The Archdiocese of Johannesburg campaign committee of the cause of beatification of the founders of Little Eden Society visited St Patrick Catholic Church in La Rochelle to pray and to promote Domitilla and Danny Hyams journey to holiness.
In his address to the faithful of the south deanery on Saturday, May 20, Archbishop Buti Tlhagale called on all Catholics to pray for the cause of the beatification and canonization of the late couple. He also encouraged Catholics to visit Little Eden residential facilities in Edenglen and in Bapsfontein to meet and spend time with “the children and adults with profound and intellectual disability.”
Archbishop Tlhagale bemoaned some “African families’ stigma towards children born with a disability.” He said, “Some families feel ashamed of children born with disabilities… some families don’t give them the necessary treatment that they deserve.” He then proceeded to narrate the lives of Domitilla and Danny Hyams, their passion to care for children born with disabilities “often dumped at their doorstep.” He said, “the Hyams have in an extraordinary way, institutionalised love in the care offered to intellectually disabled children.”
Archbishop Tlhagale also praised the late couple’s devotion to Our Lady saying “Domitilla and Danny prayed the rosary every day… They led exemplary holy lives in marriage.” Speaking to the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) communications office, Archbishop Tlhagale said the eucharistic celebration “is part of the campaign we are doing in the archdiocese to make sure that every single Catholic hears and knows at least some background of Domitilla and Danny Hyams.”
“This couple from Edenvale has been proposed to the Holy See as to whether they can be considered worthy of being saints. And the committee is making sure that Catholics know about this campaign and pray for it and also pray for their own needs,” said Archbishop Tlhagale.
Archbishop Tlhagale further said, “By referring to the intervention of Domitilla and Danny Hyams, hopefully in so doing, they’ll come to know more about this couple, about how they lived their faith and why they are being proposed to be considered for sainthood.”
“This is the reason why we’ve gathered, but also to pray, to bring the people of the deanery together in celebrating their life as a deanery under the auspices of Domitilla and Danny Hyams,” he added.
Also present at mass on Saturday, May 20, was the promoter of the cause Fr Phuti Makgabo who called on parishioners to identify “at least two cause champions” to represent the parish at the campaign committee meetings held on the last Saturday of each month.
Laudato Si Week
Saturday’s celebration also saw the planting and blessing of the trees and the rosary garden of St Patrick’s Catholic Church to mark Laudato si Week observed from the May 21-28 to celebrate the seventh anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the care of creation.
According to the chairperson of St Patrick’s Catholic Church parish council Samantha Meyers, the Justice and Peace Commission will also start a cleanup campaign in the next months which will see the participation of parishioners from the south deanery.