1. Provincial/ Aliwal North Community:
On the 1st of October, our Provincial, Fr. Peter Surdel SCJ, went to Germany taking part in the celebration of the 100 years of the German Province existence which took place on 5th-7th October in Neustadt.
On the 19th of October, most of the members of the South African Province plus the priests of Aliwal North and De Aar Dioceses started their annual retreat. It was held at the Assisi Retreat Center.
On the 11th of November, Fr. Peter Surdel SCJ was admitted for his bypass operation at the hospital in Bloemfontein. It was successful and he started recovering from it very fast. We wish him a speedy recovery and support with our prayer.
From the 17th to 24th of November, our Provincial Chapter took place. One of the special guests was Fr. Claudio de la Zuana SCJ, the General Councilor and Bishop Joseph Potocnak SCJ.
On the 2nd of December, Fr. Karl-Heinz Ofenloch SCJ left the Guest House, where he lived when working in the Aliwal Cathedral, for the Monastery.
On the 16th of December, two of our Brothers: Ntsikelelo Mambatha SCJ and Joshua Mpiti SCJ, professed their perpetual vows, at St. Francis Xavier parish.
2. Pietermaritzburg International Students House (Dehon House):
On the 11th of October, the sacrament of confirmation was administered by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier OFM in the St. Francis parish combined with the celebration of 25 years of its existence. It was attended Fr. Peter Surdel SCJ, the Provincial. Thanks also to the Pietermaritzburg and Hilton communities for their contribution. Since then the formation team and the scholastics have tried to support Fr. Musialek SCJ.
3. De Aar Community:
A group of 12 young female adults took part in the Education for Life (EFL) 4-day workshop in Dyselsdorp near Oudtshoorn, in October 2008. They represented 6 different communities of the Diocese of De Aar. This was the first stage of the process of training the future “parish EFL facilitators” who are to work with children. Almost 40 participants from Cape Town, Oudtshoorn and De Aar dioceses came for the workshop.
Representatives of the communities of the Diocese gathered again for the Diocesan Days, on the weekend of 15/16 November 2008, at the St Mary’s Cathedral in De Aar. On Saturday the program included Eucharist, 2,5 hour discussion forum, candle light procession and a fund-raising event. On Sunday a solemn Eucharist was followed by a meal prepared by the local community of St Mary’s. The focus of this year “Days” was “Catholic identity as a disciple of Jesus. Culture of God; Catholic culture over any culture of man”. The inputs were delivered by Bp. Potocnak, Fr. Strittmatter, Fr. Bowes and Dk Mbombo.
The SCJ scholastics from Pietermaritzburg had a chance to spend some time of their summer holiday in our Diocese. Three brothers from Cameroon – students of philosophy: Zashee, Joseph and Benjamin were deployed to Frs. Przybys, Strittmatter and Bojar respectively; Br. Jayaraju of India has joined his countryman Dk Michael and thus stayed in the bishop’s house. All of them survived.
4. Hilton Community:
On the 10th of October, Fr. Adam Maslowski SCJ attended another meeting of the KZN Vocation Team, at the Pallottines' formation House in Merrivale.
On the 24th of October, Br. Ntsikelelo Bambatha joined the Hilton community for a week as a part of his preparation for the perpetual vows.
On the 31st of October, Fr. Adam Maslowski SCJ and Fr. Joseph Falkiner OP conducted two vocation workshops at St. Francis parish in Eastwood.
From the 17th of December, Fr. Peter Surdel SCJ stayed with the Hilton community to recuperate after his operation. We were happy to have him over. He went back on the 5th of January to Aliwal North.