Life Teen and Edge

What is Life Teen and Edge? What Catechetical Resources does Life Teen and Edge offer? What are the costs involved? Read the poster below to find out. Published in AD News 4 of 2022.

Vocations Discernment Classes

FROM AD NEWS 4 OF 2022: Monthly discernment classes will take place at the Chancery. Our first discernment session will be on Saturday 28 January 2023 and thereafter every last Saturday of the Month. Time: 09.45 till about 12.00.

We are aware of the fact that some young adults work on Saturdays and find it difficult to attend these sessions, however we are open to engage with them on a day that suits them. Kindly contact us directly or through your Parish Priest.

Contact Details 


Facebook/Instagram: #vocationadct

Our Team Members

Sr Ann-Marie Nicholas 079 147 6968

Sr Virginia Mungofa 061 267 2002

Fr Charles Prince 083 290 0606

Fr Shaun Addinall 083 648 8346

Fr Manuel Fernandes 074 282 4307

Fr Emmanuel Eyeowa 063 029 8019

Fr Chiedza Chimhanda 072 307 4616

Some Themes at Discernment Sessions are

Salvation History; Who I am; Prayer & Holiness; Discernment; Obedience; Celibacy; Poverty; Discipleship; Formation

Theology Today

Fr Zane Godwin, Vicar for Pastoral Development in the Archdiocese of Cape Town and regular columnist in the Archdiocesan News, writes for us in our current edition, on being a Missionary Parish.

Being a Missionary Parish – Inspiration from Hackney

In October I had the privilege of attending an Alpha Collective conference in London together with church leaders from 28 countries. Apart from the benefit of networking and sharing stories with Christian leaders from around the world, I was struck by the culture of welcome, joy and generosity with which we were hosted. The priority of evangelization, which was the theme of the conference, was demonstrated in the way we were welcomed.

One question raised during the conference has stayed with me: What keeps you awake at night? In other words, what area needs work? In what is there a healthy discontent which has the potential to inspire change and growth? How would we answer that question in terms of our parish life here in the Archdiocese of Cape Town? 

Might it be that despite good liturgies, a reasonable standard of homilies, a good welcome to those who come to Mass, and the variety of activities and opportunities on offer, that most people are not responding optimally; there is a lack of consistent commitment from many parishioners; that many of our parishioners are disengaged and not involved in ministry; that for many the parish is a service provider and they come as consumers when they need what they need?

Even if this were partly true, it would merit a good discussion on the parish level, and perhaps a plan of action. The prevailing call to action in the Church today is around a re-evangelization, a new evangelization. Perhaps it could be said that most of our parish activities, whether it be the liturgy, the homily specifically, catechetics, etc., are based on the presumption that most people are already evangelized; but that is simply not true. A concerted effort at evangelization is needed. 

Evangelization means facilitating an encounter with Jesus and his Gospel and leads to the forming of disciples who are actively engaged in the life of the parish and who, in turn, make disciples of others. 

Remember that the essential identity of the church is that it is missionary. The Great Commission of Jesus is that we must be about making disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is to be engaged in a lifelong process of learning from and about Jesus, the teacher.

On the last day of the conference, we had an optional visit to the Church of England parish of St John in Hackney, East London. What an inspiration it was to see this parish in action! In a context where 99% of the community are unchurched and half the people live below the poverty line, this parish church has oriented itself to being for the whole community, not just the few who used to come to the church to worship. They identified that the key need in that community was around hope. The parish has become a leaven in and a haven for the community.

The parish runs feeding programmes in which they have engaged top chefs as volunteers to produce healthy, delicious food for the hungry and homeless; programmes to host mothers and their babies; running a brewery to raise funds to feed the hungry and for other projects; beehives on the church roof, to sell honey to raise funds for projects; gardens to welcome the community to enjoy; renovation of the church building to create a multi-functional space for worship and other gatherings (what they call a “cathedral of creativity”); and so much more. And through it all and behind it all, the Alpha Course, an instrument of evangelization is the open door to the church. They have determined that for them, the best way to bring the mission of the church to the community is the Alpha Course. Everyone is invited and welcome. Everyone is a VIP.

The recent document from the Congregation of the Clergy on the “The pastoral conversion of the Parish community in the service of the evangelizing mission of the Church” says that the goal of parish reform is to move parishes from a “self-preservation” model to an evangelizing one. (

The instruction invites the parish community to be missionary and to reform its structures and ministries according to the demands of evangelisation of today. How can this be done in our parishes at this time? It can be hoped that the Parish Alive – Forming Missionary Disciples programme for the implementation of the Bishops’ Pastoral Plan will start the ball rolling again, raise questions and discussion, and inspire imaginative initiatives to bring about a renewed personal encounter with Jesus for our people and communities.

Our Faith is our Strength: A Tribute to the Catholic Community of Tristan da Cunha

How a Catholic community steadily grew, for most of its existence, without the presence of a priest – from AD NEWS 4 OF 2022

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of city life, to be able to escape to the world’s most remotely inhabited place has been a dream of mine for the last decade. The island of Tristan da Cunha, smack bang in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, halfway between here and South America, is exactly that place. The volcanic island is one of the UK Overseas Territories, without airport, surrounded by 2437 km of ocean to the next inhabited settlement (St Helena Island). The journey to sail the 2787 km from Cape Town takes 5-10 days, depending on weather and the speed of the vessel. 

After being discovered by and named after the Portuguese sailor Tristão da Cunha in 1506, the island was annexed by the British in 1816 to avoid any attempts by the French to free Napoleon from St Helena. After the military garrison was recalled, William Glass and a few others decided to stay. Except for a few years of evacuation due to a volcanic eruption next to the settlement in 1962, the island has been permanently inhabited and today boasts a population of 261. 

The Anglican Church has been present on the island since the 1850s, but in 1908 two Catholic sisters from Ireland, Agnes and Elizabeth Smith, decided to remain Catholic. From the humble beginning of their living room, the Catholic community steadily grew, for most of its existence without the presence of a priest. The community was part of the Archdiocese of Cape Town until 1986 and some of our retired priests remember their pastoral visits to the island fondly. Afterwards it was given to the Mill Hill Missionaries and since 2016 a young Norbertine, Abbot Hugh Allan O Praem, looks after the islands of the South Atlantic from the UK. 

In order to keep the island Covid-free, all passengers and crew were mandated to quarantine in a designated hotel for 10 days with two PCR tests before boarding the ship. Having survived with sanity intact, we boarded the SA Agulhas II, the polar research vessel of the South African government, due to sail to Gough island to relieve the weather station crew based there for a full year. After a two day wait in port and a five day journey of fairly rough seas we spotted the outline of the volcanic cone in the distance and were flown over to Tristan da Cunha via helicopter in a disorganised scramble (luggage was to follow only the next day so we all had to try and grab the barest of essentials). 

After three long lockdown years, a Catholic priest was able to set foot on the island again to celebrate Holy Mass and administer the sacraments to the 50-or-so Catholics there. The community was extremely kind and welcomed all the visitors warmly, to counter the chilly wind and rainy weather so prevalent. 

It was a great relief to have solid ground under one’s feet again, to walk around freely without a worry in the world (except maybe some fierce-looking cattle that had to be dodged on the walks outside the settlement), and to have no cellphone and internet connection and thus not be bombarded by constant emails. 

Among my highlights were the celebrations of First Holy Communion and Baptism, but also the sad occasion of the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The three weeks of our visit were a busy time for the islanders as well as those visiting on the Agulhas, and it was refreshing to relate to people like in the times before the pandemic. To be able to socialise, visit people in their homes, meet new and interesting people, and to enjoy a braai or a home cooked meal with the tastiest mutton and the juiciest crayfish in good company is a rewarding experience after all the isolation and social distancing of the last years. I salute the Tristanian spirit, their motto “our faith is our strength” and the heartfelt welcome and support received daily. The Catholic community there is a real example for all of us how to live our faith daily. Hoping to return one day, they and their remote island in the sea will forever remain in my heart and prayers.

Fr Dominic Helmboldt
Administrator St Mary’s Cathedral

Parish Culture Survey

AD NEWS 4 OF 2023:

On 5 November 2022 the newly elected PPC Chairs of our Archdiocese gathered at St Anthony’s Parish in Langa. The meeting started with a beautiful reflection on servant leadership and our mission as leaders in the church. Archbishop Stephen Brislin gave an address on the responses from the first phase of the Synod on Synodality which was then also released on our website. This set the tone for a morning of renewal and inspiration as key focus areas were discussed including the new PPC structure, the upcoming Parish Alive Training, Caritas initiatives, the importance of empowering Youth as well as child safe-guarding within our parishes. A significant measuring tool was also presented by Brandon Abrahams through the use of parish surveys.

The Parish Culture Survey ultimately presents us with an opportunity in our Synodal journey to self-diagnose, to reveal what’s working and what’s not, so that we can get a realistic picture of where we are in terms of our Missionary Mandate. And with this information we can objectively discover the areas that still need more attention, and what more needs to be done for us to continue to progress in our Parish Culture Journey. We already have the building blocks we need to succeed. We strongly believe that by shifting the culture, we will be able to unleash incredible talent and passion across our Archdiocese and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us.

Read the full Parish Culture Survey document on our website at

“Stand up and feel the Holy Spirit, find the power of your faith.”

AD NEWS 4 OF 2022
The above lyrics come from a song called I Believe, sung by Andrea Bocelli and Katherine Jenkins. I have absolutely no doubt that these words resonate with all 520 people from 66 parishes in our Archdiocese who attended the Parish Alive Leadership Training for newly- elected PPC members on Saturday 19 November. The power of the Holy Spirit was tangible in the crowded hall, from the call to service with the words of Tagore in the Opening Prayer:

I slept and dreamt that life was joy I awoke and saw that life was service I acted and behold, service was joy

until five hours later, with the final prayer and exhortation from Bishop Sylvester as he sent us out to serve our parishioners.

As a member of one of those Parish Councils, I would ask all who were there: Did you feel it? At what moment during the morning did the Holy Spirit take over your listening and your discerning? Was it during that Opening Prayer, when we entreated God of our journey towards missionary discipleship, remind us that you are near? Or when we fervently recited the Adsumus prayer together? Or was it when Archbishop Brislin gave us the wise advice to keep our eyes on the stars and our feet on the ground. Or maybe for some it was in those packs of food handed out by willing, happy young people and enjoyed by all, when we were told to save all the packaging for recycling and be sure to eat the apple cores! But for me the defining moment was when we began formulating a vision for our parish together with our whole Pastoral Council – a great moment indeed!

But in this regard, the presence of the Holy Spirit began more than a year earlier, in the heart and mind of Fr Zane Godwin, when he called on a group of us to serve on a CPD Leadership Team with him. I am blessed to be part of this team (and proudly wore the T-shirt on Saturday!) with like-minded thinkers, each contributing our gifts in conjunction with the CPD staff in re-working the Archdiocesan PPC Statutes, meeting regularly to plan and put into effect a CPD Structure, Vision and Training Programme which culminated in our Parish Alive initiative.

Our journey towards missionary discipleship is just beginning – and what a great start it was! Let’s watch this Parish Alive space and continue to answer the call of Jesus – “I come to bring fire to the earth and how I wish it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49)

The kindling has indeed begun!

Alison Dunn
Chairperson of St Ignatius Pastoral Council and Member of the CPD Leadership Team

See pics of the Parish Alive training day at

Archdiocesan News 4 of 2022

HOT OFF THE DIGITAL “PRESS”: IN THIS EDITION: Parish Alive – Training of PPCs; Parish Culture Survey; The Future of the Catholic Bookshop; Youth News and Events; Edge and Life Teen; Marriage and Family Life; Moral Formation of Young People inthe Age of Relativism; 100 not out!; How a Catholic Community steadily grew, for most of its existence, without the presence of a priest; Vocations Discernment; Installation of Deans; Caring for God’s Creation; SA Pallottines turn 100; Celebrating 20 years of Rosary Week; Ministries Morning of Formation and Reflection; Why Theology? Remembering Fr Albert Nolan OP; Catholic Schools’ Year at a Glance; Mad Hatters’ Tea Party at St Kizito; and much, much more.

Wishing you all Love, Joy and Peace as we prepare for the celebration of the birthday of Our Lord.

Archdiocesan News 3 of 2022

HOT OFF THE PRESS: Synod update; A New Vision for Parish Leadership; Join the Youth Mission Team; Festival of Nations: 60th Jubilee at Grassy Park; Social Outreach Activities; Buckets of Love 2022; Focus on Vocations: Internship; Bishops’ Statement; Kolping tackle the Scourge of Violence; SEASON OF CREATION; Legion of Mary celebrate 100 Years; Happy Birthday Archbishop; Schools’ Choir Festival; 20 Years of Rosary Week; CPLO Women’s Month; Secrets of the Abbey; Dicklin’s Road to Recovery

Archdiocesan News 4 of 2021

OUR FINAL EDITION FOR 2021: Developing the Synodal Way; Synod Implementation and Training; Ministries Morning of Formation and Reflection: Thelogy Course 2022; the Blue Blanket; Youth Synod Report, Retreat, XLT, Life Teen and Edge, Youth Hike and Mass; CPD Dates for your Diaries; A Joyful November at Delft; Cathedral Christmas Choir Celebration; Caritas Initiatives; Give a Child a pair of shoes this Christmas; Norbertines celebrate 900 years; Catholic Schools’ News; Bellville Mini-Mission; The Impact of Covid-19 on Mental Health; Celebrating a Catechetical Year of Training and Formation; Betty’s Bay church rebuilt after devastating fire; Second Collections breakdown and comparison; News from St Joseph’s Home.

Please forward or share as far and as wide as possible on your parish, Facebook and other networks.

Archdiocesan News 2 of 2021

HOT OFF THE “DIGITAL PRESS”: Celebrating 100 editions of Archdiocesan News; Churches dispute CoCT Rates Policy; Youth Day Mass; Caritas Cape Town; A Passion for Opera; From the Heart (of our Archbishop); Noah’s Selling Seconds; WIN A PRIZE with St Kizito; From the Book; Laudato Si’ Week 2021; An update from the Catholic Schools’ Office; Parliamentary Liaison Office Responses and Digests; CPD Training Courses; Celebrating the Year of St Joseph; Mgr Borello’s final Theology Today article; Does God Allow Suffering – Virtual Winter Living Theology 2021; When the Famine Strikes; Stories of Hope from St Joseph’s Home