Almighty God,
You are father and mother to us, your children.
We thank you for the particular and special gifts you have given to women, the gift of nurturing life, of sustaining and supporting life, the qualities of compassion, commitment, generosity and a willingness to share.
As they progress towards their rightful place in society we request your blessing on all women
that they may continue also to hold their rightful place in the family.
that women and men together may build a society which will bring
about the Kingdom You have promised us.
We call on Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who nurtured and cared for her son and now reigns with Him in heaven
to inspire the women of South Africa,
to pray with them in their joys and in their struggles,
and to intercede for them with her Son.
Mary, Queen assumed into heaven, patroness of South Africa, pray for us. Almighty God,  You are father and mother to us, your children.

August 14th. Femicide is an issue that is very much in the public eye during this month.  Women and children, even tiny babies are subjected to sexual violence far too often.  The confirmation candidates were given a project to research the lives of virgin martyrs in the history of the Church. As Eva shared with her mom, “I was shocked to find out how many young girl martyrs there are.”

Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab according to the word of the Lord and there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like him.  Deut 34:1-12.  Pope Francis: The Church lives within the communion of the saints. The Eucharist becomes a spiritual union binding us to the saints. Their holiness comes to the aid, to fortify our weakness of some with the strength of others.  FM22

August 15th.  In South Africa this feast, which is particularly important as the patronal feast of the country, is transferred to the following Sunday to enable parishioners to attend Mass more easily.

 August 17th. A special family mission was planned to commemorate the South African patronal feast of the Assumption.  All aspects of family life were addressed by the invited speakers while families also shared their joys and concerns in their own small groups. The men and women, boys and girls declared afterwards how good it was to be listened to and be able to make a recommitment to one another.

Josua spoke to the people saying,”now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and faithfulness. Put away the false gods which you and your fathers served.” The people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods.”  But Josua said, “You cannot serve the Lord, he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your sins.” And the people said, “No; but we will serve the Lord.” The Josua said, “You are witnesses against yourselves.” From Jos 24:14-29.  Pope Francis:  in recent decades there has been a breakdown in the way Catholics pass down the Christian faith to the young.  Many people feel disillusioned and no longer identify with the Catholic tradition. Growing numbers of parents do not bring their children for baptism or teach them how to pray.  Causes include a lack of opportunity for dialogue in families, the communications media, unbridled consumerism and more.   EG 70

 August 18th  Assumption, Mary Queen assumed into heaven, patroness of South Africa, pray for us.  “I think we are lucky in South Africa to have Mary as Queen assumed into heaven as our patroness,”  Octavia  shared.  “It kind of means to me that as a queen she is very powerful and as she is in heaven she has already completed her earthly life with all its joys and pains.  That gives me courage and hope when I struggle with my depression after the abuse I suffered. Sr Angela, my old RE teacher suggested that I pray to her and it really helps, even after my counselling.

“Henceforth all generations will call me blessed for he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.   From the Magnificat. Luke 1:39-56.  Pope Francis:  Mary was able to turn a stable into a home for Jesus, with poor swaddling clothes and an abundance of love.  She is the woman whose heart was pierced by a sword and who understands all our pain. As mother of all she is a sign of hope for peoples suffering the birth pangs of justice. As a true mother she walks at our side, shares our struggles and constantly surrounds us with God’s love.  EG286.

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