February 28, 2015

VATICAN: Lent is a time of Spiritual Combat, Pope says


over temptation, Zenit news Agency reported.

“The Church reminds us of that mystery at the beginning of Lent, so that it may give us the perspective and the meaning of this time, which is a time of combat,” he said. “A spiritual combat against the spirit of evil; and while we cross the Lenten

“desert”, we have our gazed fixed upon Easter, which is the definitive victory of Jesus against the Evil One, against sin and against death.”

Pope Francis went on to say that the meaning of the First Sunday of Lent is to place ourselves on the path of Christ, who is “the road that leads to life.”

Continuing his address, the Pope reflected on the significance of the desert, a place where both the voice of God and the voice of the Tempter can be heard.

The Holy Father stressed that like Jesus, Christians must know Scripture; “otherwise we do not know how to respond to the attacks of the Evil One.”

The 78 year old Pontiff reminded the faithful once again to carry a pocket-sized Gospel and meditate upon it every day.

“Always have the Gospel in hand,” he said. “The Lenten desert helps us to say no to worldliness, to the ‘idols’, it helps us to make courageous choices in accordance with the Gospel and to strengthen solidarity among the brothers.”


ZIMBABWE: Lenten Collection to Support Diocesan healthcare system, Archbishop says


HARARE FEBRUARY 24, 2015(CISA)-Archbishop Robert Ndlovu of the Catholic Archdiocese of Harare has said that this year’s Lenten collection will be channeled to support diocesan healthcare system.

“The situation of the sick in our country is well known, and their plight is personally felt by all of us,” Archbishop Ndlovu said in a Lenten Pastoral Letter sent to Fides on February 21.

“Let us not spare an effort to look after the sick; to pray for them, to offer our sufferings together with the suffering of Jesus for their healing, and to direct our alms to the noble work of our health institutions and initiatives in the Archdiocese,” said Archbishop Ndlovu.

The prelate said that “From the onset of missionary activity, health care was a special concern and an important aspect of our pastoral care.”

He noted that what was prominent at any mission station established was the pharmacy, dispensary, clinic or hospital.

“Our sisters, brothers and priests gave of themselves tirelessly in the establishment, building, caring, maintenance and development of health care facilities. The Church excelled in the education, training, formation, renewal and support of a variety of healthcare personnel,” said Archbishop Ndlovu.

He said that the church had always stepped in times of pandemics through its healthcare facilities and other initiatives to help fight diseases.

“Our response to the HIV/Aids pandemic, attending to the infected and affected, supporting orphans and vulnerable children, raising awareness, contributing to research and management, is second to none,” he said.


KENYA: Archdiocese of Mombasa Installs New Shepherd


MOMBASA, FEBRUARY 24, 2015 (CISA) – Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde was on February 21 installed as the archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa.

The installation ceremony took place at Mombasa Municipal Stadium presided over by John Cardinal Njue.

It brought together civic and church leaders including bishops and priests as well as thousands of faithful from the 52 different parishes of the archdiocese of Mombasa and beyond.

“Our dear Christians of Mombasa today is an historical day. That new page has been opened,” said Cardinal Njue during his remarks, adding. “It will be wonderful if you can be involved in writing that page, to make the archdiocese shine.”

The cardinal further called on priests, men and women religious who are the collaborators of the new archbishop to play their different roles and show their cooperation by walking together with their archbishop.

The papal bull (papers of appointment by the Vatican) was read by Fr Willbard Lagho, the Vicar General of the archdiocese of Mombasa.

The newly installed archbishop thanked the Pope for entrusting him “with this big responsibility” but added “that the lord will provide.”

The archbishop thanked the people of Machakos, especially the clergy, religious men and women for the achievements gained in the diocese including the growth in the number of parishes from 41 to 78 saying “without you we could have done nothing.”

“My plan for this archdiocese is the same plan of Jesus, our master. That all may be saved, that all may have life and have it in abundance and last but not least that all may be one. May God bless this work plan” stated Archbishop Kivuva.


KENYA: Machakos diocese Hands over Prelate to the Archdiocese of Mombasa


MOMBASA, FEBRUARY 24, 2015 (CISA) – Hundreds of faithful from the catholic diocese of Machakos on February 20 thronged St Mary’s Catholic Church, Changamwe for the handing over ceremony of Archbishop Martin Kivuva to the archdiocese of Mombasa.

“…this is the man we are giving to you as Machakos diocese. May God bless him and make his work better in the Mombasa,” Fr Alfonse Mundio, the Vicar General of the catholic diocese of Machakos told the faithful from Mombasa.

The event also saw archbishop elect take his oath of office before a day before officially being installed archbishop of Mombasa.

According to Sr Bennadette Munyao, the coordinator Catholic Women Association and Catholic Men Association the over 2,000 faithful from Machakos travelled in 43 buses, 2 mini-vans, several personal cars while others travelled by air to Mombasa.

Archbishop Charles Balvo, apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan who presided over the ceremony urged the faithful in the archdiocese to cooperate with the new archbishop and to pray for a successor for the Diocese of Machakos.

“Promotion from lower to higher position is not your own honour or your glory but the promotion of service that is going to serve you innermost as Archbishop of Mombasa,” the nuncio told the archbishop-elect.

In his speech archbishop-elect Kivuva appealed to all people inclusive of civil authorities and different religions to help him with his pastoral duties.

“…let us work together like brothers and sisters and respect each other. I have come to pick up from the spirit of late Archbishop Lele, I therefore request you to pray for me to do God’s work,” he said.

The archbishop received a symbolic traditional stool knows as kigoma and made an elder of the Archdiocese by his mentor Fr Alloys Ngoma while  Bishop Emmanuel Barbara of the Catholic Diocese Malindi gave him a shepherd’s stuff a symbol of handing over the flock of the archdiocese of Mombasa.

Archbishop Kivuva takes over the diocese that has been under the apostolic administration of Bishop Emmanuel Barbara since 2013 when Archbishop Lele resigned on grounds of poor health.


SOUTH AFRICA: Bishops Condemn Parliamentary Chaos


CAPE TOWN FEBRUARY 20, 2015(CISA)-South Africa’s Catholic bishops have decried the chaos that erupted in the nation’s parliament during President Jacob Zuma’s recent state of the union address.

During President Zuma’s address, members of parliament from an opposing political party decried the president’s alleged corruption, a fight broke out and cell phone signals were jammed.

In a statement by the Southern Africa Bishops conference (SACBC) signed by Archbishop William Slattery, SACBC Spokesperson the bishops said that the actions on the floor of the house was a disservice to democracy.

“The unfortunate scenes on the floor of the House overshadowed the speech itself, and detracted attention from the programme set out by the President. This was in itself a disservice to democracy and to the citizens of South Africa,” the bishops said.

The bishops noted that “the disruption of our chief democratic institution, followed by the needlessly aggressive actions of the security forces called in to remove [opposition] MPs, leaves us deeply perturbed.”

“We also strongly condemn the use of a jamming device to block cell phone signals in the House,” they added.

“It is the fundamental right of every South Africa to know what is happening in Parliament, and any attempt to deny us that right violates the Constitution and demeans Parliament,” the February 16 statement read in part.

“Twenty years after the achievement of democracy, we deserve better than this,” concluded the clerics.