Fr Gerald Gostling

Reports from South Africa

19 Aug 2020






August 19th  2020:


Newsletter from the Caritas Desk sharing more good news as we move into security level 2. Thank you to those who allow us to share.


And, greetings to all our family, friends, and wonderful supporters – keep well, safe, and happy!


“Lord our God thank you for your love, and the wonder of our being, and the gift of each another. We place ourselves under the gaze of your life-giving love, confident that you know our every need, and you are aware of how we feel. Guide us in all that we are, and in what we strive to do.  Amen ”


Diocesan Coordinator: Nduduzo Shandu

Chaplain KZN: Fr Mthetho Ndlovu

Chaplain Mpumalanga: Fr Gerald Gostling (Newsletter)


Working  as Caritas “Love in Action” – each and everyone is invited!


The examples below represent and reflect SO much good work that is constant among the projects and parishes and other groups, and individuals, and families, and communities in our Diocese.


You are welcome to allow us to share the good work as an encouragement in this time of suffering and grace, for nothing will separate from the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus.

God bless and guide us all



  1. Antonine’s Home for the Elderly
  2. Imbawula
  3. Planting
  4. Mduduzi, Ithemba, Ekuthuleni…
  5. Minoress Sisters
  6. Anthony’s Home
  7. Dundee
  8. A bonus: The Seminarians at Maria Ratschitz



Sister Busisiwe with her dedicated staff and others has guided the Home with so many Elderly vulnerable people, through a time of great difficulty, with great skill and faith.  Sister asks that we all continue the prayerful support, and also expresses grateful thanks for the various help that has come; it is not only practical but an encouragement.


They have 8 recoveries and no deaths, and this week they complete their quarantine period.


The Diocesan CARITAS BAKKIE has worked hard during this time of the pandemic responding to calls and visiting those in need.




Caritas has also helped to provided some of the simple IMBAWULA as most call it for an individual or couple cooking…and some manage it for a family. This stove is very limited but it boils a pan and keeps the shack warm. It has been particularly helpful in the informal settlements in the Township where so many dwellings are on top of one another



Many  families set to planting during lockdown.

Would that there were more families doing this, however the example of those who plant will be used to encourage more planting and to the sharing of experience.  Thank You!



These, who have shared before, as with other projects, continue their good work in caring for children and keeping an eye on Child-headed households, and visiting the sick to see to their needs and medication. Those who volunteered to help with screening and testing continue their work in the community and Clinics.


Everyone is aware that as the President said we must continue to be cautious and keep the restrictions that remain in place for the safety of one another.


As you who are reading this will know that a visit to deliver food or other items becomes more than this – God allows His love to come across – no matter that we’d like to do more, or to do it better!


5. MINORESS SISTERS:  “Locked in  ST FRANCIS  Vaalbank”  –  another story to share


Most of you are familiar with the Minoress Sisters in Blaauwbosch, and in Osizweni (Novitiate), and each community has their outreach to the poor, but some of you may not know of the new foundation of  St. Francis at Vaalbank.

The crèche

The Motto

Pathway to the crèche

Vaalbank on the Madadeni Utrecht road is very rural and has many poor families; they are eager for their children to do well, and eager for growth in faith, and they have demonstrated that they are more than  delighted to have Sisters living in their area.


The Sisters who have been living there for less than a year will, in time, tell their own exciting and God-driven story from the beginning.

Successful breeding of pigs by the Sisters The power House of prayer and strength and purpose


Responding to a need voiced by the Chief and the people the Sisters have built a Crèche, and they have built a “place of safety” for girls. For the moment the Sisters are living in this building until the Convent is ready, and then full steam ahead.

Nduduzo our Coordinator

Because of our present situation the Crèche is scheduled to open in January, but registration has already begun.


During this time of the virus the Sisters (eight in total which includes 3 Novices) have found ways to continue reaching out to families in need and this has helped prove their dedication to the local people:



Pigs, Chickens for the table and eggs, cultivating for vegetables

Sister Sindi is the Community leader and all the Sisters are grateful for your prayers; they remember everyone in theirs. They also express the encouragement from their priests in Osizweni.



Children and staff gather for prayer

Mr. Mbongiseni Nzuza and his dedicated staff have had care of 73 children and youth during this time of the virus and lockdown.  It has taken much skill, love, and experience to keep the whole Home community safe, happy and occupied – and close to God. They thank God that there has been no report of any sickness at St Anthony’s Home



Fr Muzi supervising and praying for those in need as they sort through clothes and other items to help them in this difficult time – it is experienced again that helping with the practical needs of families they see and express that:  “you thought of us…thank you that you love us”






A glimpse into their ‘Lockdown’ at Maria Ratschitz Tuesday August 4th – Tuesday 25th

All the Seminarians of SJV gathered to sit the Examinations which conclude Friday the 21st. Then there follows a four day Retreat directed by Bishop Graham. The Seminary hopes to re-open on Friday the 28th


Examination Hall and dining room well spaced out

With huge thanks and blessings  to Sister Hedwig, all the Sisters, and Staff – Maria Ratschitz has continued throughout with outreach to the poor


St. John Vianney pray for us – Our Lady of Sorrows Pray for us – Blessed Joseph Nardini Pray for us


Some fall through the net living by the side of the road

The weekend before lockdown, I was able to arrange some workshops for the projects who care for orphans and vulnerable children and youth (little ones grow up very quickly!!) on hygiene, the rules of lockdown, keeping occupied and awareness that children need a lot of love, have time to play, what to do in the event of sickness etc.


And then we arranged for the shopping of basic foods, because, for example, in one of our Project groups we have 63 children to keep an eye on and provide food and some continuing education. Being allowed to continue work it means I am not so locked down as most – I thank God for this privilege and trust in His protection.


Fr Gerald Gostling  19th August 2020

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