My 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 to the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal collections in your different parishes. That is despite these challenging financial times, which is a true witness to your compassion, love and concern for the plight of the poor and needy served through the many projects, of the Church. At the time of writing this letter we have collected for the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal a total amount of R 9 805 616, 90
This is a decrease of 15% compared to what we raised last year which was R 10 663 809, 88.On behalf of the Bishops Conference, I ensure you of our continued prayers and gratitude for your generous giving, fully aware that the cost of living is a daily challenge for all of us. Therefore we take this opportunity to humble ourselves and thank you so much for this contribution.
The Bishops’ Lenten Appeal is the primary source of financial support for our local Churches Works, especially in these trying time. The challenges we are facing, regarding the abuse of women and children is a daily battle for us because we need to value woman in our lives, as a male dominated society. So with your help we can support this Mission of the Church. We echo the words of Pope Francis who made it clear in Amoris Laetitia that violence is never an authentic display of masculinity: “Unacceptable customs still need to be eliminated. I think particularly of the shameful ill-treatment to which women are sometimes subjected, domestic violence and various forms of enslavement which, rather than a show of masculine power, are craven acts of cowardice. The verbal, physical, and sexual violence that women endure in some marriages contradicts the very nature of the conjugal union” (Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, no. 54).
The Bishops’ in addition to being tasked with the responsibility of nurturing the spiritual well-being of our People are also concerned with the holistic development of the People of God. Your generous contributions to the Bishops’ Lenten Appeal continue to make it possible for them to be with you in supporting your rights and spiritual insights. We are extremely grateful to you for helping us fulfil our mission and this you have done faithfully over the years
This is how we will be using the money you so generously gave to the Bishops Lenten Appeal in 2019:
National Grants: R 1 500 000, 00 will be distributed between 10 applicants
Diocesan Grants: R 1 145 000, 00 will be distributed between 36 applicants
Our Seminaries: R1 900 000
SACBC General Secretariat: R 4 400 000, 00
Lenten Appeal Office: R 1 394 660, 94
This leaves us with a Deficit of R 535 044, 04 from the money that has been collected in Bishops Lenten Appeal in 2019. We also thank our anonymous donors who through the SACBC will help us with some of the projects.
May the good Lord continue to bless you all in the generosity of giving. It is through giving that we shall receive. May God bless your kindness.
Bro. Ashley Tillek, OFM
BLA National Director
2019 Bishops’ Lenten Appeal Contributions