God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

20.02.2010 Time is flying

Saturday again – time is indeed flying and who says, that time is passing quicker when one gets older: that is correct. The time, I have felt in the earlier time for days, are now easy covering a months.
Yesterday I had my first meeting with the new Archbishop of Cape Town and we discussed some matters, amongst others the initiative of pastoral work for HIV positive priests and religious in our church. I hope to see in the next three weeks the chairperson of the Southern African Bishops Conference on this issue to move forward and to be able to report back in May, when I am in Rome.
HOPE Cape Town needed this week also some attention, sometimes there are times of multiple decision-making processes at the same time which binds all energies and needs lots of focus. At the same time I had to finalize the first planing of my next travels, which will bring me to Gauteng end of the month for two weeks, then in May to Italy and Germany and in July to Austria and Germany. In between a short break in SE Asia.

And when I thought that I don’t have to work during Holy week and on Easter – since Thursday I know that I will be busy and helping out on all those holy days. That will be the first time to celebrate all these mysteries in English; well as long as I don’t have to sing in English, I will survive. 🙂

It was a busy week and today I digged me into reading the white paper of renewal energy of the Western Cape to get a grip also on this topic. All the acronyms are a bit strange to me, but the material itself is not that difficult as I thought. Tomorrow then 2 church services which I will now prepare.

Filed under: General, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Reflection, , , , , , , , , , , ,

12.01.2010 Installation of a new bishop

Today, the invitation arrived via email to attend the installation of the new Archbishop of Cape Town, Stephen Brislin.  As always in the life of the church, a new bishop awaits a huge amount of different expectations and hopes. And these expectations and hopes are most times so far away from each other, that it seems to be a mission impossible to be a bishop in our days.  On the other hand: Within the church, a bishop has power and according to the CIC he is the head of the community of the faithful with many far-reaching rights. Especially when it comes to the lives of the priests – so much of their well-being hangs in balance with a good bishop’s rule. Humility and the knowledge, that we are all remain humans, even in the service of the church, are essential for such a service. And this is indeed the core of his vocation: To be a servant for the people of in this case Cape Town, to assist in the well-being of the people of God, to encourage and go with and lead those seeking to come closer to God.

And obviously, he does it not alone, but in communion with the other bishops and the bishop of Rome. In our days, it seems that this communion is rather centralized – word coming from Rome and filtering down to the different dioceses’.  From outside it looks and from inside it feels often as a one-way-road. It would be great if the communion and the collegium of the bishops will play a bigger role in the life of the universal church, so that also we from Cape Town, we from Africa can contribute more to the development of this universal church. It would also support the message of the African Synod which puts lots of responsibility on the church of Africa.

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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