STATEMENT OF THE SACBC ON THE BRUTAL MURDER OF SISTER STEFANI TIEFENBACHER CPS.
The Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, in the name of the whole Catholic Church in South Africa, is shocked at the gruesome murder of Sister Stefani Tiefenbacher of the Congregation of the Precious Blood in Sacred Heart Home in Ixobho (KwaZulu-Natal).
The churches and, especially, the convents have always been centres of hope for our communities as they minister through education, health, charity and other social services. For a person just to break into a convent is despicable to say the least and violating the dignity of an elderly nun is evil and barbaric.
We pray for the Precious Blood Sisters, her family back in Austria and the community of Ixobho, including the Little Flower School, which she served for over 60 years.
We challenge the police to solve this case with immediate effect as well as the community who harbour the killers to report them.
Painful as it is, we forgive her killers and pray for their repentance. As we lay her remains at the Sacred Heart Home cemetery on the 27th April 2015, we hope her blood will water the garden of true freedom in our country and bring crime against women to the urgent attention it deserves.
22 April 2015
Issued by: Fr S’milo Mngadi, SACBC Communications Officer.
072 110 8613
WHAT IS THE BISHOPS’ FOUNDATION?
The foundation is a legally-registered body set up by the Catholic Bishops with a board of trustees appointed to manage the money donated to the Foundation. The Foundation is registered with the Tax Exemption Unit of SARS as a Public Benefit Organization (PBO), number 9036/267/17/8. As a PBO it can issue a section 18A tax exemption certificate to anyone who contributes to the Foundation.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE FOUNDATION?
The foundation’s purpose is to provide financial support to a number of charitable projects that request funding from the Bishops. The Foundation aims to support organisations/ individuals involved in strengthening the Catholic Church in Southern Africa through Catholic Social Action thereby strengthening the impact that the Catholic Church has in Southern Africa and abroad.
WHO ARE THE TRUSTEES OF THE FOUNDATION?
The trustees of the Foundation are the five Metropolitan Archbishops of Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Durban.
WHY SHOULD I MAKE A DONATION TO THE FOUNDATION?
Every parish and every diocese has its own specific needs and projects to be supported. The Foundation’s aim is to support projects on a national level rather than a local level. Individuals, groups, organisations, even non-Catholic groups appeal from time to time for assistance and the Foundation’s aim is to create a fund so that the Bishops can support these requests. The Foundation gives you the opportunity to share in the charitable work of the Church nationally.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY DONATIONS?
All monies invested go into a designated Foundation account and are invested. The Foundation will only distribute the interest earned on your Donation. In this way we hope to be able to build a self-sustaining Church. This is essential as support received from overseas is rapidly drying up. Through your donations and the interest earned thereon the Foundation will be able to support the Church and a number of its social and humanitarian projects. The more we raise for the Foundation the more interest we gain and the more we can promote Catholic Social Action projects.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MONEY RAISED?
An external auditor will prepare an audited financial report every year on the Foundation which will be made available on the SACBC website (www.sacbc.org.za). A narrative report will be published on the website annually detailing how much has been raised and how it is being spent. If you have donated to the Foundation you will receive regular updates throughout the year.
IS MY DONATION REALLY IMPORTANT TO THE CHURCH?
You ARE the Church. It is your support that ensures the Church will be there for you and your family – now and in the future. The Church as an institution needs your support and it is your opportunity to bless others as you have been blessed by the Lord. It is your opportunity to share in a special way in the work of the Church which basically is to build the Kingdom in the minds and hearts of people.
WHAT IS THE PRESENT STATUS OF THE FOUNDATION?
At present there is 20 million in the Foundation. But we need to grow the Foundation. We are appealing to all, business owners and wage earners to make a monthly contribution (by debit order or EFT) to build up the Foundation. A dam is made up of many raindrops. Be one of them.
In this great event at which, through the experiences of celebration, teaching, and fellowship, the Church all over the world will be reminded that the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of her life and action.
The theme: “Christ in You, our Hope of Glory. The Eucharist, Source and Goal of Mission” is meant to highlight the interconnectedness between Eucharist, Mission, and Christian Hope. Today there is a shortage of hope in the world perhaps as never before. Thus humankind needs to hear the message of our hope in Christ Jesus.
The 51st Eucharistic Congress is envisioned to provide participants with opportunities for experiencing and understanding the Eucharist as a transforming encounter with the Lord in his word and in his life-giving sacrice of himself.
This international gathering holds the promise of generating a more courageous and decisive carrying out of the Christian mission in the world and in society that are becoming more and more indierent and hostile to the faith and to the values of the Gospel.
Catechesis will include:
“The Christian Virtue of hope” Fr. Timothy Radclie, OP.
“Hope in a Secularizing World” Fr. Francis Molonely, SDB
“The Eucharist: Celebration of the Paschal Mystery” Fr. Robert Barron
“The Eucharist makes the Church, Church makes the Eucharist” Cardinal Quevedo.
“The Eucharist as Mission, Mission as Dialogue” Rev. Thomas Menamparampil SDB.
“The Eucharist and the Dialogue with Cultures” Cardinal Tagle
“The Eucharist and Mary” Cardinal Dolan
For more information & full itinerary and costing contact:
Bishop Jan De Groef: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fr Grant Emmanuel: Gemmanuel@sacbc.org.za 083 788 2468
Michelle Jardim: email@example.com 012 342 7917
THE STATEMENT OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE RECENT VIOLENT ATTACKS ON FOREIGN NATIONALS.
The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has observed with sadness the outburst of xenophobic violence in Durban which the Catholic Archbishop, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier has already condemned.
Our charter, the bible, is very clear “When a foreigner lives with you in your land, don’t take advantage of him. Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am God, your God”. (Leviticus 19:33-34)
We understand the anger that the people may be feeling towards the foreigners for various legitimate reasons. However, we are a nation of peace; we are a rainbow nation. We conquered apartheid with very little use of violence and a settlement was reached peacefully. The same principle of Ubuntu needs to be applied in order to calm the recent spates of violence and unrest.
While we acknowledge that the utterances by His Majesty, the king of the Zulu nation, never meant nor intended this violence, we believe that he should categorically condemn this violence and publicly propagate the value of hospitality entrenched in the Zulu worldview “isisu somhambi asingakanani singangenso yenyoni ”. This would amplify his influence as a peacemaker and a loyal leader of the soil.
We commit ourselves to pray to God for this situation to be resolved and to be available as agents to broker peace. We also commit financial support from the SACBC Foundation for the displaced people.
We urge the foreigners and expatriates to avoid being involved in any unfair labour and illegal business practices. We also exhort them to expose those who are here illegally and report any criminal elements among them. This is to be expected of every responsible citizen, both foreign/expatriate and native.
We urge our society to avoid irresponsible use of social media. Many graphics and verbal postings do very little to change the situation but exacerbate the violence. Before posting, always ask yourself if it will bring any good or if it will fuel the conflict.
Finally, we urge the government to take leadership in this matter. Leaders of this violent movement should have been identified and confronted for dialogue and accountability. Issues that provide a context for this horrible violence need to be addressed immediately.
May all South Africans remember that “whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it unto me” (Matthew 25:40) and that the Freedom Charter (1955) says “South Africa belongs to all who live in it.”
Released by : Archbishop William Slattery, the Spokesperson of the SACBC
Enquiries : Fr S’milo Mngadi, SACBC Communications Officer
Tel : 012 323 6458
Cell: 072 110 8613