#SACBC - The working session has started!

Sr Hermenegild Makoro, SACBC secretary general

The day started with the celebration of the Mass, presided by Bishop Sandri (Diocese of Witbank). Being the feast of St Agnes a girl born in the year 291 and martyred at the age of 12 or 13, Bishop Sandri said: "What amazes me is that we still remember Agnes, this small girl, after so many centuries and many people are still inspired by her. Indeed God uses the simple and the small to make the Word present and alive in our world". 

Then, sharing on today's passage from Mark 3: 1 - 6 where Jesus is grieved to find the Pharisees so obstinate he commented: "I pray that we, Bishops, may be responsible, firm, strong, clear and perseverant, but not obstinate"

To download Bishop Sandri's homily, click HERE

Archbishop Mario Cassari (Apostolic Nuncio) and Archbishop Stephen Brislin (SACBC president)
The working session started after breakfast and we welcome the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Mario Cassari. He spent a couple of hours among us. He addressed us and answered our questions. As usual, some of them concern the appointment of new bishops. Once a new bishop is appointed to the Vicariate of Ingwavuma all the dioceses would have a shepherd and, who knows, the time might come to appoint very much needed auxiliary bishops. 

His addressed was followed by the one of the SACBC president, Archbishop Brislin (Cape Town) and the one of Sr Hermenegild Makoro, our Secretary General.

All the reports celebrated the appointment of Fr Victor Phalana as bishop of Klerksdorp and the appointment of Sr Makoro as member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. We are all very proud of the fact that Pope Francis has chosen our Secretary General to be a member of this Commission. She will be attending her first meeting at the beginning of February in Rome.

In the second half of the morning we shared on the coming Synod on family. Together with Cardinal Napier OFM, the conference sends two other delegates. Archbishop Brislin and Bishop Mpambani (Kokstad) were elected by us. Bishops Mpako and De Groef were also chosen to be on "standby" in case any of the two is not able to attend. 

Having chosen our delegates we discerned on ways to prepare our contribution being aware that "the episcopal conferences are asked to choose a suitable manner of involving all components of the particular churches and academic institutions, organizations, lay movements and other ecclesial associations" (Lineamenta Preface).

The report of the Secretary General included a number of issues this plenary session is asked to reflect upon. Part of afternoon session was dedicated to that and to consider possible pastoral statements. 

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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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