Dear Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Faithful of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo,
The start of 2019 was with many challenges to us due to the escalation of prices, scarcity of cash and fuel, rising inflation, violent demonstrations etc. The late and below normal rains add further challenge to all of us. These affect adversely our pastoral, spiritual and social activities. Let us hold on to our faith and perform our duties diligently as faithful stewards of the Kingdom of God. Our pastoral theme of this year “Evangelization Through Holiness” comes in handy at this juncture to be holy in whatever we do. We have to be holy evangelists in our daily lives. We have to be honest, sincere, transparent and committed to make a positive change in this current situation. With the hand of God and our trust in Him holding on sincerely to our faith everything is possible.
The season of Lent we are just starting this week could be the right time to look seriously into our personal lives and into our families to make serious efforts to be holy as God our Father intends for us. As Pope Francis puts it: “Holiness is the most attractive face of the Church” (Gaudete Et Exsultate No. 9). Being holy in whoever we are and whatever we do is the best means to evangelize others and to witness to the Church.
Lent is the time given to us by the Catholic Church to renew ourselves. The call during the time of lent is prayer, fasting and charity (Mt 6:16-18). We have to be alert to what is happening to our soul and to our families during this time. As St. Peter in his first letter 5:6-9 puts it: ”So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon Him because He cares for you. Be sober and vigilant. Your enemy the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith.”
Therefore may I urge all the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo to make use of this time fruitfully. As our normal practice during lent by our works of mercy let us also be kind and charitable to the less fortunate people around us who have no food and basic necessities of life. Let me also remind you that Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence. Every Friday in the Catholic Church are also days of abstinence. May God bless and guide us all during this lent.
1. O Level Results 2019: Ekusileni Secondary: 76.47%; Embakwe High: 65.5%; Empandeni High: 71.4%; Enkanyisweni Centre: 18.75%; Magama Secondary: 35.7%; Minda High: 95.12%; Regina Mundi Secondary: 59.8%; St. Bernard’s High: 61.1%; St. Francis High: 39.5%.
2. A Level Results 2019: Embakwe High: 94.74%; Empandeni High: 93.4%; Minda High: 93.2%; St. Bernard’s High: 80.3%; St. Francis High: 96.4%.
We congratulate our schools for the efforts they put in despite the challenges of the economy.
3. Archdiocesan Leadership for Associations 2019 & 2020:
3.1. St. Joseph’s:
Chairperson: James Mazwi – St. Martin of Tours Parish
Vice Chairperson: Godfrey Mashayahanya – St. Andrew’s Parish
Secretary: Max Mberengwani – Divine Mercy Parish
Vice Secretary: Elias Nyoni – Holy Cross Parish
Treasurer: Pharo Ndlovu – Divine Mercy Parish
3.2. St. Ann’s:
Chairlady: Florence Makoni – St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica
Vice Chairlady: Ireen Nyathi – Empandeni Mission
Secretary: Duduzile Sikhozana – Holy Trinity Parish
Vice Secretary: Monica Phiri – Holy Family Parish
Treasurer: Thenjiwe Dube – St. Antony’s Parish
3.3. Sodality of Our Lady:
Chairperson: Shield Damunesa – Holy Trinity Parish
Vice Chairperson: Sithabile Moyo – St. Antony’s Parish
Secretary: Babra Bekezela Khuphe – Holy Spirit Parish
Vice Secretary: Astrid Moyo – St. Thomas the Apostle Parish
Treasurer: Sylvia Maladze – St. Adolph Parish
3.4. Catholic Youth Association:
Chairperson: Desmond Moyo – St. Patrick’s Parish
Vice Chairperson: Confidence Ndlovu – Gwanda Mission
Secretary: Aroriswe Malutha – St. Pius Parish
Vice Secretary: Nodumo Ndlovu – St. Adolph Parish
Treasurer: Fungai Masanembwa – Christ the King Parish
Organising Secretary: Blessed Gochera – Holy Cross Parish
Other Associations are in the process of completing their election process.
4. Ngiyakholwa: This is the translated version of “I Believe” the little catechism of the Catholic Church from English into siNdebele. This book explains well the mysteries of the creed. I encourage all Catholics to have a copy of this and learn well the faith we proclaim each day. Copies are available at the Bishop’s House for $ 2.00 (bond). I thank Fr. Raphael Mabuza Ncube and his team for the hard work in translating this book.
5. Congratulations: We congratulate the new leadership of the Mariannhill Missionaries lead by Fr. Adrian Maqhawe Ndlovu assisted by Fr. Christopher Ngwarai. Best wishes and prayers.
6. Important Days in the Archdiocese of Bulawayo for 2019:
a. Chrism Mass : 16th April at St. Mary’s Basilica.
b. Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Feast of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo) 29th June.
c. Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima, Pumula South: 16th-18th August.
d. Exaltation of the Cross at Mount Inungu: 14th September.
e. Pilgrimage to Empandeni: 4th October.
f. AGM of the Laity: 1st – 3rd November.
+ Alex Thomas
Archbishop of Bulawayo