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    Sunday, 17 July 2016

    Govt official orders Catholic School to do pledge ahead of Holy Mass


    – Roman Catholic head for Masvingo Diocese, Bishop Michael Dickson Bhasera has expressed shock at the way a Government official he did not mention by name trashed the holding of Holy Mass at one of the Church-run schools ahead of the National Pledge.
    Bishop Bhasera disclosed the incident at Gokomere Central Primary School Prize Giving Day where Masvingo  Provincial Education Director, Zedias Chitiga and other high ranking officials from the Ministry were present.
    He said a Government official reprimanded the school head for starting the school term by holding Holy Mass instead of the National Pledge. The head responded by saying in the Catholic Church, the Holy Mass was more important but he was surprised when the official retorted back and said the Holy Mass was not important.
    When asked for comment by The Mirror Chitiga professed ignorance over the issue and referred all questions to Bishop Bhasera.
    "Recently a Catholic school opened the term with Holy Mass, the head was visited and asked why they began the school with the Holy Mass. The head responded that in the Catholic Church that was the foundation and apex of the existence of the school. To the head's susprise, the officer of the Ministry of Education said that Holy Mass was not important at all, it was nothing, what was important was for the school to start with the National Pledge," said Bishop Bhasera.
    He said these were some of the challenges that Pope John Paul II referred to the threshold of the Third Millennium.
    "The Pope acknowledged that the challenges have become more complex and today the representatives of the school, teachers and the Responsible Authority need to take a firmer stance in witnessing to the Gospel values and remain faithful to Christ," said Bishop Bhasera.
    He called for courage in standing for the values of the Church and Christ.
    "Such an outlook calls for courageous renewal on the part of the Catholic school. The precious heritage of the experience gained over the centuries reveals its vitality precisely in the capacity for prudent innovation. And so, now as in the past, the Catholic school must be able to speak for itself effectively and convincingly. It is not merely a question of adaptation, but of missionary thrust, the fundamental duty to evangelize, to go towards men and women wherever they are, so that they may receive the gift of salvation," said Bishop Bhasera.
    He said the Catholic Church was an early player in the field of education and now it partners the State. He added that the mandate to teach comes from Jesus Christ Himself who said "Go and teach all the nations, those who believe baptise them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Mat. 28: 19-200). Amidst all these aspects the Apex of Christ's mandate lies in the fact that all knowledge must lead mankind to know God and serve him alone as his/her Master. If the knowledge that is imparted to the child does not lead the child to know God, the Creator then that effort is in vain," said Bishop Bhasera.
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