Department of Evangelisation
Diocese of Johannesburg
South Africa

Department of Evangelization: Catholic Diocese - Gauteng
   PO Box 157 Rosettenville Gauteng South Africa 2130
   Tel: +27 11 435 0682  Fax: +27 11 435 3946

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Welcome from Father Barney Mcaleer

Dear Visitor,

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 Modern World".

"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 Christian Directory.

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 "empowerment'.

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 the Church.

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 Website.

God bless you.

Father Barney Mcaleer
Department of Evangelization
Diocese of Johannesburg 
4 July 1999



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A Department of Evangelization Initiative - Diocese of Johannesburg
Website construction undertaken by the Bryanston Parish Prayer Group
Department of Evangelization: Catholic Diocese - Gauteng
   PO Box 157 Rosettenville Gauteng South Africa 2130
   Tel: +27 11 435 0682  Fax: +27 11 435 3946
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