Dioecesis Oudtshoornensis
Oudtshoorn, 10 May 2018

These days leading up to Pentecost call us to pray expectantly for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all our communities. It is also a time when many Christians gather to pray for Church Unity. Material for use for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity can be emailed from the Chancery on request for those who did not receive it. The theme this year is:-

"Your right hand, 0 Lord, glorious in power" (Exodus15:6)

The liberation and salvation of God's people comes through the power of God. The right hand of God can be understood both as God's sure victory over his adversaries, and as his unfailing protection of his own people. ln spite of the determination of Pharaoh, God heard the cry of his people and will not let the people perish because God is the God of life. By his control of wind and sea God shows his will to preserve life and to destroy violence (Ex 15:10). The purpose of this redemption was to constitute the Israelites as a people of praise recognizing God's steadfast love.

The liberation brought hope and a promise for the people.  Hope because a new day had dawned when the people could freely worship their God and realize their potential. It was also a promise:  their God would accompany them throughout their journey and no force could destroy God’s purpose for them.

200 Years of the Catholic Church in Southern Africa. The Bicentennial Year closes on 24 June with a celebration in Cape Town. Where possible all churches in Southern Africa are asked to have Mass or prayers and Church bells rung on Sunday 10 June at midday. There will be Midday Prayer and Benediction at St. Saviour’s Cathedral in Oudtshoorn at that hour. Hopefully something similar can happen in other communities as well.

BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF THE CHURCH. From this year this Memorial, recently instituted by Pope Francis, will be observed on the Monday following the Solemnity of Pentecost which this year is on 21 May.

In 1964 Blessed Pope Paul VI bestowed the title “Mother of the Church” on Mary. At the close of the third session of the Second Vatican Council he said: “We trust then, that with the promulgation of the Constitution on the Church, sealed by the proclamation of Mary as Mother of the Church, that is to say of all the faithful and all the pastors, the Christian people may, with greater ardor, turn to the Holy Virgin and render to her the honor and devotion due to her.”  May Pope Paul’s desire be fulfilled with our celebration of this new Memorial.

Corpus Christi The deanery celebrations of the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ will be held on Sunday 03 June at the following churches:

Central Deanery: St. Nicholas, Oudtshoorn

Western Deanery: St. Joseph’s, De Doorns

Southern Deanery: St. Mary’s, George

The annual procession with the Blessed Sacrament, celebrating the sacrament and signifying God’s presence in our world and in our lives, is a reminder that we are on a common pilgrimage to the Kingdom of God. May the Eucharist always be true food for our journey.

Confirmations will be celebrated on 20 May at St. Anne’s, Blanco and on 10 June at Christ the King, Worcester.

May the message of the Gospel of the Ascension resound in our hearts:

Go out to the whole world; proclaim the gospel to all creation.