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Number 14: December 2020
Waiting on God during a pandemic
As the year draws to an end, we look back with teary eyes to the
destruction that has been left by the COVID 19 pandemic – the
many job losses, our dearest ones who have responded to the
call of death! Our community members who have succumbed to
the unsurmountable pressures of being unable to breathe due
to Covid! As a result, we look to this Christmas with anxiety as
the numbers on our TV screens of those infected and dying of
COVID keep increasing; as we are told we are now in the second
wave of the pandemic. We wonder what kind of Christmas this is going to be. Saints like Ignatius of
Loyola direct us to “find God in all things,” yet, in moments of crisis like the present, we may find
ourselves wondering, “Where is God in all this?” It may feel to some that God is simply absent. And a lot
of our fear and anxiety arises out of the unknown and perhaps a bit of the known we have experienced
in the first wave – death! We must be asking ourselves, what’s next? What if I get infected, or what if a
member of my family gets infected, or worse even, a member of my community gets infected or maybe
die? Yet, when we look back through the history of God’s dealings with humanity, we see that God has
brought good forth from evil over and over again. In the Old Testament, we hear of a people that were
in exile, waiting and hoping in prayerful expectation for the coming of the messiah; a people who were
reminiscing about God’s previous acts of intervention that lead them out of Egypt in the Exodus and
calling God to once again act for them. So today, we also cry out to the same God during this time of the
pandemic to make things right. We can ask ourselves, what good can come out of this pain? Instead of
reminiscing over what has been, what if we were invited to sing the Magnificat like Mary? After all, the
scriptures implore us not to be afraid. Because God does not desire our suffering but is always working
on turning our suffering to joy.
In March this year, we started the lockdown and it was during the season of lent. Now in December we
had the pronouncement that we are officially in the 2nd wave and its during the season of advent. Both
these seasons have something in common, preparation. This Advent, as we chart our way through the
second wave, we are invited to wait on God in these unprecedented times. The rich symbols of our
waiting are through the Advent wreath with its candles. The circle of the wreath reminds us of God, His
eternal and endless mercy, which has no beginning or end. The green of the wreath speaks of the hope
that we have in God, the hope of newness, of renewal, of eternal life. These remind us that as we wait
on God during this pandemic, may we never lose sight of his merciful love; may we have hope in the God
who makes all things new.
The candles on the Advent Wreath also give us a message of hope during this time of darkness. They
symbolise the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His son, Jesus: 1) The Candle of
Hope (Prophecy candle) based on Isaiah/prophets who foretold the birth of Christ. As we put on this
light, May we pray that our hope in God becomes the light that will penetrate the darkness that has
engulfed our world and our lives through this pandemic. 2) The Candle of Love/Faith (Bethlehem candle)
reminds us of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. As we look at the light of this candle, may we
celebrate the love we have in Christ. 3) The Candle of Joy (Shepherd’s candle) Gaudete Sunday is a
reminder to us of the joy that the world experienced at the birth of Christ and it is also a celebration that
we have reached midpoint of Advent. As Christians we are challenged to be joyful people. May our joy
in Christ brighten up the lives of those around us, especially the downtrodden, the bereaved, those who
can do with good news during this time of uncertainty. May we learn from St Paul to “rejoice always,
pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:16). 4) The Candle of Peace (Angel’s
candle) based on the Angels’ message: ‘Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men’. As we put on this
candle, may its light illumine the anxiety and fear that has taken over our lives in the wake of Covid 19.
May we find peace in Christ.

As we face the second wave during this advent season, may we garner strength in knowing that we are
not alone, as Philippians 4:6-7 states: “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every
situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. On Christmas

Eve, a fifth candle (Christ Candle) is lit. This represents the birth of Christ. The flame of this candle
reminds us that He is the light of the world and that if we follow Him, we will never walk in darkness, but
will have the true light of life. As we put on this candle, may the birth of Christ bring us the long awaited
good news in these unprecedented times.
The LCCL executive would like to wish each of you a blessed Christmas filled with God’s blessings for the
New Year. May God keep all of us safe in His love and care!
Please continue reading next pages
The LCCL Executive had Zoom meetings on 7-8 OCTOBER 2020 as well as on 2-3 December 2020 by
Zoom
We would like to share with you some of the resolutions and new developments from the Executive
meeting
❖ Talitha Kum Steering Committee
Thalita kum International, a body of the UISG made contact with the LCCL inviting the
conference to join its network. Research was undertaken with other conferences to understand
how the network functions. The Executive then took a resolution in the meeting of 07-08
October to head this invitation. For the network to take off, it was agreed that a steering
committee can be set up to work on this project. The Executive would like to invite members
both male and female, who are involved in anti-human trafficking or are interested in antihuman trafficking work to a virtual meeting on the 16 January 2021 from 14pm-15:30pm or 18
January 2021 from 11-12:30pm. The purpose of the meeting is to share information on Thalita
Kum and set up the committee. Those who are interested in participating in this project are also
invited to participate in the anti-human trafficking workshop arranged by the CTIP below. If you
or your congregational members would like to help with setting up the steering committee,
please contact LCCL office before the 15 January 2021.
❖ Anti-Human Trafficking Workshop
Counter Trafficking in Persons [CTIP] would like to invite you a workshop on Human Trafficking
from 26-29 January 2021 at Lumko. If you are interested in this workshop, please submit your
name to moconnor@sacbc.org.za as soon as possible for CTIP to organise.
❖ LCCL Facebook
The Communication team has managed to set up a Facebook page for LCCL. Please check the
LCCL Facebook page at https://www.faceboo.com/groups/349524034722874/?ref=share
❖ LCCL Twitter Account
The communication team also established a twitter account for LCCL. Please check our twitter
at LCCL SA@lccl_sa
❖ LCCL Instagram Account
The communication would like to invite you to join the LCCL Instagram Account at lccl.sa
❖ LCCLSA WHATSAPP GROUP
The Executive has started a Whatsapp Group for faster communication amongst all members. If
you have a WhatsApp number and would like to join the LCCLSA WhatsApp Group, please send a
Whatsapp message to 063 797 2301
❖ LCCL WEBSITE
Please check LCCL website for new posts and if your congregation would like to post any items,
please email the contents to LCCL office. www.lccclsa.co.za
❖ LCCL AGM 2021
The dates for LCCL AGM 2021 will be from 9-11 March 2021 by Zoom. The theme is: “Behold, I
make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Br Michael Burke will be the facilitator. More details will
be shared with you in due course.
❖ National Joint Witness 2021
The National Joint Witness preparation team has confirmed that the dates for the National Joint
Witness 2021 will be from 6-9 September 2021. Br Michael Burke and Sr Cheryl Ann Ziervogel HC
will be the facilitators. More details about the Joint Witness 2021 will be communicated in due
course.
❖ COVID 19 STATS
It is imperative that all Major Superiors submit their COVID 19 stats to LCCL office on a monthly
basis. As a Conference, we are expected to monitor and report on the impact of Covid 19 on our
members. Without your submissions, we have a skewed picture of what is happening, which
prevents us from responding appropriately to your needs. We also cannot motivate for any
assistance. As at 30 November, there were forty one reported infections, thirty nine recoveries
and three deaths. You are therefore kindly reminded to update your stats with the LCCL office.
❖ CATHCA FUNDING FOR PPE FOR CATHOLIC CLINICS
Cathca has PPE funding available for Catholic Clinics. We will communicate with you in January
2021 the procedure to apply for this funding.
❖ TRAINING OF WOULD BE FACILITATORS
We are pleased to report that this course started on 30th October and ran until 5th December

  1. There were thirteen participants from Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe and of course South
    Africa with only one male participant. This is a two part training where the participants have
    completed part 1 of the training which was the theory. They will still need to do part 2 which will
    be the practical aspects of the training. Part 3 will be for the participants to get involved in
    apprenticeship with an experienced facilitator. Br Michael Burke and Sr Cheryl Ann have been
    very generous to offer their time and expertise to render this training. Please contact LCCL
    office if you and your congregational members are still interested to participate in this course. If
    more people are interested in the course, another round can be arranged in the New Year based
    on the availability of the facilitators. We would like to make a special request for male
    congregations to participate in this process. Thank you to all those members who availed their
    congregational members to participate in this training. The participants reported that they
    found this a good and enriching program which gave them a good foundation in facilitation
    skills.
    ❖ INVITATION FOR COORDINATOR/S FOR TEMPORARY PROFESSED PROGRAMME
    Sr Barbara Standing and Sr Cecilia Anawanti were coordinators of the Junior professed
    programme. However, Sr Barbara retired from this role and Sr Cecilia was given other
    responsibilities as an executive member. As ongoing formation is a crucial aspect of our
    religious formation, there is a need to fill this gap with a sense of urgency. Your help is urgently
    sought in filling this gap. Kindly give suggestions of people who can be contacted to fill in this
    important role by contacting the LCCL office.
    ❖ SACBC TAX DESK
    The tax desk is now operating and congregations/orders are asked to give the contact details of
    their bursars for the contact list for SACBC. Workshop. More details will be given when
    available. Information sharing will be done at the AGM.
    ❖ Orientation for new missionaries
    Workshop is postponed until 19-25 April 2021.
    ❖ Visa and work permit
    Congregational leaders are reminded that they should inform the SACBC and Home Affairs to
    cancel the visa and work permit for members leaving the congregations.

    ❖ CALLED TO SERVE
    This is a new programme on Radio Veritas where religious congregations share about their
    charisms and spirituality. This is a partnership with Radio Veritas to raise awareness about
    religious life as well as promote vocations to religious life. Every week, different
    congregations/orders will be sharing about their charisms and ministries. The show started in
    October 2020 and will be broadcast every Tuesday from 7-8pm until April 2021, see below
    attached schedule. If you didn’t register to participate, don’t worry, there will be another
    opportunity for training sometime next year. Thank you to all the congregations/orders that
    headed the call and responded so generously.
    ❖ PSS Tuesdays on Radio Veritas
    As a response to the Covid 19 pandemic, the LCCL partnered with Cathca and Radio veritas to respond
    to the Psychosocial needs of communities during this pandemic. This show intends to
    strengthen the Church’s response to the Communities affected by COVID 19 by providing
    psychosocial support to members of society. This was launched in October with a focus of
    dealing with covid related matters. However, given the immensity of social ills in our country,
    this show is going to evolve so as to respond to other issues that are burning in the society. To
    achieve this, kindly note the following areas that you or your members can assist with further:
  1. An anchor is needed from LCCL. Currently, this is provided by Sr Nkhensani. The show airs on
    Tuesdays from 4-5:30 pm. The hosts do not have to be in studio. The hosts plan the show and
    conduct interviews with guests.
  2. The show also has a segment that looks at giving hope to the listeners. This is a 5-10 min slot
    where the person can give words of encouragement to the listeners based on the theme for
    the day.
  3. The show also needs counsellors/psychologists/ social workers who can render counselling
    services to those in need. This will work on referral basis.
  4. The show also needs other experts such as doctors/nurses that could be interviewed for
    different aspects of the show.
    Radio Veritas wants the LCCL to own the show, it should be for us by us! If you or any of your
    congregational members are interested in participating in this show with Sr Nkhensani, you are
    invited to make contact with her on nkhensi.shibas@gmail.com for further details.
    The LCCL Executive would like to wish you and your congregational members a grace-filled Christmas
    and a prosperous New Year of 2021 in God’s outpouring love and peace!

    Sr Thao Phi, FMM
    (Secretary General)
    Leadership Conference of Consecrated Life in Southern Africa: lcclsa@mweb.co.za: www.lcclsa.co.za.
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