Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bishop-elect for Polokwane Diocese - Jeremiah Masela

On 10 June 2013,The Holy Father, Pope Francis, appointed

Rev Fr Jeremiah Madimetja MASELA, as Bishop of Polokwane.

Apostolic Administrator of the same diocese since 09 December 2011, Fr Masela was born on 28 June 1958 in Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Doornspruit, studied at Pax College and did his priestly formation at St John Vianney Seminary before being ordained a priest on 15 December 1984 at his home parish.

As a priest, Fr Masela has served his diocese in various parishes including as administrator of the Sacred Heart Cathedral (2005-2008). He was a Vicar General from 1990-2004 when he joined the formation staff of his alma mater, St John Vianney Seminary as spiritual director and lecturer. On his return, his predecessor the late Bishop Paul Nkhumishe appointed him Vicar General again. He holds a Master’s Degree in Spirituality from St Augustine’s College.

He is expected to be ordained a bishop on Saturday 7 September 2013 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.We wish him well in his new ministry

Fr Andrew Shingange about to leave for studies in Rome

On Sunday 23 June the Parish of Tzaneen said a special farewell to Fr Andrew  who has been helping in the parish as well as directing the youth and vocations promotion to priesthood and religious life in the Diocese of Tzaneen. He will be studying at the Pontifical Urbania University for a licentiate degree in Canon Law. The bishop gave him a special blessing and everyone wished him  well and success. It was pointed out that living and studying in another continent and culture will not be easy for him but with the grace of God and the support of his teachers and fellow students,he will manage and adapt to the new situation. May the Lord protect him on his journey and may he learn well and continue to grow in the Spirit of God.
We will miss him and will be waiting for his return.Arrivederci!

Fr Andrew will soon be in Rome


World Refugee Day was commemorated at the Makhado Catholic Church hall on Saturday 22 June. The theme of the day was: "One family torn apart by war is one too many." The people who participated in this event came from different NGO groups and Government departments as well as as many people - young and old - who have benefitted from the work done by these groups in helping the displaced people forced to find refuge in South Africa. The day was organised by the Jesuit Refugee Service directed by the Project Director Bertha Chiguvare. There were a number of guest speakers representing the following organisations: the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;Jesuit Refugee Service;Department of Social Development;Musina Legal Advice Office;Somali Association of South Africa;International Organisation for Migration;Lawyers for Human Rights;Makhado Mayor's Office representatives.The the Catholic Church women choir as well as the Catholic youth sang songs of worship and the young people of the Musina Theatre Production put on a drama about the sufferings and consolations often experienced by refugees crossing from Zimbabwe to South Africa.The  day concluded with prayer and a lunch for everybody.

Inauguration of Tzaneen Catholic Women Association (CWA)

On Saturday 15 June,members of the Catholic Women Association from different parts of Southern Africa assembled together at the Holy Rosary School Hall in Malamulele for the inauguration of the Tzaneen CWA Diocesan Structure. It was a special event for the Diocese of Tzaneen women because they were officially mandated by their Pretoria mother body to function independently as a CWA Diocesan structure led and guided by the Tzaneen Diocese CWA executive committee for the first time. The executive as well as the newly enrolled members pledged their allegiance to the CWA before the bishop who blessed them after which they all received their badges of allegiance. Afterwards the women from the different branches proudly displayed their CWA flags in procession with great joy and thanksgiving to God. After the Holy Mass everyone enjoyed a meal of friendship with grateful hearts.The following are the executive members of the CWA Tzaneen Diocese:
President: Johanna Thabathi;Deputy-president:Patricia Mahuntsi;Secretary:Glory Mativandlela;Deputy-secretary:Audrey Mboweni;Treasurer:Rebecca Maphoru;Additional members:Cecelia Matshaka,Selina Ramahana,Zodwa Molapo,Maria Mpho Mojela.

The bishop appealed to the women with the following words:
You are now full members of the Catholic Women's Association.CWA is inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit.The aim of the association is to encourage Catholic women to grow spiritually,lead a life of prayer and experience the power of the Holy Spirit within them.You are encouraged to utilize the gifts of the Holy Spirit to serve God and humanity.You are expected to serve the Diocese under the guidance of the bishop and the priests.These services must be rendered in the spirit of humility,love and prayer,following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ,who was always led and inspired by the Holy Spirit.May the Holy Spirit guide you and our Father in heaven bless you. AMEN.



Fundraising Event at Senwamakgope,St Scholatica Parish

On Sunday 16 June Bishop Joao visited the Catholics of St Scholastica Parish at Senwamakgope for the annual diocesan fundraising event.It was a special day because it coincided with "fathers'day" as well as the national Youth Day memorial. It was one of the most lively events of the year with a special marimba choir from Tiyani leading the singing during worship.
Bishop Joao blessed the fathers and the youth and children during the Mass. After the Mass the fundraising took place with singing and dancing by the the 17 smaller and bigger communities which make up the parish as a whole.Everyone contributed according to their abilities and the day was a wonderful success.God loves a cheerful giver!Below are some photos of the event.


Deacon Boitumelo Magoro

On Sunday 9 June Boitumelo Dominic Magoro was ordained a deacon by Bishop Joao Rodrigues in Dwars River Parish. Of special significance was the testimony about Deacon Boitumelo's family background and the pioneering missionary work by his grandfather,the late Mr J.Magoro, who initiated and organised the first Catholics in the Dwars River region.The first holy Mass in that region was celebrated on 31 August 1934 at the Magoro's home.Deacon Boitumelo has a brother who is also an ordained priest,Fr Martin Magoro. It was a wonderful celebration and people came from as far as Phalaborwa and Thohoynadou to witness his ordination. Deacon Boitumelo is now serving in the parish of St Scholastica.
May the Lord continue to protect and sustain him in his life and may his ministry be blessed with the fruits that will last.

The picture of the late Mr J.Magoro being shown to the congregation

St Brendan's Confirmations and farewell to Fr Joachim

On Corpus Christi Sunday 2nd June, 28 learners were confirmed by Bishop Joao during a special holy Mass at St Brendan's Secondary School in the Parish of Dwars River. It was also an occassion for the Bishop to wish farewell to Fr Joachim Sangu who had been serving at the school as a chaplain for the past few months.He returned to his home diocese in Tanzania on 10 June.

Fr Joachim Sangu



On Wednesday 3 April 2013 our Roman Postulator for the cause,Fr Jean-Jules Chassem MSC, handed in copies of the Positio – book to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The Positio – book will be studied first by the group of theologian consultors. We expect this study to be completed by the end of this year,God willing. If majority pass it, it goes to the prelates of the Congregation.If the prelates of the Congregation approve, the Prefect of the Congregation publishes the “Decretum Super Martyrio of the Servant of God ” and authorizes that the person be called Venerable.
The Prefect of the Congregation will then present the cause to the pope for the pope to decide on whether the Venerable martyr can be beatified or not.Finally the pope declares beatification at a special Mass in honour of the newly acclaimed “Blessed martyr.”
The process in the Congregation can be quite slow but we have an advantage because a miracle is not required for the beatification of a martyr. As soon as his martyrdom is approved by the Congregation then the door is open for the pope to declare him a martyr for beatification.

We are now praying the special prayers of the Novena in honour of Benedict Daswa.Copies of the Novena prayers can be found in the Diocese of Tzaneen website:

We are prayerfully confident that the Lord is already blessing Southern Africa in a new way through the intercession of Blessed Benedict Daswa. We are also praying that the the Lord will open the way for his beatification in the near future.May God in his mercy enlighten the hearts and minds of the members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to confirm what we already believe - that Benedict Daswa is indeed a martyr of the Catholic Church.

Friday, June 7, 2013

New Executive of the Diocesan Pastoral Council

The Diocese of Tzaneen has been blessed with a new executive of the Diocesan Pastoral Council.They are as follows:

Chairperson: Mr Sam Shitlhangu
Deputy Chairperson: Ms Rendani Mabaso
Secretary: Ms JohannaThabathi

They will serve the diocese for three years - from 2013 until the end of 2015. May the Lord guide and protect them and grant them the wisdom and courage they need to serve the people of God faithfully.

Johanna and Sam and Rendani

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Silver Jubilee of Fr Mathope Philemon Thobela

On Holy Trinity Sunday this year the whole parish of Tzaneen celebrated with great joy and thankgiving silver jubilee of priestly ordination of Fr Philemon Thobela. The celebration was held at the Tzaneen Showgrounds.Fr Mathope Philemon,born in 1954,studied for the priesthood at St Peter's and at St John Vianney Major seminaries and was ordained a priest on 22 May 1988 by Bishop Hugh Slattery msc at Lorraine Village in the parish of Ofcolaco. Fr Philemon served as parish priest of Sibasa Parish and then as parish priest of Tzaneen parish. He continues to serve also as the Vicar General and consultor of the bishop and as spiritual advisor of the Sodality of St Anne and in other portfolios.

May God continue to protect him and bless him with health and courage to serve the people of God and help many more souls receive the saving grace of the Lord Jesus in their lives. Ad multos annos vivat!

Deacon Philemon Manabela

BORN: 1931 - 06 -27                                 DIED: 2013 - 05 - 20

It was with sadness that we received the news that the retired deacon,Philemon Manabela,passed away after being ill for some time.
He had served in the Diocese of Tzaneen for many years first as a catechist and then as a deacon after his ordination in 1979. He will be dearly missed by his family and the people he served faithfully and patiently for so many years.May God grant him eternal peace and joy in the Heavenly Jerusalem.

"Happy are those who die in the Lord!Happy indeed,the Spirit says;now they can rest for ever after their work,since their good deeds go with them."
(Revelation 14,13)