Knysna Catholic Communities

 

 

Welcome to KNYSNA CATHOLIC PARISH!

Thank you for your interest in our parish. Whether you’re just visiting us for a brief time, looking for a new parish home, are returning to the practice of your Catholic faith or are interested in finding out more about the Catholic Church, we’re happy to have you here. A parish is a community of believers and a spiritual family that is supportive and loving. It can be a place to grow spiritually, to put your faith in action, and to use our gifts of time and talent as disciples of Christ. We look forward to answering any questions you may have. In the meantime, please look through the resources we’ve made available on these pages.

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ST ANTHONY'S OUTREACH PROGRAMMES

The St Anthony Parishioners are caring people in a caring community where many opportunities have been created in this close-knit town to assist those less fortunate.

 

Cherish Care Group

Cherish Care Group Kids

Judy, Bobbi, Bernadette and Lyneen from St Anthony's parish Sedgefield with some of the children of the Cherish Care group. This is an emotional support group for abused children, who have received Counselling. We meet every Thursday afternoon and the object is to build up self confidence by means of stories, play and craft and hopefully show them that there are people who love and care for them. Although one wonders if this will have a long term effect on them in the future.  There is no doubt there has been an improvement in behaviour and teachers have reported that in some cases there has been an improvement in performance at school. They have begun to trust us and are inclined to be open to us more now. Most importantly we impressed upon them that God loves them "Just as they are ".

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 Schools Outreach:

Using donations from church members and small fund-raising drives within the St Anthony’s family, the congregation has a long history of helping schools in and around Sedgefield that cater for the broader community.  For a number of years until the Education Department were able to fill this need, regular, once a quarter donations of photo-copy paper were made to Ruigtevlei and Rondevlei Farm Schools so that teachers could prepare the sort of work-sheets now needed for teaching at the primary school level.

While this sort of direct financial help is no longer needed, ladies of the St Anthony’s congregation have continued to keep contact with both Ruigtevlei and Rondevlei and also the Smutsville Primary School in Sedgefield. In all of these schools they provide valuable back-up to the teachers by assisting with supervised reading and also by reading  stories in English, which is a first language for the ladies but no so for the learners.

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Sizemile Crèche:

Rainbow Kids (previously Sizamile Creche) was started in the 1980’s in what was then an informal settlement in Smutsville.  A group of ladies in this informal settlement began looking after each other’s children, whilst the other mothers went out to work.

One of the men in the township taught the ladies how to make bricks and so they commenced their own brick making and ended up building the complex that is still today being used as the crèche.  Mavis became the Carer of the crèche and still is today.

At that time a group of ladies from the various churches in Sedgefield started an inter-denominational prayer group, meeting each week in a different home.  They decided to adopt the crèche and to provide toys, clothes and food to assist the children.

Joyce Hampson from St Anthony was part of this prayer group and with help from Maureen Habib Jacob, also from St Anthony, bought the initial material to cover mattresses for the children for their rest time and also bought food for the children over many years.

Over the past 35 years, Joyce has continued to provide food for the children from donations of cash and food from the parishioners of St Anthony’s.  A few years back, Joyce due to ill health, found it difficult to continue with this venture so Bobbi Morgan-Smith and Paddy Sheridan decided to take over  the food collection and distribution.  Last year Fay Jones assisted by providing material and by re-covering all of the mattresses used for the daily rest periods.

There are at present 33 children at the crèche who are being fed a breakfast and lunch.  Some of the parents are paying R 150 per month as and when they can afford to, but after the first few months of each year, these payments seem to fall away.  Thus there is the need for our continued support with food to feed the children and so a collection basket for food donations is put out in the church foyer every Sunday.

Sizamile Creche Rainbow kids receiving lunch

MEMBERS OF St ANTHONY’S WHO ASSIST WITH SCHOOL READING PROGRAMMES - Back:  Bev Steele, Bobbi Morgan-Smith, Lyneen Fourie, Fiona Barnwell & Bernie Wigmore. Front (at table):  Helen Spengler & Maria Connelan

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Kleinkrantz Informal Settlement:

Although 15 km outside Sedgefield, the Kleinkrantz Informal Settlement has really touched the hearts of the St Anthony’s family.  In 2005 it was discovered while doing other outreach work at Rondevlei Farm School, that children from this desperately poor settlement were going off to school hungry and inadequately clothed in winter.  The ladies of the church immediately rallied round and there has been an on-going project since then to improve the lot of both the children of Kleinkrantz and of a number of elderly residents.

At present, 16 of the St Anthony’s Parishioners rally round and two of them visit every Saturday morning with loaves of bread and healthy fillings as well as milk and fruit.  Usually around 30 children come forward gratefully to receive these gifts at each visit but there are 65 children between the ages of 0 – 15 years on the Klienkrantz outreach register, including one 8 year old with HIV who gets a special extra ration from the ladies.

Also in the church foyer each Sunday is a collection basket for Kleinkrantz, and this targets special needs around Easter and Christmas.  The most needy families have been identified for special food-parcels at Christmas time and at the beginning of winter an attempt is made by donations and home-knitting to outfit each child with a warm jersey.  Assistance is also given to the elderly and infirm by way of clothes and help in getting to clinics or to the Social Services offices.  

 

Kleinkrantz families enjoying sandwiches

Kleinkrantz kids getting their winter gear

Compiled from contributions of all the ladies involved.  Photos by Bobbi Morgan-Smith

 

Dave Jones  -  Secretary,  St Anthony’s Local Pastoral Committee

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ST BONIFACE - HELP A CHILD TO READ ENGLISH

In grade 4, it is compulsory that all text books in schools are written and taught in English. Many children struggle with English with this not being their first language and are not adequately prepared when they get to Grade 4.

Every Wednesday, between 1pm and 3pm during term-time, a group of parishioners read English stories together with Grade 3 children at a primary school in Khayalethu. The idea is to help improve their English reading skills thereby better preparing them for Grade 4.

If you are able and willing and would like to join this very rewarding activity, please contact Mary Monteith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact the office for more information.

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ST BONIFACE - 2 Educare Centres Supported by Rosary Group

Last year the Rosary Group supported two child educare centres in Concordia and gathered items for 6 hampers to show appreciation for the work the women are doing with these pre-schoolers. Gwen very kindly and expertly stitched 40 pinnies from material donated by her friend, which the schools have used as "stepping out" uniforms.

 

Thanks to Gwen for our new pinnies!

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ADULT FAITH FORMATION

Three major goals guide and direct efforts in adult faith formation:

 

1. Invite and Enable Ongoing Conversion to Jesus in Holiness of Life.

In response to God's call to holiness, our faith and life as adult disciples are grounded in developing a personal relationship with Jesus, "the Holy One of God" (Jn 6:69, Mk 1:24). Accordingly, "'at the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth. . . .' Catechesis aims at putting 'people . . . in communion . . . with Jesus Christ.'"

As its first goal, faith formation helps adults "to acquire an attitude of conversion to the Lord." This attitude fosters a baptismal spirituality for adults. It leads them to recognize and repent of sin in their hearts and lives, to seek reconciliation through the sacraments, and to embrace the invitation and challenge of an ever deepening faith in Jesus. It means putting on the mind of Christ, trusting in the Father's love, obeying God's will, seeking holiness of life, and growing in love for others. Deepening personal prayer is a significant means toward growth in holiness in daily life.

 

2. Promote and Support Active Membership in the Christian Community.

As adult believers, we learn and live our faith as active members of the Church. Our response to God's call to community "cannot remain abstract and unincarnated," but rather, "reveals itself concretely by a visible entry into a community of believers . . . a community which itself is a sign of transformation, a sign of newness of life: it is the Church, the visible sacrament of salvation." People find this community of faith in the parish and diocese, as well as in their families, small church communities, personal relationships, faith-based associations, and in the communion of saints of all times and places.
Accordingly, faith formation helps adults make "a conscious and firm decision to live the gift and choice of faith through membership in the Christian community," accepting "co-responsibility for the community's mission and internal life." Adults not only receive the ministries of the Christian community, they also contribute to its life and mission through the generous stewardship of their gifts.

 

3. Call and Prepare Adults to Act as Disciples in Mission to the World.

The Church and its adult faithful have a mission in and to the world: to share the message of Christ to renew and to transform the social and temporal order. This dual calling to evangelization and justice is integral to the identity of the lay faithful; all are called to it in baptism. Accordingly, faith formation seeks to help each adult believer become "more willing and able to be a Christian disciple in the world." As salt of the earth and light for the world (cf. Mt 5:13-16), adult disciples give witness to God's love and caring will so that, in the power of the Spirit, they renew the face of the earth.

—excerpted from Our Hearts Were Burning Within UsA Pastoral Plan for Adult Faith Formation in the United States

 

 Faith in Focus Meetings at St Boniface 

Fr Brian and Michelle Rietman hold a Faith in Focus meeting once a month. The topics are chosen according to the Liturgical Seasons and issues of current interest( eg the canonisation of the 2 popes; justice and peace). This month the focus is The Holy Spirit; Please download the Faith in Focus document in the DOWNLOADS tab to bring along to the meeting on Monday 2nd June at 6pm. Following that is Pentecost- we hope to have  something over several evenings to fall in with the Pentecost Novena. The topic is Gifts of the Spirit.For more information please contact Fr Brian through the office or email Michelle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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JUSTICE, PEACE AND CHARITY

To quote Fr Brian writing in the September 2013 Parish Newsletter:

“Justice and Peace is a church ministry, Jesus’ way of life, through which committed Catholics take responsibility to transform injustices in society: injustices against human dignity and human rights; and against God’s creation, using scriptures and the Social Teachings of the Church.”

 

In the Greater Knysna Parish, Justice, Peace and Charity is a loosely structured small group of individuals with diverse interests: food hampers for poor people, growing vegetables for soup kitchens and our recent talks by Mike Pothier of the CPLO on the ‘Catholic approach to the Elections’.

Monthly Food Hampers:

Since August 2013 St Boniface has been working with the St Theresa Sorg Groep. Through appeals in the weekly St Boniface Bulletin we get donations of healthy foods for hampers for needy families in our communities (not only Catholics).

We meet regularly at least one a month. From St Boniface we take the foods collected to St Theresa’s. The Sorg Groep also collects foods, and we make up the required number of hampers for the families identified. Sorg keeps careful records that are signed off.

To date we have been able to distribute hampers every month; this is largely dependent on the generosity of the St Boniface community. In December, Lara Colarossi organised for empty shopping bags to be taken and filled by parishioners with foods and Christmas treats! More than eighty hampers of foods were received from this wonderful initiative. Poor families at St Theresa’s and Queen of the Holy Rosary were the beneficiaries; and we had food over for hampers in the lean month of January. 

At our most recent meeting at St Theresa, we were joined by representatives from QHR; they are planning to start a care group for their community. James Daniels, the co-ordinator of the Greater Knysna J&P, was present at the meeting.

We urge more people join us in these activities.

Joint Project - vegetables from St Boniface garden for Methodist soup kitchens:

Since August 2013, Arnaud de Groot – a member of the Methodist community – has been supervising our vegetable garden. Produce from the garden is used to help the two Methodist Church soup kitchens, in Knysna and in Hornlee. The Methodists do a wonderful job providing about 600 soup meals per week. We also harvest from the garden for our own purposes.

To date any expenses incurred have been met by the Methodists. We are now discussing ways to make the vegetable garden self-sustaining through a market at the garden on a regular basis, to sell vegetables, flowers and plants like herbs. All proceeds would go into a joint fund that is ploughed back into the growing of vegetables. To run a regular market we would need the practical help of parishioners. A market could also bring Methodists and Catholics together in our common concern and care for the marginalised and the poor of Knysna.

Talks on the Elections:

On behalf of J&P an ad hoc group at St Boniface arranged an open meeting ‘The Catholic approach to the Elections’, addressed by Adv Mike Pothier of the CPLO, Cape Town, on Saturday, 15 March. About 40 people attended.

Mike Pothier is the Research Co-ordinator for the South African Catholic Bishop’s Conference Parliamentary Liaison Office. The CPLO makes submissions to parliamentary committees on policy and legislation, and keeps the channels of communication open between the Church on the one hand, and Parliament and Government on the other. 

Mike also spoke at the weekend Masses at St Boniface, in Afrikaans at St Theresa and with an interpreter at Queen of the Holy Rosary, on Sunday 16 March.

Quoting from STC documents and Pope Francis, Mike emphasised responsible involvement in politics and voting as a Christian duty, to choose leaders who will genuinely work for the Common Good. 

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