ST JOSEPHS THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE GRADUATION CEREMONY

CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE BY DR B S NGUBANE ON 07 APRIL 2017

FR NEIL FRANK, PRESIDENT OF THE ST JOSEPHS THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE

HIS EMINENCE ARCHBISHOP OF DURBAN, WILFRED CARDINAL NAPIER

THE GRAND CHANCELLOR OF ST JOSEPHS THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE, ARCHBISHOP OF JOHANNESBURG, HIS GRACE BUTI TLHAHALE

FR SUPERIOR OF THE OBLATES OF THE PROVINCE OF KWAZULU NATAL, FR MAZIBUKO

THE SISTERS FROM THE VARIOUS ORDERS AND ESTEEMED MEMBERS OF THE CLERGY

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

WE APPRECIATE VERY MUCH THAT WE ARE IN THE PRESENCE OF HIS EMINENCE,  WILFRID  CARDINAL NAPIER, THE FIRST BLACK CARDINAL OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN SOUTH AFRICA. HIS EMINENCE REPRESENTS THE OPENNESS OF OUR CHURCH TO THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF SOUTH AFRICA. IN NO LESS MEASURE THIS REALISATION HAS ENCOURAGED THE RISE OF PRIESTLY VOCATIONS ESPECIALLY AMONG AFRICAN YOUTH IN OUR COUNTRY. WE REJOICE IN YOUR SERVICE TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN SOUTH AFRICA.

THE OBJECTIVE OF THE ST JOSEPH THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE IS THE EMPOWERMENT OF CANDIDATES FOR ORDAINED AND NON-ORDAINED MINISRTY IN CHURCH AND SOCIETY.

PERHAPS THE MOST URGENT MINISTRY THAT THE CLERGY AND LAITY BRING TO SOCIETY IS TO HELP TO EMPOWER PEOPLE TO DEAL WITH ISSUES OF INJUSTICE AND LOSS OF EMPATHY WITH RESPECT TO OUR NEIGHBOURS. SOUTH AFRICA IS STILL THE MOST UNEQUAL SOCIETY, TWENTY YEARS INTO POST APARTHEID DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT, DESPITE MANY GAINS MADE IN WORKING TOWARDS A NON RACIAL SOCIETY. THE LEGACY OF APARTHEID CONTINUES TO SHAPE THE LIVES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF ALL PEOPLE LIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA.

THE CONTEXT OF WORK, RESIDENCY, RECREATION AND EVEN CHRISTIAN WORSHIP IS LARGELY DEFINED THROUGH THE SPATIAL GEOGRAPHY OF APARTHEID. OUR ATTITUDES WITH RESPECT TO CARING ARE STILL SHAPED THROUGH THE THEM AND US ATTITUDES. IN THIS WAY WE GROW IMMUNE TO THE TERRIBLE SUFFERING THAT WOMEN AND CHILDREN EXPERIENCE IN SLUMS, INFORMAL SETTLEMENT OR SQUARTER CAMPS WHERE THEY ARE DAILY VIOLATED AND TERRORISED. THIS BECOMES PART OF THE NORMAL.

THE HOPE FOR A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE LIES IN OUR COLLECTIVE REALISATION THAT THE COMMUNITY OF GOD IS A COMMUNITY OF LOVE. IT IS THE MINISTRY IN CHURCH AND SOCIETY LED BY YOU IN THE PARISHES YOU MINISTER TO, WHICH HELP ALL OF US TO RENEW AND REINFORCE OUR FAITH THROUGH DIVINE GRACE.

IT WILL TAKE COURAGE ON YOUR PART, AND GODS GRACE WILL GIVE YOU THAT COURAGE, TO CONFRONT, IN THE SAME WAY THAT THE PROPHETS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT CONFRONTED CORRUPT RULERS, TAX COLLECTORS AND THOSE WHO MADE SLAVES OF THEIR FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS, CORRUPT POLITICAL LEADERS, DRUG DEALERS, HUMAN TRAFFICERS AND THOSE WHO PADDLE PORNOGRAPHY, FOR WITHOUT THIS SAVING MISSION OUR CONTRY WILL CONTINUE ITS DECENT INTO THE ABYSS.

BUT THIS COURAGE WILL ALSO BE REQUIRED IN OUR PARISHES IF WE ARE TO EXORCISE THE DEMON OF INJUSTICE AND INEQUALITY IN OUR SOCIETY. THE BEST WAY TO ILLUSTRATE THIS IS BY LOOKING AT INEQUALITY THAT CONTINUES TO EXIST. IT IS NOT COMPLETELY THE FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT BUT IT IS ALSO THE COLLECTIVE       FAILURE ON OUR PART AS CHRISTIANS, CITIZENS, PARISHIONERS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE PROBLEM.

STATISTICS SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUES TO MEASURE POVERTY AND INEQUALITY IN OUR COUNTRY. LOOKING AT THE ESTIMATES OF ANNUAL PER CAPITA PERSONAL INCOME BY RACE GROUP, IN TERMS OF THE 1995 RAND AND RELATIVE TO WHITE LEVELS OVER SUCCESSIVE YEAR, THE FOLLOWING PICTURE EMERGES. FOR PURPOSED OF THIS ILLUSTRATION I WILL TAKE ONLY THREE YEARS FAR APART:

YEAR            WHITE        COLOURED         INDIAN/ASIAN          AFRICAN

1917             R9,369          R2,061               R2,075                    R849

1970             R32,799        R5,684               R6,630                    R2,246

1995             R32,689        R6,931               R16,793                  R4,678

THE APARTHEID GOVERNMENT PRODUCED POLICIES AND LAWS SUCH AS JOB RESERVATION, GROUP AREAS ACT, EXCLUSION OF AFRICANS FRON THE TRADES AND ARTISAN TRAINING, WHICH ENTRENCHED THIS INEQUALITY. IT IS TAKING VERY LONG TO ALTER THIS KIND OF EARNINGS STRATIFICATION. CATHOLIC BUSINESS LEADERS NEED TO BE ENCOURAGED TO PUT MORE EFFORT IN IMPLEMENTING THE MINIMUM WAGE AS WELL AS TRAINING FOR THEIR AFRICAN WORKERS. THERE CAN BE NO REAL RECONCILIATION WITHOUT JUSTICE. THOSE WHO ENJOYED BENEFITS AND PRIVILEGES GIVEN BY AN INHUMAN SYSTEM OF APARTHEID, THAT ARCHBISHOP HURLEY FOUGHT SO COURAGEOUSLY AND CONSISTANTLY THROUGH OUT HIS LIFE, CANNOT REMAIN COMPLACENT EVEN WHEN TRUTH IS REVEALED TO THEM.

WHAT IS EVEN MORE WORRYING, HOWEVER, IS THAT BECAUSE OF GOVERNMENTS PRESENT BBBEE EFFORTS, THIS INEQUALITY IS GROWING VERY QUICKLY WITHIN THE AFRICAN GROUP ITSELF. MEASURES TO CORRECT PREVIOUS DISPARITIES MAY HAVE BEEN   WELCOME AND APPROPRIATE, HOWEVER BECAUSE NO NEW JOBS ARE BEING CREATED THROUGH BEE ACQUISITIONS, THE POOR UNEDUCATED  AFRICAN  PEOPLE  REMAIN  TRAPPED IN POVERTY WHILE THE EDUCATED BECOME RICHER WITH EACH PASSING YEAR. THESE DISPARITIES CAN HAVE DEVASTATING SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES RESULTING IN THEM-AND-US ATTITUDES IN AFRICAN SOCIETY AND GROWING INDIVIDUALISM LACKING ANY FORM OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE POOR.

IT IS OUR HOPE THAT YOUR STUDIES AT ST JOSEPHS THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE HAS INSTILLED A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF THE CONTEXT IN WHICH YOU WILL DO YOUR MINISTRY.

WE KNOW THAT THE INSTITUTE IS SENDING FORTH TRUE SHERPARDS, READY FOR THE NEW EVANGELISATION, IN A WORLD THAT HAS GROWN EXTREMELY INDIVIDUALISTIC AND MATERIALISTIC. THE PASTORIS DABO VOBIS (I WILL GIVE YOU SHERPERDS) BY POPE ST JOHN PAUL II, CAPTURES THE NEED OF THE WORLD FOR PASTORAL LEADERSHIP AND REAWAKENING.

YOU ARE MEN OF LEARNING, MEN OF PRAYER AND MEN WHO FORM THE BRIDGE TO OUR MEETING WITH JESUS CHRIST, THE REEDEMER.

IT HAS BEEN AN HONOUR FOR ME TO BE INVITED TO DELIVER THIS CONGRATULATOTY MESSAGE.

SOUTH AFRICA AND INDEED AFRICA NEEDS YOU AS NEVER BEFORE.

WE SHALL PRAY AND SUPPORT YOUR HOLY WORK. DON’T BE SHY TO TELL US TO TITHE. IT HAS WORKED FOR THE CHARISMATICS.

GOD BLESS YOU