The Church of St John’s is based in North Riding, Johannesburg, a warm and welcoming Catholic community.
Mass Times & Confession:
Public Holidays: 8:00am
9:45am (From 14 February 2016)
Saturday: 10:00am – 11:00am
Prayed prior to the Mass on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30am.
Benediction & Mass every 1st Friday of the month from 7pm to 8pm.
A Perpetual Novena in honour of Our Lady is prayed at every Wednesday Mass
THE STATEMENT OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE RECENT VIOLENT ATTACKS ON FOREIGN NATIONALS.
The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has observed with sadness the outburst of xenophobic violence in Durban which the Catholic Archbishop, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier has already condemned.
Our charter, the bible, is very clear “When a foreigner lives with you in your land, don’t take advantage of him. Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am God, your God”. (Leviticus 19:33-34)
We understand the anger that the people may be feeling towards the foreigners for various legitimate reasons. However, we are a nation of peace; we are a rainbow nation. We conquered apartheid with very little use of violence and a settlement was reached peacefully. The same principle of Ubuntu needs to be applied in order to calm the recent spates of violence and unrest.
While we acknowledge that the utterances by His Majesty, the king of the Zulu nation, never meant nor intended this violence, we believe that he should categorically condemn this violence and publicly propagate the value of hospitality entrenched in the Zulu worldview “isisu somhambi asingakanani singangenso yenyoni ”. This would amplify his influence as a peacemaker and a loyal leader of the soil.
We commit ourselves to pray to God for this situation to be resolved and to be available as agents to broker peace. We also commit financial support from the SACBC Foundation for the displaced people.
We urge the foreigners and expatriates to avoid being involved in any unfair labour and illegal business practices. We also exhort them to expose those who are here illegally and report any criminal elements among them. This is to be expected of every responsible citizen, both foreign/expatriate and native.
We urge our society to avoid irresponsible use of social media. Many graphics and verbal postings do very little to change the situation but exacerbate the violence. Before posting, always ask yourself if it will bring any good or if it will fuel the conflict.
Finally, we urge the government to take leadership in this matter. Leaders of this violent movement should have been identified and confronted for dialogue and accountability. Issues that provide a context for this horrible violence need to be addressed immediately.
May all South Africans remember that “whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it unto me” (Matthew 25:40) and that the Freedom Charter (1955) says “South Africa belongs to all who live in it.”
Released by : Archbishop William Slattery, the Spokesperson of the SACBC
Enquiries : Fr S’milo Mngadi, SACBC Communications Officer
Tel : 012 323 6458
Cell: 072 110 8613
BENEDICT DASWA – Soon to be our South African Saint
Innocent Daswa was born in 1946 in South Africa and was a member of the Lemba tribe which followed Jewish rituals and laws. Daswa had three younger brothers and one sister: Innocent. Daswa worked as a herd boy before he attended school at Vondwe Primary School in 1957, followed by secondary school at Mphaphukli High School. When his father died, it fell to him to provide for his siblings. He did this by paying for their education while in the workforce.
Daswa was exposed to Catholicism through a friend he met in Johannesburg. He learnt about the Catholic faith and after two years of instruction, was baptized. He took the name of “Benedict” as he was inspired by Saint Benedict of Nursia.
Daswa converted to Catholicism in 1963 and became an active member of the church. He served as a teacher and catechist as he worked with adolescents and assisted families that endured economic hardship. Daswa was a highly respected individual in his local community, known for his honesty, truthfulness and integrity. He later helped to build the first church in his area and later became the principal of the school that he taught at.
In November 1989, storms plagued the area not seen as a natural phenomenon. When his village suffered strong storms in January 1990, the elders decided that they occurred due to magic and thus demanded a tax from all their residents to pay for magic to counter the storms. Daswa refused to believe this and said they were just a natural phenomenon and would not pay the R5.00.
On 2 February, after dropping a man home, Daswa found his path blocked by fallen trees and he was ambushed by a mob. When he got out of the car to remove them, a mob of young boys and men came from behind the bushes and began throwing large stones at him. Bleeding and injured, he ran across a soccer field hoping for assistance from a nearby Shebeen. Seeing an open door at the kitchen he ran straight in to hide and save his life. The mob who quickly chased after him, asked the woman there where Benedict was hiding, threatening to kill her if she did not tell them. Pointing to where Benedict was hiding, she pleaded, “Don’t kill me. He is inside”. Two of the mob entered and pulled Benedict out. Hugging one of them, Benedict pleaded, “Please, spare my life!” The youth responded, “OK. Let me go, we’re not going to kill you.” Believing him, Benedict went out.
Benedict could not escape, so seeing one of them coming with a knobkerrie, he knelt and prayed. The man hit Benedict on the head with his knobkerrie, crushing his skull. Benedict fell to the ground. Boiling water was then poured over his head, ears, nostrils and other injuries. His final words were, “God, into Your hands receive my spirit”.
The burial Mass was concelebrated on 10 February 1990. The priests wore red vestments because they believed that Benedict had died for his faith. It was his stance against witchcraft which had brought about Benedict’s death.