1. New formation house in Pietermaritzburg:
On the 21 December 2004 Frs. Provincial and Hansel went to Pietermaritzburg to talk to the lawyer, signed the contracts and made arrangements for first payment. The formation community started moving in early January. Both properties in Merrivale were emptied after Christmas. After a few weeks the provincial visited the community saw the progress made in readjusting the property for community life.
About the second payment there is no clarity where the money will come from. In the meantime the provincial has written a letter to the Generalate and to the SCJ Africa/Madagascan provincials/superiors voicing this concern.
2. Pietermaritzburg community minus Bro. A. Tsikanyane and J. Mpiti for 2005:
They are both on a stage/regency programme in Bethulie and Cameroon respectively. Brother Joshua Mpiti left on the 10th February for Cameroon. With the help of Professor Andries Lemahieu he took some French lessons in Aliwal North. We wish him all the best in his inter-provincial experience. Fly Joshua fly!!!
Bro. A Tsikanyane arrived at the Bethulie community on the 24th January 2005. We wish him the best of times.
3. New members of the Pietermaritzburg community:
January 15th, 2005 saw the arrival, not for the first time, of Dr. Charles Brown, a member of the US province, at the Hilton community, from where he will commute for lessons at St. Joseph’s Institute, Cedara. He has come back to do one of the things he likes most, i.e. lecturing at the Institute. Together with Fr. C. Grzelak they form a community of two. Wamkelekile (welcome) Dr. Brown!
Two other new members came to add more handsome faces to the community of Pietermaritzburg; they are Bros. ANDRIANARINOSY HERILALA Rodilson Dominique from Madagascar and CARLITOS MIGUEL Joaquim from Mozambique. After biting their tongues trying to adjust them to English they are ready to start with their theological studies and St. Joseph’s Institute, Cedara. We wish them good luck in their studies.
4. Diaconate Ordination: Pietermarizburg community:
It was a very successful event, well organised. This was of three of our Cameroonian confreres, Brs KAMTA TATSI Gilbert, NOUDJOM TCHANA Alban Pascal, and FOUOMENE Guy Basil, who are doing their fourth and the last year of theology, after which they will return to Cameroon. They expressed their extreme happiness to have this event honoured by the presence of the General Finance commission and the bursars of the SCJ African Geo-cultural zone.
The evening was marked by a "braai" organised by the Cameroonian community in Pietermaritzburg, Umtata, Johannesburg and other parts of the country. The SCJ community was invited to the celebration.
5. More activities in Pietermaritzburg: Meeting of the GFC and African SCJ Bursars:
After having participated at the diaconate ordination, the GFC and the Bursars started the meeting on Monday the 28th February and will go on till 2nd March 2005. We wish them a fruitful meeting.
6. SCJ Properties in Merrivale:
One of the properties, 8 Flander’s Crescent (the smaller house) already has a buyer and the contract was finalized in January 10 Flender’s Crescent, (the bigger house) also has a prospective buyer who has already forwarded a letter stating his interest in buying the house.
7. Formators meeting in Cameroon:
Our three delegates, Frs A. Musialek, P. Surdel and A. Capoferri (who represented MZ) are back from the SCJ formators meeting in Cameroon safe and sound. They still have to give us a report on the meeting. Welcome back brothers.
8. Any Postulants for 2005?
Justin Matsoso, from Lesotho, who was our postulant in 2003, who had to go back to improve his matric results in 2004, arrived back at Bethulie on the 1st February 2005. He is presently in his second year of pre-novitiate until the end of this year. The 16th February saw the arrival of a second candidate, Kabelo Metusi from Klerksdorp. They will both soon be officially received to the pre-novitiate. A warm welcome to both of them.
9. Our presence in Colesberg:
On the 28th December 2004 Frs. Provincial, Surdel and Chwaja met with the Bishop of De Aar in Colesberg. Among other things they discussed was that by the 27th January 2005 the SCJs should have moved in. They would be there on 6 months temporary basis, after which an evaluation would be done.
This has already materialised. Frs. Peter Surdel and Zbigniew Chwaja have already moved to Colesburg. Fr. Surdel is in charge of the pastoral work, while Fr. Chwaja is in charge of the new developments of the Sacred Heart Auto League that the province is still trying to put together. The pastoral duties are as usual for Colesberg plus Novalspont. There is also a prison and a hospital to be served.
In regard to pastoral work Fr. Chwaja is a free lancer and an observer at diocesan senate meetings.
Frs. Provincial, Surdel, Chwaja and the Bishop of De Aar also paid a visit to the Portuguese family that promised us a property. The owner is still interested in having the SCJs erect a chapel in that property for the SHAL purposes.
10. Transfers and appointments:
1) Fr. Surdel has been transferred from Bethulie to De Aar community where he will serve as a temporary pastor in Colesberg.
2) Fr. Chwaja from Aliwal to De Aar community and appointed as a provincial research person in regard to SHAL residing in Colesberg.
3) Fr. Mpambani from Aliwal to Bethulie community.
4) Fr. Sompane from Aliwal to Bethulie community where he will serve as a pastor of the Bethulie parish.
5) Fr. Mabheka from Bethulie to Aliwal community due to his forthcoming study period in Rome.
6) Bro. Tsikanyane from Merrivale/Hilton to Bethulie community where he will do his stàge.
i) Fr. Mpambani has been appointed as acting superior and treasurer of Bethulie community until the next provincial council meeting when consultation will have been done and appointment due.
ii) Fr. Musialek as an acting superior and acting treasurer of Pietermaritzburg/Merrivale community until the next provincial council meeting when consultation will have been done and appointment due.
iii) Fr. Paul as the superior of De Aar community for the second term.
iv) Fr. Maslowski as the treasurer of the De Aar community for one term.
v) Fr. Mpambani as the Pre-Novice master.
11. Delegation of the AM province for the beatification of our Founder in Rome.
There are three provincial representatives, Frs. Sompane, Mpambani and Bro. Tsikanyane. The arrangements were left to them to make.
12. Renewal of Vows:
Brother Thapelo Tsikanyane went for a five–day retreat in Lesotho (Maseru) to prepare himself for renewal of vows. He was excited to be in the beautiful mountain kingdom of Lesotho and hopes to pay a comeback visit!
Earlier on brother Joshua Mpiti had gone for an annual eight-day retreat, held in Marianhill (Kwazulu Natal), together with Merrivale (now Pietermaritzburg) student confreres.
On the 2nd of February, brothers Joshua and Thapelo renewed their vows in Bethulie. Fr Marek Przybys (Provincial Superior) received their vows. Participating also n the celebration were, Frs. I. Mabheka, B. Sompane, Z. Mpambani and P. Kscielny.
On the same day, and almost at the same time in the East of the country, Pietermaritzburg, Bro. Ntsikelelo Bambatha renewed his vows too. We congratulate our three confreres and wish them perseverance.
13. A Post Card on the SCJ’s International Formation House in Scottsville – Pietermaritzburg (South Africa)
The SCJ International Formation House –newly named Dehon House- is situated in Scottsville, one of the Pietermaritzburg suburbs, at 11 Alice Grange Road. It is made up of twelve members from seven different nationalities. There are two formators: Fr MUSIALEK Adam from Poland and Fr SANDRO from Italy; and ten students from five African countries: Br ANDRIANARINOSY HERILALA Rodilson Dominique from Madagascar, Br CARLITOS MIGUEL Joaquim from Mozambique, Brs MANDEY AGBAKA Michel and BUYIDI KAMOSI Gauthier from the Kongo DRC, Br BAMBATHA Ntsikelelo from South Africa, Brs KAMTA TATSI Gilbert, LEKANE MOMO Gillo, NOUDJOM TCHANA Alban Pascal, TAHBOULA Rigobert Raïssa, and FOUOMENE Guy Basil, all from Cameroon.
The SCJ International Formation House aims to giving human, academic and religious (spiritual) formation to the young SCJ religious from different African Provinces. The youths are trained mostly to live the community life, to an affective maturity (which is a long-life and an on-going process), to deepen their faith and their relationship with God and neighbours (brothers and sisters), to develop a better understanding of the evangelical counsels in relationship with the ministries of the Church, and to deepen the Dehonian spirituality and charism. To fulfil the above aims, the International Formation House puts Jesus Christ at the centre of its daily activities by emphasizing the life of prayer of its members which includes daily meditations, daily Eucharistic celebrations, and daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. These sacramental and devotional practices are part of our SCJ spirituality. Daily Offices (prayer of the breviary in the morning and in the evening) are also stressed. Personal moments of prayer are also encouraged. From Monday till Friday, the students are attending classes at St Joseph’s Theological Institute at Cedara. Apart from the academic and spiritual life, the students are having some physical exercises such as the taking care the property of the community by working in the garden, the cleaning the house according to the date set in the timetable of the community. There are also communal sport activities namely soccer, volleyball, basketball, snooker, etc.
Special events of the congregation are celebrated in the community. These events are principally the Birthday of our founder, Fr. Leo Dehon on the 13th of March, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, the anniversary of the death of our founder on the 12th of August, the coming beatification Fr Dehon. Birthdays of the members of the community are also celebrated in a special way. There is the community recreation every Friday evening during which we can have some jocks or organize some plays.
By Br. KAMTA TATSI Gilbert, SCJ