The usual 'unexpected' visit


Holy Trinity Sunday I was able to continue visiting the communities of the Diocese of Manzini. As usual, unannounced and helped by the local priest who asks someone to go with me and show me the way.

The first Mass was at Mlindazwe, an outstation of Good Shepherd Parish (Siteki). We arrived on time and the people immediately recognised my car and started celebrating my visit. There was just one little problem. Someone had announced Mass would be celebrated not at 09.30 as usual but at 11.00. Part of the community was there and part... was not. Before I could say something they started phoning the others: "the bishop is here, come quickly". Someone got into his bakkie and left to collect people at home. 

I was asked to wait (which I did) but could not wait too long because I still had a second community to visit. When I was starting Mass, the bakkie arrived back and doubled the number of those present. I wonder how many people were inside that bakkie!

At the end of Mass we took a photo together... and many more with some of them. I kept on looking at my watch wondering if I would arrive on time to the next Mass. "Bishop, please, one more thing before leaving... Would you please bless with Holy Water the work we have started? Your presence today makes sure we will now finish our new church". Couldn't say no... 


We then continued to St Martin's and, of course, we arrived late. The church was practically full. They had already started their "service without a priest" because, in fact, they were not expecting one (the priest goes only once a month to each outstation). They stopped as soon as they saw my car coming in and... got ready for Mass. 


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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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