Bishop Vincent Zungu OFM has advised us of his great joy in welcoming to the Diocese four priests from the Society of Divine Vocations (SDV or “Vocationists) in Nigeria. The SDV is a Missionary Congregation operating in that country, and the Bishop was approached late last year by the Society with a request to establish the Congregation in our Diocese.
“I accepted their request to come and work in the ‘vineyard of the Lord’ for as we all know ‘the labourers are few’.
Fr. Nwankuba Valentine Azubuike SDV, Fr. Callistus Ifechukwu Nwosu SDV, Fr. Coleman Obidike Mwokorie SDV &Fr. Emmanuel Emeka Maduka SDV arrived in Port Elizabeth on May 31st, and will initially spend some time in Port Elizabeth undergoing orientation and initiation into the Diocese’s Vision, Policies and Pastoral Progamme.
In addition to these African Missionaries, two Diocesan Priests are on their way to work in the Diocese as “Fidei Donum” priests (literally “Gift of Faith” - priests very generously sent to work in another diocese by their Bishops ).
These two priests are:
Fr. Benoit (‘Benedict’) Djese Mwilambwe from the Diocese of Kalemie-Kirungu in the DRC. For the past 3 years he has been working in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg, and Fr. Vincent Vusi Tyiso from the Diocese of Marriannhill. We thank Bishop Pius Mlungisi Dlungwane for listening and taking to heart our request for priests.
A number of priests from the Congregation of Marianhill Missionaries (CMM) as also to be sent to the Diocese of Port Elizabeth in the near future.
“I count on all of us in the Diocese: the Clergy, the Religious and the laity, to welcome these priests and missionaries with the great hospitality which is in keeping with our Christian values and African spirit of ‘ubuntu’.
“They are a result of our constant prayers for vocations as requested by our Lord Jesus Christ and the fulfi llment of the prophecy of Jeremiah, “I will give you shepherds after my own heart” (Jer 3:15).
The vision and dream of Pope Paul VI that Africa “you have received a lot of missionaries, now you must become missionaries yourselves”, is becoming a reality. (Uganda 1976).
“I already thank all of you in advance for your warm welcome, hospitality, love, generosity and solidarity that await all our Diocesan and Religious priests from different parts of the African continent. Actually it’s a nice way of concluding Africa Month.
"Our Lady Queen of Africa! Pray for us! Amen!”
+ Bishop Vincent Zungu OFM
Bishop Vincent Zungu OFM, of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth, has joined other Christion leaders from the Nelson Mandela Bay area in signing an Open Letter to President Zuma, calling on him to step aside.
Here is the text of the Letter:
Dear Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, Msholozi Nxamalala, son of Nobhekisisa Zuma, president of the ANC and of the Republic of South Africa
We, as leaders of the majority of Christian churches within the city of Nelson Mandela Bay, ask you to hear our request in the name of God who commissioned us authority to prophesy and speak for the poor and oppressed of our land and people and who wills kingdoms and Kings to exist and removes them of His will if a better life for all regardless is left undone
We cannot continue on this path we are walking. Our people are poor and our people are hurting. We, as a nation, have become distracted from the work that needs doing by the actions of those we elected to serve us. Our attention is focused on what is bad about our country, not what is good.
The time has come to focus on the country we want. This is not to forget the country we were or to ignore the country we are, but to embrace the country we can be. To do this we must move forward.
We knew that the road out of colonialism, apartheid and poverty would be a tough one; a road paved with the sacrifices of many, including your own. Much has been achieved but we are still faced with challenges that are giants before us. Too much is at stake for us to falter on that journey.
Those who lead us; those who serve us in parliament, must be people who have our trust. Our government’s priority should be the needs of the people, not the needs of the few. We need leadership that has our confidence and that inspires us. We need a leader who unites us.
It is clear that we must follow a different path and that this requires a different person to lead us. We agree with those who stood on the steps of the Constitutional Court on the 6th April. We are not confused; we do not misunderstand; we are clear that the constitution must rule us all, with no exception.
We will, over the next few months, be engaging with our congregants in the lead-up to the 3rd August – to hear their voices; to be sure their needs are our focus. We will also seek to engage with those in elected office to ensure that ordinary citizens again become government’s priority.
This is not about undermining a political party. Many of us were born into the ANC and will remain so until we die. This is about the future we want for South Africa, as well as who best to lead us.
We ask that you act in the spirit and faith this young nation was founded on. We ask that you do the difficult but honourable thing and step aside as our country’s president. We are all human. Each of us will face the moment when our time has come to do something different. There are fewer challenges as tough. We ask that you lead us in that moment.
We pray that God may guide you in His wisdom, that God will bless our land and save our people through the granting to us of credible God-fearing leaders!
Signed: Bishop Lunga ka Siboto, Bishop Vincent Zungu, Bishop Bethlehem Nopece, Bishop Andile Mbete, Apostle Neville Goldman, Pastor Patrick Douglas-Henry and Archdeacon Zwelidumile Tom
On behalf of the Church Leadership Group of Nelson Mandela Bay
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.