Diocese of Dundee News

Dundee Diocesan Indaba – Issue 34

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Dundee Diocesan Indaba – Issue 33

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Dundee Diocesan Indaba – Issue 32

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Dundee Diocesan Indaba – Issue 31

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Dundee Diocesan Indaba – Issue 30

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Dundee Diocesan Indaba – Issue 29

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How I now Understand Philosophy

Some people may say the study of philosophy is against existence of God but I have discovered that philosophy teaches us that there are things in life which cannot be understood by reason alone but they can make sense through both faith and reason. Hence where human reason ends, faith begins. Arguments about the existence of God require faith before reason. Philosophy has taught me the power of the human mind but at the same time it has taught me its limits. We live in a world which is so sophisticated whereby science seems to be challenging religion but philosophy has taught me that science is also limited. One notices that evolutionism is the challenge to the belief in the creator God. One would notice the clash between the two philosophy modules which are Philosophy of science and Metaphysics. Philosophy of science teaches that empiricism is the point of departure for understanding anything including the arguments about existence of God but Metaphysics departs from what is beyond physical (Being) that there are things which are beyond our senses which can be understood only through human reason because metaphysically the human mind can transcend the physical and when one thinks about God one has to transcend beyond what is physical. I remember in one assignment I had to write six pages to prove the existence of God. At the conclusion of that paper I stated that we can never prove the existence of God and at the same time we cannot prove that he does not exist since he is beyond human reason. Since the God is beyond the physical and if we can comprehend him with our minds he will cease to be God. Three years ago when I began philosophy I had fear that Philosophy might make me to lose my faith since some people when I enquired about it told me that philosophy teaches nothing about GOD AND I ASKED MY SELF why does the church want students to the priesthood to commence their formation by studying philosophy before pursuing theology. Why do I have to experience the rigour of philosophy programmes because I want to know more about God? As I was studying philosophy it made sense to me. Especially when we studied medieval philosophy whereby the philosophers of the time specifically Christian philosophers wanted to use philosophy to comprehend Christina faith (fides quarens intellect). This has helped me to make sense of the catholic teaching and doctrine. In modern philosophy philosophers like Soren Kierkegaard who is one of my favourite philosophers who aimed at enlightening more about Christian faith. He talked about choice and also about subjectivity. That life is about making choices and that one should take his own choices as a subjective individual. This has a profound influence in my life. Firstly because to pursue ones vocation is a matter of making choices as an individual self. When one looks at the vocation to be a priest or a religious it is by essence counter-cultural and making a decision to live a life like this requires great sense of firmness and character. On the other hand one would note that philosophers like Aquinas used ancient philosophy which is known to be of pagan origins to explain Christianity. Philosophy has given me a different perspective of life and helped me to be a better person.  

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My short story

  I am Fr. Kidane Ashuro Abebe, Consolata missionary from Ethiopia. I was ordained deacon on the 14th December 2013, at St. Martin de Pores Catholic Church, Woodlands, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Soon after my deaconate ordination, I left to Ethiopia to exercise my deaconate ministry in my home land. So I was serving in one of the Consolata Chapel in Addis Ababa and also assisting the Consolata philosophy students in the seminary. Then I got ordained on the 13th September 2014, at Holy-savior Catholic Church, in Darge. After my priestly ordination, I was sent to assist in one of the Consolata parish in Ethiopia for 7(seven) months. Then I was appointed to work in South Africa. So I arrived to South Africa on 20th April 2015. From 1st May – 28th September 2015, I went to study the Zulu language at Assisi Convent, Port Shepstone. After the language course, the superior of the Consolata missionaries appointed me to work in Osizweni Catholic Church, in Dundee diocese. So I arrived here in Madadeni 29th September 2015. God bless

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MY NEW FRIEND IN ST FRANCIS XAVIER

Extract from : E-letter No 4 of 2015 MPHATHI,SIYABONGA MLAMBO- Dundee At the beginning of my seminary life I was given a task of taking care of a pet. I quickly fell in love with the pet and its name is Bunny. This pet is a touch base of my life as I have taken it as my friend because I give him food every day, water to drink and bond with him. Bunny made me realise that I am not the only person who cares for him as I read a book called “THE ORIGINAL VELVETEEN RABBIT” In this book a boy took care of a bunny by giving him food, water to drink, enjoyed brushing it and he even let it sleep alongside him. Bunny is like a friend to me even though he doesn’t talk as his actions speak louder than words and I feel we have a strong bond. One of its actions is to crawl to me. It make me realise that he can see or even sense that I am next to it, it also tells me that it acknowledge everything I do for it, so by jumping it shows its happiness and appreciation to me. What a wonderful creature! God has created an innocent and interesting pet to know and see its simple life style; it enjoys eating red apple- it gets to be finished in minutes after being given. Let us take care of one another, love God’s creation and we will be rewarded by God.one way or the other they live as us human beings, they eat as we do, drink as we do. They have their unique to life as we have our own unique way. They bring joy to other people and one thing for sure a Bunny has peace.  

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Dundee Diocesan Indaba – Issue 28

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