All posts by Diocese of Gaborone

BISHOP’S PASTORAL LETTER ON 2014’S GENERAL ELECTION

Bishiop

Dear Brothers and Sisters, the faithful and all people of good will,

His Excellency Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has announced the date for our country’s general Election to be held on the 24th October 2014. This calls all the loving citizens who have registered for the elections to check that their registration card and valid Omang card are kept in a safe place ready for this important day. It will be a public holiday.

It is our duty as responsible citizens to exercise our right to choose the leaders and government that will respect human dignity and create better life for all.
Botswana is where it is now because it was blessed with good leadership from its birth as an independent state till present time we are still enjoying the good fruits of our good leaders. In order to continue to prosper as a nation we need to preserve this legacy by exercising our right to vote for good leaders of our choice. Every five years we are given an opportunity to evaluate, assess and make our choice.

LEADERSHIP
Definition: leadership has been described as a ‘process of social influence in which one person is able to influence and enlist the aid support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.’ Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as their beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge and skills. Ultimately leadership is about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary HAPPEN.

CHRISTIAN WORLD
Christian world views leadership as stewardship of divinely provided resources; human and material, centered on the mystery of the Trinity, Creation, the fall and redemption.
As Christians when we pray the “Lord’s prayers’ we say ‘Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.’ We use our right to vote in order to choose a government that will facilitate the coming on the kingdom of God on earth here and now. A kingdom that will provide our daily bread, peace, prosperity and respect for human dignity, emphasizing the common good and co-division. We are to vote for a government that promotes BOTHO.
As voters we should know what the political parties stand for; their manifestos so that we make informed decisions. We vote with knowledge.

THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH
The church has a spiritual role, to link present and future (religion and development) through motivating effective engagement of believers in economic activity, ensuring that the common good is promoted, providing right information so that right policy choice is made and promote Christian values in order to form a loving nation with good morals. The Catholic Church does not identify itself with any political party or ideology, but will encourage the faithful to choose the party that fulfills the social teaching of the church on good governance.
GOOD GOVERNANCE AND THE CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING
Many of the secular definition of Good Governance are found in the social teaching of the church. These include:
• Respect for dignity of the human person
• Good stewardship
• The rights and responsibilities of individuals and communities
• Subsidiary
• Common good
• Respect for private property
• Preferential Option for the poor

Make your voice to be heard and counted for the good of our proud Nation.
Vote on the 24th October 2014, it is your right.

Given on the 25th August, year of the Lord 2014, at Gaborone, by His Lordship Rt. Rev. Bishop Valentine Tsamma Seane. Bishop of Gaborone.

" In the form of fire in each of them"

Welcome to our Motivational Column!

WELCOME TO OUR INSPIRING & MOTIVATING WEEKLY DISCUSSIONS

This week’s message:If you want to succeed in the world must make your own opportunities as you go on. The man who waits for some seventh wave to toss him on dry land will find that the seventh wave is a long time a coming. You can commit no greater folly than to sit by the roadside until someone comes along and invites you to ride with him to wealth or influence.
John B. Gough

 

YOUR ONE SHINING MOMENT

Do you ever revisit it?

In to every life, the wise ones say, comes one shining moment. It is a moment of glory. The curtains part, the vision is granted, and something is changed forever. That single experience, in one way or another, stays with us always and colours the whole of our lives. It is the timeless time when the veil is drawn from the mystery of our existence, when our essence is disclosed to us, when we discover – even if only fleetingly- who we really are. It is a highly personal “moment of truth”.

Your one shining moment may have to do with naming what, or who, you really love; with revealing to you the job or the relationship that I slowly destroying you; with becoming aware that all your decisions spring from a deeply hidden anxiety, anger or fear; that you need no longer to be afraid because you are loved unconditionally by a God who delights in you; that  without a doubt, the universe and life itself are safe places for you, your children, and all you love that everything that happened to you was not a random happen-chance but part of a carefully crafted “LOVE STORY”; that God comes to you usually disguised as your life, in all its bits and pieces; that apart from one or two cherished beliefs, nothing matters very much ; that it is in our weaknesses and sinfulness that we are strongest of all; that we are indestructible and untouchable as long as we remain close to GOD.

Urban Murphy School Tour

Urban Murphy pre-school Kids on educational tour

This morning the Urban Murphy pre-school kids went for an educational tour within Gaborone. The 54 students who will be graduating next Saturday (19thNovember 2011) were accompanied by 4 teachers being Motsamai, Bame, Aniki and Sr Rosa and the bus driver (Freeboy). They went to places like the Museum, Parliament and the Christ the King Cathedral. In an interview with one teacher Sr Rosa Moseki SC, highlighted that the purpose of this tour is to teach the kids about the historical life of Botswana and also it’s a farewell package of their departure from the pre-school to primary level. “At least now we are pleased that they have an experience of what they had been taught in class about the wild life and town life, for instance Batswana used to live in huts and nowadays they are living in modern houses.” said Sr Moseki. Seeing all the children, they were so much thrilled while some were scared when they saw animals and snakes in the museum.

In their visit to the Cathedral, they went inside the church where they prayed the “Hail Mary” and prayed for the repose soul of late Bishop Urban Murphy then preceded to the grave yard of the late Bishop Murphy.

Annual Clerical Retreat 2011

Annual Clerical Retreat 2011

Servant leadership requires constant spiritual renewal for the injection of new energy and reshaping of the heart after the manner of Christ. In view of this, as usual, all the clergy with Bishops Seane and Setlalekgosi (Emeritus) camped from the 30th October to 05th November 2011, as a way of renewing their consecration as servants of Christ. The retreat was conducted by Rev Fr. Attilio of Dodoma Diocese in Tanzania. He came down here for the sake of the retreat. The theme was: “Consecration for mission”. The retreat was one of the best so far and it improved the fraternal Spirit among the priests, and renewed their zeal for the Lord’s vineyard.

Mass Under the Tree of Life

"Sign of the Cross” on the trunk of the tree.

Jesuits’ Mass under the tree of life yielded seed for the Bostwana Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church in Botswana started under a vibrant tree that has died now. But the Church lives on like the tree planted beside living waters. On the 18th July this year, Frs. Nelson and Wilbroad, parish priests in Mochudi, Bishop Emeritus Setlalekgosi, Sisters of Calvary and several parishioners in the Diocese of Gaborone traced the roots of the Catholic Church by undertaking a pilgrimage to Olifant Drift, the first holy mass center of the earliest catholic missionaries to Botswana.

The pilgrims celebrated Holy Mass under the landmark tree to honour the first catholic missionaries to Botswana who celebrated the first mass in Botswana under the same tree on the 08th July 1879. Upon their arrival the early catholic missionaries, of the Jesuit congregation from Grahamstowm in South Africa, camped in the remote village eighty kilometres from Mochudi called Olifant Drift (under a tree which they named Aarde-Kool-Boom and marked with the cross. At that time the then shady tree situated at the confluence of two rivers at Madikwe was believed to have been already 400 years old. Those days most travellers used to camp under it for a night or days’ rest under it before moving on. According to history, “on the 18th July 1879 one priest named Fr. Depelchin who was the superior of the team of ten, tied a rope to a stone and threw it over the main branch of the Aarde-Kool-Boom tree to provide a help to climb.

AARDE-KOOL BOOM TREE

Then Brother Hedley, with a hatchet in his belt, climbed the rope like a squirrel and sat on the branch below the crown of the tree. From there with the help of the Hatcher he traced and carved out a three-foot long sign of the Cross” on the trunk of the tree. The sign of the cross is still visible (see picture above) today. Their first main stop from here was Shoshong.

Rev Akofang ordained a priest

As fragrance always remains on the hand that gives the rose, the Divine Mercy parish in Metsimotlhabe remains to be the leading Church to ordain three young priests in the diocese. It was a great honour to the village over the weekend of 22 October 2011 to have given Akofang Hendrick Lekgetlho Mantu as a living sacrifice to work in the vineyard of the Lord.

Fr Mantu was ordained a priest by his Rt Rev. Valentine Tsamma Seane, Bishop of Gaborone. Fr Mantu was born to Mr Diamond and Mrs Annie Mantu on the 5th May 1983 in Metsimotlhabe. He is the second of six children, he being the first son. He started his primary education in 1991 at the age of eight at Metsimotlabe and completed his primary level in the year 1997 at Serameng Primary School. He then moved to do his junior certificate at Ikageng CJSS between 1998-2000. After his JC he then went to St Joseph’s College where he completed his Senior Secondary education in 2002. He was by then living in Diocesan Minor Seminary.

According to Fr Mantu, his journey to priesthood all begun thus, “I first heard about priesthood from my late cousin Mr Kabo B. Mokena between the years of 1986 when we were doing our usual assignment of heading livestock in the jungle. I upon hearing my cousin’s desire to become a priest, I also got interested and my love for priesthood grew stronger and was strengthened even more when I started my Catechetical classes in 1993. I then made my desire public. In 1996, through the help of Mum, I made it known to the Parish Priest.’’ Furthermore he expressed his gratitude to the few who were behind his vocation to priesthood as some would visit him at his parent’s home to sing and pray with him that his dream may be fulfilled.

Fr Mantu upon waiting for his BGCSE results, stayed in Minor Seminary as he was still feeling the edge to his vocation, where he lived in continuous  prayer to discern whether God was calling him or not. When BGCSE results were released, Fr Mantu had done very well. There-after he applied to Mazowe House of Spiritual and Human Formation in Zimbabwe. In 2004 he was recommended to doing 3 year Philosophy Program at St. Agustine Philosophate in Bulawayo where he graduated with a Diploma in Philosophy in 2007. In August 2007 he was admitted for 4 year Theology Program at Chishawasha Major Seminary (Harare) and was also doing part time degree in Religious Studies with the University of Zimbabwe (UZ). In 2009, he was transferred to Salvation Institution of Philosophy and Theology (now Jordan University College) in Tanzania where he was ordained a deacon on the 23rd October 2010. In 2011, he graduated with Dipoma in Sacred Theology and also sat for Bachelors Degree in Sacred Theology which will be awarded by Urbanian Pontifical University in Rome.

During Fr Mantu’s school vacation, His Lordship assigned him for pastoral work in various places within the Diocese of Gaborone, such areas are Lobatse-(St. Theresa Parish in 2004& 2006), Mankgodi-(Holy Spirit Parish in 2005) Mosupa in 2007, Broadhust-(Corpus Kirist in 2009), Ramotswa-( St Conrads’in 2010) and Taung-(St Bernads in 2011).

It is not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. We would like to congratulate our dear brother Fr Mantu for his YES to Christ. May the good Lord who has begun this work in him nourish it to the full.

By Sr Phatsimo Ramokgwebana SC

 

God Calls Each Person In A Special Way

Day by day as the moon illumines the night, one continues to hope for a brighter future and fulfilment of  dreams. Prayer is the most powerful force which helps every believer to stand erect and continually hope for new beginnings. In all this, God surprises individuals with what he feels are best for everyone. Jeremiah 29:11, states: “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe, plans to give you a future full of hope”.

When a child is born it brings happiness and joy to the family. Parents are the vehicle of life and support for their children as they ensure that the welfare of their children is well taken care of. The most important part of their life is the soul. It is the parents’ duty to see to it that their children’s spirituality is well nourished. A child is socialised through their parents’ culture, norms and values. It is also about learning Christian values such as religious worship, prayer life, fear above of God, care for the poor and works of charity. For many youngsters, going to church is the most boring activity they could experience as they think church and prayers are only the concern of old people preparing themselves for dying. But what is the truth? Some youngsters put themselves in the shoes of their parents and follow suite, attending church services without knowing where all this would lead them to. Therefore God continues to surprise many, as they find themselves fully dedicated to working in God’s vineyard through answering his vocation to the Priesthood and Religious Life. All teenagers have a lot of dreams and passions and when in schools they aim at a better future and successful family life.

This would then inspire oneself to study hard in order that the dreams may be achieved. One of these dreams could be choosing to become a pilot or a doctor.  Therefore this idea is instilled in one’s mind and would fight for anything it takes, to make sure that at some point it becomes a reality. But my question is as teenagers, among in the face of many careers; do we ever think and reflect about God’s call to the Priesthood and Religious life? For many times and years as a teenager having gone to Church and seeing a Priest at the altar and a Sister teaching catechism in church or helping the poor, have I not wished to be one of them and make it my dream? A dream alone is not enough if it is not guided. Talking to these man and women who have offered themselves to God might inspire you to become one like them hence the dream to become a pilot or a doctor can be replaced by a desire of becoming a Priest or a Religious. As one would say “where there is a will there is a way.” For a Christian, prayer is not an option but an opportunity of getting in touch with God the loving father, with oneself and others. For Isaiah 55: 8 testifies that “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”

What parents and guardians can do to help their children:

It is their responsibility to guide and mentor, to enlighten and encourage, to facilitate and influence, to strengthen and give hope, to direct and embrace all and to unify all in prayer.

Like St. Monica, parents should continually pray for their children’s conversion. Just as Monica’s tears and prayers moved God to change the life of her son Augustine to faith in Christ, so will God do for all mothers and their children.

Cultivating Intimate Friendship With Christ

By his sojourn among us, Christ has become our divine companion on our Journey through life. By laying down his life for us, He has established a strong and blessed tie of friendship with every person. He is neither a dream nor an imaginary being created by our mind because he become incarnate and now dwells among us. He is genuinely the ever “living” person in the world. Though now physically invisible, we cannot see Him with our eyes nor feel Him with our hand, yet He is our support and strength at every stage of our earthly pilgrimage. His power is our life, His spirit sustains existence and His friendship is our happiness. St Paul discovered this truth and confessed: “Christ lives in me” (Gal 2; 20).

The question then arises what kind of friendship is found in Christ? Or is there any personality in a man physically absent? In Christ there is an ideal friendship. Here is a God who left His heavenly Kingdom for his friends. In His humanity, He is filled with tenderness and care to sympathize with our human misery. In His divinity, there is an immense treasury of gifts capable of filling us with infinite riches. Therefore, His friendship is incomparable with that of a dearest person in the world. There are many wonderful qualities of friendship in Him. It is not uncommon that some humans are loved by their enemies and hated by their friends. While others are friends of their enemies and enemies of their friends. But Christ is the only person that is properly worth that name “friend”. He said in the scriptures I call you friends”. By his nature as God he cannot hate his creatures. By his nature as a saviour, he cannot deceive what he has come to save. And by his nature as human, he cannot detest mankind that he took human form for. So, Christ is an everlasting friend. My brothers and sisters, Christ Jesus is a friend, a companion, a confidant, the intimate one, a healer, an advocate, a defender, a patron, etc in this existential life. Let us examine some qualities of a friend in him.

CHRIST THE TRUFUL FRIEND

Every friendship that lasts is built on certain durable materials. The first of these is truthfulness. If I cannot look into the eyes of my friend and speak out always the truthful thought and feeling with the simplicity of a little child, there can be no lasting friendship between us. Trust is the first requisite for making a friend, and faithfulness is the first ingredient for keeping him. But trust and faithfulness cannot endure without truthfulness.

At the completion of his work, Christ Jesus declared himself the way, the truth, and the life (John 14; 6). He meets and mingles with people with quiet simplicity and humility. There is no sign of hypocrisy, artificiality or pretence in Him; but only the truth and nothing but the truth. He clearly told Pilate that he came into the world to bear witness to the truth (Jn 18; 37). In his mission, He never spared any man in his message of truth. The evils and hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees, He forcefully and fearlessly rebukes. In fact Christ is a man of truth who loves truth and truthful men and women. Everyone who is on the side of the truth hears his voice (Jn 18; 31).
The truth in Christ sets his friends free (Jn8; 32). With dedicate conscience rooted in Christ (the truth) one can sweetly take his rest since his heart reprehends him not (Prov. 3; 21).

CHRIST OUR LISTENING FRIEND

On my existential journey through life, I have discovered that the best and the closest friends are those who wisely spend time talking and listening to each other. They care with a friend to listen, one`s disaster and problems change colour. In such a discussion, a good friend strives to lift up, not to cast down, to encourage, not discouraging. His speech builds up and not destroys helps and not hinders. This reveals that they understand and trust each other and wish each other heartily well.

With Christ, we have a friend who will not only listen to our problems and considers our afflictions but He is aware of our most ardent desire and has the power to lift up, encourage, help and strengthens us.

As Jesus was setting out on his journey again, a man ran up, knelt before him. He patiently listened to his question and patiently answered his need (Mk 10; 17-22).When Nicodemus came to him by night with his own barrage of questions, He listened and explained the mystery of divine revelation to him (Jn. 3; 1-21).

Moreover, there is no blessing of life that is in any way comparable to the enjoyment of a discreet and familiar conversation with Christ in prayer. He eases and unloads the mind, clears and improves the understanding, engenders thought and knowledge, maintains virtue and good resolution and makes you find meaning with life.

Finally, the language of friendship is not word but meaning. It is intelligence above language. One imagines endless conversation with his friend; in which the tongue shall be loosened and the thought be spoken without hesitancy or end. But the experience is far greater in the case of Christ. With his spirit of joy that abides fervently with his friends in conversation, one is transported to the foretaste of the heavenly happiness. As the discourse graduates into intimacy, He makes things new in our lives.

Gaborone Bible Convention by Divine Retreat Centre

Bishop Seane, Frs. Michael, Joseph and Singer Nishant with Marshal and Bishop Emeritus Setlalekgosi

Once again the Lord has been good to Botswana by granting another moment of mass conversion and healing to the Diocese of Gaborone. As a follow up to the Bible Convention and Spiritual renewal of 2010 conducted by the Vincentians of India, a team of three anointed instruments of God Frs. Michael, Joseph and musician Nishant conducted faith-renewing and healing sessions through Bible teachings and fervent sessions through prayers at the Christ the King Cathedral in Gaborone, Botswana. Truly the Lord has been with his people in an extraordinary manner which was redolent of the first Pentecost. Indeed this was a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit that granted physical and spiritual healing to those who believed.

The faith of the Christians was rekindled and drooping, ailing and straying spirits were healed and empowered to move on with fresh zeal in Christ’s mission entrusted to us.

The theme was rediscovering our dignity and reliving our calling as Christians, clergy and religious by falling in love with Christ again. For this to happen each person from hierarchy to membership needs to rediscover his or her dignity as a priest, nun, brother or lay person and to rededicate ourselves to our initial commitment, promises love and zeal for God and his people. The retreat messages emphasised that we are all called by God and behind every call is his purpose to save the world from its cries and sin. When one is

MOMENT OF DELIVERANCE

called he/she needs to remain loyal to God who calls and to resolutely close our eyes to the distractions from material things like sex, alcohol, drugs, TV, pornography, internet and other passions of the world which give us false and passing pleasure.

What matters to us is possessing Christ and the lasting satisfaction which he gives to our hearts. No one should shun the cross and the sacrifice which it demands of us. The clergy, religious and laity should all avoid profaning the name of God, our bodies and other gifts of God and seek after holiness of life. Impurity cuts us away from the presence of God. In fact, it is dangerous to be away from the presence of God because we become deprived of God’s blessings and thus become captures of the evil one.

When we become a priest or a nun or a Christian we have been changed into different persons on account of the Spirit of God who dwells within us. God touches our hearts so much so that we must be loyal to God and not to the world any longer. Everyone needs to continue asking God for his direction if your life looks disfigured by sin, hypocrisy and worldly living. Know that God’s spirit dwells within and you need to change daily. Everyone must return to his first love for God and the Church again, become 100% committed afresh to prayer, holiness, availability to God and people. “In front of the Lord, like a candle, burn out and die” to save yourself and the world. Stop living your old lives which you lived before you knew Christ. Renew your relationship with Jesus and with God once again. Arise and shine!

Making the world a better place

In the world either you are a problem or a solution.  You are either good or bad never a middle way. “NEVER”.  BITTERNESS IS A POISON YOU DRINK IN ORDER THAT THE NEXT PERSON DIES. When one misses the purpose of life he also misses the benefits that follow (“MATTHEW 6:33”).

We are to contribute to life by bearing fruits; the fruits will multiply and generate positive results. I must see myself as the salt of the earth. Everything depends on me.  When good is not active, evil will triumph.  Bearing lasting fruits is the solution to every problem in life.  I am an ambassador of God. Show me your fruits and I will show you your future.  I am too precious to fail. The results one generates will determine one’s way and attainment in life and depth in glory (“MATTHEW 12: 33”).

We are to make things work on earth as they are ordained in heaven.  How can I speak good if I am evil. I AM MY OWN PROBLEM.  My sins catch up with me. The only way to know or judge a tree is by its fruits.  Make a tree good and the fruits will be good.  The end product of a man’s learning, education, makes his “personality”.  Don’t blame. Blame is a sign that one is not in control, a sign of irresponsibility.  Who one is, is because of how he has been formed. One should cultivate the fruits of the spirit. Externalize the enemy that is internal. One’s personality is who he is (Mat. 7).

There is nothing wrong with life; it is the people who go off the mark in life. Education that affects the head and not the heart is useless. Every Church is better until you join and live the faith. Christians can hate more than Satan if they allow themselves to be used by him. Being fearful can make one lose a lot of things in life.  There is no assignment that is forever; it has to have a time limit.

Keys to becoming a better person

When you become a better person, the world becomes a better place for each person and for all.

TRUTH: Hold on to the truth no matter the cost. Get rid of denial and in sincerity. Allow yourself to be shown the truth without becoming angry.  Accept reality. Who can harm you if you do good.

LOVE: Without love there is no life. Love is self-giving and sharing. It is not about taking out of the life of the other. When you love your will forgive and reach out to others. Love is responsibility and personal commitment.  Love should be patient and genuine.

PURPOSE: Once people miss the purpose of their lives they will forever abuse themselves and others. Always keep focused on the reason why you are on this earth.

COURAGE: Develop inner strength to take action in spite of fear and doubt. Be strong in the face of challenge.

RELATIONSHIPS: Build healthy relationships that will help you to grow.

INTELLIGENCE: Intelligence is crucial to life. One has to sort, analyse information and pick essentials that promote integral life. Develop ability to be creative.  Don’t be stupid.

SPRITUALITY: Our life has an origin and goal. Develop your spiritual life. Keep in mind your creator. Nurture a personal and intimate relationship with your God/Christ if you would attain your goal.

- BY: KATLEGO LESHOMO