SACBC Lenten Appeal National Director’s Message

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

On behalf of the Bishops of Southern Africa I would like to thank you, once again, for your wonderful response. Despite these challenging financial times, which is a true testament to your compassion and concern for the plight of the poor and needy that is served through the many projects served through the mission of the Catholic Church. At the time of writing this letter we have raised a total amount of R 9 819 701. Unfortunately this was 3% lower than what we raised last year which was R 10 093 642. But we continue praying that this will improve because we are aware that the cost of living is a daily challenge for all of us.

The Bishops Lenten Appeal is the primary source of financial support for our local church’s activities. The Bishops, in addition to being tasked with the responsibility of nurturing the spiritual wellbeing of our people are also concerned about the holistic development of the people of God. Your generous contribution to the Bishops Lenten Appeal continues to make this possible. We are extremely grateful to you for helping us fulfil our mission and this you have done faithfully over a period of 50 years.

Lenten Appeal is 50 years old

Yes, for 50 years you have faithfully supported the Bishops Lenten Appeal. When I mentioned this to a priest from the Archdioceses of Durban recently, he remembered the day he first put something in the mite boxes and so clearly he said: “I gave my spending of a penny for the Lenten Appeal”. This is where I would like to begin today. Thank you to you all, we all remember the day we gave our spending money for this worthwhile cause. As children the mite boxes played an important role, we all wanted to just fill it up let us pray that this spirit will continue among our children today.

If we look at the records of the first National Lenten Appeal just over R 100 000 then were collected. Today we stand at let’s say 10 million rand. Thanks to you all this money is spent for the needs of the Poor and Needy of the Church. On the opposite side of this page you will get a breakdown and see how your money is working.

We have reached that stage where we appreciate the kindness of the Catholic Community for the work that they are doing to fulfil what the Pope is teaching us daily. In his recent visits he has been visiting Hospices, and hospitals to offer his service to the sick and also at prisons to visit the prisoners. We all cannot do this works of grace, but by the support we giving the Church we allow Sister or Father the opportunity to visit the person in prison and see how we can help his family by buying a simple pair of shoes to put the child through school. We also help the migrant that have arrived here with nothing on his back and have to endure the injustice of society because he is a stranger. We go out of our way and help him.

50 Years ago the Bishops Conference said, let’s help our under-privileged people in their need for education. The Church opened its arms and hearts and did this, many of our Catholic schools in the townships benefitted from this, and see today we have good leaders in the form of Parish Priest, Bishops and laity. The First collection was not a loss, it helped and still is helping towards the growth of the Church in the Conference of Southern Africa. Thank you.

We can see that the monies collected are just not for the works of the Church, but for the poor and needy. The works of the Church is looked well after because this is where the people really need our help, so please next time during the Lenten Appeal period remember the Father, Sister, Brother and laity doing this works on your behalf, and they are fully accountable to you for what they are doing. Support them not just with your generosity in the annual collection but also by praying for them to be “good and faithful servants”.

May the good Lord continue to bless you all in the generosity of the work that you are doing. It is only through giving that we shall receive. May God bless your kindness through the love your heart reflects.

In Christ


Bro. Ashley Tillek, OFM

BLA National Director



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