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Rainbow Nation


My latest RENEW assignment has taken me to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It is a stunning winter day, with bright sunshine following a chilly, starry night. Yes, it does get cold, very cold in Africa! In fact, the day I arrived we had a hailstorm.

On the 18th of July, we celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday. Although it is not a national holiday (yet), there were festivities all around the country. School children celebrated with pageants, birthday parties, and opportunities to appear on TV news singing their greetings to Tata Mandela as they affectionately call him.

Here in the Diocese of Port Elizabeth, we are preparing for the first Season of Why Catholic? Journey through the Catechism with Christian Prayer: Deepening My Experience of God. I thought I’d share with you some of the reflections folks offered after the introduction workshop in response to the question, “What was the most important thing you learned?”

– How to communicate with God in different ways. I always thought that you have to use words. The beauty of meditation helped me to connect with God without speaking.
– Prayer comes from the heart. Prayer isn’t difficult; it’s between me and God who loves me.
– The experience of God’s presence in silence, in spirit.
– To let the Holy Spirit take over in you when you are praying.
– I felt the presence of Jesus near me, and that made me want to give myself completely to Him. In this way, I can help others. Thank you!

I’m on now to Cape Town and then Johannesburg. Watch this spot for more news from South Africa, the “Rainbow Nation”!

Sister Marie is a member of the RENEW staff, a Sister of St. Joseph of Cluny, and the Project Leader for RENEW Africa.

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