AoB/Cir 01 2024

Dear Clergy, Religious and Laity of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo,

As the new year has just begun let us do our best to focus on the spiritual and pastoral needs of our faithful. We need lot of revival and renewal in our Parishes and Missions when it comes to spiritual and pastoral matters. Following information is for you to plan ahead on time.

1. Lenten Renewal for all Parishes and Missions:

19 - 23 February: The purpose of this is that at the start of the season of Lent all Catholics across the Archdiocese of Bulawayo be in prayer together and begin the season of Lent in line with our Pastoral theme: Synodality and the Co-Responsibility of all the Baptised. It is to revive the faith of the people through reflection and prayer. The proposed theme of the week is: "Lord do you not care we are perishing?" (Mark 4:38).

The theme for each day of the week will be as follows;

Monday: The saving and transforming power of the Cross (Heb 12:5-7; Mk 8:34-9:1)

Tuesday: Springs in the wilderness (Is 43:19-21; Eze 47:6 -12)

Wednesday: Renew, Refresh, Restore (Is 40:31; Philippians 4:8)

Thursday: Fight the good fight of faith (1Tim 6:11-12; 2Pet 3:11; 2Cor 10:4)

Friday: Unlocking the power of prayer and healing by reconciliation (Num 6:24-26; Col 1:9-12)

Each day could end with full benediction. Each Parish and Mission can organise their own talks and programmes.

2. Annual Retreat for Priests:

26 February - 1 March at Ernthonjeni. There will be only one retreat for all priests this year.

3. Annual Statistics for 2023:

Forms have been already sent to you. Kindly return them duly filled by 15 January 2024. Please do not delay because I need to submit the compiled statistics to Vatican on time.

4. Parish/Mission Pastoral Plans for 2024:

Kindly submit a copy of your pastoral plans for the year to me by 30 January 2024.

5. Annual Thanksgiving Day:

17 November 2024: Every year each association used to have lot of thanksgiving celebrations at parish, deanery and Archdiocese level. This was quite costly to most members and causing lot of movements out of parishes disrupting parish activities on Sundays. This year onwards all thanksgiving celebrations will be done together in each Parish/Mission only on 17 November, the Sunday before Christ the King Feast.

6. Pastoral Resolutions 2024:

To move forward as a synodal Church let us all implement the approved pastoral plans faithfully in all parishes and missions. Learning of Catechism of the Catholic Church should be the main focus to know and understand our faith well. A weak faith will make the whole Church very weak. All faithful also should be taught well the meaning and symbolisms of Sacred Liturgy and each Sacrament. In line with Co-Responsibility of all the baptised, all Catholics should be motivated to involve themselves positively to the growth and welfare of the Catholic Church.

7. Inductions for new members to Associations:

Each association has a chosen month for their inductions. All parishes must follow the same. Inductions of associations on Solemnities must be avoided to give due respect and honour for the respective feast. For all adult associations the sacrament of Confirmation is a must before they are inducted into full membership.

8. Grade 7 Results for 2023:

Our rural schools are still struggling a lot due to economic challenges and lack of interest from the people in education.

School - Total Number in Grade 7 - Pass Rate
St. Patrick's - 169 - 99.4%
St. Thomas Aquinas - 29 - 96.5%
Minda Primary - 46 - 91.3%
St. Mbaga Tuzinde, Nkayi - 36 - 88.8%
St. Bernard's - 136 - 87.5%
AMR Primary, Lupane - 58 - 86.2%
Embakwe Primary - 42 - 40%
Magama Primary - 84 - 39.2%
Regina Mundi Primary - 29 - 31%
Ekusileni Primary - 16 - 25%
St. Joseph's - 114 - 23.7%
Brunapeg - 47 - 23.4%
Empandeni Primary - 67 - 22.4%

May the Lord lead and guide us all during 2024. 


+ Alex Thomas
Archbishop of Bulawayo

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