Bishop Joao Rodrigues

SACRIFICIUM-News Lettter 2011 Updated.pdf SACRIFICIUM-News Lettter 2011 Updated.pdf
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 Beloved Catholics of the Diocese of Tzaneen

I greet you all in the grace and holy name of our Saving Lord Jesus Christ.

 Re: A Follow-up on the Diocesan Financial Council meeting which was held on 28 May 2011 at Ave Maria Pastoral Centre

Firstly I wish to thank you for your financial support of the diocese which is both an expression of your own gratitude to God for the many blessings you enjoy and also a witness of your love for the Catholic communities and for the many projects of service we are involved in for the sake of the Reign of God in our nation and beyond.  Sharing our talents, time and money in the Spirit of Christ is at the heart of our community life and activities.

I also wish to draw your attention to the following four financial matters:

1. Monthly Pledge (Kabelo)

We had a wonderful presentation concerning the spirit and motivation underlying the call for all Catholics who earn an income to make a regular financial monthly pledge. This monthly pledge and the Sunday contributions in support of the needs of the parish communities and services of the diocese as a whole are all part of the sacrificial giving and way of life which the Spirit of Christ inspires in our hearts. The blessings we receive from the Lord are far greater than the sacrifices we make in this regard. That is why we give cheerfully and with thanksgiving (2 Corinthians 9,7).

The tithe (10% of one’s income) is a Biblical guideline or a benchmark  

(Malachi 3,10)  to help determine one’s sacrificial giving but not a mandate.

We should budget our monthly pledge by giving a just and honest amount as the Lord expects us all to give according to our circumstances and we should aim at being faithful to this pledging.

 2. Parish Car Fund

The purchase and maintenance of parish vehicles used for pastoral work continue to be a particular financial challenge for us all in the diocese. It is necessary for each parish to establish a parish car fund so that the running and maintenance of these vehicles can be supported by the parish communities who benefit from their use. Ideally speaking the parish should aim at having sufficient money in the car fund to be able to replace a vehicle once it has served its purpose. But the parish should at least be able to support the running and maintenance costs of the parish vehicles. Please discuss this matter in your councils and draw up a practical plan for your parish car fund if you do not yet have one in your parish.At the next Diocesan Financial Council Meeting on the 19 November 2011 we will receive a report from each parish concerning this matter.

 3. The Tzaneen Diocese Fund

It is my intention to visit every parish next year on a particular Sunday when I can personally give thanks to God with you for the support you give in talent,time and money. It will also be an occasion for the parish to mark this specific day for the benefit of the Tzaneen Diocese Fund. Presently this diocese is still greatly dependent on donations and subsidies that come from other Catholic dioceses and agencies. While we are grateful for such outside support we need to take up this special diocesan fund in order to decrease our unhealthy financial dependence on outsiders.

Please suggest a date for my parish visit next year and discuss in your councils a possible parish target for the 2012 Tzaneen Diocese Fund.I look forward to your feedback in this regard at the next Diocesan Finance Council meeting.

 4. SACBC Foundation

The Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference Foundation is an ambitious venture with the aim of setting up capital which will generate interest to be used for the various local ministries and services of the SACBC region. Every Catholic has been asked to give a once-off contribution towards this venture. All contributions towards this cause can be done through our diocesan office but it must be clearly marked with a reference to SACBC Foundation. At the last financial council meeting it was agreed that by September 2011 all contributions for the SACBC Foundation would be completed.

 Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As a local Catholic Church in this region of Africa we have many challenges regarding resources but God never abandons us and is continually blessing us. It is because of this awareness that I am not afraid to speak to you about how in God’s grace we can make a difference in improving our lot and gain more confidence as Catholics concerning our life and mission. I look forward to moving into the future

with you, we who are on a pilgrim journey of faith ever dependent on God who provides for our every need.

May God bless you always

Your bishop

+Joao Rodrigues








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