The "first" confirmations as bishop of Manzini

Last Sunday the community of St Peregrine's (Bulandzeni) gathered for the celebration of the Mass and Confirmations. I had already been in that community just before Christmas.

This celebration was a special one as it was - somehow - the first time I celebrated confirmations since I was appointed bishop of the diocese of Manzini. I was the "apostolic administrator" of the diocese when I did the previous ones last year and the others were done as part of our Easter celebration in the Cathedral.

The other element that made them special is that it was done in SiSwati. When I became bishop of Ingwavuma in 2009, I found the ritual in Zulu prepared by my predecesor: Bishop Michael O'Shea OSM. All the communities of the Vicariate were already used to the text. 

I thought of doing the same thing now in Manzini. Fr Sandile Mswane (priest-in-charge of St Peregrine's) helped me with the translation of the text which will now be of help to the rest of the parishes of the diocese. 

The celebration was very well prepared, the spirit joyful and familiar. Lunch had been prepared for the whole community. No one remained behind. At the end, they packed my bakkie with gifts.

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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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