Members of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) are organizing their annual Plenary Assembly, which will, once again, be conducted virtually.
According to native of Uganda’s Kampala Archdiocese who was incardinated in Aliwal Diocese at his diaconate ordination in December 1996, the two-week SACBC meeting would be more efficient were it to be physical.
“For two years, we shall not have our usual one-on-one interactions,” Bishop Kizito told ACI Africa, adding, “Physical interactions normally build us a lot since we get an opportunity to share our experiences. We usually have in-depth discussions on topics. With zoom meetings, there is no luxury of discussing issues in a deeper way.”
The Prelate who started governing the South African Diocese shortly before the pandemic struck says that he has never had a normal term as Shepherd of the people of God in the Diocese.
“Since my ordination, the Church has been running very low. All Parishes were forced to cut their costs dramatically and we have survived by God’s grace. And now, we closed our Parishes for another three weeks to monitor the infections and to keep our people safe,” Bishop Kizito shares.
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In South Africa, well-off Dioceses have been called upon to help those that are struggling financially. Already, well-off Parishes in some Dioceses such as Port Elizabeth are supporting weaker Parishes within the Diocese.
All the challenges notwithstanding, and as South Africa clings on the hope of getting a COVID-19 vaccine, the Bishop has urged calm and more prayers within families.
“We are telling people to go back once more and keep on praying within their families where they are safe,” Bishop Kizito sad.
He added during the January 4 interview with ACI Africa, “Yesterday (Sunday), I visited about five families to pray with them. We are doing this to reassure our people that we will never abandon them during this difficult time.”
Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.