Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Since we did not have a separate January Bulletin. I would like to first offer everyone our very best wishes for the New Year, and our heartfelt thanks to all for your generosity. spiritualy and materially over the past year, By way of an example, the many volunteer drivers who went to and from the airport during December for the many comings and goings of the visiting Dominican priests as well as our own priests for retreats etc. So now we are back to an almost normal routine and can try to take one day at a time without looking too far ahead, though taster is just around the comer. Locally we have 2 priests on leave so we are really short-handed. Thanks however to Fr. Reinartz who has come to help in Harare (alas,, only till mid-June.), and also to Fr. Wall who has accepted to go to Durban Priory after 8 hard years in Roodepoort and 8 years can make any place seem like home, even Roodepoort. His posting to Durban is meant t0 be temporary so our faithful can look forward to having him hack soon.
Sitting through one of our Transvaal storms of an evening, one is reminded of a couple of things. One is how fortunate one is to be in the shelter of such a strong building as we have here, – with the wind and thunder crashing around. -which keeps out at least most of the rain, for the wind can drive it through the smallest opening. Yet not far away from us in the Roodepoort municipality there are no less than 22 informal settlements, squatter shacks made out of almost anything from cardboard and plastic to corrugated iron, but even the best are usually makeshift. How many live like this is hard to say. but in one of the larger there are some 9,500 structures with little in the way of electricity or water. Among any of these there are the really poor, and now and then a few of these will find their way to our gate (well guarded by two German Shepherds) where we can dispense some of the gifts that God has given us. more often in a material way. but now and then also something spiritual. In reading the Fathers of the Church or any of the Saints one is always impressed by their concern for the poor, and what an immense field we have here to aid a few hungry bodies.
Another thought that comes to mind while the storm rages is the image of us being in the lifeboat of the Society of St. Pius X, experiencing the full brunt of the storm while the ship of the Church seems to float on quite unaffected. It is no wonder few want to leave the comparative tranquillity of the ship for the storm-tossed lifeboat. The reality however, is that there is a storm and through it the lighthouse of the Faith guides us day and night. Our Lord has not abandoned us and watches with great love over His Church and people.
Let us pray the Blessed Virgin Mary, today and everyday, to keep us faithful and watchful, like the good sailor who must not abandon his post.
Yours in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Fr. L. Gerspacher