Welcome to the website of the Catholic Diocese of
Johannesburg as constructed by the Department for Evangelization. We
appreciate your visit and trust you will find here information which
is relevant and challenging.
Back in 1975, Pope Paul VI wrote the following in
which is probably his most famous letter "Evangelization in the
"Our century is characterized by the mass
media and the proclamation of the faith cannot do without these
means. When they are put at the service of the Gospel they are
capable of increasing almost indefinitely the area in which the
Word of God is heard; they enable the Good News to reach millions
of people. The Church would feel guilty before the Lord if she did
not utilize these powerful means that human skill is daily
rendering more perfect. It is through them that she proclaims from
the housetops the message of which she is the depositary. In them
she finds a modern and effective version of the pulpit'.
These words were written before the advent of fax machines,
e-mail, videos and the internet. Who knows what communication media
will become available in the years beyond 2000. But for the present
it is with a degree of excitement that we begin to participate in
the Internet and use it as a tool for evangelization.
If you surf the net you will find information on practically
every subject imaginable including information on all kinds of
religious topics and it is imperative that the Church too has its
voice heard. Locally in Johannesburg we would like that our point of
view, ideals, policies and practices be publicly aired not only for
our own members but for the world at large. We have compiled a
directory of other Catholic
Church websites which are currently available. To view these and
other websites visit our online
However the primary purpose of this website is to
promote, encourage and support renewal and evangelising initiatives
within the Diocese of Johannesburg in accordance with the above
mentioned letter of the Pope Paul VI, as well as the thrust given to
this by the present Holy Father in his letters "Mission
of the Redeemer" (Redemptoris Missio), "The Vocation
and Mission of the Lay Faithful', (Christifideles
Laici) and naturally "The
Third Millennium" (Tertio Millennio Adveniente).
While not really expecting people to read the
full documents mentioned above, the main thrust of renewal in the
Diocese of Johannesburg can be described as efforts at collaborative
ministry and empowerment of the laity.
Empowering the laity means giving them the tools
(formation, training, skills) to enable them to be involved in the
mission of the Church and collaborative ministry implies creating
opportunities for the laity in which they can exercise their
The basis for all this is the fact of their
Baptism and subsequent Confirmation (cf Vocation
and Mission of the Lay Faithful 14) which gives them the
responsibility and the right to witness to the Lord as members of
In practice this has involved the training and
formation of Pastoral Councils to help them move from focussing on
the 'running of a parish' to promoting evangelizing initiatives
among the parishioners. This is a major paradigm shift in pastoral
thinking both on the part of pastors as well as laity. There are a
number of programmes and courses currently available in the Diocese
with this in view.
Apart from the training and formation of Pastoral
Councils there is the newly established Bible College at
Rosettenville (435-7997), there are the Bible courses offered by Fr.
Austin (788-8401), there are Life in the Spirit Seminars (453 7201)
and there are the Alpha Courses
(see this Website). This is not all, but they are enough to make the
point that there is a new life in the Church in Johannesburg. Of
course, the whole country not just Johannesburg is following closely
the preparations for the Jubilee 2000
as outlined by the Holy Father.
The message is getting through that the Church
exists to evangelize that all of us are the Church, and that the
mission of Jesus is our mission: that is, to help people to renew
and personalise their relationship with the Lord.
I trust that you enjoy your time surfing this
God bless you.
Father Barney Mcaleer
Department of Evangelization
Diocese of Johannesburg
4 July 1999