South African Archbishop Lauds Christian Brothers for Instilling “life values” in Learners

Archbishop Dabula Anthony Mpako of Pretoria Archdiocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Archbishop of Pretoria Archdiocese in South Africa has lauded members of the Congregation of Christian Brothers (CFC) for not only imparting academic lessons but also teaching “life values” to those enrolled in their learning institutions.

In his Wednesday, September 8 homily during Holy Mass marking the centenary celebration of the Christian Brothers College, CBC Mount Edmund School, Archbishop Dabula Anthony Mpako said that CFC members had become a blessing to learners. 

“The Brothers through this College were not only transmitting academic knowledge, but they were also giving those life values,” Archbishop Mpako said about the CFC members’ ministry at the Archdiocese of Pretoria–based Catholic institution that was established on 8 September 1922.

He added, “Learners were not only given academic formation, but you were taught about what it is that really gives life. Living in a relationship with God and living as God would have us live, that's what gives life.”

The South African Archbishop acknowledged with appreciation the role of Christian Brothers at the Catholic institution that is rooted in teaching Gospel Values “with Jesus Christ at the centre”, saying that CFC members have been “a blessing to all the learners who have gone through this College.”


In his homily September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Archbishop of Pretoria said the centenary celebration of the Catholic institution that follows the tradition of founder of the CFC Brothers, Blessed Edmund Rice, is an opportunity to thank God for the Irish missionary and educationist “who allowed himself to be a blessing in the world of his time especially by promoting the dignity of the poor, through giving them decent education.”

Blessed Edmund Rice “became a blessing to the world, especially to those who benefited from the schools and the colleges he established,” Archbishop Mpako emphasized about the CFC founder who also founded the Presentation Brothers.

The South African Archbishop invited the congregation at the Holy Mass to “make a firm resolution, all of us today, as we participate in this celebration to be also a blessing in our own little ways.”

“That is the best way to honor Edmund Rice, to remember all the Brothers who gave up their time, their energy, their life to be a blessing”, he said, and added, “We can honor them by committing ourselves today to be in our own little corner of the world, a blessing.”

In being a blessing, the Archbishop said, the people of God will be emulating Mother Mary. who “gave birth to the one who was the blessing to the world.”

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“We are called to be mothers of God like Mary was, and we become mothers of God by living our lives in such a way that we become a blessing to the world," the 63-year-old Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry as Bishop of South Africa’s Queenstown Diocese in August 2011 said. 

He continued, “Mary gave birth to the one who was the blessing to the world, and we are told that God is love. Hence anyone who lives in God lives in love, therefore, we can all give birth to love.”

“And when we give birth to love through our words, through our actions, through the way we relate to others, and through how we become a positive presence where we are, then we are like Mary,” Archbishop Mpako said during the September 8 Eucharistic celebration.

Sheila Pires is a veteran radio and television Mozambican journalist based in South Africa. She studied communications at the University of South Africa. She is passionate about writing on the works of the Church through Catholic journalism.