Our Lady Flight Into Egypt ~ Mary is honoured as the Chief Patron of our Diocese of Port Elizabeth. In accordance with the official liturgical Pastoral Guide it is therefore elevated to a solemnity (big feast) for the local church and celebrated on the Sunday that occurs on 4th February or between the 4th and 10th February each year.

Alleluia! we have a new bishop

Today, the 28th of June 2014, Fr. Vincent Mduduzi Zungu OFM, was elevated to The Right Honourable Bishop Vincent Mduduzi Zungu, Bishop of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth.

To learn more about our new Bishop, please Read Here...

The cOAT OF ARMS of our new bishop

Explanation of the Bishop’s coat of arms

1. Right in the centre of the shield, the crest is dominated by the ‘Diaz cross’ or padrao as it is sometimes called. It represents the earliest known contact of Christianity with this Southern part of Africa. It recalls the Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Diaz who landed just east of Algoa Bay at Kwaaihoek in March 1488 and planted the padrao cross on African soil in honour of the Christian faith. The 1st Mass may have been celebrated as well.


2. In the upper right-hand quarter is the Star of the Sea representing the Blessed Virgin Mary, the principal Patroness of the Diocese, invoked under the title of ‘Our Lady of the Flight into Egypt’ which is traditionally celebrated every year in February. We pay homage to God and honour the memory of many missionaries who came on our beautiful sea shores to bring Christ to local people and joy of the Gospel.


3. In the right-hand quarter below is a setting of an African home along the coast, surrounded by hills and green pastures, with a wide country road leading straight home. The home represents African values of family, such as, love, joy, celebration, compassion, respect, inter-generational solidarity, hospitality, warmth, identity, belonging, reconciliation etc. encapsulated in the belief system of “Ubuntu” ( ‘humane-ness’). A home is a sacred place where our first encounter with God is realized in the heart of the family. The Catholic Church sees itself as ‘Family of God in Africa’ where people of different languages and cultures are made to ‘feel at home’ – all the more this year (2014) dedicated to the Family.


4. In the left-hand quarter bellow is a golden harp representative of the yful faith of Irish missionaries: both, Diocesan and Religious, as well as male and female. Their spiritual, human and material contribution in the life of the local Church is immense. It is by no coincidence that the second Patron of the Diocese after the Blessed Virgin Mary is St Patrick. They are a constant reminder that the Church is by nature missionary, that’s the purpose for which it was founded and the reason for which it continues to exist. It is there to evangelize.


5. In the upper left-hand quarter is a Bishop’s golden staff, the crosier, recalling his principal ministry as shepherd. He must know his sheep so well that he “has a smell of their odour” as Pope Francis said on one occasion. The open book represents the Word of God, which is the source of life and the highest authority of the Church and the diocese.


6. All these old and new Christian traditions and symbols representing the rich cultural and linguistic diversity of the territory of the Diocese find their meaning, integration and unity in the life of God revealed by Jesus as the Divine Family of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The interwoven ‘Celtic rings’ in the centre of the crest represent the Most Holy Trinity, the founding principle of our Christian faith.


7. The Bishop’s motto is “ut unum sint” (Latin), “may they be one in us” (English), “eenwees in ons” (Afrikaans) and “mababe banye kuthi” (Xhosa) is taken from what has become known as the priestly prayer of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of John Chapter 17 verse 21. Jesus is filled and moved by the Holy Spirit and prays to God the Father for the unity of his disciples and all believers. The Bishop was informed of his pending appointment by the Holy Father during the last week of praying for Christian unity on the 22nd of January. It was officially made public on the 2nd of February, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple in Jerusalem.


8. The crest was designed by ‘Design at Bay’, presented as a gift to the new Bishop and to the Catholic Diocese of Port Elizabeth by Mrs Dipti Varghese, her family and their dedicated staff. The Bishop and the Diocese extend their most sincere gratitude to Mrs Varghese, the family and to the artists for this inspiring masterpiece.


9. Wishing everyone God’s abundant blessings and love!

+ Vincent Mduduzi Zungu OFM

Pope Benedict xvi appoints new nuncioH.E. Archbishop Mario Roberto Cassari

H.E. Archbishop Mario Roberto Cassari, Apostolic Nuncio to Croatia has been appointed Apostolic Nuncio to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland.
The Official Announcement Read more...
Downlaod the CV of H.E. Archbishop Mario Robert Cassari Read more...

LENTeN MESSAGE FROM THE VATICAN

“Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works”
(Heb 10:24)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Lenten season offers us once again an
opportunity to reflect upon the very heart of Christian life:
charity. This is a favourable time to renew our journey of
faith, both as individuals and as a community, with the
help of the word of God and the sacraments. This journey
is one marked by prayer and sharing, silence and fasting,
in anticipation of the joy of Easter. Read More....

Bishops' express deep concern at the education crisis in the Eastern Cape, urge action.

Children are the hope and future of the nation. Consequently, the Southern African Catholic Bishops, express their deep concern about the current crisis effecting schools in the Eastern Cape Province. Access to education is a matter of simple justice for each child - and it is incumbent on Government to provide it without fail.

The lack of infrastructure and the rundown state of schools as well as the ‘go slow’ by teachers is putting the future of many of our children at risk. The Eastern Cape Provincial Government must take appropriate action to rescue the floundering education system, which is denying children their right to education. Otherwise the government will be responsible for perpetuating the second class ‘bantustan’ education system, and contributing to the wide divide between rich and poor

Education plays a crucial role in building up a democratic society. Teachers as key role players must put the children first and teach them by example to be engaged and responsible members of society, who give meaning and purpose in life by being agents of change for the good of all. In order to achieve this, teachers must make teaching a vocation that is marked by conscientious work, professionalism, care, love and a breadth of vision.

We acknowledge the efforts that are being made to end the ‘go slow’, as well as government's attempts to arrest the slide to chaos. Nevertheless we call on national and provincial government to take full charge and control of the situation, work together with SADTU (the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union) to end the impasse as soon as is practically possible. They owe it to the future generations of the Eastern Cape to ensure that the doors of learning are open to all the children in the Province.

- Issued by the Office of the Secretary General of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference. (Copyright © 2012 Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, All rights reserved.) - www.sacbc.org.za

Abortion on demand was legalized in South Africa

Fifteen years have passed since abortion on demand was legalized in South Africa. Since then it is estimated that over one million unborn children were denied the most fundamental of rights, the right to life. We remember those one million babies. Those aborted fifteen years ago would now be in grade 9 or 10, bringing joy to their families and planning their own futures. Those whose lives were ‘terminated’ ten years ago would now be playing on the streets of our towns and villages in the evenings and singing and praying with us in our churches on Sunday. We regret that those children of God were denied the right to be born into God’s world and to enrich it with their own unique gifts and talents. We will never fully realize what we have missed because the law says “abortion is fine”.

When the legislation was being discussed those in favour of it said it would save some mothers from the dangers of what has become known as “back-street abortions”. We question if this has in fact been the case. On almost every electricity pole along the streets of our cities and towns there are advertisements for ‘safe and painless’ abortions. They are outside the Head Office of the Department of Health in Pretoria and on the boundary walls of our schools. If the advertising is so public and so widespread, then the demand for those” back-street abortions” must be high.

The position of the Catholic Church on abortion is clear and unambiguous. Just because the law says it is legal does not make it morally right. Each unborn child is created by God, “knit together in (its) mother’s womb” (Ps139.13). That unborn child is a human being with a human life that must be protected. He or she has a right to life, a right that must be respected by the mother and protected by the state.

Another right that must be respected by the state and its agents is that of conscientious objection. Those who believe that abortion is morally wrong have a right to refuse to participate in the medical procedures.

All of us, parents, teachers, members of the Church, must understand what a young girl is going through when she realizes she is pregnant. She needs our love, our support, our understanding and sometimes our forgiveness. We in the Church are committed to helping unmarried pregnant girls and couples tempted to take the abortion route in whatever way we can. We will never condemn, just as Jesus refused to condemn (John8.11)

As we remember the many children who have been aborted since February 1997, we also remember the mothers of these children. Just as we do not condemn a pregnant young girl, we do not condemn her if she made the mistake of procuring an abortion. Only she knows how much she has suffered as a result. She needs help and healing. We invite her to come and speak to one of our priests or counselors so that we can be part of reconciling her to God and bringing about healing.

Archbishop Buti Tlhagale, OMI,
On behalf of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference
30th January 2012
(Copyright © 2012 Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, All rights reserved.) - www.sacbc.org.za

essay competition 2012 - MY faith journey

Download Essay Competition PosterYou are invited to write an essay in English on your personal faith journey within your own and your family’s experiences in your local Catholic Church community.
A first prize of R1000.00 (one thousand rand) will be awarded to the best written essay that realistically portrays and reflects your own faith experiences within your local Catholic Church community.
There will be a second and third prize (of R500 and R300, respectively) for the next two well written essays on this subject, as well as consolation prizes (of a “YouCat” and an “African Bible”) from the Cathedral Bookshop. A cash donation will be awarded to the institution which submits the most entries.
Click to read more and download the brief and entry form.

 

OPEN LETTER TO THE HON. M.E.C. MANDLA MAKHUPHULA - EASTERN CAPE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Education for Liberation

Liberation before education was the war cry of the eighties and the rallying point for so many young people, especially those impoverished and marginalized by the Apartheid system of education. Like so many other slogans, the liberation before education mantra has led to wide-spread disillusionment and despair with the present education system. It has contributed to a distorted understanding of what true and integral education is all about. Read more ...

Protection of Information Bill

Statement by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, Archbishop of Durban and Spokesman for the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference(SACBC)

The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has serious concerns about the wisdom and the constitutionality of the Protection of Information Bill currently before Parliament, as well as about the need for the establishment of a Media Appeals Tribunal. Read more...

NEWS

  • NEW Tribute to Bishop Michael Colemen - Read it...
  • NEW Catholic Business Directory - Read it...
  • NEW Download the Liturgy for the Diocese Patronal Feast - English Afrikaans Xhosa
  • Knight's of Da Gama Council 19 DRAW CLUB 2011. You are invited to participate in the Knights of da Gama 2011 charitable fund raiser for Marrian Villa. You have a great chance to WIN by joining the "KNIGHT'S DRAW CLUB" Read all about it ...
  • Read Bishop Michael's Welcome message ...
  • New order of the Mass Download pdf ...
  • Pope Benedict XVI Encyclical "Caritas in Veritate" (Charity in Truth) Read more ...
  • Zimbabwe: From Crisis to Disaster to Genocide. Statement by Archbishop Buti Tlhagale OMI. Read more ...
  • NEW - One of a Kind Rosaries Read more ...
  • Bishop's Archive now open for researchers. Read more ...

the bishop appeals ...

Catholic Painting RestorationBishop appeals for restoration of 17th century painting. Read more...

Marian Villa, a home for women in a pregnancy crisis situation who have decided against abortion, was opened under the Bishop’s ‘Right to Live’ programme in May 1999 by Bishop Michael Coleman. Read more ...

Our ST. KIZITO program for HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children needs your help. Read more ...

Remember the Diocese in your will. Read more ...

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