Not just Mass...!


I had been asked to replace one of our priests at Mass on Sunday as he was attending a meeting in South Africa. 

ELwandle is an outstation of the Cathedral, outside Manzini. The community uses one of the classrooms at our school for the celebration of the Mass.

I had been there only once. It was in 2014 and I had started visiting the communities of the diocese. Though not difficult to find, I asked for someone to lead me to the place.

The celebration had been prepared with great care and they are already using the "new updated version of Mass in Siswati" which was launched not long ago. In fact, I congratulated them because this was the first place where I found a community following it in every word.

After Mass I was told that they had been asking questions about our faith in order to understand better what we believe and why. They were not just telling me... they wanted to know more. 

So, just there, a short session of "questions and answers" started about different topics: forgiveness of sins, sexual relationships before marriage, contraception and homosexuality.

I really enjoyed it. In fact I encouraged them to do it in a different way, choosing a certain topic and inviting someone to help them understand it better. Hope they will do so.

In fact, I wish all the communities would do so. I remember an Italian Bible scholar who used to quote a familiar text from the Gospel of Matthew: 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' He said: "also with all our minds... we need to understand our faith"

The "local council" of the outstation had organized lunch for everyone and I was invited to wait and join them. A lovely time together.

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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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