Weleerwaarde Biskop Francisco Fortunato de Gouveia

Bishop writes...

Oudtshoorn, 1 September 2017

Happy Spring Day to all! In the Church it is the beginning of our celebration of the Season of Creation which ends on 4th October – the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Pope Francis declared 01 September the WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CARE OF CREATION in 2015, the same year he issued his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home. The Orthodox Church has commemorated the Day since 1989.

In our diocese we will all come together for our CELEBRATION OF CREATION on 25 September, the first day of a Novena for the Care of Creation called for by our Bishops’ Conference. The Novena concludes on the Feast of St. Francis, patron saint of Ecology.

Pope Francis, together with Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, is issuing a Message today in which they “invite all to assume a respectful and responsible attitude towards Creation.” They also appeal “to all who occupy influential roles, to listen to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer most from ecological imbalances.”

In 2015 Pope Francis explained the reason for proclaiming this day for the Catholic Church. “The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of Creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvelous works that He has entrusted to our care, invoking His help for the protection of creation and his mercy for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”



St. Blaize, Mossel Bay, on 25 September, beginning at 10.30 am


This Sunday the Sacrament of Confirmation will be celebrated at St. Maria Goretti, Worcester and on Sunday 10 September at Immaculate Heart, Worcester.

AGROP, the annual gathering of recently ordained priests will take place from this Monday to Wednesday 13 September. Our diocese will be represented by Frs. Luyolo, Christian and Charles. I shall also accompany them for most of the programme.

On 01 October there will be a celebration at St. Anne’s, Blanco at which a statue of Our Lady will be blessed. It is a gift from the Serrao Family of George who were pilgrims to Fatima’s  Centenary celebrations on 13 May at which Pope Francis presided.

Next week we bid farewell to Sr. Beena of the Providence Sisters in Oudtshoorn who returns to her homeland, India, after two and a half years with us. Thank you, Sister, for all that you did for the Church in this part of the world and our prayers and good wishes go with you. May God bless the next stage of your journey!

Please pray for Fr. David Dettmer’s mother who is seriously ill and also Deacon Lucas Timmers of Sedgefield who is receiving treatment for cancer. May the Lord bless them with strength and patience during this challenging time.

Pray also for Bishop Michael Wustenburg of the Diocese of Aliwal North.   We have been informed today that Pope Francis has accepted his resignation because of medical reasons. Bishop Adam Musialek of De Aar has been appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Aliwal North.   Earlier this month Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Valentine Seane of the Diocese of Gaborone and that Bishop Frank Nubuasah of Francistown has been appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Gaborone. Please pray for these bishops and the dioceses that God may strengthen them during this time of transition.

Praised be You, Lord, through Sister Earth our Mother who sustains and governs us - St. Francis of Assisi

"Take good care of creation. St. Francis wanted that. People occasionally forgive, but nature never does. If we don’t take care of the environment, there’s no way of getting around it." 

Pope Francis

"The ecological crisis shows the urgency of a solidarity which embraces time and space …. A greater sense of intergenerational solidarity is urgently needed. Future generations cannot be saddled with the cost of our use of common environmental resources." 

Pope Benedict XVI, World Peace Day Message 2010

Please spread the word about our diocesan celebration on 25 September and print out the attached poster for noticeboards, newsletters, etc.

May the Season of Creation bring you joy and fill you with praise for the Creator!