Allow Learners to Rest on Sundays, Catholic Archbishop in South Africa to School Heads

Archbishop Zolile Mpambabi of South Africa’s Bloemfontein Archdiocese. Credit: SACBC

Sunday is the day of worship and not for schooling, Archbishop Zolile Mpambani of South Africa’s Bloemfontein Archdiocese has said, cautioning school managers against planning for school lessons on the day that he says is also meant for rest.

In his reflection on the readings for the third Sunday of Lent, Archbishop Mpambani said that Sunday is the New Testament Day of rest that should be observed by teachers and learners.

 “I can’t help but make this public appeal to the schools’ secretary managers, principals, and the teachers who have turned Sunday into a schooling day to give children time on this day of the Lord to give attention to God and to take their well-deserved rest,” he said.

He added, “It is not all about passing the exams, it is about God who has given those brains to learn and to pass those exams, so He deserves to be honored.”

Archbishop Mpambani emphasized that rather than mounting so much pressure on the learners and even teachers themselves on Sundays, they should be given ample time on the one day to pray, rest, and worship God.


In his reflection based on the 10 commandments, the member of the Congregation of Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCI) emphasized the need to keep the Sabbath holy and to shun worldly things that draw people’s attention from their creator.

“While we get attracted to and by many things of this world, and especially the riches, we need to know that it is by the grace of God that we even have those riches and everything that is attracting us,” he said.

He added, “We need to give thanks to God every day and every time for all that we have in as far as seeking and keeping the sabbath is concerned.”

Archbishop Mpambani also spoke on the last six commandments which he said seek to foster good relationships with one’s neighbors and those that one interacts with daily. He called for the respect of life, noting that humanity does not have the power to give life.

“All the killings of innocent people, gender-based violence, political killings, and jealousy killings must come to an end for God gave a law, ‘You shall not kill’,” the Archbishop said in his March 3 reflection.

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On sexual offenses, the Local Ordinary of Bloemfontein Archdiocese cautioned against the seventh commandment of adultery, saying that the vice has wrecked many marriages.

“Adultery is one of the causes of the breakdown of marriages. All married men and women need therefore to make sure that they build strong unions between themselves with God as the one that cements marriages,” he said.

Archbishop Mpambani also called for respect for other people’s property and privacy, saying, “All these house breakings, shoplifting, stealing and anything that has to do with another person’s property must come to an end.”

In his message for Lent, he urged the people of God in South Africa to allow Jesus to cleanse their hearts from what could be blocking them from keeping God’s commandments.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.