A Pentecost of confirmations and pilgrims

Pentecost Sunday. Fr Dumisani Mazibuko OSM had asked me to celebrate confirmations at St Agnes (one of the outstations of "Santissima Anunziata" - Florence Mission). I still remember when I celebrated them at "Santissima Anunziata". It was probably the largest group ever. As I laid hands on each one of them, the double line of those to be confirmed finished outside the church. There were around 120 people. 

This time, instead, the celebration was done in an outstation. I used to do that in the Vicariate of Ingwavuma. There, in fact, I asked them never to bring them together and have one celebration in the parish. Celebrating the sacrament in their own outstation allows their community to be part of it and at the same time strengthens their commitment to serve their brothers and sisters as full members of the Church. 

It was a familiar, well prepared and joyful celebration. The church was beautifully decorated in red. The choir led so well that the whole church was part of every moment of the celebration.

We had a long session of photos and everyone remained for lunch.

Back in Manzini, I met part of the group of Catholic Men leaving on Friday for Fatima (Portugal) and Lourdes (France) via Spain.

It is a "men's thing". This is their third pilgrimage. The last one was in 2015 when they went to Israel. They were the very first group to keep updating us via social media of everything they were doing as they had free WiFi on the coach.

Remembering this and the experience of the previous group that went to Fatima a few weeks' ago I asked them once again to keep in touch with us so that we support them with our prayer as they also pray for us in Fatima and Lourdes. I reminded them that they become "ambassadors" of our diocese wherever they go. It is certainly very special to see Catholic men traveling together to different shrines in the world. I also asked them to make sure they share their experience with their communities once back home.