Most Reverend Lawrence Henry, Archbishop-Emeritus of Cape Town, was called to eternity at 23h45 on the eve of Ash Wednesday, 2014. He had been diagnosed with cancer a day before.
Archbishop Henry was made Auxiliary Bishop of Cape Town on the 16th August 1987 and installed the Archbishop on 29th August 1990 following the death of Archbishop Stephen Naidoo CSsR. He retired on 18th December 2009. He continued to be active assisting in leading services whenever requested.
“Remember your leaders who preached the Word to you, considering their end, imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7)
May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
“He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich.”
(cf. Cor 8:9)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Thank you so much for your very generous contributions to the Bishops’ Lenten Appeal Collection for 2013. An amount of R9 405 517.32 was raised, almost a million rand more than the previous year’s collection. This is truly amazing especially in this difficult financial times.
This year, in collaboration with the Department for Evangelisation we have chosen the theme: “Belonging to Christ, Committed for Mission” as our Lenten Theme. We will all be encouraged to reflect, during this most wonderful season, on how closely we belong to Christ and just how committed are we to his mission. This is a response to the call by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for the universal church to embark on New Evangelization – a new way of living and sharing our Faith. Read the rest of Lenten Appeal 2014 »
ON THE FORTHCOMING ELECTIONS
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On the 7th May 2014, we will once again have the opportunity to exercise our democratic right at the polls.
As we approach the elections, politicians call for our support through the use of the TV, radio and other media. It is important that we listen carefully and make up our minds as to how best to vote.
Trying to discern the call of the Holy Spirit in the midst of all this human activity is something which the Prophet Jeremiah encouraged the people of Israel when he addressed them, saying:
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11)
In this spirit of faith, we are invited to hear Pope Francis when he writes in his recent Apostolic exhortation, ‘The Joy of the Gospel’, that “Responsible citizenship is a virtue and participation in political life is a moral obligation.” (The Joy of the Gospel, par. 220)
Virtue is a habitual way of acting when we are led by the Holy Spirit. And so Pope Francis encourages us to get involved in whatever way possible because, as he writes, “Politics [is] a lofty vocation and one of the highest forms of charity, in as much as it seeks the common good.” (The Joy of the Gospel, par. 205)
We therefore urge all Catholics to make every effort to vote as ‘responsible citizens’; and thoughtfully and prayerfully to participate in the responsible governing of our country. You will do this by voting and supporting those parties and organisations which work for the good of all our citizens.
Vote for political parties whose policies truly serve all our people especially the poor and vulnerable. We must reject any sign of greed, ethnicity, corruption and self-enrichment.
In the light of what our Christian faith teaches us we propose the following criteria to help us to discern how to vote and with which political agency to align ourselves.
Our participation in political life requires that we promote:
Dear Brothers and Sisters there can be no better way of celebrating the freedoms which we enjoy than by participating fully in our country’s elections and participating in the shaping of our country. Let us pray and work earnestly at this moment for a peaceful, free and fair general election.
We ask that the following prayer be prayed every day and at the celebration of the Mass from now until the election results are announced:
Lord make me an instrument of your peace
Lord we pray that the forthcoming election may bring about a deepening of our democracy and that we will carry out our duties as citizens responsibly and with respect for the rights of others. May the choices we make bring hope to the poor, unity to all our people and a more secure and peaceful future for our children. Amen
Your servants in Christ
The Bishops of Southern Africa.