1. Bursars meeting in Pietermaritzburg:
The General Finance Commissionís meeting together with the SCJ African/Madagascan bursars held in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) from the 28th February Ė 2nd March 005 was a success. Many points of interest and of concern were discussed, such as the three year plan, the common book keeping in the province, the common purse, the financial self reliance of the provinces and regions, the issue of the new International formation house in Scottsville (Pietermaritzburg), the status of Hilton and others.
One other impressive occasion was the explanation to the students, one evening, of the reason for the presence of the General Finance Commission as well as the SCJ African/Madagascan bursars. The students were given an opportunity to pose whatever questions they had concerning what was shared with them. It became an evening of fraternizing and sharing.
After the meeting some members set off to Mozambique, others visited the AM province in the Eastern Cape while one returned home in the early hours of the last day.
The community of Pietermaritzburg did their best to make the delegates feel at home. A round of applause to them.
2. The Bethulie Community bids Fr. Mabheka farewell:
On the 7th March 2005 the Community of Bethulie bid farewell to Fr. Innocent Mabheka who was going to leave for Rome the following day. Among those present were Frs. Westendorf and Fr. Wawro who were in Aliwal for a few days.
Presently Fr. Mabheka is perspiring under the weight of studying Italian in preparation for the formators course which will start in October in Rome. We wish him the best of luck in his endeavour to master the language and the best of times in Rome.
3. Fr. Jan-Piet Notermans physically indisposed:
The provinces eldest confrere, Fr. Jan-Piet has not been feeling strong and well in the past weeks. Consequently he is at Fatima (Home for the aged and the sick of the Holy Cross sisters in Aliwal) and the sisters are taking care of him.
4. Fr. Ofenloch is back in the Province:
After a long stay in Germany where he was taking care of his back, Fr. Ofenloch is eventually back in the province. He still has to take care and consult the doctors about the condition of his health. He, otherwise, looks very healthy. We are glad to have him back.
5. Provincial Assembly:
Memebrs of the South African province held their annual provincial assembly from the 15-16 March. It was well attended as all members were present. Among other points in the agenda were the following reports: of the superiors of our communities, on the meeting of the SCJ Treasures of Africa in Petermaritzburg, on the Meeting of the SCJ Formators of Africa in Cameroon, on vocations and vocation pastoral.
The matters of the celebration of the Beatification of Fr. Dehon was also discussed, as well as answering the questionnaire of the upcoming SCJ General Conference in 2006
6. Palm Sunday in Bethulie:
7. Chrism Mass:
The celebration for the chrism mass this year was held in Ss. Peter and Paul (Bethulie). Bishop Frederick Lobinger was the main celebrant. The faithful community in our diocese attended the celebration in large numbers. Most of the clergy also attended the celebration.
8. Easter Triduum:
Like all other members in the province, our community in Bethulie was deeply engaged in the celebration. Fr. Zolile had mass in the Noviciat chapel with the town community at 17h00. Afterwards he went to the township at Ss. Peter & Paul for mass and washing of feet at 18h30. Fr. Bernard went to celebrate in Venterstad. On Friday Fr. Zolile was in the township at three oíclock while Fr. Bernard took Springfontein. Saturday was a busy day as catechumens were preparing themselves to be accepted as full members of the catholic community. Fr. Zolile held baptisms and confirmations in our chapel that evening. Fr. Bernard went to the township where he baptized and confirmed members from Bethulie and one from Springfontein.
On Easter Sunday Fr. Zolile went to Venterstad while Fr. Bernard celebrated in our chapel.
9. Braai at the Monastery:
The Monastery Community (Aliwal North) was kind enough to invite all the confreres for a braai (barbecue/churasco) on Easter Monday. Among those present were Bishop Lobinger (Bishop Emeritus of Aliwal Diocese) and Fr. Willie Tratz (a diocesan priest).
10. Ministry to the acolyte:
Brother Thapelo is preparing himself for the acolyte ministry. Let us all pray for him.
In addition he finally received his passport and is very grateful. However, he has to wait a bit longer before he makes use of it even thought it already has an Italian visa stuck on it.
11. Bosberaad for the Provincial Council:
The provincial council set aside one week of meeting away from the province, at the Capuchini sisterís convent in Melville, near Portshepstone. This was in order to have enough time to look and sort out the matters of the province in depth in a relaxed manner. This took place from the 10th-15th April 2005. This aim was achieved as the council is now back in the province.
12. Properties in Merrivale:
Eight (8) Flanderís Crescent has already been sold and the money received R372 000, 00
Ten (10) Flanderís Crescent: The contract has been signed and R10 000, non refundable deposit has been made. The agreement is that by June the balance would have been settled. On top of the R10 000, 00 he will pay R2 000, 00 per month as long as he would not have paid the balance yet.
13. Car for Fr. Chwaja.
After careful consideration and consultation with the provincial bursar, Fr. Chwaja was bought a new car for his work for the province in Colesberg.
14. Delegation of the AM Province for the beatification of the Founder in Rome.
It is now clear that Frs. Mpambani, Sompane, and Bro. Tsikanyane would go to Rome as delegates. Having negotiated with the Provincial they would make a four days stop in Paris to visit the tomb of Fr. Dehon and La Capelle.
15. Beatification Postponed
The beatification has been indefinitely postponed. We will wait for the new Pope to give us a new date. Letís keep on praying.
The above three delegates had to cancel their bookings and wait for the new date.
16. Second instalment for the property in PMB as recommended and agreed upon during the GFC and African Geo-cultural Zone SCJ Bursars meeting:
After a lengthy discussion it was eventually decided that the AM province pays the remaining sum of the new property in Pietermaritzburg $395 000, from their patrimony and keep the Hilton farm as their property.
This above was tabled at the provincial council meeting in order to officially agree upon. The provincial council unanimously agreed to the proposal made at the African SCJ bursarís meeting with the General Finance Commission.
After the necessary consultation the following confreres were appointed for the following positions.
a) Fr. Zolile Mpambani as the Superior of the Bethulie community with effect from the 9th March 2005.
b) Fr. Zolile Mpambani as the Treasurer of the Bethulie community with effect from the 9th March 2005.
c) Fr. Adam Musialek as the Superior of the Pietermaritzburg / Hilton community with effect from the 9th March 2005.
d) Fr. Adam Musialek as the Treasurer of the Pietermaritzburg / Hilton community with effect from the 9th March 2005.
e) Fr. Zolile Mpambani as an acting Vocation Director of the Province until one has been appointed.
18. A New Former Pre-Novice:
On the 19th April arrived Pre-Novice Francis Mofoka who did his first year Pre-Noviciate with us in 2003. He has come back after having had to go back to Lesotho to improve on his Matric results. Welcome Francis.
19. Reception of the Pre-Novices:
Fr. Provincial visited the Bethulie community from the eve of 20th-21st and celebrated mass with the community at 11.30 on the 21st in which he officially welcomed all three Pre-Novices, Justine Phoka Matsoso, Kabelo Godfrey Metusi and Justine Mofoka.