On gardening and wedding anniversaries


The plan of the visit of Archbishop Peter Wells (Apostolic Nuncio) to the communities of the Diocese of Manzini included presiding Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows (Hluthi) for the 40th wedding anniversary of Mr and Mrs Jele (Tom and Ivy). 

As the program was shared on social media we got a last minute request: "Would you please Bishop leave a bit earlier and stop at Hlathikulu on your way to Hluthi? We would like the archbishop to visit our garden. It is on by the road. It will not take you more than 15 minutes"

Being a project regarding environment and being run by men (St Joseph's) ... I knew the archbishop would love to visit it. I also knew they would keep time and would not really delay us.


As planned, the men were waiting by the road. Immediately we were taken to the garden and they explained the project helps the poor in an context of orphans, they are also able to support the refugee camp and contribute to the finances of the parish. 

They presented the challenge of getting tanks to better irrigate the area and how grateful they are at the support being given by the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC).

A basket with vegetables and a Swazi flag was their gift to the archbishop who was delighted at it.


Majorettes, the Mantellate Sisters and local community welcomed us at Our Lady of Sorrows. The Jele family was deeply happy at having the Apostolic Nuncio for the celebration during which they renewed their marriage vows.

During the speeches, the children (three boys and two girls) thanked their parents for the sacrifices they made to bring them up. They were also grateful for their fait and for sharing it with them hoping other parents would do the same with their children.

Their life of faith was, in fact, underlined by many: "without Christ at the centre you go for a downfall" ... "they would go together to take communion to the sick and elderly at their homes"

I shared with them my hope that couples would not only celebrate their weddings in church but also thank God every year on their anniversary (without having to include a meal for all the community, of course!). At the same time we, as a church, need to make sure we journey with them in their joys and sorrows.

Click below for photos of the visit to the Diocese of Manzini


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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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