo,
1. Theme of the year 2018: “Children and Youth; a blessing to the family and Church”: The church has a serious responsibility to nurture development of children holistically. It is important that children grow up with values and the church is very strategically positioned to do that. Today we are reminded of this divine role especially now when there are many conflicting aspects affecting children.
Our responsibility is at the same time a shared one, starting from the family, parish/mission and community par excellence, with its original and specific tasks that cannot be completely delegated. The family is indeed the basis of society, the primordial pillar, where the gift of life, the gift of children, is received with a loving and particular tenderness. The family is the privileged place, like a cradle and sanctuary of life, where integral procreation, which is not reduced to conception and birth, is possible and represents its great responsibility. Where family lacks its care of children and youth our parishes and missions should provide it to complement their holistic growth. The good or the damage we do to our children and youth today will surely affect the future of our church, nation and the world at large.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us the following:
2224. “The home is the natural environment for initiating a human being into solidarity and communal responsibilities. Parents should teach children to avoid the compromising and degrading influences which threaten human societies”.
2225. “Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children. Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the "first heralds" for their children. They should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the Church. A wholesome family life can foster interior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it throughout one's life”.
The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishop’s Conference (ZCBC) has put in place a Child Protection Policy to ensure that every child at our care is protected adequately and provided for its appropriate growth. This policy applies to each and every catholic including clergy and religious without any exception.
Let us do our part in laying proper foundation for our children and youth as a Church which is responsible and responsive to the needs of the time. Let us be right role models to our children and youth in our families and parishes. Let us instill in them right values and basics of faith.
2. CMM Provincial Superior: We congratulate Fr. Fikile Dlamini the newly elected Provincial Superior of the Mariannhill Missionaries and wish him many blessings.
3. Appointment of Deacons: Deacons Innocent Moyo and Nqobile Zwelibanzi Nyathi are appointed at St. Patrick’s Parish and St. Adolph Ludigo Parish respectively for their diaconate ministry.
4. Important Archdiocesan Events of 2018:
4.1. Chrism Mass: 27th March.
4.2. Priestly Ordination: 28 July.
4.3. Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima: 17-19 August.
4.4. Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross at Mount Inungu: 15th September
4.5. Pilgrimage to Empandeni: 5th October.
4.6. AGM of Laity: 2-4th November.
5. A Level Results: Empandeni High: 88.5%. Embakwe High: 56.52%. St. Bernard’s High: 85.7%. Minda High: 88.10%.
6. New Bishop of Chinhoyi: We congratulate Bishop elect of Chinhoyi diocese Monsignor Raymond Mupandasekwa and wish him many blessings. His Episcopal ordination is scheduled for 07 April 2018 in Chinhoyi.
7. Lent 2018: The theme for this year by Pope Francis is "Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold" (Mt 24: 12). A copy of the message of His Holiness Pope Francis is attached to this newsletter for you all. As per our tradition may I remind you all of our obligation to help the poor and needy during this holy season of lent thinking of our own sins and failures. Therefore kindly make every effort to collect the Lenten sacrifices and forward to the Financial Administrator immediately after Easter. As the drought situation this year in Matabeleland South and North is severe our wish is to help out the families which are food insecure and the vulnerable children and adults.
May you receive many blessings for you personally and for your families during this season of lent.
“In today’s fast-changing world of communications and digital systems, we are witnessing the spread of what has come to be known as “fake news”. ……. It has to do with false information based on non-existent or distorted data meant to deceive and manipulate the reader. …… Fake news is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred. …….. None of us can feel exempted from the duty of countering these falsehoods”.
(Pope Francis on World Communications Day 2018).
Archbishop of Bulawayo