Press Release

Pledge launched to mobilize 
1 million Catholics on Climate Change

Launch coincides with 2nd Anniversary of Papal encyclical

Global - In celebration of the 2nd anniversary of Pope Francis’ historic encyclical Laudato Si’ (June 18, 2015), the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) is launching a Laudato Si’ Pledge campaign to keep the Pontiff’s message alive and encourage mass Catholic action to address the climate crisis. 

The Laudato Si’ Pledge (see text below) is a way for Catholics to commit to the transition to renewable energy in their homes and communities, and to push elected leaders to take strong action on climate change. It will target four different audiences: individuals, families, parishes and organizations. The goal is to get 1 million Catholics engaged to address the climate crisis through this new initiative.

The Laudato Si Pledge was launched with the support of Cardinals, Bishops, and other high-level leaders (see quotes below) to encourage interest by the wider Church. 

A major kickoff event took place in Manila on June 17th (pictures below), with the support of high-level Church leaders as Cardinal Tagle and Archbishop Socrates Villegas (president of the Bishops Conference of the Philippines). The location is significant given how vulnerable the island nation is to the impacts of climate change, as well as how active Filipino Catholics have been in raising the ecological issue. 

The pledge will be distributed online in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, with other languages to follow soon. Signatories of the pledge will receive invitations to turn Laudato Si’ into action through GCCM initiatives taking place throughout the year,  such as the ecumenical Season of Creation (September 1-October 4) and Earth Day. 

The Catholic Church with a collective carbon footprint of 1.2 billion faithful (17% of the world’s population) and the institutional Church (220,000 parishes, 150,000 schools) has a significant role to play in addressing the climate crisis.

Laudato Si Pledge text: Answering Pope Francis’ urgent call in Laudato Si’, I pledge to: 

1) Pray for and with creation 
2) Live more simply 
3) Advocate to protect our common home.

Laudato Si Pledge website: www.LiveLaudatoSi.org 

Pictures of #LiveLaudatoSi and People’s Climate March: LINK

Pictures of kickoff event in Manila (to be uploaded on June 17 at 3am US Eastern Time): LINK

About the Global Catholic Climate Movement: The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) is an international network of Catholic individuals and organizations responding to the Pope’s Laudato Si’ call for climate justice. Founded in January 2015, GCCM has grown extremely quickly by bringing together 400+ member organizations and thousands of Catholics to take action through innovative campaigns to bring Laudato Si’ to life. In 2015, GCCM led a massive campaign gathering over 900,000 petition signatures calling for the 1.5C target which were delivered to the French president Francois Hollande and UN climate chief Christiana Figueres in interfaith events in Paris during the COP21. 



QUOTE SHEET: 

Endorsements from Leaders of the Catholic Church

Cardinal John Ribat, Archbishop of Papua New Guinea and President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops' Conferences of Oceania: “This is a crucial ministry to help the global Church respond to the climate crisis. On behalf of the vulnerable communities of Oceania, I urge all Catholics to join and support this important effort to bring Laudato Si' to life.” 

Cardinal Blase Joseph Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago: “Laudato Si’ is an unequivocal call to action to protect our common home. As we mark the second anniversary of this groundbreaking document, there is an even greater urgency to work together to honor the gift of our creator. In doing so we will shield the poor and marginalized from the effects of climate change and preserve our small planet for future generations.”

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM, Cap.  Archbishop of Boston: “Pope Francis provides an important contribution to the good of the world we live in by making clear that we have a responsibility to care for the extraordinary gift of God’s creation, showing respect  for the needs of all people throughout the international community.  The Holy Father appropriately calls us to consider how our actions today will impact the well-being of those who will follow us in the future.”  

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, Archbishop of Durban, South Africa: “The Laudato Si’ message is important because it is asking everyone to put the smile back on God's offer as he continues to inspire and guide us his children to take care of the creation, which he created so good.” 

Archbishop Emeritus of Trento Mons. Luigi Bressan: “The message of the Encyclical Laudato Si' has an integral vision comprehensive of human being in connection with economics, relations, nature and community. It' s a very clear and deep message: all we are interconnected and not isolated from each other.”

Fr. Antonio Spadaro, SJ: “We need today to assimilate the wide and holistic vision of the world that Laudato si’ offers us. Pope Francis shows us the world as a "common home", a living environment, and not a simple "object" to use. The universe is seen as a place where we find "multiplicity and variety" and where everything is in a relationship, united by invisible bonds, and all "connected". The Laudato si’ is important today because we need to rediscover the world as a network of relationships.”

Mons. Francesco Alfano, Archbishop of Sorrento - Castellammare di Stabia: “In this time of big environmental challenges that humanity must deal with urgency and foresight, the Laudato Si' launches a cautious and challenging appeal to all men and women of good will who care about the future of our planet and who want to help building the one human family based on fundamental rights to be recognized and on the duty of participation and co-responsibility.”

Tomas Insua, Executive Director, Global Catholic Climate Movement: “The Laudato Si Pledge is the Catholic Church’s chance to witness to and co-create the new, clean, life-giving paths forward that our world desperately needs. Pope Francis helped transform the climate debate by reframing it as a moral issue. Now is the turn for the Church to “walk the walk” and bring the encyclical’s message to life.”

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, writer and theologian: “Pope Francis has brilliantly and courageously reconnected the Catholic and Christian tradition with its neglected foundation in creation and nature itself. He is more Franciscan than Jesuit! He takes the Incarnation to its logical conclusions.” 

Sr. Sheila Kinsey, Executive Co-secretary of the JPIC Commission of the International Union Superiors General and GCCM Steering Committee member: ”GCCM is a voice of integrity that speaks after listening to the "cry of the earth" and the "cry of the poor". I urge you to listen deeply to these cries, then add your voice in support of Laudato Si.”

Fr. Sean McDonagh, Columban priest and Eco-theologian: “Laudato Si is an important step in the Church’s understanding of our human relationship with both the Creator and all of creation. We must continually learn from science, evolve our theology, and humbly situate ourselves in the wider creation story that began with the initial flaring forth 13.7 billion years ago to the world in which we live now and into the future.  We must be open to encounter creation and learn from it.” 

Marie Dennis, Co-President, Pax Christi International: “The honest reflection of Laudato Si’ on broken relationships within the whole earth community challenges us all to deep personal and societal transformation, while the concept of integral ecology at the heart of the encyclical offers an enormously hopeful grounding for a more peaceful, as well as a more just, future.”

Bill Patenaude, CatholicEcology.net: “The connection between our ecological sins and our sins against the dignity of vulnerable human beings—the unborn, the infirmed, the homeless—resides at the heart of the Catholic understanding of ecology. This was taught by Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and we must be forever grateful to Pope Francis for turning up the volume of that message. It is this link that Pope Francis emphasized a thousand fold in Laudato Si’ with the term “integral ecology”--and it is this link that can help foster the unity that today is so needed within the Church and the world.”

Fr. Benedict Ayodi, OFM Cap., Capuchin Franciscan General Secretary for Justice, Peace and Ecology and GCCM Steering Committee member: “Climate justice calls for bold actions, not just bold words in dealing with Climate change. Laudato Si provides both.  Let us act now to care for creation” 

Kevin Roussel, Executive Director, Catholic Welfare and Development, Cape Town, South Africa and GCCM Steering Committee member: “The Global Catholic Climate Movement breathes the life of Laudato Si into the actions of many who hold harmony with the earth and each other as a central part of our evangelisation mission. Through the wonderful campaign points, resources and the ongoing development of the movement, those who care for the environment are finding a spiritual home for our actions and many more are being called to God’s creation.” 

Marianne Comfort, Institute Justice Team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas: “Pope Francis, and the Global Catholic Climate Movement, are calling us not to just read, reflect on and pray with Laudato Si, but to LIVE Laudato Si. The pledge challenges us to respond to the encyclical through ongoing prayer for Our Common Home, ecological conversion in our lifestyles, and advocacy for bold and effective public policies to keep global warming well below 2 degrees celsius.”

Amy Woolam Echeverria, Columban International Coordinator for Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation: “Living Laudato Si’ is at the heart of living the Gospel of justice, peace, and wholeness with all of Creation.  The Laudato Si’ Pledge opens the journey for any person of faith towards ongoing ecological conversion that lasts a lifetime.”  

Marie Venner, Chair, National Academies of Science & Engineering Transportation Research Board and GCCM Steering Committee member: “As Catholics it is necessary for us to respond morally to the situation before us, which is detrimental to life and the ability of all to flourish.  Instead, a system of domination, heedless destruction and short-term profit and decision-making prevails.  Pope Francis stresses that we must come back to the common good, the core of what our religion teaches, and bring about the cultural revolution and concrete changes needed, including transition off of fossil fuels, without delay.  We must act in a timely and courageous fashion, putting ourselves at risk, as certain people did in the face of the Holocaust.  With faith, we can make the massive and rapid shifts we need.  Catholics can and should play a leading role in bringing this systemic change about, bringing Laudato Si’ to life.”

Endorsements from other Global Leaders:

Christiana Figueres, former UN climate chief: "Now more than ever, the world needs to heed the moral imperative of Laudato Si’, and step up to the bold and urgent action that is necessary.” 

Yeb Sano, former lead climate negotiator for the Philippines: “Laudato Si' has brought clarity and urgency to the Church's message on care for creation.  As we already see the devastating effects of climate change taking place, it is important for each and every one of us to hear Pope Francis' call for an "ecological conversion" and a response that includes individual change, peaceful political action, community solidarity, prayer.” 

May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org: "The message of Laudato Si still rings out as clear as a church bell and as loud as a trumpet: the time for climate action is now! It's a call that has been taken up around the world, especially at the grassroots level, with Catholics and non-Catholics everywhere rising to this great challenge of our time. Now, with the forces of denial pushing back against our hard won climate progress, we must redouble our efforts to care for our common home. Laudato Si remains an inspiration for so many of us in this struggle."

MEDIA CONTACT: 

Christina Leano, Global Catholic Climate Movement
Email: christina@catholicclimatemovement.global 
Telephone: +1 786 459 5667

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It is the first time that the feast of Our Lady Consolata is celebrated in the Diocese of Manzini. Though the name "Consolata" started to be heard with my arrival in the diocese and later on with Fr Giorgio Massa, it really became familiar when Fr Francis Onyango, Fr Peterson Muriithi and Fr Rocco Marra were entrusted with the pastoral service of the new parish of St Peter & Paul (Kwaluseni). 

Being the first time doing it in the diocese, it was suggested that I also be there and preside the celebration. The feast is celebrated on June 20 but due to the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ next Sunday and other appointments I will be having later this month, it was decided to do it earlier. 

When I was told what time to leave home I understood people would be waiting for me on the way. As soon as I arrived close to the church, I found the Salesian Brass Band and many people from the parish. I was asked to leave my vehicle and climb on a double cab bakkie from where I could greet the people on the way to the church.

There was great excitement in everyone. It was very impressing to see such a joy only five months after the arrival of these three missionaries. 


Every detail of the celebration - which included the confirmation of eight members of the community - had been carefully prepared. The Gospel of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth (proper of the Consolata feast) was partly read and partly dramatized by the youth. They were excellent and I believe no one would ever forget it.

During the homily I invited them:
  • first to celebrate having a full church every Sunday but at the same time to always wonder "who is not here?". There are many children, young people and also men which are just staying at home. The joy of having Jesus in our lives should always make us look for those who are not part of our community of faith;
  • then to remember that no one walks alone this journey of faith. Like the young Mary probably found strength in an elder woman like Elizabeth or on those standing with her next to the cross, we too need to walk together and support each other as we follow Jesus.


At the end of Mass, just before the final blessing, the youth dramatized the sending of the first missionaries by Fr Joseph Allamano, the founder of the Consolata Missionaries. Then, the case of a young boy who would like to become a priest and faces the resistance of his parents. 

The youth, the choir, the readers, the altar servers... everyone seemed involved in one way or another; and everyone seemed to have taken very seriously his or her own specific service.

The presence of the Consolata Missionaries in St Peter & Paul is just five months' old. As such it is the "last born" in the Consolata family and the "first born" in Swaziland. In a short space of time these missionaries have been able to share with the community their care for the liturgical celebrations and for doing things well. As Fr Francis said before the final blessing: "Bishop, we are still in our honey moon. The people support us and we are proud to be their priests"

Grateful to everyone who make such a joyful celebration possible. 


Click on the photo below for more photos of the celebration

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Pentecost Sunday. Fr Dumisani Mazibuko OSM had asked me to celebrate confirmations at St Agnes (one of the outstations of "Santissima Anunziata" - Florence Mission). I still remember when I celebrated them at "Santissima Anunziata". It was probably the largest group ever. As I laid hands on each one of them, the double line of those to be confirmed finished outside the church. There were around 120 people. 

This time, instead, the celebration was done in an outstation. I used to do that in the Vicariate of Ingwavuma. There, in fact, I asked them never to bring them together and have one celebration in the parish. Celebrating the sacrament in their own outstation allows their community to be part of it and at the same time strengthens their commitment to serve their brothers and sisters as full members of the Church. 


It was a familiar, well prepared and joyful celebration. The church was beautifully decorated in red. The choir led so well that the whole church was part of every moment of the celebration.

We had a long session of photos and everyone remained for lunch.


Back in Manzini, I met part of the group of Catholic Men leaving on Friday for Fatima (Portugal) and Lourdes (France) via Spain.

It is a "men's thing". This is their third pilgrimage. The last one was in 2015 when they went to Israel. They were the very first group to keep updating us via social media of everything they were doing as they had free WiFi on the coach.

Remembering this and the experience of the previous group that went to Fatima a few weeks' ago I asked them once again to keep in touch with us so that we support them with our prayer as they also pray for us in Fatima and Lourdes. I reminded them that they become "ambassadors" of our diocese wherever they go. It is certainly very special to see Catholic men traveling together to different shrines in the world. I also asked them to make sure they share their experience with their communities once back home. 

The Apostolic Nuncio's visit to the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland) concluded with a morning spent with the priests and religious serving our diocese.

We planned to have three moments: an hour or so of questions and answers, the celebration of Mass at the Cathedral and to close our gathering with lunch.

Most of the priests and religious were present. They arrived expecting to be addressed by Archbishop Peter Wells but soon discovered that he wanted to open the floor to any questions they might have. 

He shared on the importance of "listening" and what he was once told: "never fear the one who talks, fear the one who listens"

The sharing moved from pastoral issues (as polygamous marriages and giving a voice to the voiceless) to the challenges Pope Francis puts to our Church today finishing with ... "what is the job of an Apostolic Nuncio?"

During the celebration of Mass, Archbishop Wells invited us first of all to "Let go, let God". There are so many things we cannot control. We are not responsible for everything as if it is our duty to save the world. It is Jesus Christ who conquered the world. 

He then underlined the importance of being defined by who we are and not by what we do. He share five points for us to take home:
  • Prayer. No matter how we do it but he asked us to make sure we make time for prayer.
  • Read, to be aware of what is going on in the world and theologically
  • Work with the Bishop who is both a father and a brother. 
  • Love with our heart and our soul those entrusted to our care; to be fathers and mothers.
  • Honesty.  First of all to be honest with ourselves, with who we are. When facing personal problems, to look for help in our brother priest or sister and not be embarrassed. 


Because of the number of the participants we had two photos: one with the priests and the second one with the female religious.

After Mass, we were all back at the bishop's house for a "finger lunch" that allowed us to interact with the Apostolic Nuncio and with each other. 


Pope Francis’ message for the Church’s 51st World Communications Day
celebrated by Catholics each year on the Sunday before Pentecost.


Communicating Hope and Trust in our Time

Access to the media – thanks to technological progress – makes it possible for countless people to share news instantly and spread it widely. That news may be good or bad, true or false. The early Christians compared the human mind to a constantly grinding millstone; it is up to the miller to determine what it will grind: good wheat or worthless weeds. Our minds are always “grinding”, but it is up to us to choose what to feed them (cf. SAINT JOHN CASSIAN, Epistle to Leontius).

I wish to address this message to all those who, whether in their professional work or personal relationships, are like that mill, daily “grinding out” information with the aim of providing rich fare for those with whom they communicate. I would like to encourage everyone to engage in constructive forms of communication that reject prejudice towards others and foster a culture of encounter, helping all of us to view the world around us with realism and trust.

I am convinced that we have to break the vicious circle of anxiety and stem the spiral of fear resulting from a constant focus on “bad news” (wars, terrorism, scandals and all sorts of human failure). This has nothing to do with spreading misinformation that would ignore the tragedy of human suffering, nor is it about a naive optimism blind to the scandal of evil. Rather, I propose that all of us work at overcoming that feeling of growing discontent and resignation that can at times generate apathy, fear or the idea that evil has no limits. Moreover, in a communications industry which thinks that good news does not sell, and where the tragedy of human suffering and the mystery of evil easily turn into entertainment, there is always the temptation that our consciences can be dulled or slip into pessimism.

I would like, then, to contribute to the search for an open and creative style of communication that never seeks to glamourize evil but instead to concentrate on solutions and to inspire a positive and responsible approach on the part of its recipients. I ask everyone to offer the people of our time storylines that are at heart “good news”.

Good news

Life is not simply a bare succession of events, but a history, a story waiting to be told through the choice of an interpretative lens that can select and gather the most relevant data. In and of itself, reality has no one clear meaning. Everything depends on the way we look at things, on the lens we use to view them. If we change that lens, reality itself appears different. So how can we begin to “read” reality through the right lens?

For us Christians, that lens can only be the good news, beginning with the Good News par excellence: “the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God” (Mk 1:1). With these words, Saint Mark opens his Gospel not by relating “good news” about Jesus, but rather the good news that is Jesus himself. Indeed, reading the pages of his Gospel, we learn that its title corresponds to its content and, above all else, this content is the very person of Jesus.

This good news – Jesus himself – is not good because it has nothing to do with suffering, but rather because suffering itself becomes part of a bigger picture. It is seen as an integral part of Jesus’ love for the Father and for all mankind. In Christ, God has shown his solidarity with every human situation. He has told us that we are not alone, for we have a Father who is constantly mindful of his children. “Fear not, for I am with you” (Is 43:5): these are the comforting words of a God who is immersed in the history of his people. In his beloved Son, this divine promise – “I am with you” – embraces all our weakness, even to dying our death. In Christ, even darkness and death become a point of encounter with Light and Life. Hope is born, a hope accessible to everyone, at the very crossroads where life meets the bitterness of failure. That hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5) and makes new life blossom, like a shoot that springs up from the fallen seed. Seen in this light, every new tragedy that occurs in the world’s history can also become a setting for good news, inasmuch as love can find a way to draw near and to raise up sympathetic hearts, resolute faces and hands ready to build anew.

Confidence in the seed of the Kingdom

To introduce his disciples and the crowds to this Gospel mindset and to give them the right “lens” needed to see and embrace the love that dies and rises, Jesus uses parables. He frequently compares the Kingdom of God to a seed that releases its potential for life precisely when it falls to the earth and dies (cf. Mk 4:1-34). This use of images and metaphors to convey the quiet power of the Kingdom does not detract from its importance and urgency; rather, it is a merciful way of making space for the listener to freely accept and appropriate that power. It is also a most effective way to express the immense dignity of the Paschal mystery, leaving it to images, rather than concepts, to communicate the paradoxical beauty of new life in Christ. In that life, hardship and the cross do not obstruct, but bring about God’s salvation; weakness proves stronger than any human power; and failure can be the prelude to the fulfilment of all things in love. This is how hope in the Kingdom of God matures and deepens: it is “as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow” (Mk 4:26-27).

The Kingdom of God is already present in our midst, like a seed that is easily overlooked, yet silently takes root. Those to whom the Holy Spirit grants keen vision can see it blossoming. They do not let themselves be robbed of the joy of the Kingdom by the weeds that spring up all about.

The horizons of the Spirit

Our hope based on the good news which is Jesus himself makes us lift up our eyes to contemplate the Lord in the liturgical celebration of the Ascension. Even though the Lord may now appear more distant, the horizons of hope expand all the more. In Christ, who brings our human nature to heaven, every man and woman can now freely “enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh” (Heb 10:19-20). By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7‑8).

Confidence in the seed of God’s Kingdom and in the mystery of Easter should also shape the way we communicate. This confidence enables us to carry out our work – in all the different ways that communication takes place nowadays – with the conviction that it is possible to recognize and highlight the good news present in every story and in the face of each person.

Those who, in faith, entrust themselves to the guidance of the Holy Spirit come to realize how God is present and at work in every moment of our lives and history, patiently bringing to pass a history of salvation. Hope is the thread with which this sacred history is woven, and its weaver is none other than the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. Hope is the humblest of virtues, for it remains hidden in the recesses of life; yet it is like the yeast that leavens all the dough. We nurture it by reading ever anew the Gospel, “reprinted” in so many editions in the lives of the saints who became icons of God’s love in this world. Today too, the Spirit continues to sow in us a desire for the Kingdom, thanks to all those who, drawing inspiration from the Good News amid the dramatic events of our time, shine like beacons in the darkness of this world, shedding light along the way and opening ever new paths of confidence and hope.

From the Vatican, 24 January 2017

FRANCISCUS


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The plan of the visit of Archbishop Peter Wells (Apostolic Nuncio) to the communities of the Diocese of Manzini included presiding Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows (Hluthi) for the 40th wedding anniversary of Mr and Mrs Jele (Tom and Ivy). 

As the program was shared on social media we got a last minute request: "Would you please Bishop leave a bit earlier and stop at Hlathikulu on your way to Hluthi? We would like the archbishop to visit our garden. It is on by the road. It will not take you more than 15 minutes"

Being a project regarding environment and being run by men (St Joseph's) ... I knew the archbishop would love to visit it. I also knew they would keep time and would not really delay us.

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As planned, the men were waiting by the road. Immediately we were taken to the garden and they explained the project helps the poor in an context of orphans, they are also able to support the refugee camp and contribute to the finances of the parish. 

They presented the challenge of getting tanks to better irrigate the area and how grateful they are at the support being given by the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC).

A basket with vegetables and a Swazi flag was their gift to the archbishop who was delighted at it.

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Majorettes, the Mantellate Sisters and local community welcomed us at Our Lady of Sorrows. The Jele family was deeply happy at having the Apostolic Nuncio for the celebration during which they renewed their marriage vows.

During the speeches, the children (three boys and two girls) thanked their parents for the sacrifices they made to bring them up. They were also grateful for their fait and for sharing it with them hoping other parents would do the same with their children.

Their life of faith was, in fact, underlined by many: "without Christ at the centre you go for a downfall" ... "they would go together to take communion to the sick and elderly at their homes"

I shared with them my hope that couples would not only celebrate their weddings in church but also thank God every year on their anniversary (without having to include a meal for all the community, of course!). At the same time we, as a church, need to make sure we journey with them in their joys and sorrows.

Click below for photos of the visit to the Diocese of Manzini

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Ascension day is a public holiday in Swaziland. Archbishop Peter Wells (Apostolic Nuncio) presided Mass at the Cathedral. Being also "Africa day" everyone had been invited to come dressed according to his or her own culture. Our community at the Cathedral gathers people from many countries coming from different continents.

Before Mass, though, he met Mr Msibi who wanted to show once again how grateful he is to the Church for being allowed to work in the garden for the last 33 years. He had prepared some plants to give to the Apostolic Nuncio for him to take to the different parishes he would be visiting during his stay in the Kingdom of Swaziland.


Mr Msibi spoke about the different plants found in the country and how each one of them benefits our health. Together with that he also showed him different things he had been able to make with his own hands: from toothpicks to teaspoons in wood.

The archbishop encouraged him to continue reminding him of Pope Francis' encyclical "Laudato Sii" on the care of creation.


After Mass the archbishop met part of the group of pilgrims to Fatima (Portugal) and Rome (Italy). They were deeply grateful to him for helping them get the tickets for the audience with Pope Francis in Rome and for their name ("Pilgrims from Swaziland") being mentioned at the beginning of the gathering at St Peter's square.

They also shared with him about the deep spiritual experience they had in Fatima and how happy they were to have been able to witness the canonization of the little shepherds on May 13. 

Archbishop Wells reminded them that everything in Mary always points to Jesus, from the Magnificat where she praises the Lord to Cana where she tells the servants: do whatever He tells you...

In the afternoon he visited the parishes of Regina Mundi (Piggs Peak) and St Peregrine's (Bulandzeni).


On Wednesday 24, Archbishop Peter Wells arrived in Swaziland. He is the Apostolic Nuncio to Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. 

Though not unusual to have the visit of a Nuncio, it is probably the first time that such a visit lasts for about a week. He has a very demanding program of visits to parishes and projects in different parts of our diocese and country.

Archbishop Peter Wells
Photo: The Southern Cross
The first one, just after arriving, was to St Joseph's Social Projects (Mzimpofu). He was first given a tour of the different projects: sewing, carpentry, building, optical, resource centre for the blind... and was then welcomed by the children who had prepared some songs and dances.


In his address to the Apostolic Nuncio, Fr Wandile Dlamini OSM said:
Fr Wandile Dlamini OSM

"On behalf of the Servite community here at St Joseph's and on behalf of our parishioners and all the young and elderly disabled and able-bodied teachers, care-givers, support staff and other residents of St Joseph's, including school children / teachers who join us during the day... we welcome you with a smiling and open heart.

St Joseph's is an extension of social commitment of the Diocese of Manzini (...). The Church in Swaziland prides herself of these social projects here which are unique in the entire Kingdom of Swaziland. Through them we attempt to manifest the social teaching of the Church in a very concrete way.

Thank you for taking time to come here. We are indeed honored and blessed"


The Apostolic Nuncio shared his joy at what he had seen and encouraged them to continue serving those who need it most. He underlined how Providential it was to have the place under the protection of St Joseph who was called to care for Mary and Jesus. He asked the children to care for each other following his example.

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