"How much time do you have?" (Meeting our Lay Ministers)

The question was not theirs but mine. Last week I met the executive of the diocesan lay ministers. It was a good opportunity for me to get a picture of what is happening at that level in our diocese. They had prepared an agenda with eight points but as soon as we started talking I realised I had questions that were not part of our agenda so I asked them... "how much time do you have?". They thought I was busy and needed to make sure we would finish in time while... it was not so. I had as much time as needed but wanted to make sure they were not in a hurry.

While they thought the meeting would last between 30 and 40 minutes, we were there for nearly two hours!

We shared on who a lay minister is, how someone becomes a lay minister, their formation, duration of their service, if they are accepted by the community, their relationship with the priests in the parishes, the need for a new spiritual advisor after the death of Fr Moses Lupupa in March, finances, year plan...

The meeting was very much down to earth. It gave me the picture I was looking for and I believe it gave them some of the answers to the questions they had. Until a priest is appointed to journey with them, I will remain their point of reference.

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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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