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Catholic Voice Highlights Sr. Dominic's Work

Sr. Dominic Bonnici, who works at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Walnut Creek, California, prepares people to enter the Church through RCIA.  Read the story about one of her latest participants, Wendy Jara (pictured right), in the Catholic Voice Article below:



Sr. Lidia Hosts Homeplan in Hlabisa, South Africa

They came. They saw. And they conquered the hearts of the people of Hlabisa. They were a group of 18 Homeplan members, who spent the week of 26 March to 1 April in remote villages around Hlabisa, staying in huts with local families, and assisting in building houses for orphan-headed households, which they are sponsoring.

Based in the Dutch city of Breda, Homeplan is an association of professional people, mostly in the construction and engineering sectors, who sponsor houses for the poorest of the poor in developing countries. A partnership between Homeplan and SACBC AIDS Office was formed in 2010. In the initial pilot project, caregivers identified households with orphans most in need. Local builders were used to construct two-room houses. Ten were built around Ndumo, and another 10 around Kosi Bay (both in the Vicariate of Ingwavuma, Northern KwaZulu/Natal). The pilot was so successful that the program has been expanded – in the current phase, 30 houses have been earmarked for Hlabisa, 20 for Ndumo and 20 for Swaziland.

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Sr. Dagmar Hired by the Diocese of Würzburg

Vicar General, Dr. Karl Hillenbrand, welcomed Sister Dagmar Fasel on 15 March 2012 to the Diocese of Würzburg with a beautiful bouqet of flowers (left). Sr. Dagmar will serve as the new Secretary and Coordinator of the Sexual Violence Prevention Agency for the Diocese.  Congratulations, Sr. Dagmar!


An Oakford Success Story

We are very privileged at Villa Maria to be the Hospitality community for the Gau-Kim Community (Gauteng-Kimberley, South Africa). That means that we welcome any sisters who come from afar for meetings, holidays, or anything else. This gives us an opportunity to see many of our sisters at different times.  One of these was Sister Charlotte Engelhart, who came for a week’s holiday to us.  On Saturday March 3rd, she welcomed some surprise visitors.  Here is Sr Charlotte’s account of the visit:


What a wonderful afternoon I had! Staying at our Villa Maria in Johannesburg for a few days, I was visited by four ‘old girls’ of Sacred Heart, Oakford, Matric 2003.  Bajabulile Gicjabe is in the fashion industry, working very hard. She got a bursary top study Marketing in London for the next few years. Mbale Hlambe, now Ngerde, first studied geology, then switched over to other studies. She is a business analyst at a bank. She was Head Girl in 2003.  Ngobile Mzobe now Mbatha has done various other things, also helping her widowed mother, and is now studying Accounting.  Ntokozo Mngadi is now studying Psychology further at Witz University, where she is already a counsellor on Saturday mornings. She is working voluntarily in a soup kitchen in Parktown.

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Sr. Alison Speaks at African Jesuit Conference

Sr Alison Munro was invited by the African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) to present a paper at a theological conference in Nairobi, Kenya at the end of January 2012, marking thirty years since the discovery of HIV [AJAN co-ordinates the AIDS work of the Jesuits across Africa].  Her paper examines some of the experiences of the Catholic Church in South Africa in the provision of anti-retroviral treatment to people with AIDS.  Since the beginning of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) AIDS Office programme, the Church has initiated more than forty thousand people on treatment.

CLICK HERE to read Sr. Alison's presentation

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