Newsletter, April 2023

“Mother, formed from the depths beneath your heart, You know us from the inside out.

No deeds or seas or others, could ever erase that.”  – John O’Donohue

April 2023 (2)

Easter Greetings to all the Foundation Friends and Benefactors

I have been inspired by the three pictures above, sent to me by a loving daughter who accompanied her mother most exceptionally during her journey to the cross and then onto glory in the light of the Easter Resurrection of Jesus.

The pictures speak so powerfully of the need in each one of us to have a helping hand.  We need the help of others – kind and gentle family and friends to hold our hand when life is tough.  To reassure us that we belong to someone and that they care for us.   We need the hands of Our Blessed Mother holding us in our dying moments, “Holy Mary Mother of God Pray for us sinners now and at the how of our death. Amen”.  The comfort of the Rosary beads running between our fingers.

The poet John O’Donoghue writes in his poem On the Death of The Beloved

Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.   Your love was like the dawn
Brightening over our lives
Awakening beneath the dark
A further adventure of colour.   The sound of your voice
Found for us
A new music
That brightened everything.   Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You placed smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart.
Your mind always sparkled
With wonder at things.   Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was live, awake, complete. We look towards each other no longer
From the old distance of our names; Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.
Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.   Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.   When orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.   May you continue to inspire us: To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.

In this poem there is the line, “to enter each day with a generous heart”, this speaks to us of being grateful and of being open-handed.  We can become a helping hand to others.  It is not possible for us to solve all the very pressing problems in the world, in fact if we are honest, we cannot solve all the challenges and issues that we face in our own lives, but we can all do our bit.

The Foundation offers us that opportunity. In the recent past you, through your generosity have lent a helping hand to individuals both in the Church and outside.

You contributed to the building of a cast concrete wall around two schools, with approximately 1500 learners, to keep the children safe from gun fire, violence and objects which thrown over the wall at random.  This has allowed the learners to be in the playground during breaktime.  They no longer must stay indoors as they did after the previous wall was stolen cinderblock by cinder block.

You also contributed to the development of skills at a skills centre based in an informal settlement.  This centre caters for the young and unemployed and offers a broad range of skills such as welding, carpentry, catering, dress design, catering as well as basic computer skills.  In a country where the unemployment rate is in the region of 43%, depending on how you define unemployment, this ministry contributes to the development of the economy and potentially transforms the life of young people and their families.

There are many children in our communities who need the assistance of others to help them a life in which they can reach their potential.  They are unable to do this one their own.  These differently abled children need to be in environments of care and support and more especially so when the family is unable to provide this.  They are often not able to write you a thank you card, shoot off an email or give you a call but the reward of your generosity is seen in the smiles and the joy as they respond to the loving touch of the hands of their carers.  This is your reward.

The recent announcements of cuts in the Provincial budgets of the Department of Social Development are extremely worrying as they threaten to leave many without the care and the support that they need both in institutions of care as well as at home.  South Africa has many people who need basic care and support, and these cuts threaten to bring much suffering to the most vulnerable in our society.  The Foundation is not able to fill up the gaps left by the reallocation of funding, but we can reach out a hand to help.

If you would like to donate to the Foundation, especially if you have missed out for a while or have recently come to know of the Foundation or for any other reason, here are the bank details:

Account Name: SACBC Foundation

Bank:                            NEDBANK

Branch Code:               160445

Account number:         1604879564

Type of account:           Current

Remember to give your phone number as reference.

As we come the end of the month may kindness glow in our lives, may our hands reach out to others and our hearts expand with grateful praise for the many blessings that God has given to us.

With every good wish and blessing

Fr Hugh  (BishopsFoundation@sacbc.org.za)

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