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Bishop writes...

Oudtshoorn, 8 June 2017

'One Minute for Peace'

Pope Francis has invited us all to participate in the “Minute for Peace” TODAY at 1 p.m. (Thursday, June 8, 2017), in memory of the meeting of the Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Vatican Gardens with the Pope and with Patriarch Bartholomew I, to pray together for peace on June 8, 2014.

In his General Audience yesterday (Wednesday, June 7), in Saint Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said: “The initiative ‘One Minute for Peace’ is being taken up again in different countries. A moment of prayer on the anniversary of the meeting in the Vatican between me, the late Israeli President Peres, and Palestinian President Abbas. There is so much need, in our time, for praying – Christians, Jews and Muslims – for peace.”

Participants are invited to interrupt their daily activities and dedicate a minute to reflect and pray according to their religious tradition for peace in the world. This ‘minute’ can be done individually or in groups, in the street or in the church, in family, at school or in the workplace.

Most will only see this after the fact so take that minute now.
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred let me sow love …..”

Please continue to pray for those affected by the storms in the Western Cape. The death toll has risen to 9. Also, those who have lost lives and homes in the Knysna fires. Those who can assist the victims can leave supplies with Fr. Dennis Ongansie at the Oratory in Oudtshoorn. In George the main drop-off point is at EDEN Brandweerstasie, Pioneer Street.


About 350 young Catholics are expected to converge on our diocesan Youth Camp in Dysselsdorp this week-end. After months of preparation they are now ready for our first ever Mini World Youth Day. The theme was chosen by Pope Francis for this year. Mary’s words:

“The Lord has done great things for me. Holy is his name.”

The aim of this event and all other programmes and activities of our Youth ministry is “to help young people becoming living witnesses of the Gospel and so lead others to Christ.”

Thank you to our Diocesan Youth Council, the chaplain Fr. Dennis Ongansie, the priests and communities throughout our wide-spread diocese who do so much to promote Youth ministry. Our Church is Young, Creative, Hopeful and Growing. Pray that our young people and families will do what they can to promote vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life. We need many more Fr. Dennises and Sr. Teresas who commit themselves full-time to the spread of the Gospel and inspire those in other professions to serve God!

Coming up is the Youth Leadership weekend (30 June – 03 July) and the Children’s Camp (04 – 09 July). Quiwin Thomas who is preparing for the priesthood at St. John Vianney Seminary in Pretoria, will be assisting the leadership on these programmes.

Welcome to our Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Peter Wells!

Archbishop Wells will be visiting our diocese for a few days later this month. He will preside at the Corpus Christi Mass and Procession of the Central Deanery at the Cathedral. The nuncio is the representative of the Holy Father to the Church in the Southern African region as well as the Holy See ambassador to the countries of our region. Before being appointed to this position Archbishop Wells served for 14 years in the Vatican’s Secretariate of State. He hails from the USA and is resident at the Nunciature in Pretoria.

Corpus Christi – The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ – 18 June

Southern Deanery: St. Vincent Pallotti, Pacaltsdorp, at 10.00am.

Western Deanery: Begins with Mass at St. Maria Goretti, Parker Street, at 10.00am and then the Blessed Sacrament procession to Christ the King, Porter Street, for Benediction.

Central Deanery: St. Saviour’s Cathedral, Oudtshoorn, at 10.00am.


25 June – St. Elizabeth, Avontuur.

30 July – St. Christopher, Plettenberg Bay

Diocesan Sodality Conferences

Sacred Heart 23-25 June in Oudtshoorn

St. Anne’s 28-30 July in Plettenberg Bay


25 June: 200th Anniversary of the establishment of the Catholic Church in South Africa. There will be a special Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Cape Town. Fr Ashley Orgill O Praem will represent our Diocese.

05 July: Feast of St. Thomas. 11.00am Mass at St. Thomas’, Mossel Bay. Commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Church in Mossel Bay.

06 August: Feast of the Transfiguration. 50th anniversary of new St. Saviour’s Cathedral.

Justice, Peace, Charity and Development

Fr. Brian Williams will be conducting deanery workshops on the establishment of this ministry in the parishes. All welcome!

Western Deanery: St. Patrick’s, Swellendam on 25 June.

Southern Deanery: Ss. Peter & Paul, George on 02 July

Central Deanery: to be announced.

Bishop’s Meetings

08 July: Diocesan Pastoral Council Exec at Swellendam.

12-13 July: Joint Witness (SACBC and Consecrated Life Leadership) in Pretoria.

14 July: Catholic Board of Education in Pretoria.

18 July: Quiet Day at the Oratory with Anglican Bishop Brian Marajh of George and six Anglican and six Catholic priests. Will include 67 minutes of Service for Mandela Day.

01-08 August: SACBC Plenary at Mariannhill.

Move to George

Two committees have now been set up to begin the process of relocating the Chancery and the Bishop’s House to George. The convenor of the George Steering Committee is Mr. Pat Volkwyn of St. Mary’s, and they will propose possible venue/s in George.

The other committee in Oudtshoorn has Fr. Leon Mostert as convenor and they will look into the consolidation of the Cathedral complex and sale of the properties no longer required.

Frequently asked questions:

The diocese will still be known as the Diocese of Oudtshoorn.

The Cathedral remains in Oudtshoorn and will have a resident priest.

When will this take place? As soon as the work of these two committees is complete and proposals are made to the Bishop who will then consult with the Diocesan Finance Council and the Consultors before making a decision.

Any further queries may be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the subject line ‘George Move’.

Please pray for all those involved in this process that we will at all times be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

God bless.