A new Catholic Resource Centre (CRC), which replaces the old Catholic Bookshop at the Chancery in Port Elizabeth, was offcially launched on Monday July 18th by Bishop Vincent Mduduze Zungu OFM.
The launch ceremony coincided with the beginning of Winter Living Theology School. The launch consisted of a Mass in the St Luke’s Chapel, followed by the Blessing of the CRC , and a celebratory social gathering, with snacks and fellowship.
Among the dignataries present were Fr. Russell Pollitt SJ (director of the Jesuit Institute), Fr. John Baldovin SJ from Boston College is the US, who is lecturing the Winter Living Theology School, Ursula van Nierop (Deputy director of Jesuit Institute), as well as Prof. Garth Abraham from St. Augustine’s University.
A few local Clergy and Religious attended, as well as representatives from our Diocesan Finance Committee, Catholic Education and Chancery Staff.
The CRC will be run by Denise Steenkamp, who can be contacted at 041 373 2854 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Message from Bishop Vincent:
The Catholic Diocese of Port Elizabeth has embarked on meaningful developments which I believe will be of value to everybody: the Clergy, the Religious, the Laity of all ages and all men and women of good will.
The Catholic Resource Centre (CRC)) which started as Bishop Coleman’s dream some 30 years ago became reality on the 18th of July 2016, while the ‘Cathedral Bookshop’ as a stand-alone entity ceased operations.
This Centre is structured on the solid foundations of our extensive library of religious books, which shall be made more accessible to the wider public through dissemination of information by means of brochures and the internet. There is also a serene and quiet space where our visitors can be made welcome to sit down, browse through our material, simply read, consult other on line Catholic libraries and bookshops or order specific books for personal use. Visitors can also purchase variois items from the repoisiry section of the CRC.
The services formerly rendered by The Cathedral Bookshop, Repository and Library will continue and be improved and absorbed into the new all-in-one concept of the Catholic Resource Centre along with the inclusion of the Diocesan Archive. This last inclusion is intended to making our local historical information more accessible to the people who it was designed to serve.
The Catholic Resource Centre is what it says - a homely assembling point, “iziko” (the ‘hearth’ in Xhosa) where the needs of the Christian Community are catered for so that they can acquire knowledge and ongoing faith formation in order to respond to the radical demands of the Gospel and challenges of living in the 21st century. We would like to make known our best kept secrets as Catholics, namely the wealth of the ‘Social teaching of the Church’.
It is hoped that the CRC will be recognized as a centre of learning and ongoing formation for all members of the church and all those who desire it.
Ihope that all will share with me in this exciting development which when opened will assist those of all ages to reach their dream of increasing their knowledge, skills and honing their GOD given talents.
Ongoing formation is the great engine of personal growth and development. It is committed to holistic Christian formation that is, spiritual, intellectual, human, pastoral and integral.
Catholic education and formation which the CRC seeks to advance, “must pay special regard to the formation of the whole person, so that all may attain their eternal destiny and at the same time promote the common good of society.” (Canon 795)
“It is through education that the daughter of an ordinary person became a doctor, that the son of a mine-worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of fannworkers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.” (Nelson Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom, 1994)
+ Bishop Vincent Mduduze Zungu OFM
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In August this year our country shall hold local government elections. Elections are a time to think about the kind of society we would like to live in and the kind of leaders we need.
We pray that these elections may be a step in bringing about the kind of society God desires for us and in giving us the leaders who will contribute to building that society, “remembering the mercies of God ... let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and mature.” (Romans 12:1-2)
These elections come at a time when many are struggling with unemployment, the rising cost of living, household debt, lack of basic resources, the slow pace of service delivery, and high levels of crime. We need mayors and councillors who have genuine concern for the economic and other hardships that our citizens are enduring. No one wants leaders who are intent on making money and are only interested in party politics. Being a politician can be a noble Christian vocation.
Pope Francis stresses that countries need, “more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor!” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 205)
People ought to seek public office in order to serve people and promote the common good. Temptations to forsake these ideals and seek personal power, wealth and status will always be there. Yielding to such temptation results in corruption, misuse of tax payers’ money, little or no service delivery, and serious neglect of the good of our communities.
We call on those who aspire to leadership to ensure that our municipal districts are governed by principles of ethical leadership. We urge them to exercise power with honesty and accountability to the poor and the most vulnerable.
We urge everyone to use their vote. Let us not give way to apathy.
Here are some questions related to the common good which could help in the critical examination of candidates:
To what extent are you satisfied with service delivery in your area?
To what extent were previous promises met?
To what extent are you satisfied with the way the current leaders are tackling corruption and misuse of tax money in your area?
Look around in your area. Is what you observe what you want for yourself and your children?
We each have a grave responsibility to create the environment of tolerance and acceptance which enables every South African to support and vote for the party that they choose, without fear of violence and intimidation. While this responsibility falls heavily on the political parties and the media, it is also the responsibility of each one of us.
Let us pray for peaceful elections that produce leaders who act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God (Micah 6:8)
We invite you to recite this prayer in your families and parishes as we prepare for the elections and also during the elections.
Lord we pray that the Holy Spirit enables us to choose upright leaders committed to the common good. Give us the courage to work for your Kingdom through promoting justice and peace in our society. May your Holy Spirit continually transform us so that become examples of your mercy and peace in our families and to others. We pray for peaceful elections. We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
We ask for God’s blessing upon all of you, again using the words of Scripture. “... let therenewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and mature.” (Romans 12:1-2)
Your Bishops +
Mary is honoured as the Chief Patron of our Diocese of Port Elizabeth. In accordance with the official liturgical Pastoral Guide it is therefore elevated to a solemnity (big feast) for the local church and celebrated on the Sunday that occurs on 4th February or between the 4th and 10th February each year.