By Rev Nceba Dladla
The African Catholic Church will hold its National (Provincial) Synod at St Thomas Parish, African Catholic Church (ACC) in Helen Joseph Street, KwaNobuhle in Uitenhage from September 23 to 28, 2014.
The Provincial Synod which is the highest decision-making body of the 106-year-old African Catholic Church (ACC) will coincide with the official opening of the newly built parish, the St Thomas Church on the Thursday, September 25. It sits every three years and is presided over by His Grace, the Archbishop, O J Mathopa, the Dean of the Province, His Lordship S A Dire and the Eastern Cape Diocesan Bishop, His Lordship, S B Hoyi and they constitute the Episcopal Congress. In this sitting the synod formulate resolutions and adopt them for implementation for the whole church.
All that which constitutes the Ecclesiastical Law of the Province is the outcome of this Synod. Whatsoever is passed by this Assembly as the law of the Church becomes at once the Law which governs the entire Church, and no other whatsoever can be the Law if it be contrary to that passed by this assembly.
The Synod looks at the constitution, finances, the policies, resolutions, diocesan reports and other important legislation that governs the church in these changing trends of the economy. It is the time for the church, the body of Christ to reflect on the past and gauge the present as it moves forward.
During the Synod, the ACC will also ordain those called to serve the Lord as Priests and Deacons as well as robe the mother-priests and mother-deacons. Matt 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Holy Spirit”
This being a national conference, we are expecting members of the church from all our dioceses and as such from parishes from across the country. The theme of the conference is: “Thus far, the Lord has helped us,” based on the Biblical pericope 1Samuel 7:3-14.
On Friday September 26 we shall be having a banquet at Thanduxolo High School in KwaNobuhle from 8pm.
“We are expecting about 500 members of the ACC to arrive in Uitenhage from Sunday 21 September,” said the hosting Bishop, Hoyi adding that the first to arrive would be members of the Eastern Cape Diocese as the hosting province.
Bishop Hoyi urged local residents to give the visitors to the city, incidentally named after the icon of democracy, freedom, peace and social justice, Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela, a warm welcome.