Pastor’s Corner for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, by Fr. Bruce Botha SJ

Our year is rapidly ending. Schools are on the brink of breaking up and our ministry to them will take a break until schools open next year. We have already celebrated our last campus mass for the University of Johannesburg, and in a month our Sunday 4pm Student mass will be paused until the end of January. The Monday evening “Come Home” bible study has also ended and will resume next year when the student academic year begins.


What never takes a break is poverty and homelessness. No matter the year or season the poorest and most vulnerable will always be in need, always be with us. Here is where we try to make a difference. Holy Trinity is known as a community which has a genuine concern for the poor, and we see that in the work which groups like the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul do, in the bible study for the homeless, and in the Christmas lunch put on each year by you, the parishioners of Holy Trinity. The organisation for the lunch is being spearheaded by Prudence Xaba, who has gathered a wonderful team around her, with over 20 volunteers from the parish community. Thank you for volunteering your time and resources for this good cause.


As you will already know, the SVP provides food to 200 poor and homeless people every Monday evening, no matter the time or season, public holidays, or weather. On Monday we had heavy hail in Braamfontein. The hailstones were so big that it was dangerous to be out. But the SVP and several volunteers were there, sheltering under the car port as the ground became covered in a thick layer of icy stones. I pointed out to the SVP that Christmas day and New Year’s Day were both on a Monday, and asked if the soup kitchen would go ahead. If it were me, I would have cancelled. Who could face heating food and cutting bread and standing outside with the homeless after huge lunches and copious amounts of celebratory alcohol? They can. They will. And that amazes me and fills me with profound gratitude.


The soup kitchen will go ahead on the evenings of the 25th of December and the 1st of January. I don’t quite know what we will feed them but there will be food for the hungry. I don’t know who will feed them, but I know that I and the SVP will be there, as well as some volunteers from the community. In case you are wondering who would be crazy enough to volunteer on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, its you. Or at least, I hope its you.


If you would like to volunteer on either of those evenings, please contact the SVP either directly or through the parish office. Or just show up. That’s OK too. It would be from 17h00 to set up tables and do final meal preparation and would end by 19h00 at the very latest.


Fr. Bruce Botha SJ