VISION2020 FOR THE DIOCESE OF TZANEEN

Vision2020 Tzaneen Diocese  ( Download this PDF file)

VISION2020 FOR THE DIOCESE OF TZANEEN

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The Lord is pouring out the Holy Spirit on our sons and daughters who are proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ; our young men see visions and our old men  have dreams inspired by God. Yes, God is pouring out the Holy Spirit on both men and women in the Catholic Church in our days in the Diocese of Tzaneen. We have a vision, Vision2020, and God is urging us to embrace it and live it in his grace so that God’s presence and love may be made more manifest in our Catholic lives.

(Acts of the Apostles 2, 17-21).

 

Vision2020 does not cover every aspect of the church’s life and mission in this diocese but it does provide areas of common concern and a general direction for the pastoral ministries in the diocese for the next 7 years. Generally speaking these areas concern matters internal to the Church’s life. This indicates that the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Tzaneen still needs much more development and deepening of its own roots in this region of Africa.Vision2020 will help guide the pastoral priorities and planning of parish ministries for next few years. Vision2020 will serve as a mirror for evaluating our pastoral work from year to year. Prayer remains central in our Vision2020 in order to cultivate an authentic witnessing Church in this diocese because “if the Lord does not build the house, in vain do the workers labour.” (Psalm 127, 1)..

 

During the new year 2013, the whole diocese, with the help of a coordinator, Ave Maria Pastoral Centre and the DPC, is focusing on the priority area of “Evangelisation and Catechesis” in line with the Year of Faith which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council as well as the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a most important fruit of that Council.

“In this Year of Faith, then, the Catechism of the Catholic Church will serve as a tool providing real support for the faith, especially for those concerned with the formation of Christians, so crucial in our cultural context.”(Porta Fidei,12). The Year of Faith will also be a good opportunity to intensify the witness of charity. Faith without charity bears no fruit, while charity without faith would be a sentiment constantly at the mercy of doubt. (James 2:14-18).

Our faith is our response to and through our encounter with the revealed Word of God, Jesus Christ, who is made known to us in a variety of different ways but in particular through the Holy Scriptures and the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Our faith-response is itself inspired by the Holy Spirit given to us and working within us so that Christ may become more clearly manifest in our personal and communal lives. Generally speaking in our diocese, formation in the Catholic faith too often stops at the elementary stage, and the sects easily profit from this ignorance. Also the few Catholic schools in our diocese are struggling to maintain their Catholic faith and ethos which require a strong religious will by the leadership in this regard. (Africae Munus, 134)

A serious deepening of the faith is thus urgently needed, because the rapid democratization of South African society has given rise to new challenges linked to the phenomena of family uprooting, urbanization, unemployment, materialistic seductions of all kinds which are manifested in the spread of HIV, corruption at the highest levels of our society as well as violent crime of all kinds.(Ecclesia in Africa, 76). Let us understand that all Catholics, irrespective of age, need to deepen their roots in the Catholic faith by continually nourishing their faith through on-going catechesis and spiritual formation. Without this on-going formation, the roots of faith will remain very shallow and as a result the Catholic Church in our region will not be able to grow.

Vision2020 focuses on our Catholic roots and on our awareness that we ourselves need to be better evangelized, be it our marriages and families, be it our children and youth, be it our catechists, our catholic associations and our future priests and religious vocations. This is the only way that God will be able to manifest the Good News of Jesus Christ through us and our Catholic communities and make us attractive to more and more new members in our region who are thirsting for the saving truth and love of Christ.

“May the Catholic Church in Africaalways be one of the spiritual lungs of humanity, and become daily an ever greater blessing for the noble African continent and for the entire world.” (Africae Munus,177).  And may our Lady of the Sacred Heart andSt Joseph, her most chaste spouse, pray for us and help us realise Vision2020.

May God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have mercy on us all.

+Joao Rodrigues

Bishop of Tzaneen Diocese