In the day which marks his first official visitation to Khanya House, SACBC Head Office, since his election as the first SACBC Vice President and the New Archbishop of Pretoria, Archbishop Dabula Mpako, was welcomed with warm reception by SACBC Staff members.
In her welcome regards on behalf of the staff members, Sr Hermenegild Makoro CPS, the SACBC Secretary General, thanked His Grace for setting aside a special time to visit Khanya House. She highlighted the importance of his visit as it gives confidence to the secretariat, especially for the fact that the Archbishop is the second in command in the conference, and the secretariat directly reports to him, and the Secretariat exists in the territory of the Archdiocese of Pretoria where the Archbishop is the chief shepherd.
During his opening remarks Archbishop Mpako emphasised that though born in Eastern Cape he spent most of his life in Pretoria. “I attended my seminary years in Pretoria, ordained and worked in Pretoria during my priestly years, taken away for a short time as the Bishop, but now I am back in Pretoria. Pretoria is my home”, he said.
In his homily the Archbishop reminded the staff that there are always two realities in life which as the faithful we have to make a choice between them. “There is a life of grace and the life of sin. The choice of sin brings death and the choice of grace brings life. If we choose Christ we choose life but if our choice is on the side of sin we choose to become slaves. We are always faced with this challenge of discernment between what is good and what it is not. We need to be awake to discern between the will of God and what militates against it. We need to make conscious and fundamental decisions of our life every day”, he said.
Archbishop Mpako said it is very important to be conscious of what we do and how it contributes towards righteousness, as we commit ourselves to different activities of every day. He said we should always take a moment to reflect about what we do and avoid being sleepwalkers, who are doing things they are not aware of, but instead going with the flow by doing what is being done without any value. He said we should ask ourselves every time about the value of what we do, and be always conscious of what we do.
At the end of the Holy Mass Fr Patrick Rakeketsi CSS, who is the SACBC Associate Secretary General, introduced SACBC Staff members to Archbishop Mpako, according to their different SACBC Departments and Offices. As some of the staff members are not Catholics and not familiar with some of the portfolios in the Catholic Church, Fr Rakeketsi firstly started by explaining to the staff about Archbishop’s attire, its meaning and the responsibilities entrusted to the Archbishop.
Fr Rakeketsi said as the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Pretoria, Bishop Mpako is also entrusted with overseeing and supervision of other dioceses under Pretoria: Rustenburg, Polokwane, Tzaneen, Gaborone and Francistown, both in Botswana.
Again Fr Rakeketsi said as the Archbishop he is entrusted with the responsibility of continuing the mission St Peter; sharing the extension of the authority of the Pope. “In order to highlight the responsibility entrusted to him as the Archbishop he is given a Pallium by Pope who appointed him, which is normally given on the Feast of St Peter on the 29th June”, Fr Rakeketsi explained.
During his closing remarks Archbishop Dabula Mpako thanked all staff members and congratulated them for the work they are doing.
By Fr Paul Tatu CSS (SACBC Communication and Media Office)
SACBC, Khanya House – Pretoria