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GENDER BASED VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROJECT

SEKWELE CENTRE FOR SOCIAL REFLECTION

ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT

GENDER BASED VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROJECT

Violence against the vulnerable especially women and girls be it physical, sexual or psychological is defined by the UN declaration of 1993 as being gender-based. Such violence has been diagnosed to be rooted in gender inequality factors. Though recognised as a world-wide human right abuse, it has been diagnosed to be predominant in medium and low income countries with 46% of affected women found to be in Africa (in a study carried out across 80 countries by the UN).

In a study funded by the embassy of Finland and carried out by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, published under the title Gender –Based violence (GBV) in South Africa: A Brief Review, some alarming statistics confirms that GBV in South Africa remains one of the highest in the world. For example, 77% of women in Limpopo, 51% in Gauteng, 45% in western cape, 36 % in Kwazulu-Natal acknowledged to have experienced some form of violence in their life perpetuated by men (mostly intimate relations account for 51%) with sexual-related violence recording higher prevalence: 64,419 cases reported by SAPS in 2012; 62,226 cases in 2013; 66,197 cases in 2014, and 53,617 cases in 2015.

These figures are far less than real as many women are culturally afraid to report such abuses because of future reprisals or because of ignorance of their rights. Mathew et al., (2004) confirmed through another study that 8.8 per 100 000 females were killed by their partners and this remains the highest rate worldwide. Rural women and girls are especially exposed to GBV as indicated by 80% in the Southern Cape rural women report for having experienced domestic violence. Nationwide the rate remains high at 24.6 percent of domestic violence (SAPS reported cases only).

Sekwele endeavours to contribute, with others to the development of a strong, rights-based and compassionate civil society. It does this by nurturing and cultivating a tradition of social reflection and action in communities and by cooperating with those already active in the social sphere to support their efforts in social transformation.

As violence especially gender motivated violence remain high in our society, Sekwele saw it fit to embark on pursuing activities that would go a long way to stamp out GBV in our society and create a new culture of respect and responsible citizenship by conscientising young people and communities about gender based violence and its effects, build youth activism and provide youth with information in order to reduce risky behaviour which makes them vulnerable to GBV.

Sekwele targeted learners from grade 10 and 11 from the following Schools: Bodikela Junior; Khanyeng Intermediate; Ntsu Secondary; Tiisetsang High; Thabo-Thokoza Secondary; Bethlehem Comprehensive; Clocolan High; Harrismith Secondary; Lerato-Thando Secondary; Ladybrand High; M.J.Mohlahli Secondary; Meqheleng Secondary; Lereng Secondary; Reahola Secondary; Kgola Thuto; Phukalla Secondary; Sehlabeng Secondary; Ipokelleng Secondary; Kgetha-Tsebo Secondary; Akofang Intermediate; Qwa-Qwa Combine; Breda School.

Realising that the root causes of GBV are linked to lack of knowledge of women’s rights and general human rights, low literacy rate and low awareness of where to get help as well as lack of adequate structures to manage sensitive complaints while respecting and protecting the victims. Other phenomenon such as drunkenness, patriarchy gender inequality implicitly supported by some societal structures and laws equally contribute to the GBV. Certain cultural norms and beliefs that promote masculinity and traditional practices that subjugate women, eg Ukuthwala, or false belief in male manhood test or unfounded rumours of HIV cure by having sex with a virgin, etc. are ingredients to justify GBV in some communities.

Sekwele is working together with SAPS, Thuthuzela Care Centre, Child & Family Welfare, DDI, Atlehang Youth Development to deliver programs to approximately 500 learners to improve on their understanding of the concepts of gender based violence, its causes, impact, and outlined principles for mentorship which would enable them to acquire the necessary skills for addressing gender based violence in schools as Human Rights Ambassadors.

At the school level, learners organised activities such as research on GBV within their school environments, carry out awareness campaigns and dialogues on their own and some of the schools integrated the GBV prevention model into their existing school’s programmes. This initiative from these schools help ensured the sustainability of the project and facilitated learners’ outreach. This has greatly contributed to the reduction GBV incidences in schools as acknowledged by the school authorities.

 

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Bodikela Learners sharing their GBV School project with others

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Reahola Secondary Learners engaged in GBV campaign

 

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Diaconate Ordination of brother Tumelo Stephen Mohlaping At Holy Ghost cathedral, Bethlehem, on 12th December 2016

On this Monday just after having celebrated Laetare Sunday, in this time leading up to Christmas, the diocese of Bethlehem got a new Deacon. Many members of the Bohlokong Church communities – where Tumelo was involved pastorally and where he will go on to fulfil his diaconal ministry – but also from other parishes, most of the Priests together with Permanent Deacon Vincent Mohlaping (representing also the other Permanent Deacons), and a number of Women Religious joined in the celebration. The Kgotsong choir really expressed that deep joy we all felt, myself and our new Deacon Tumelo included.
In my homily I recalled that Tumelo’s way to Diaconate has been much longer than usual. His discernment has been a long process but all along he felt in his heart this burning desire to serve the Lord and His people as a Priest. God’s ways are indeed wonderful. I am sure that his yes today to the questions I put to him came from the depth of his heart matured and enriched by a rich life experience not just enjoying life but caring for his younger brother. When I met with him the evening before his ordination he shared with me that he really wanted to live this God-given time to the full, not letting fall anything into oblivion.
In the readings I chose for this celebration I wanted to highlight that such a calling does not come from man but from God. We only have to discern and to receive the gift in good soil where it can bear fruit in due time. A true prophet as Jeremiah recognizes this with humility and trust being aware that he is called to proclaim God’s Word and not just his own opinion. I think that this struck a cord with Tumelo who is not that shy and does not have to search for words to express his opinion. God’s Word is surely Good News but it also cuts and challenges, first of all the proclaimer himself. In the second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and in the gospel taken from St. Matthew I emphasized that, more important than the kind of activities a Deacon can be involved in, is the way he does things. What is required are attitudes of humility, gentleness, patience, mutual support and service.
After the Diaconate Ordination, sharing a meal prepared by members of Vocation Prayer groups, who were already at work last night, people took time to share with one another: an experience of Church as family.

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Article by
Bishop Jan de Groef

Altar boys arrive in procession during a mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI to commemorate cardinals and bishops who died this year, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican November 3, 2011. REUTERS/Tony Gentile (VATICAN - Tags: RELIGION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

The Installation of Acolytes

The minor orders are import, because they are the steps towards priesthood. They prepare a person towards the ministry of priesthood. That is why one is installed to these minor orders while he is still in formation stage in order that he is able to practise these ministries fully. Last term it was the installation of lectors and now this semester in preparation for internship, there was installation of acolytes. These ministries are installed to people who are doing second year of theology in St. John Vianney seminary. These installations forms put of the formation stage of the seminary.

The seminary stages are about to come to an end if one approaches the altar. In 18 May 2016 I was installed as a lector and my work was to proclaim the word of God. Now, I have being installed as an acolyte on 26 0ctober 2016, this mean that I must assist the bishop, priest and deacons at the altar. It also means to help distributing communion to the faithful and the sick. During the installation the bishop give us the challis that has the wine and the bread as a sign to work closer to the Eucharist. This is a sign that we need to prepare the altar for the celebration of the Eucharist.

His excellence Bishop Victor Palane of the diocese of Klerksdoorp was the one who installed us to this ministry of acolytes. There were about 18 brothers or seminarians who were installed. This is the minor order that leads to deaconate. It is significance to us as we about to go for internship. Ministry of acolyte is the last minor order that leads to the ordination. It was a great joy, as it is a step closer towards the ordination.

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The Installation of Lectors

In the seminary we have different stages that a seminarian should undergo. When start his theology he is to be accepted as candidate to priesthood. This is a stage or step that one receives as to show that now is getting closer to priesthood or of becoming a priest. During the later stages of his formation he will also be installed in different ministries. Here at St. John Vianney seminary, when a student reach his second year of theology studies he is installed in these different ministries to prepare him for his pastoral internship that take place during his third year of theology studies. Those different ministries are lector and acolyte.

This year as one student (Sepatala Ntefane) of the diocese of Bethlehem I was installed in the ministry of Lectors. The installation took place at St. John Vianney Seminary, by Bishop Zungu of Port Elizabeth diocese. This event took place on 18 May 2016. It was a moment of taking a step feather. It was a wonderful experience, knowing that one has achieved a certain step in life of priesthood. This meant that one is getting closer and closer to his vocation of priesthood. A lector is someone who is made an official proclaimer of God’s word. He is a reader of God’s word and he can even preach or share the word of God. He is installed by his Bishop or by his superior (if he is a religious). The church entrust you to proclaim the word of God. To be installed as a lector, one needs to apply to his Bishop, and as a result Ntefane Sepatala did apply to his bishop (Bishop Jan De Groef) and the reply was positive or was granted a go ahead by his Bishop. This is to show that no one forced you, but you chose it freely and willingly. It is a great joy.

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Epic Church, Epic Life

10 Things You Might Be Doing Wrong at Mass

Maybe it’s because we’ve just adopted these habits, maybe we’re just lazy…let’s take a bit of a tongue-in-cheek look at some common practices that may need correction during the Holy Mass. Here are 10 things you might be doing wrong at mass.

1. Changing posture early
Seriously, what’s the deal? Why can’t we just wait ’til we actually finish the Sanctus before kneeling? Do you love kneeling that much? Do you think being the first person to sit will get you a prize? “Hey Bill, what’s that medal for?”  “Well, I sat the fastest after the collect at a mass back in ’85”  Yeah, not gonna happen.  Let’s make a point to do things together next time. Cool? Cool.

2. Leaving before the Mass is over
AKA the “Judas Shuffle”.  I’m sorry, did you think Mass was over as soon as you received the Eucharist? It’s as though some people think the proper response when receiving Holy Communion isn’t “Amen”, but “Goodbye”. We should observe proper decorum for Mass: depart after the celebrant.

3. Genuflecting toward the altar
I see this constantly! Genuflecting is the most pronounced gesture we employ at Mass, so it is reserved for the highest good — the Eucharist Himself. Where’s the Eucharist? In the Tabernacle. Some might be in this habit because the tabernacle is often directly behind the altar.  Before getting in your pew, if and only IF the Tabernacle is visible, genuflect toward it. If it’s not in view, bow toward the altar. Now you know. And this applies outside of Mass too.

Speaking of bowing…
4. Nodding your head instead of a proper bow
Wherever bowing is called for in the Mass (when the congregation is incensed by the thurifer, in the middle of the Creed, etc.) it is always a “profound bow”, which just means that you bow from the waist. The only time that we are told to bow our head only is “when the three Divine Persons are named together, and at the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the saint in whose honor Mass is being celebrated”.

5. Standing in the Orans position during the Our Father
No. Just no. You’ll see priests assume the Orans position (hands extended to the side) a few times; it is a posture that indicates that he is praying on our behalf, but not in the way that I pray for you. He’s praying on our behalf in persona Christi capitas. This is why the rubrics don’t allow for deacons to adopt the Orans posture, and it’s the main reason we shouldn’t either.

6. Walking around at the Sign of Peace
What is this, social hour? Not only is this obnoxious (my opinion), but it’s illicit. The rubrics tell us that it is “appropriate that each person offer the sign of peace only to those who are nearest and in a sober manner”.  We all love you, but stay where you are.

7. Not saying “Amen” before receiving Communion
I can hardly believe this needs to be said, but it does. When the priest, deacon, or EMHC elevates the host or chalice and says, “The Body/Blood of Christ”, you had better not be silent. It is imperative that those who receive can affirm belief in the Real Presence, so do what the Church asks. Say “Amen”. Amen? Amen!

8. Not singing
Admittedly, this might not be crucial, but neither the congregation nor the choir is singing for your amusement. Hymns, which are representative of the antiphons, are a response of the faithful as part of the Mass; making them a part of the prescribed “full, conscious, and active” participation in the Mass. Don’t fall prey to individualistic tendencies. We worship together, and that means singing together. Sacrosanctum Concilium on the Sacred Liturgy from the Second Vatican Council says,

“Religious singing by the people is to be intelligently fostered so that in devotions and sacred exercises, as also during liturgical services, the voices of the faithful may ring out…” (118)

RING. OUT. Skill is not a prerequisite. Just, please, sing to the Lord.

9. Not saying the responses
Now, this one is more important than carrying a tune. How does somebody think that active participation in the liturgy is going to be accomplished without actively participating in the liturgy. Yes, it is primarily about interior disposition, but habitually refraining from the responses is a pretty solid sign of a poor disposition. Again, we worship together.

10. Arriving late
I know what the problem is, somebody told you that if you arrived by X and left after X, then you “officially” went to Mass and fulfilled your obligation. Sed contra, my friend! There are no such limits. Our obligation is to attend a Sunday Mass, and that Mass begins and ends with the introductory rites and the concluding rites. If you happen to be late because of circumstances beyond your control, if you made an honest effort to be there on time, but you walked in at the Psalm, so be it; you’re fine. But if you had to catch the last 7 minutes of a game, and that’s why you’re late, then stop reading this and re-prioritize. (Confession might even be required.)

We’ll be looking at more of these liturgical no-no’s in future posts. (Round 2: 10 More Things You Might Be Doing Wrong at Mass) The rubrics for the mass can be found in the General Instruction for the Roman Missal (GIRM).  Check it out.

Article shared by
Thabo “Dakalo” Moloi
(Harrismith Parish: Mpumalanga deanery)

We are all called to be true witnesses of Christ by our lives.

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 1.36.24 PMWhat would Christianity be without true witnessing to the Person of Christ? This was a question which struck me on the 26th -27th of February 2016 while I was attending a workshop on religious and concentrated life held in Ladyband Parish by the Newcastle Dominican sisters from the Diocese of Dundee. I realised that witnessing is what makes us the Church “The body of Christ” visible in the world. By being visible we further become more that what we are “The Body of Christ”. In other words in becoming more than what we are, we embody Christ, his love, his compassion, forgiveness and his life, not only during this Year of Mercy but throughout our lives. And how do we manifest this? By sharing what we have received with our brothers and sisters as St Paul says, “For I handed over to you as of first importance what I in return have received” (1Cor 15:3) and by being united in love and in faith.  It is in sharing our faith experiences that we grow towards Christ in our different communities. Thus, in sharing our faith experiences we do not only grow towards him who calls us but we make he who calls us present and indeed the WORD becomes flesh and it tabernacles in us. This is a most vital form of witnessing because it fulfils the promise of Christ to his disciples “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35).

The workshop was organised by the Parish Priest Rev Fr Mosebetsi Mokoena. It was made clear and emphasised by the Parish Priest that the workshop was for all young women in our parish not only for those who feel God is calling them. The reason behind such a wide invitation was that, we are all called to witness to Christ by our lives thus it is of great importance to attend such workshop to deepen our faith by listening to others who have encountered the Lord in a special way. The workshop was facilitated by four Dominican sisters, two of them were finally professed and the other two were novices. The number of the young people who showed up was 54 and they were assisted by the vocation prayer group members. The workshop started on Friday the 26th in the evening and it ended on Saturday the 27th afternoon . It was a good faith sharing experience. We thank the Lord for all this and we like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the parents for allowing their children to come to the workshop and we also thank the young people for showing up . We hope and pray that what God has initiated through the sisters may he bring it to the fulfilment. Mary Mother of vocations Pray for us!

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Closing of a year of concecrated life

It was on the 7th of February at Mofumahadi wa kgotso cogregation, in Bohlokong parish. All Religious congregations, in the dioces of Bethlehem were present. Srs of st Paul, sacred heart, Holy names and Good Shepherd.

During Mass srs were the ones who were doing the readings, bringing gifts, doing the intersessions and they renew their vows. During offatory they brought their logos according to their respective congregations.

The letter of Pope Francis Said the congrdgation should go back to their roots and should read the signs of the time. Wake up the world! Before final blessing they explained to the congregation what does those logos mean to their congregations, respectively.

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Article by
Sr Sylvia Lerata
(Chairperson of the religious)

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SISTERS OF St. Paul – Reitz

Ka Mantaha wa la 25 Pherekgong 2016, kopano ya Baitlami ba Paulosi ya halalelang e ne e amohela Monovice Sr. Maria Immaculate Nkhatho mokgahlelong wa dikano tsa hae tsa pele. Sehlabelo sa Mmisa se ne se eteletswe pele ke Ntate Mosebetsi Mokoena. Dibini e ne e le Baitlami ba kopano ya habo ya Paulosi ya halalelang ba ileng ba bina hamonate kannete. Motsamaisi wa mosebetsi  e bile Sr. Maria Christophora Lephoto ya ileng a etsa mosebetsi o mkgethe kannetw.

Hgothatsong ya hae, Ntate Mosebetsi o eleditse Moitlami ya motjha ho tsamaya maotong a Paulosi ya halalelang le ho latela pitso ya hae ka botlalo, le ho ipeha tlas`a tshireletso ya hae. O eleditse Sistere ho rapela haholo le ho rapella kopano ya hae kamehla.

Bakriste ba phutheho ya habo ba ne ba le teng ho tla rapela le ho leboha Morena Modimo mmoho le Sistere. Sister Immaculate, ka moo a bitswang ka teng, o ekeditse lenane la Baitlami ba batjha ba kopano ya habo ho ba ba leshome le motso o le mong (11), le palo ya Baitlami ba Paulosi ho ba mashome a mararo a metso e mene (34).

Batswadi ba hae ba ne ba le teng ho tla tlotlisa letsatsi leo. Sr. Lidwina Mosikili o ile a leboha bohle ba atlehileng hot la moketeng mmoho le batswadi ba ileng ba fan aka lekgabunyane la bona ho Morene Modimo kopanong ya Baitlami ba kopano ya Paulosi ya halalelang.

 

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report from Sr Maria_Charles Mofokeng

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The Opening Of The Jubilee Of Mercy

The pilgrims of the Diocese of Bethlehem, gathered at the Marian shrine: our lady of Bethlehem on the 12 December 2015 for the opening of the jubilee of Mercy.
We begun by welcome note and expiation of the theme, by Fr Menyatso Michael Menyatso (the rector of the Shrine). The Bishop opened with prayer, and followed by reading of the Papal Bull by Fr’s Mosebetsi Simon Mokoena (vicar general) Mpho Mathias Mona (diocesan MC) and William Kaupa (vacations).
In light with the theme of the day, be merciful like the father, the procession led by the pilgrims praying the lumen mysteries to the Shrine via the stations.
By the entrance of the Shrine, the door of Mercy was covered with Basotho blankets, to be blessed by the Bishop for all to enter through and the blessings with sprinkling with holy water by Frs Tslolo Julian Mohlahli and Anselm Njoku
The ceremony in the Shrine begun by the Sacrament of reconciliation lead by Fr Buang Julias Mofokeng, followed by the anointing with oil by Bishop Jan the Groef and Fr Mosebetsi Simon Mokoena.
To sum up and conclude the celebration, the holy Eucharist was celebrated by the Bishop, where all the diocesan priests renewed their ordination vows and promises before the Bishop and the pilgrims of the Dioceses

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Report by:
Rev-Fr Khahliso Bonaventure Mofokeng (Diocesan media and communications)

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The Cradle of Jesus (Nasir-i-Khusrau) -Jerusalem Achaeological Park

Adjacent to the East Wall, and when you have reached the south (eastern) angle (of the Haram Area)—the Kiblah-point lying before you, south, but somewhat aside—there is an underground Mosque, to which you descend by many steps. It is situated immediately to the north of the (south) Wall of the Haram Area, covering a space measuring 20 ells by 15, and the chamber has a roof of stone, supported on marble columns. Here was of old the Cradle of Jesus. The Cradle is of stones, and large enough for a man to make therein his prayers prostrations, and I myself said my prayers their. The Cradle is fixed into the ground, so that it cannot be moved. This Cradle is where Jesus was laid during His childhood, and where He held converse with the people. The Cradle itself, in this Mosque, has been made the Mihrâb (or oratory); and there is, likewise, on the east side of this Mosque the Mihrâb Maryam (or Oratory of Mary), and another Mihrâb, which is that of Zakariyyâ (Zachariah)—peace be upon him! Above these Mihrâb are written the verses revealed in the Kurân that relate respectively to Zachariah and to Mary. They say that Jesus—peace be upon Him!—was born in the place where this Mosque now stands. On the shaft of one of the columns there is impressed a mark as though a person had gripped the stone with tow fingers; and they say that Mary, when taken in the pangs of labour, did thus with one hand seize upon the stone, leaving this mark thereon. ThisMosque is known by the title of Mahd ‘Îsâ
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St Martin De Pore’s Phuthaditjhaba parish liturgy members, who were preparing the cradle. Assisted by our two seminarians, br Mohapi and br Ntefane. On the 16th December 2015