An abbreviated version of the Changing Gear programme presented by Fr Brian Mhlanga OP and produced by Simba Honde was submitted to the Human Rights Commission in a competition. The subject was Transgender and Religion - a very challenging topic which was dealt with sensitively and comprehensively. We are very proud to announce that it was chosen as the finalist in Gauteng. This prestigious award is a great tribute to Radio Veritas and our team. We join our listeners in congratulating Fr Brian and Simba.
Khanya Litabe and Siphiwe Moloi traveled to Pietermaritzburg on the weekend of 8 April to do a recording of hymns sung by the Dominican brothers and accompanied by themselves. A CD will be produced and would be available for purchase in the near future. This is in honour of the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Dominican Order and the centenary of their presence in South Africa. They hymns are sung in many of the languages of southern Africa.
Recently an urgent letter of appeal was sent to the following: all bishops, all priests and chairpersons in Johannesburg and surrounding dioceses, all sodalities, all religious congregations and all Catholic schools. The brief letter outlined the urgency of financial assistance and drew attention to the existence of Radio Veritas. From time to time we still hear of people who haven't heard of Radio Veritas and so we urge the leadership in the Church to inform people of our existence and where we can be found. We hope and pray that this appeal will be a resounding success.
In the letter to the leadership of the Church in Southern Africa mention was made of a telethon which is to take place live on Radio Veritas on 7 June throughout the day. Listeners will be encouraged to phone in and challenge each other, or similar organizations to which they belong, to equal or better contributions being made. Friends of Radio Veritas are encouraged to prepare for this day by informing their fellow parishioners or fellow members of their organizations of this telethon. Our target is R 500,000 which we believe is achievable through the goodwill and generosity and participation of all. Organizations in particular could prepare themselves by discussing what might be significant contributions or challenges.
Radio Veritas was blessed with the visit of Fr Horst Stepkkes SCJ, the German Mission Procurator of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, when he visited our offices and Studios recently. He was accompanied by the local provincial, Fr Bernard Sompane SCJ. Father Horst was greatly impressed by what he saw and we were very encouraged by his kind words. We feel confident that he will spread the good news about Radio Veritas amongst his confreres in Germany.
The Jesuit Institute South Africa and Radio Veritas are proud to be partnering in bringing Rome-based Vatican/Catholic Church journalist Robert Mickens to South Africa in March 2017.
Mickens is currently editor of La Croix International, an online English version of the eminent French Catholic daily La Croix. He was founding editor of Global Pulse Magazine, launched in 2014 by the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN) in collaboration with La Croix and Commonweal. He writes the popular “Letter from Rome” each week, which he produced for over a decade as Rome correspondent for the international Catholic paper, The Tablet. He also worked eleven years (1989-2000) at Vatican Radio as a journalist, producer and on-air presenter. And he has long been a Vatican-affairs analyst for the BBC in the United Kingdom, ABC in Australia and National Public Radio (NPR) in the United States, as well as an occasional columnist for National Catholic Reporter. Born in Toledo, Ohio in 1964, he has lived in Rome since 1986. He studied philosophy at the Benedictine-run St Meinrad College in Indiana and theology at the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
Women folk from Johannesburg, Pretoria, Krugersdorp and Neighbouring provinces will fill the air with sounds of praise and worship in support of the global International Women’s World day of prayer which, in 2017 will focus on the plight of the Philippines and will take place on Saturday, 4 March 2017 at 9am, at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Atteridgeville, Pretoria.
Women from all denominations will be sharing and networking, but more importantly putting other women before themselves in prayer. Women are the same in nature: they cry, smile, love passionately, yet continue to worship and praise God through it all. This year, the theme focusing on the Philippines is “Am I Being Unfair to You?” Celebrated in SA for the past 86 years, the prayer day becomes more and more special as more women get exposed to praying for others and reaching out.
The world has usurped Christmas and it is become a time of merrymaking, eating, drinking and giftgiving. A time of spending thousands of Rands. Unfortunately what is central to Christmas is often overlooked. It is Jesus Christ who is the reason for Christmas. And once again we need to put Christ back into Christmas.
As the year draws to a close it is important for us to welcome Christ into our lives during this Christmas season. God didn’t have to reach out to us but he did in the person of a humble child in Bethlehem. In Jesus God our Father says “I know you have deserted me but I still love you and want to be part of your flesh and blood” and so in Jesus we see the incarnation of God’s incredible gratuitous love, mercy and forgiveness as He comes to be born into our world and become part of our human nature.
Christmas is a time for us to welcome Christ into our lives to say thank you to the Lord for making his home amongst us. It is important to notice that he was born in simplicity and poverty and it was shepherds who welcomed him. Yes, the Magi came too and they came in humility recognising the graciousness of God in their midst.
I pray that Christmas will be a time of real joy and happiness and peace in the world which is shot through with war, hatred, corruption and every other kind of evil. The world actually needs the intervention of God to touch our lives and encourage us to become more human.
Thank you for the confidence you have placed in us at Radio Veritas. Thank you for your prayers and your great generosity. We wish you a very happy and holy Christmas and pray that just as God has touched us in and through Jesus, you too may touch the poor and the lonely and marginalised with your love friendship and generosity. May you be blessed at this Christmas time and we wish you all the best for 2017.
Fr Emil Blaser
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