My dear Friends, Greetings! I hope you are keeping well. Spring is in the air, and it is time to revive ourselves also! Every month, I read with great interest the reports of the KwaZulu Natal Vocation Team; they are a group of more than fifteen Seminarians and Sisters studying in Cedara; they belong to different congregations, and they meet regularly (mostly once a month). They also go to various parishes where, after the Sunday Mass, they interact with the youths on the theme of vocations: some of them have started to show genuine interest in discerning their own vocation. Bravo to the KZN Vocations Team! Keep up your good work!
Indeed, many young people are questioning themselves on the meaning of life and their own place in this pretty mixed up world. Last Sunday, 25th September, a very interesting Vocation Retreat was held at Bosco Youth Centre in Walkerville. Eighteen young men and women actively participated. They had attended most of the monthly discernment meetings at the Johannesburg cathedral during the year. The highlight of the retreat was surely the “Way of Mercy” we did while climbing a mountain and keeping a prayerful and reflective silence; at one station, we had the chance to have confessions; the two priests were kept very busy, as everyone came to the sacrament. On top of the mountain, near a big cross, we recited the chaplet of mercy. Then we came down for Mass. At the end of Mass eight of them received a special blessing, as they had decided where to go next year: either to the seminary or to the convent.
Last month, I mentioned our new-comer, Pascal Sambi, from Burkina Faso. On Monday, his community drove him to Assisi, near Port Shepstone, where he is starting his Zulu course. Good luck, Pascal!
In a few days, we shall enter MISSION MONTH (October). The theme Pope Francis gives us this year is: MISSIONARY CHURCH, WITNESS OF MERCY. Read below a quotation from his letter for World Mission Sunday (23rd October). God calls everyone to be a missionary. Maybe he calls you to be a missionary “ad gentes”.
“The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which the Church is celebrating, casts a distinct light on World Mission Sunday 2016: it invites us to consider the ‘missio ad gentes’ (Mission outside our country) as a great, immense work of mercy, both spiritual and material. On this World Mission Sunday, all of us are invited to “go out” as missionary disciples, each generously offering their talents, creativity, wisdom and experience in order to bring the message of God’s tenderness and compassion to the entire human family. By virtue of the missionary mandate, the Church cares for those who do not know the Gospel, because she wants everyone to be saved and to experience the Lord’s love. She “is commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart of the Gospel” and to proclaim mercy in every corner of the world, reaching every person, young or old.” Pope Francis