Updates from the Archdiocese of Cape Town.
This page contains a selection of announcements and articles from the Archdiocese that are relevant during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Please visit the Archdiocese of Cape Town website for more details.
Prayer and Reflections by Archbishop Stephen Brislin
Visit the Archdiocese of Cape Town’s YouTube Channel to watch Archbishop Stephen Brislin offer his prayers and reflections for the people of the Archdiocese of Cape Town during this time of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prayer and Reflections by Bishop Sylvester David OMI
Auxiliary Bishop Sylvester David offers his prayer and reflection for the people of the Archdiocese of Cape Town during this time of the coronavirus pandemic. Available on the Archdiocese of Cape Town’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Fraternity and social friendship are the ways the Pontiff indicates to build a better, more just and peaceful world, with the contribution of all: people and institutions. With an emphatic confirmation of a ‘no’ to war and to globalized indifference.
What are the great ideals but also the tangible ways to advance for those who wish to build a more just and fraternal world in their ordinary relationships, in social life, politics and institutions?
This is mainly the question that Fratelli Tutti is intended to answer: the Pope describes it as a “Social Encyclical” (6) which borrows the title of the “Admonitions” of Saint Francis of Assisi, who used these words to “address his brothers and sisters and proposed to them a way of life marked by the flavour of the Gospel” (Par 1). The Encyclical aims to promote a universal aspiration toward fraternity and social friendship. In the background of the Encyclical is the Covid-19 pandemic which, Francis reveals, “unexpectedly erupted” as he “was writing this letter”. But the global health emergency has helped demonstrate that “no one can face life in isolation” and that the time has truly come to “dream, then, as a single human family” in which we are “brothers and sisters all” (Par 8).
You can read or download the encyclical here: papa-francesco_20201003_enciclica-fratelli-tutti
Please read through the attached letter from Archbishop Stephen Brislin regarding the Synod survey and then click on one of the following links to complete the questionnaire:
Synod Letter – Priests and Parishioners
Archdiocesan News 3 of 2020
Welcome to our second interactive edition of the Archdiocesan News! Because our churches are still not fully open due to the coronavirus pandemic, this edition will not be printed. Rather, it will be sent out digitally via email and social media.
This edition is interactive insofar as all hyperlinks (i.e. digital access to other web-based resources and addresses) are available, and are highlighted in blue for your convenience. So where you see text, a website link or an email address in the colour blue (except, of course, for headings in blue) you can access further information to enhance your read of the Archdiocesan News. Some graphics are also hyperlinks (sometimes to download resources), but the text linked to them will indicate where they are.
We ask that you forward this Archdiocesan News as far and as wide as possible on your parish and personal social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp or email, so that as many as possible in the Archdiocese (and further) can read it. It will also be on our Archdiocese of Cape Town Facebook page, so please share it to other pages from there too. Happy reading!
Download Archdiocesan News 3 of 2020 here.
Food parcel campaign report
We gratefully received another donation of yoghurt, fruit juice and milk from Faircape/Cape Talk through being nominated by Judith Roberts. Goods were delivered by Clarence Ackers from Faircape.
In phase four of the distribution of food parcels we managed to pack 3 000 parcels on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The packing on Monday took place in light rain for most of the morning, but the volunteers powered through. On Monday we had 52 volunteers packing and collecting parcels. Tuesday this number increased to 82.
Ongoing live-streamed Masses and devotions in the Archdiocese of Cape Town
Archbishop Stephen Brislin and Bishop Sylvester David have asked parishes, where possible, to provide live-streamed options for parish Sunday and weekday Masses, as well as other devotions. They assure us of their prayer during this trying time of Covid-19.
Confession in a time of coronavirus (revised)
Queries have been raised from some of the faithful in the Archdiocese about going to Confession during this time of lockdown, due to the coronavirus. Bishop Sylvester David responds, giving guidance in this comprehensive attachment.
Thank You!… from hearts filled with joy and gratitude
The following two letters and pictures express a sincere and heartfelt Thank You for food parcels received from the Archdiocese of Cape Town Covid-19 Food Parcel Campaign. Thank you to all who have donated to the Fund thus far in order to make this possible.
But they also express an ongoing cry for help. There is a real need here. Please consider a regular donation to the fund during this time of lockdown where families have little or no means to put food on their tables.
Food parcels in response to Covid-19
On 23 April 2020, members of the St Vincent de Paul Society began packing food parcels for those in need, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The parcels contain 15 items to sustain a family for a week.
The Archdiocese of Cape Town Covid-19 food parcel campaign has begun it first distribution of 2 500 parcels. The first 830 went out today (23rd) and the balance of parcels will be sent out tomorrow (24th). For the outlying areas, such as Lambert’s Bay and Vredenburg, virtual vouchers have been ordered, and parcels will be sent out to them.
Applications for food parcels should be made directly through your local Catholic parish. For further information please contact Eugene Jackson on 084 384 8178.
Letter from Archbishop Stephen Brislin – Wednesday, 25 March 2020
Please find below a letter received today from the Archbishop’s office following the government’s announcement on Monday announcing the latest Covid-19 measures including the lockdown to start at midnight tomorrow night.
One impact from these latest announcements is that the receiving of the Elect into Church over Easter is be postponed to a future date that will be announced. Our hearts go out to those affected.
Please take care, stay close to Our Lord and may He give you comfort and strength.
Archdiocese of Cape Town Releases Updated Safety Measures for The Coronavirus Threat – Tuesday, 17 March 2020
Today (17 March 2020) in Cape Town, the Archdiocese of Cape Town has released an updated document detailing the safety measures of the Catholic Church in Cape Town.
- All public masses are cancelled until further notice. Following this the laity and deacons are dispensed from Sunday Mass obligations until further notice.
- The Easter Triduum is also cancelled. It will only be celebrated for the Elect and their sponsors.
- All devotional services are cancelled until further notice too. This applies to our services like Stations of the Cross , Peace service and the Rosary.
- All Catechism Classes have been cancelled
- All non-essential meetings are cancelled.
- Masses continue in Religious communities only for members of the community.
- Penitential services are cancelled in favour of individual confessions that need to be conducted with due care.
- Anointing of the Sick can take place but priests must take all reasonable precautions.
- Communion to the sick may continue in serious cases.
- Weddings and funerals to be attended only by immediate family.
- Parishioners are requested to continue their financial support to parishes through these trying times.
- The Chancery will be closed to the public and visits permitted by appointment only.
- Everyone is urged to continue the hygiene measures of frequent and thorough hand-washing, ‘social distancing’ and other common sense practices.
These are extraordinary times and as we have seen across the world, the virulent nature of this virus calls for extreme measures in order to protect the lives of our people and to curb its spread across our nation. The State has declared the situation to be a National Disaster and we are obliged to comply with the law.
For us Catholics the cancelling of Mass is an enormous sacrifice – an unthinkable thing. You will see in the message from the Archdiocese, that we are called to continue to live our faith in spite of these measures. In some ways it feels like the experience of the early Christians who lived their Christian lives faithfully in the face of huge danger and persecutions. Our times are different, our persecution different too, but our resolve and faith is the same as our courageous forebears.
The diocese will seek to provide online access to live streaming of masses and resources for home devotions and Sunday celebrations; and in our parish we will energetically and tirelessly put into place systems and communication channels to stay in touch with all our parishioners, and provide moral, and spiritual support to everyone.
On Thursday we will send out our parish response to this announcement. We will clarify where there are questions and we will announce our local parish measures that we will put in place as a result of the notice today. Please watch out for our email on THURSDAY with these details. We are also creating a page on our website where you can go to for ongoing updates – this will be live in the coming days.
While these measures cause physical separation, now is the time for us to be spiritually united, for us to pray more than ever before and to live our Christian lives as Christ showed us. Now is the time to watch out for our neighbours, to care for the vulnerable and to pull together in our families and in our community. There are a lot of resources we can use and create for ourselves during this time. It starts in our families, going back to basics, redefining what is important in life and drawing ever closer to Christ.
Please take care of yourselves. May God watch over you, protect you, and give you courage, comfort and strength. May the Holy Spirit pour his abundant gifts into your heart, and may your faith grow ever stronger with each day.
“Be strong and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the LORD, your God, who marches with you; he will never fail you or forsake you. “ Deuteronomy 31:6
“No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ” Romans 8: 37- 39