It must have been a couple of years' ago when, one day during the week, people from Swazi TV appeared in my office wondering why the church of Monte Berico at kaMboke was falling apart. I did not know anything at all. We have more than 100 Catholic communities in Swaziland and I had just started visiting them.
Fr Ndwandwe (bishop's secretary) did know about it and shared with me his wish that something could be done. The TV offered to do a short interview and to put it in the evening news.
On Saturday 5 November, Catholics and non-Catholics gathered outside the renovated church for its reconsecration. Through the help of a number of benefactors around the world and the commitment of the local community we were able to bring this church... back to life!
I had never been there before. I had been told that it is far from Manzini no matter which road you take. Sometimes the road is shorter but with too winding or not in good condition... It would not be possible to reach the place in less than two hours.
We left early as we wanted to be there as early as possible. Still, many (if not all) were there before us. It was the feast of the community. Some, in fact, had to bear the strong sun outside the church as inside it was full to capacity.
During the renovations, the local community put time, work and... one of the most important things: they looked after the material to make sure nothing would get lost. On the day of the reconsecration, the different sodalities provided for the altar (altar cloths, candle holders...).
After Mass we ate together. It had been decided that no one would cook for all but each family would bring something to share. Some benches were organized outside the church... where our celebration continued!
Click on the photo below for photos of the celebration