On the 8th February, 2020 the organising committee for the launch of Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), convened into a meeting at Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto to evaluate the outcome of the launch of Catholic Church Pastoral Plan ‘Evangelising Community Serving God, Humanity and All Creation’.
During her opening address Sr Hermenegild Makoro CPS thanked different committees members for their unreserved commitment in making sure the event was successful. She also thanked the faithful of Regina Mundi together with their parish priest for their warm welcome, excellent cooperation, hard work and availability to make sure everything goes well.
Sr Makoro congratulated the Archdiocese and said the church in Johannesburg is alive and there is no regret for choosing it to celebrate the Launch of Catholic Church Pastoral Plan. She said, “If people of God are allowed to live their own baptismal commitments fully success is always realised”. She further said, “We now know as the conference where we should go in the future to make things happen”.
Expressing the importance of Regina Mundi Catholic Church in the history of South Africa she compared it with St Peter Basilica in the Vatican City, “Regina Mundi is our St Peter in South Africa. It bears the rich history of the liberation of South Africa and highlights the outstanding role the Church has played in building a new South Africa. She added that Regina Mundi has a rich history in the struggle of South Africa and the dream of liberation has been realised also through its contribution. She urged the faithful of Regina Mundi to be the first and most active in implementing Pastoral Plan.
When she was giving a report from SACBC Bishops about Pastoral Plan Launch celebration Sr Makoro said they were all very happy about the outcome. She said Bishop Sithembele, SACBC President, is also happy about how everything evolved. She also reported that Bishop Sithembele said Pastoral Plan does not belong to the Church alone; instead it is part of National Plan, as it contributes to the well being of all the people not only Catholics.
Sr Makoro said the SACBC President was a bit disappointed about the poor turn up of some different groups in the church who could have made the celebration more perfect. The president emphasised that we are a community; therefore we need always to work as a community and accommodate each other’s’ differences.
Sr Makoro also reported that the President of the country Mr Cyril Ramaphosa was also invited to take part in the celebration but because of other national commitments he could not make it. She further said there was a special delegation which presented the summary of Pastoral Plan to the President and the whole copy was given to him and he was pleased to receive it.
Sr Hermenegild, at the end of her address, also thanked the SACBC Bishops for accepting proposal to take the event to Regina Mundi and Archbishop Buti Tlhagale and Bishop Duncan Tsoke for accepting the proposal. She also thanked representatives from other denominations, government officials, Media representatives and other people who took part during the launch of Catholic Church Pastoral Plan. “I hope the same spirit will go during the implementation of the plan”, she said.
Despite some challenges here and there all the members of different committees also expressed their happiness about how everything went.
Fr Patrick Rakeketsi, SACBC Associate Secretary General, promised that SACBC Pastoral Plan copies will be soon available in different pastoral languages to all who need it.
The meeting ended with official disbanding of the committee by Sr Hermenegild Makoro, who has been chairing it since the beginning of preparations for SACBC Pastoral Plan Launch.
Catholic Church pastoral Plan was launched on the 26th January 2020 at Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto. Thousands of Catholics from Johannesburg Archdiocese and others from neighbouring dioceses attended the celebration.
By Fr Paul Tatu CSS (SACBC Communication and Media), 10th February, 2020