Dear Priests, Deacons, Religious and Lay Faithful of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo,
1. Month of Praying for Vocations: From this year the whole month of July will be dedicated to praying for and reflecting about vocations. This is noted in the Liturgical guide in siNdebele for 2018. In the past we had just one day in the month of July. When we speak of vocations it is not limited to priestly and religious vocation only. Vocation is a universal call to all the baptized. There are different types of vocations such as call to family life, religious life, priesthood, lay ministries, professional career etc. The purpose of each one of us is to evangelize, serve God and the humanity at large as Jesus Himself sent out His disciples.
Therefore from this year we wish to emphasise various types of vocations in the Church for the 4 weeks of July. That is: 1. Vocation to Catholic Family Life, 2. Vocation to Priesthood and Religious life, 3. Vocation to professional life at respective work places, 4. Vocation to various lay ministries in the Church.
We encourage each parish/mission to organize this according to their means and situations. There could be instructions on Sundays about each of the respective vocations and prayer. Let us keep in mind that “family is the seedbed of all vocations”.
2. Ordination to Priesthood: Normally every year here in the Archdiocese of Bulawayo the date for the priestly ordinations is the last Saturday of July taking into consideration various factors. This year although the date was set the national elections were declared later. Considering that 28th July is just two days before the national elections we feel that it may not be safe to gather people in large numbers at that time. Therefore with the approval of the Senate of Priests we have postponed the day for the ordinations. Accordingly this year the ordinations to priesthood will take place on 19th August together with the pilgrimage at Our Lady of Fatima. Any inconvenience caused is regretted. This is also an opportunity for us in line with the theme of the year to thank the Lord for the gift of our children and youth in the Church through the intercession of Mary, our Mother.
3. Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima: Our Pilgrimage this year will take place on 18th and 19th August. Kindly check for the detailed programme of the same sent to all the parishes/missions.
4. World Congress of Families, Dublin, Ireland: This will take place from 20th to 26th August 2018 and we are happy that we have a good number of families preparing to attend it from Bulawayo. We wish them many blessings and assure them our prayers. Let us pray everyday for our faith and our families.
5. ZCBC Pastoral Letter: A pastoral letter by the Catholic Bishops of Zimbabwe titled “Opening a New Door: The July 2018 Elections and Beyond” will be published on 29th June. This is mainly to encourage each one to vote and choose the leaders according to their conscience. We as Catholics need to exercise our duties diligently and work for peace and harmony. As responsible citizens we need to look far beyond the elections. There is a prayer at the end of it which we highly encourage all Catholics to pray as individuals, as families and in their churches.
“The Lord speaks to us in a variety of ways, at work, through others and at every moment. Yet we simply cannot do without the silence of prolonged prayer, which enables us better to perceive God’s language, to interpret the real meaning of the inspirations we believe we have received, to calm our anxieties and to see the whole of our existence afresh in his own light. In this way, we allow the birth of a new synthesis that springs form a life inspired by the Holy Spirit.”
(Pope Francis in Gaudete Et Exsultate No. 171)
Archbishop of Bulawayo