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Radio Veritas SA strengthening bonds with the English Africa

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Sheila Pires, a producer and presenter at Radio Veritas, South Africa says her programmes are helping to inform listeners on current affairs in the eyes of the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Festus Tarawalie – Vatican City

The young presenter, who moved to South Africa from Mozambique at the age of 12 says she is passionate about women’s issues and also tries to reach out to Portuguese speakers in and around Johannesburg.

Her daily “Holy Hour” programme encourages listeners to put God first in whatever they do.

Radio Veritas is the only Catholic radio station in South Africa. Its programmes are broadcast on 576AM and DSTV Audio Channel 870. It also live streams audio on www.radioveritas.co.za.

The radio station based in South Africa’s largest city of Johannesburg in Gauteng Province has been on air since 2000. It serves both the Church and the community with its numerous programmes.

Looking at current affairs from a Catholic viewpoint

Sheila Pires is the host of “Catholic View” a current affairs programme broadcast at 6.30 pm from Tuesday to Friday every week.

She says to produce the programme that looks at current affairs in Africa, from the perspective of the Catholic Church, she speaks to priests, men and women religious, the laity and also to Catholic leaders throughout Africa.

Focus on Women

Every Thursday evening, Sheila hosts the “Focus on Women” programme, a feature that “explores the role of women not just in Church but also in society. The programme also looks at gender equality and promotes women who are making a change in their communities.

Asked about the common problems women share in her show, she says a recurring issue is that of the lack of leadership roles for women. She says women complain of not having a say in the governance of the Church.

Young people need their space in the Church

Sheila does not shy away from raising contemporary and controversial issues related to women, youth and African politics in her programmes on Radio Veritas. Asked about the role of young people in the Church vis-à-vis the Synod on Young People, she says, the young members of the Church, especially the Catholic young women from the IMBISA regional bishops’ conference need to be given ample space to realise their aspirations.

She says young people in the region face many challenges, including unemployment, underemployment, human trafficking and gender inequality.

“Fala Bonito” Speak Beautifully

Sheila, who is originally from Mozambique, is also the host of a programme in Portuguese on Radio Vertas called “Fala Bonito” which in English translates as “Speak Beautifully”. The programmes looks at the global church and current issues but from the Portuguese context.

The target audience are the many Portuguese speakers living in South Africa, especially in and around Johannesburg.

Put God First in everything you do

Every day from 12 noon to 1 pm, Sheila hosts a programme called “Holy Hour” which starts with a half-hour live broadcast of Holy Mass and then listners are allowed to phone-in during the rest of the programme to share their prayer intentions. Sheila says, “The reason why I love this show is because it is down to earth. It brings me down to earth. We complain a lot about our problems in life but when you listen to Holy Hour, you realise that our problems are minimal, that you actually don’t have problems in this world and that when you give everything to God, when you put all your worries in God’s hands, then you are free of that burden.”

Holy Hour, she continues, “reminds us that if you trust in God first and fully believe in him, you will have a beautiful and tranquil life even in the midst of so many difficulties.”

Speaking up for women

Sheila was invited to chair a roundtable discussion on Cultures and Catholicism at the Catholic Women Speak Symposium held in Rome at the beginning of October 2018.

The organization seeks to bring Catholic women’s voices into dialogue with others in the Catholic Church, with those in other churches and religious traditions, and with wider society, in order to participate in a deeper, richer understanding of the Catholic tradition and its relevance for our times.

Click here to listen to the shorter version of Festus Tarawalie’s interview with Shiela Pires

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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Nuncio tasks clergy, laity on good stewardship

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Nuncio tasks clergy, laity on good stewardship

The Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi, has urged the clergy, religious and lay faithful to be trustworthy, transparent, selfless and generous stewards in the discharge of their duties in the Church, following the way of Jesus.

Archbishop Filipazzi made the call during the opening ceremony of the maiden General Assembly of the Abuja Archdiocese, which was held on at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral, Friday September 4.

The General Assembly, with the theme “Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja: Together in Evangelization,” saw Bishops, priests, religious men and women, and the laity gathered together to discuss means of strengthening the faith of God’s people amid the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis.

Addressing participants, Archbishop Filipazzi said that “an administrator is neither a master nor a slave who cannot decide anything, but one who is given a responsibility by the Master.” In this light, the faithful are called to be “true administrators of divine mystery” entrusted to them by Our Lord, according to their varying roles in the Church.

The Apostolic Nuncio also said “differences must not lead to division,” as everyone, though different, must strive for unity since there is no room for divisions in the body of Christ.

Archbishop Filipazzi, speaking on the upsurge in violence in northern Nigeria in a Vatican News interview on 29 August, had also called for shunning divisions along religious and ethnic lines.

Rather, he appealed for “general respect of the law and general intervention of the government” in the violent attacks which have claimed many lives and caused massive material damage.

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Assumpta CMO raises fund to roof “St Joseph’s Hall of Faith”

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Assumpta CMO raises fund to roof “St. Joseph's Hall of Faith”

The Catholic Men Organization, CMO, Maria Assumpta Cathedral Parish Owerri, joined their counterparts in the Archdiocese to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, August 30.

The celebration earlier scheduled for May 10 this year was differed because of Covid-19 pandemic.

The occasion began with a Pontifical Mass presided over by His Grace, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Archbishop of Owerri cum Parish Priest of the Cathedral Parish.

In his homily, Archbishop Obinna called on Christians to live a life of witnessing to Christ at all times. He said that the zeal to preach the word of God is like a fire that burns inside the heart of a Christian and will not abate until one bears witness to Christ. This, he said, must be done in the course of our daily lives, in our places of work, in our families, among our friends, through living life that is Christ-like.

He congratulated the Christian fathers on the occasion and appealed for support to enable them complete their building project in no distant time. His Grace also appreciated the performance of the CMO choir during the Mass.

The theme for the parish celebration is: “Catholic Men As Spiritual Heads of the Domestic Church: Implications in the Family.”

The parish CMO used the celebration to raise fund for the roofing of their building project named: “St. Joseph’s Hall of Faith.”

In his brief remark at the occasion, the Parish CMO President, Arc. Anthony Emeka Ozoude said, “We have been able to complete the block work,” adding that, “the task before us now is to put a roof on the building.”

He therefore made a passionate appeal for generous donations from members and well wishers, assuring donors that every kobo donated will be prudently applied for the purpose.

Arc. Ozoude recalled that early this year, the parish CMO executive identified a three-prong programme of focus, namely: Membership revalidation, Debt recovery and Fund raising for the roofing.

He advised members not to sit on the fence anymore as there is so much to gain spiritually, morally and even intellectually from participating in the CMO activities both at the parish, stations and prayer groups levels.

“The committed members who attend our programmes regularly have discovered this and have remained resolute in their participation,” he said.

Activities marking this year’s celebration included Retreat, visit to ailing members in their homes, thanksgiving Mass blessing of the mini altars for the 5 prayer groups of CMO etc.

Arc. Ozoude thanked in a special way, Archbishop Obinna, the Cathedral Administrator and priests working in the Cathedral for their support. He also commended the various stations and prayer groups for their cooperation.

The CMO president acknowledged the good work and sacrifice of the Planning Committee, headed by Dr. Uche Ukozor and thanked them for a job well done.

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