AoB/Cir/06 2021

1. Visit of the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Paolo Rudeli:

We thank all the priests, religious superiors and leaders of Pastoral Council and associations who made this visit possible and their availability to meet him during his visit to Bulawayo from 18th to 21st September.

2. Episcopal Ordination:

Monsignor Raphael Ncube will be consecrated the Bishop of Hwange on 30th October 2021. We congratulate him and wish him many blessings in his new ministry.

3. Appointments:

3.1. Fr. Gabriel Mthombeni, assistant priest at St. Pius Parish, Njube

3.2. Fr. John Sewera, assistant priest at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Mpopoma

3.3. Fr. Preasherd Mlalazi, assistant priest at Tsholotsho Mission

3.4. Fr. Given Ncube, assistant priest at Uganda Martyrs Parish, Luveve

3.5. Fr. Bernard Nkomo, assistant priest at Regina Mundi Mission, Gwai

3.6. Fr. Lovemore Makore CMM, assistant priest at Our Lady of Fatima, Pumula South.

3.7. Fr. Albert Msimanga, Dean of the Empandeni Deanery

3.8. Fr. Frank Sibanda, Dean of the Tsholotsho Deanery

We wish them many blessings in their ministry.

4. Synod of Bishops:

The forthcoming synod of bishops will be from October 2021 to October 2023. Its theme is "For a Synodal Church; Communion, Participation, Mission".

At our Archdiocese level the committee for the preparations will be lead by Fr. Limukani Ndlovu, Fr. Joe Ncube and Sr. Meltah Thaka. The programme of activities will be made known as time goes on.

For our basic understanding, synods have been celebrated throughout the Church's history. The word 'synod' means 'coming', 'journeying together' or 'joining together' not as a mere physical convergence or assembly but an ever-increasing spiritual unity, and a process for discerning the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Diocesan synods are convoked and chaired by the Bishop, to which clergy, religious and other faithful are called in accordance with canonical norms. Similarly synod of Bishops universally is convoked and chaired by the Pope with the assistance of various experts.

In brief a synod is "One listening to the others; and all listening to the Holy Spirit".

The diocesan discernment will culminate in a "Pre-Synodal Meeting". The contributions will be sent to their own Episcopal Conference. The bishops, gathered in assembly for a period of discernment, will make a synthesis which they will send to the General Secretariat of the Synod in Vatican. This first stage will be completed by April 2022.

The second phase will be at continental level from September 2022 to March 2023. The third phase which is at universal level will be in October 2023. The final stage will be when the Pope makes his Apostolic Exhortation.

All the faithful are requested to pray for the success of this synod.

Prayer for the Synod:

We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts; Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder. Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right.
All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever.


+ Alex Thomas
Archbishop of Bulawayo

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