Discerning together

From left: Fr McDonnel SDB, Fr Ndwandwe, Fr Mahazule, Fr Dlamini
Diocese of Manzini
I remember some years' ago someone (a practicing Catholic and leader of a community) telling me that she believed the bishop stayed home the whole week and only going out on Sunday for confirmations. I was surprised about how little she knew about the life of her bishop. Generally speaking, the bishops in our Conference are all pretty busy and not sure how much we are really able to stay home.

In my case, this was a week for "consultors' meeting" both in the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland) and the Vicariate of Ingwavuma (South Africa). In each one of these places there is a team of five or six priests (diocesans and religious) that I have appointed and with whom I meet regularly regarding the journey of the church in our area. In Manzini they were appointed after consulting both the priests, the religious and the members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council.

Each meeting is clearly different as I am now the bishop of Manzini while I have become the "administrator" of Ingwavuma, being with them until a new bishop is appointed. Manzini and Ingwavuma are also in two different countries and, therefore, the context is very different. One is a diocese since 1951 and the other one is a Vicariate which talks about a younger Church.

In Ingwavuma we took some time to reflect on how the Vicariate is going through this time without having a resident bishop. We realized the priests' meeting we were having every two months had stopped and we need to go back to them from next year. This coming November, instead, we will make sure we have our usual annual general meeting and it will be held at our new "St Lucia Retreat and Training Centre".

In Manzini we realized that next year we will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of the first diocesan synod celebrated in 2005. It will give us a good opportunity to reflect on the journey done and what God is asking us to do (and to be!) in the Kingdom of Swaziland.

What is common in both places is the good spirit among us and the quality of the sharing.

From left: Fr Mkhwanazi, Fr Ntsele OSM, Fr Doherty OSM, Fr Nkosi
Vicariate of Ingwavuma
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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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