Our Palm Sunday at the Cathedral (Manzini, Swaziland)

I have been a bishop for nearly five years and it is the first time I celebrate the Holy Week in the Cathedral. In the past, as bishop of the Vicariate of Ingwavuma, I used to go to the parishes where there was only one priest and give a hand there. Having always two priests at our "Good Shepherd" Cathedral in Hlabisa I chose to help where there was a need.

In Swaziland, instead, I chose to be at the Cathedral for the Holy Week this year. There are also two priests here but one is helping in one of the parishes where there is no priest.

For Palm Sunday the Cathedral has to masses: the first one in English and the second one in SiSwati. The English one started at 8.45 from our Catholic Centre across the road and it finished at 10.45. It was already late as the second one was supposed to start from the Salesians Schools at ... 10.30.

We reached the school at 11.00 and we found the place... crowded. Swazi TV was also there to record the beginning of the celebration and to interview one of us on the meaning of this day. It was great to see them.

We finished at about 2 pm and I got into the bakkie and drove to the Vicariate of Ingwavuma where we will be celebrating the Chrism Mass on Tuesday morning at the Cathedral (Hlabisa).

The sharing was based on the image of those preparing to celebrate Passover and at the same time they are deciding on the death of a man through abuse of power, lies and corruption. Could it be that we are repeating the same story? Are we allowing abuse, lies and corruption to kill us (us, our families, communities, church, countries...) while at the same time we prepare to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus?

Both celebrations were very well prepared and joyful. Grateful to all those who worked in so many different ways to make it possible and to those who remained after Mass... cleaning!


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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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