A Double Celebration for The Stigmatine Fathers
It was a double celebration for the Stigmatine Fathers on Saturday 22 January 2022. The Italian-founded congregation celebrated the silver jubilee of Brother Lino Bokaba CSS, and the final profession of Brother Frederick Kavusa Kavao. The event was held at the St Joseph Church in Oukasie Location, near Brits.
In his homily, Fr Anthony MaChaka, the Provincial-Superior of the Stigmatine Fathers in the Vice-Province of the Most Holy Redeemer (comprising of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Tanzania), expressed his gratitude to Bro Lino for giving the Stigmatine Fathers congregation a wholesome identity. He said that Bro Bokaba was the only fully-professed Brother of the congregation and therefore filled a very important space in terms of the clerical positions necessary for a congregation to exist.
He urged the twenty Stigmatine Fathers priests concelebrating the Mass service with him to be of encouragement to Bro Frederick Kavao, and also announced that Bro Kavao would be assuming the position of assistant parish priest at the parish of the Holy Spouses in Soshanguve township, north of Pretoria.
Fr MaChaka presided over the perpetual profession and the renewal of vows for both Bro Lino Bokaba CSS and Bro Frederick Kavao CSS. At the end of the service, a number of speeches were made. In his speech, Bro Kavao expressed his gratitude to all who had made a contribution to his journey up to the present moment. He thanked his parents (who couldn`t make it to the event due to the long distance between South Africa and his homeland the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC), and he also thanked the congregation of the Stigmatine Fathers for having stood by him from the beginning of his journey up to the present moment.
A letter of congratulations was read from Fr Giuliano Melotto CSS to Bro Lino Bokaba. Fr Melotto is a Stigmatine Fathers priest who served in South Africa for many years. He is currently based in his home country of Italy. Fr Melotto was ordained a priest alongside Fr Michele D`Annucci CSS at the Most Holy Redeemer Mission in 1969.
In the letter, Fr Giuliano reminded Bro Bokaba of the road that they had travelled together as Stigmatine clergy in the late nineties up to the new millennium. These experiences travelled across countries and over borders from South Africa, to Botswana and Tanzania.
In his speech, Bro Bokaba thanked Fr Melotto for the message, and also thanked everyone present for making the time to wish him well on his silver jubilee.
In her speech, parishioner and former mayor of the Madibeng Local Municipality Ms Sophie Molokoane pointed out that the occasion marked a milestone in the history of the St Joseph Church. She said that the church appreciated the opportunity to host the event, and also thanked Bro Bokaba being a part of the St Joseph parish, and for the important role he continued to play in the life of the parish. After the service, a lunch was enjoyed by all present.