On Sunday, 10 August 2014, the Women’s Group of St Martin De Porres Parish in Sunnyside, Pretoria visited SJV.

The visitors arrived in time to join together with the formators and students in the celebration of Mass at 9h00, which was the first part of the programme for the day. Mass was presided over by Fr. Jerome Nyathi, with eight other priests of SJV concelebrating. In his homily Fr. Nyathi opened with a question which required one to ponder before even answering it in one’s heart. He asked: “where do you run to when you experience an earthquake?”; “do you follow the crowd? Do you remain calm? Or do you call upon the Lord’s help” he further asked. From his introductory question Fr. Nyathi showed how the three figures from the three different readings of that Sunday, that is, Elijah, Paul, and Peter sought help from the Lord. He urged the congregation not to hide their selves when they experience different difficulties in life, but rather again and again they should cry out like Peter in the gospel reading, and say “Lord save me!”. Though laughter and smiles were on people’s faces when Fr. Nyathi quoted the words of a popular singer, surely they could not forget the resounding “Don’t worry” words which encouraged the congregation not to worry when experiencing difficulties in life, but to cry out tirelessly to the Lord until something happens as he concluded his homily.

Then the second part of the programme followed whereby our visitors were ushered to the hall to be entertained by the SJV choir. Sethlaremang Letseng was the MC of the day, and delivered some jokes as part of the entertainment. A welcoming speech was given by Mthokozisi Ndlovu, president of the Student Council. In his address, Mthokozisi briefed the visitors on the formation of students to the priesthood, focusing on the four pillars of formation, which are: Academic; Spiritual; Human and Pastoral formation, stressing their importance and the crucial role they play in forming Students to the priesthood. Paraphrasing St. John Paul II, Mthokozisi expressed the joy of having visitors coming to visit the seminary as it was a sign of continual support, love, and care for the students and priests. Along the same lines, the representative of the Women’s League of St. Martin de Porres, Ms Boitumelo, also stressed that their visit to the seminary was meant to serve as an encouragement to the future priests, to know that they also have aunts, sisters and mothers who continue to support, care, and pray for them. She assured the seminarians of their limitless support and prayers through their journey to the priesthood. Then Fr. Masilo Selemela, the vice-rector, introduced the staff members, also giving background to the duties and qualifications which each formator holds. Lastly, but not least, was the presentation of gifts to the seminary by Ms Masesi Lekalakala, followed by a vote of thanks delivered by Fannie Msiza.

After the entertaining programme in the hall, the visitors, together with staff and students of SJV had lunch and refreshments to socialize and gear up for the third and last part of the programme — soccer. As it was a nice breezy, sunny, day, the crowds had time to relax a bit on their camping chairs, as they watched team SJV up against team St. Martin de Porres. Unfortunately the visitors did not have a chance to walk away winners, for team SJV scored a 6-2 win. And that marked the end of a memorable day at 17h00.

By Gabriel Caleni – Philosophy 2 Student