Archdiocesan News 3 of 2021

HOT OFF THE DIGITAL PRESS! Synod 2021-2023; Buckets of Love 2021; 2021 Directory Update; Youth Upcoming Events; St Catherine’s expands Soup Kitchen; News from St Kizito Children’s Programme; Life Teen and Edge; News from our Schools’ Office; CPLO Responses and Digests; God for Grownups; Kolping and Tafelsig parish collaboration; The Little Carpenter; the Xhosa Apostolate in the Archdiocese of Cape Town; Stella Maris Ministry; Do you have a fear of Missing Out; Archbishop celebrates 65th birthday; Double Celebrations in Grassy Park parish.

Update of the 2021 Archdiocesan Directory

Earlier this year Archbishop Stephen Brislin made the online edition of the 2021 Archdiocesan Directory freely available to all! It was also decided to publish an updated version of it on a quarterly basis. This is the first update since March 2021.

For your convenience, all website and email addresses in the directory are interactive. While browsing through it on your computer, simply click – or on your cellphone, tap – the address you want to go to and it will launch the website you wish to visit, or open your default email program with the address already loaded.

A PDF reader is needed to open and read the file. Most smartphones and computers come pre-loaded with a reader, but should you not have one, it is freely available for download from www.adobe.com. The PDF reader has a “Find” function at the top of the page which makes searching easy. Simply type in a key word, e.g. “Directory” and it will take you to all instances of the word occurring in the document. 

Save the file to a prominent place on your computer Desktop where it is easily accessible. To keep it in a dedicated place on your cellphone, simply download and install your favourite ebook reader from the Play Store (Android) or Apple App Store (iPhone) free of charge. These also have their own “Search” functions. 

We have endeavoured to ensure that the information in the directory is up to date, but should you find anything in need of correction please contact Stephen Docherty on the email below. Also, should you have any queries on navigating the document, please call 021 462 2417, or email publications@adct.org.za.

There are two files available for download, one adapted for a computer screen in “spread” or landscape format, and one adapted for a cellphone screen in portrait format. Choose the one – or both – to suit your needs. And make sure to delete your previous copy.

Just click on either, or both, files below and save them to your computer Desktop or device.

Shrine to Shrine Pilgrimage

On behalf of the Schoenstatt Cape Town community we attach the shrine to shrine online poster with the link. Due to the pandemic we cannot join in the mountain pilgrimage for our yearly walk, so we have decided to do an online event again this year. Please help us spread the word and link.

Season of Creation online discussion

Please join this online discussion tonight, Wednesday 8th September, on Facebook Live on the ecological complexities emerging today, and fostering dialogue about joint action in the future.

Vaccination Sites

Please see this information graphic from the WC Government with regard to available vaccination sites for 21 August 2021.

Prayer and Reflection by Bishop Sylvester David OMI

Auxiliary Bishop Sylvester David offers his prayer and reflection for the people of the Archdiocese of Cape Town for today, Friday 13 August 2021, during this time of the Coronavirus pandemic. It is also available on the Archdiocese of Cape Town’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Please also see below the text of his reflection, primarily for the deaf.

Reflection for Friday 13th August 2021.

I once again wish to start by saying the prayer for peace in Southern Africa:

O God of justice and love, bless us, the people of Southern Africa,
and help us to live in your peace.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury; let me sow pardon;
Where there is discord, let me sow harmony.

Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
Seek to be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
To receive sympathy, as to give it;

For it is in giving that we shall receive,
In pardoning that we shall be pardoned,
In forgetting ourselves that we shall find
Unending peace with others.

We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

We are encouraged to pray the peace prayer often. 

Ps 50 (51) The Miserere – the prayer of the contrite of heart

The Church’s morning prayer comprises, in addition to scripture readings and versicles, two psalms and a canticle. On Fridays our first psalm is the miserere – a prayer of contrition which also expresses a desire for renewal. Like other forms of biblical literature, the psalms were not composed in a vacuum but were embedded in the real life circumstances of the Nation and very frequently the King. Psalm 50 articulates the lived experience of King David.

The background to this psalm is described in the historical OT book, the second book of Samuel. This is a wonderful opportunity to catch up on some Bible reading. Read 2 Samuel 11 – 12. In 2 Sam 11, David is shown to have neglected his duty, not to have been abstemious during a war, committing adultery out of which arose a pregnancy, covering up the sin by having Uriah killed, and then marrying Bathsheba. Sin can sometimes develop a momentum of its own and can lead its perpetrator to act in whatever way possible to hide the sin. We see this is manipulation, bribery, and the like – especially where persons with power misuse their positions.

But the prophet of God (or, the word of God) is not far away. In 2 Sam 12, the prophet knocked at David’s door. When God acceded to Israel’s request for a king, he also sent along the prophet who was to correct the king when the latter strayed off course. Unbridled power is not good. By means of a parable the prophet Nathan gets David to see what he had done. 

It will be worthwhile here to see how God acts towards the sinner. One gets a full picture when looking at the words for justice in the OT. There is one word which means to punish the guilty. This is normally acted out in human courts. But God acts differently as shown by another word. God gives the guilty a chance to reflect and to make amends. Pharaoh refused and was doomed. King David accepted the second chance, survived and even thrived – so much so that his and Bathsheba’s names occur in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:5-6). To put it colloquially, God can write straight with crooked lines!

But back to our story. After Nathan’s confrontation of David, the latter repents (2 Samuel 12:13ff). He showed all the signs of a repentant sinner and trusted in God’s mercy. This is when he composed the psalm which is still in use among the faithful today. When this psalm is uttered with humility and knowledge of our brokenness, it becomes an authentic prayer:

“Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin….”

It continues:

“Indeed you love truth in the heart;
then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom.
O purify me, then I shall be clean;
O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow…

A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit…

… my sacrifice, a contrite spirit.
A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn…”

This is both a prayer for forgiveness and also a prayer of humble trust that God will be God and offer us mercy. I wish you a joyful celebration of the gift of God’s forgiving love.

Let us pray: Father, bless us with contrite hearts so that we may joyfully receive your forgiveness. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bishop Sylvester David OMI
VG/Auxiliary Bishop: Cape Town.

Prayer and Reflection by Archbishop Stephen Brislin

Archbishop Stephen Brislin offers his prayer and reflection for the people of the Archdiocese of Cape Town for today, Wednesday 11 August 2021, during this time of the coronavirus pandemic. It is also available on the Archdiocese of Cape Town’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Please also see below the text of his reflection, primarily for the deaf.

Welcome to this reflection. Today is the feast day of St Clare, a contemporary and spiritual friend to St Francis of Assisi. Like St Francis, Clare dedicated her life to serving God in poverty, a powerful witness in her times when some in the Church were more concerned about material benefits. Let us pray the Prayer for Peace for southern Africa, remembering especially the countries of eSwatini and our own country:

O God of justice and love, bless us, the people of Southern Africa, and help us to
live in your peace.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury; let me sow pardon;
Where there is discord, let me sow harmony.
Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
Seek to be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
To receive sympathy, as to give it;
For it is in giving that we shall receive,
In pardoning that we shall be pardoned,
In forgetting ourselves that we shall find
Unending peace with others. We ask this through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

The Scripture Reading comes from the Gospel of today’s Mass (Matthew 18:15-20):

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the Church;

In South Africa we are quite used to people turning to the courts to settle disputes. Courts also have often been called on to resolve political matters that should really be resolved politically. There are those who turn to courts to solve conflicts with neighbours or strangers who “have crossed swords”. In general, courts prefer matters to be resolved outside of the legal framework if at all possible – of course, if a crime has been committed then matters need to be dealt with according to the law. While complainants may be granted relief by a court, it seldom results in the restoration of relationships and the re-establishment of a relationship that is peaceful and harmonious.

It is difficult to deal with conflicts, especially those in the family or in a close relationships. If we have been wronged by someone, we go through a host of emotions: hurt, anger, the impulse to “hit back” or seek revenge; often there is fear as well, especially fear that in trying to resolve the matter it will result in even greater hurt. Jesus gives sound advice in his teaching which we heard in the Gospel we heard, saying that we should start off in the simplest way possible to resolve matters. First and foremost, talk to the person who has wronged you. If he or she listens and understands, then the relationship is restored, things can get back to normal, harmony and peace have once again been established. If he doesn’t listen, then get one or two with you and, once again, try to talk things through. If he still does not listen, then you should escalate it to the community to help find a way forward.

Don’t start by escalating things – try to resolve them yourself, face to face with the other. As I’ve said, that can be difficult because we often feel vulnerable and would like to have people with us to bolster our case. Secondly, in talking to the one who has wronged you there should always be with the intention of re-establishing a good relationship, of being able to put what has happened in the past. It should not be done to prove that you are right, to justify yourself or to humiliate the other party. In short, it is not about getting on our high horse. Thirdly, in order to confront the other in such a way means having to get our emotions under control, to put aside the hurt, the anger or to hit back. These emotions can be expressed, but not in a way that is intended to hurt the other.

Wherever there are people, differences will arise among them. People rub each other up the wrong way, we fail to understand each other and make judgements about others without really understanding them. It is not pleasant when things go wrong, but it is part of life. The most important thing is not that there are conflicts, but how we handle things afterwards and the steps we take. This calls for much maturity and, indeed, Christian maturity, because forgiveness, which is a mark of Christian living, is required in such situations. If we cannot forgive and “let go” then we will not be able to resume the relationship as it was and will certainly not be able to deepen it.

We can only develop that type of maturity through growing in the image of Jesus Christ, who prayed on the Cross “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. We grow in the image of Christ through prayer which is ultimately communion with God, uniting ourselves to him, becoming one with him. Prayer enables us to put things in perspective, it calms us and our emotions, it gives us purpose and it gives us courage. When we pray with others the prayer is made all the stronger. As Jesus says later in the Gospel of today’s Mass, for when two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them. It is especially important in our families, among the most important people in our lives, that we pray together. Christ is part of our families and we should see him as a member of the family. This can only be achieved when we pray together as a family and keep the love of Jesus before our eyes at all times, inviting him to give us a share of his Divine love.

Let us now pray for God’s blessing:

The Lord be with you R/ And with your Spirit

Bow down for the blessing:

Almighty God and Father, you call your people to reconcile with you and to establish harmonious relationships among those we live with. We ask your blessings on your people that, through the intercession of St Clare, they may restore their relationship with you, Father, and restore their relationships with others, that all may live in peace and harmony. Through Christ our Lord, amen

May Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (+), amen.

Prayer and Reflection by Bishop Sylvester David OMI

Auxiliary Bishop Sylvester David offers his prayer and reflection for the people of the Archdiocese of Cape Town for today, Friday 6 August 2021, during this time of the Coronavirus pandemic. It is also available on the Archdiocese of Cape Town’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Please also see below the text of his reflection, primarily for the deaf.

Friday 6 August 2021. The transfiguration. Mark 9:2-10. 

I once again wish to start by saying the prayer for peace in Southern Africa:

O God of justice and love, bless us, the people of Southern Africa,
and help us to live in your peace.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury; let me sow pardon;
Where there is discord, let me sow harmony.

Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
Seek to be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
To receive sympathy, as to give it;

For it is in giving that we shall receive,
In pardoning that we shall be pardoned,
In forgetting ourselves that we shall find
Unending peace with others.

We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

We are encouraged to pray the peace prayer often. 

Chaos, disfiguration and the need for a new creation

I recently read a book on the second half of life entitled “This Blessed Mess”. The opening line simply reads: ‘This book is about struggle’. The author goes on to describe the chaos of living in present day society. The occupants of our global village experience chaos and upheaval comprising the horrors of Covid 19, heat waves which claim lives, unseasonal rains and massive flooding. Recently we have also been experiencing forest fires of apocalyptic proportions either displacing people or killing them. All this makes life uncertain and our insecurities are heightened. Add to this the human complicity in wars, state capture, looting, the instigating of political violence, substance abuse, ecological damage, racism, violence, abuse of children and vulnerable persons, the abuse of animals though poaching and abandonment, and nuclear proliferation; and it becomes easy to see why this chaos so easily overwhelms us. 

Biblically chaos is the opposite of creation. It is raw unformed energy and because it lacks shape and form it is totally unpredictable. The original chaos was transformed into life giving energy which we call creation – ‘… and God saw that it was good’. But the litany of disasters listed above shows that this good world has been disfigured. To the extent that we have contributed to the pollution and negativity then we too have become disfigured. This is why the remembrance of the transfiguration and commitment to its values are so important. We need to get back to the mountain of revelation and listen again to the voice of faith. Moses challenges us with the Genesis narrative and Elijah reminds us of the prophetic task of challenging the status quo which makes a profit out of uncontrollable consumerism. Jesus challenges us to again seek the path that leads to God – and the Father not to be silenced, reminds us that the way of Jesus is correct and that we ought to listen to him. In short the reading of the transfiguration event challenges us to re-engage with the work of bringing order out of chaos. What this calls for is for us to commit ourselves to the “new heavens and the new earth” (Isaiah 65:17, 66:22, 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1). 

The Gospel text is a beautiful composition – woven like a tapestry enriched with OT threads. In praying the text an important aspect nourished me. After their prayer experience (it was a prayer experience if we look at the original text) and the Divine voice requested them to listen to Jesus, the three Apostles looked up and saw “only Jesus”. How nice if our prayer experiences could end in such a way – that we look up and see only Jesus. For that to happen, we need to be open, honest, and willing to acknowledge that we are in need of redemption.

Let us pray: Lord, we turn to you in our time of need. Help us to reconstitute ourselves as a transfigured human community after the violence that has disfigured us in recent weeks. Remove all notions of hatred and vengeance from among us. We are still in the midst of a frightening pandemic and look to you to once again to speak your creative word in our hearts, our families, our Church and our world. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bishop Sylvester David OMI
VG/Auxiliary Bishop of Cape Town