By Reverend Nceba Dladla
The Eastern Cape Diocese of the African Catholic Church (ACC) has a new Cathedral Church. An official opening of St Thomas Parish under Reverend Xhanti Busakwe in KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage, was done last Sunday, April 10.
It coincided with the church’s 2016 Provincial Clergy Synod with was attended by all seven dioceses of the African Catholic Church from across the country, “ said ACC Metropolitan Archbishop OJ Mathopa said.
His Lordship, Mathopa, the fifth Archbishop of the 108-year-old ACC, which was celebrating its eighth clergy synod after the 100 years’ celebration of the church’s existence thanked God for making it to the historic event.
He said, “I was very sick in January and was worried that I might miss this important event in the history of the ACC. But God who answers prayers heard my cry and made it possible for me to officiate at the event.”
According to Archbishop Mathopa, the cathedral was where important services of all the structures in the diocese would be held, under the guidance and leadership of the consecrated diocesan bishop and his chapter.
These included the ordaining of priests, confirmations, matrimonial ceremonies and retreats.
He said all important records of the diocese were kept in the cathedral.
The Archbishop believed St Thomas Parish was the right choice for the cathedral as it carried the most important history of the ACC in the Eastern Cape. He made mention of the likes of Bishops Mathew Goxo, JG Hloyi and Thozamile Rani as men of God called to lead the church. He added that trio played a pivotal role in the growth of the ACC in the Eastern Cape.
“This was a very successful clergy synod in that, as expected, we managed to deliberate thoroughly on the issues affecting the church and the clergy as well,” hosting Bishop Sonwabo Hoyi said.
About 90% of the ACC priests had been present and had engaged in discussions aimed at taking their church forward.
“The clergy synod is aimed at priests encouraging and giving one another support in these challenging times. As called by God, priests meet annually to discuss issues of mutual interest as well as plans to move the church forward,” Hoyi said.
“Our theme was: ‘We need one another. You need me and I need you’. And we touched base on this truism when we preached about being sent out into the cruel world, to propagate the gospel of love and to keep on reminding ourselves about telling good news to the world.”
He said the synod had been a resounding success as they had achieved all that they had set out to achieve.