' The dangerous memory of Jesus Christ ' (Bp Barry Wood OMI)

After Pope Francis launched a year of consecrated life, the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference immediately planned two events to be held to celebrate it. The idea was to bring together all the bishops of the conference together with the religious, priests and lay people. In order to do that they had to happen during our plenary sessions of January (Pretoria) and August (Mariannhill).

The first event was planned for January 2015 and would be held in Gauteng province but had to be cancelled due to the episcopal ordination of Bishop Victor Phalana (Bishop of Klerksdorp). 

The second one for KwaZulu - Natal was planned for ... today! Being a Monday and a public holiday it would be possible to bring together many people. The place: St Joseph's Cathedral (Mariannhill).

Click below to see some photos
taken by "Umzimkulu diocese"

The place was packed to capacity and some had to follow the celebration from outside. We started with morning prayer.

Morning prayer before the celebration of the Mass
Mass was presided by Archbishop Stephen Brislin, SACBC president. The choir from Umlazi Deanery led brilliantly. 

Bp Barry Wood OMI (auxiliary bishop of Durban) was entrusted with the homily and he alternated English and Zulu all the time. He asked the religious to keep alive "the dangerous memory of Jesus Christ"

By clicking on the player below, you can hear it.

After the homily religious (and all present!) were invited to light their candles and renew their vows. Before the final blessing

  • Fr Pius Afiabor MSA president of the Leadership Conference of Consecrated Life reminded us of the main points of Pope Francis intentions when launching this special year,
  • Fr V. Mkhize CMM introduced all the female and male religious communities present giving us all a picture of the rich diversity of charisms serving the metropolitan province of Durban (Durban, Dundee, Eshowe, Ingwavuma, Kokstad, Mariannhill, Mthatha, Umzimkhulu)
  • Sr D. Mkhize FSF thanked all the people who made the event possible.
Jubilarians (Silver and Golden Jubilees) were called to the altar for a special blessing.

After Mass we all gathered for a "bring and share" lunch celebrated in the open. It was a great opportunity to greet friends and to spend time together.

Prayer for consecrated life

Loving Creator
we thank you for the gift
that Religious Life has been
within our church and society.
Help us to nurture this gift
so that the Congregations may continue
to be a healing presence in our world.
May we all respond to the realities
of our present times,
in ways that promote your reign now an din the future.
May your Kingdom come
may your will be done.


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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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