It is the Patronal Festival of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The Schola Cantorum produced sensitive and beautiful music for the occasion. The antiphons were sung to plainsong in Latin, the Kyrie in Setswana, the Agnus Dei in Isizulu and the rest to English plainchant with some good Anglican hymns that were sung with gusto. You don't need to be part of the Ordinariate to use good Anglican hymns! I admit that I am very confused by what is meant by an "Anglican Patrimony"!
Everything else, including the readings, are in English as to use an African language would be patronising, to put it mildly, amongst our polyglot congregation who use English everyday.
World Refugee Day
There are lots of refugees in this country, both political and economic, and unfortunately there seems to be a rising tide of violence directed against foreigners, particularly small business owners. Not for the first time the SA Catholic Bishops' Conference has issued a statement which I can only applaud. Many of these foreigners are Catholics and their are a number of Catholic agencies here who work amongst refugees, irrespective of their religion. Many of these people end up in Johannesburg and become indistinguishable from the "homeless" many of our churches feed on a regular basis. They are all in need of our prayers.
A Pastoral Letter to the Catholic Community on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity on the welcome, acceptance and care of Refugees in our communities.
A perfect Community to emulate.
On Monday June 20 2011, we celebrate the 10th World Refugee Day, (previously known as Africa Refugee day) whose purpose is to show solidarity with refugees and displaced people. It is a day that not only raises awareness of the plight of refugees, highlights the injustices that the human community has done to its members, but also celebrates the positive contributions of refugee and migrant communities.
On the eve of this important day for our brothers and sisters who have been forcibly displaced, the Catholic Community celebrates the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, a good place to reflect on our attitudes as communities to Refugees.
We celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity today as a community of Christians. It is a celebration of God¡¦s self revelation and of God¡¦s eternal and infinite love for us. Celebrated not long after Easter and immediately after Pentecost, today¡¦s solemnity remembers the perfect Community of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: One God.
We are shown God¡¦s eternal and forgiving love for us in the events of Jesus¡¦ suffering, death, resurrection and ascension, including the pouring out of the Holy Spirit.
As Christians we believe that Jesus revealed God to us, making us know the Father (John 14: 7) who is in Heaven, and giving us the Holy Spirit (John 20: 22). In the Trinity, we have a perfect Community of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in loving relationships with one another and working together to share their love with the world. It is a Community of relationships which all human communities and their relationships should imitate.
As our own community as human beings created in the image of God, we ask ourselves the following questions:
How is our relationship with one another and with refugees imitating the perfect Community of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?
How does this community of human beings on earth reveal God¡¦s eternal love to its members?
Are we challenged as communities to follow the example of the Holy Trinity as a community existing in love and unity for one another and pouring out that love for everyone to experience it?As a community of Christians, of human beings called to love and serve God and our neighbour, how have we faired? Since the Son came down from heaven to live amongst us, revealing God¡¦s love for us and giving us the Holy Spirit, we as a community of believers ¡V the Church which is Christ¡¦s Body ¡V are called to continue revealing God¡¦s love for human beings.
As refugees and other displaced people continue to experience lack of love and suffer injustices, we implore you to create communities that imitate the Most Holy Trinity, reciprocating love and compassion. The Lord Jesus, who was himself once a refugee, commanded us: "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself". "And who is my neighbour?" (Luke 10: 27-30). As Christians we are called to show our love to one another including strangers.
The story of the Good Samaritan is a good example of how we should be treating refugees. Remember that whoever claims to love God whom (s)he cannot see and yet does not love his/her neighbour whom (s)he can see, is a liar (1 John 4: 20).
As the world commemorates World Refugee Day on Monday, 20 June, we your Bishops urge you to support refugees. We urge you as followers of Christ, to oppose the evil of xenophobia threatening to divide the community of human beings. Each person should do whatever he or she can to unite against this wickedness of xenophobia and endeavour to build communities of love.
May we not be found wanting when the Son of Man says these words to us: "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me" (Matthew 25:35).
Bishop Frank Nubuasah SVD
Bishop of the Vicariate of Francistown, Botswana.
Liaison Bishop for the Migrant and Refugee Working Group of the SACBC.
SwazilandThe political situation in Swaziland is also of concern to the Church. Cardinal Napier (Durban), Archbishop Tlhagale(Johannesburg, President of the SACBC) Bishops Sandri (Witbank/Emalehleni) and Woods (Durban) recently visited Swaziland's only Catholic Bishop, Bishop Louis S Ndlovu of Manzini and issued the following statement:
|Cardinal Wilfrid Napier|
|Archbishop Buti Tlhagale|