Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

This month again saw us conducting a funeral of a significant person in the history of Diocese, Bishop Emeritus of Mthatha, Bishop Andrew Zolile Brook. Although anticipated, it was not expected, but we thank God for the strength and the grace he gave us to conduct yet another dignified send off for his servant.

Gratitude once more to all involved in the preparation of Bishop Brook’s funeral, not forgetting his family that lovingly took care of him up to the time of his departure. May his soul and the souls of the other three Emeriti Bishops rest in peace. The family is equally grateful to the diocese for the dignified send off of their uncle, read for yourself below![1]

Thank you for the engaging Diocesan Pastoral Council, and again those who were involved in practical preparations, particularly the committee and the Cathedral Parishioners who were in the forefront for catering, to them we are grateful. We congratulate the newly elected chairperson of the MDPC Fr. Majingolo together with his committee, namely his vice, Fr. Ponya, the secretary Sr. Adelina, her vice Mr. Moshoeshoe and Mrs. Elizabeth Raj the treasurer. The new chairman will soon communicate the results of Council proceedings and issues that need follow up.

One issue I would like to mention with gratitude from the Diocesan Pastoral Council is the generous giving for Isivuno, which is R380.437.15 more by almost R17.000 than last year. This contribution will go a long way in meeting the expenses of the students next year and the priests that we are expecting to arrive from Congo. Given that the parishes of our diocese also made a contribution of about R100.000 to the SACBC foundation fund, one cannot but appreciate the sacrifice made to collect such an amount of money. Thanks go also to the Sisters who put a hand for Isivuno collection. As they say in Xhosa, “from where you have taken, may increase occur”.

The ordination of 4 Deacons in view of priesthood, now Reverends Thembalethu Sandondo, Luthando Xhamlayo, George Kageche and Motlatsi Phomane was a happy conclusion of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. The Reverends will continue to work in the parishes they have been and will be reassigned when the contemplated change of priests takes effect.

The deadline for the submission of offers for the old cars that we are selling is now over, but we are still looking for Catholics who have administrative skills to apply for a post of Hostel Manager in Cwele. As you will remember, Sr. Leah who passed away last month, was a manager of the Hostel in Cwele, in addition to a host of other tasks that she was doing. Our next common activity is the Priests retreat which shall be held at Coolock house from 17th to 21st of this month, I look forward to seeing you there.

Another piece of information is related to progress in communication. With the help of Mariannhill Mission Press, we now have a website for the Diocese and you can access it in this address http://dioceseofmthatha.mariannhillmedia.org/. It also has a Facebook and two people already have written to say that they like the Diocese of Mthatha, two!!! Well you have to start somewhere! I am hoping that new deacons will be the first news item to appear in our Web, check them out!

In this regard we are looking for information to help to populate this site, which is still quite empty, “iselinxiwa” and somebody who could be a contact with Mariannhill Media that is building it up for us. But I do not suppose it should be filled with anything, but something worthwhile and tasteful. The Mariannhill Media is prepared to train somebody to add and edit information and pictures that could go into our website. Perhaps among the Reverends one of them might just be having a natural ability for it. Maybe you could also read this news letter from the Website, see you in the Web!

Closing on a serious note, as you know, Msgr Tsalong has not been well, but I spoke to him this morning, and he sounded better, and confirmed that he feels better, he could be out of hospital by next week I hope. A close friend mine Fr. Vincent Kupiso on the hand in Grey Hospital Natal is really struggling to live please keep him in your prayers. My mother has also not been well, but she appears to be improving, I will be grateful for your prayers for her.

Yours sincerely in the Lord

Bishop Sithembele Sipuka

Bishop of Mthatha

[1] VOTE OF THANKS

To the Bishop, the priests, the choir and the congregation:

Thank you for the wonderful efforts of making it possible for the funeral of our uncle Bishop A.Z Brook.May God grant you the strength and courage to handle these functions all the time.

The Choir,

Khange sazi ukuba kukho imilonji enje e Mtata , hayi niyayenza into ekuthwa kukucula, Nizii mvumi zase Bhelema.

Intle lento kwaye izithuthuzele ii ntliziyo zethu  ebezikrazukile. Ningayiyeki ke into u Thixo anaphathise yeno.

Sohlala siwukhumbula lomculo umyoli.

The Congregation,

We are great full of your support during our difficult time.

We have no words to thank you for your marvellous support.

God bless All Saints!

Ivela

Koo Krila, koo Thangana. E Tinara.

To all Pastors, Pastoral Workers