Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA)
Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto, South Africa, is without a doubt, one of the most iconic churches on the continent. Built in 1961 and opened in July 1962 by the Archbishop of Milan, His Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Montini (who was elected Pope Paul VI in 1963), the church has played a pivotal role for the people of Soweto, in the period before, during and after the anti-apartheid struggle.
Physical evidence of this is still present-bullet holes and a damaged marble altar, testimony of live ammunition fired by police going after students and activists, during the June 16, 1976 student uprisings.
On October 2nd 2016, Mrs. Ndivile Mokoena from the Justice and Peace Department of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg, and a parishioner at Regina Mundi, welcomed our CYNESA CITES CoP17 delegation for the 9am Mass. The visitors had the opportunity to each greet the congregation, after which CYNESA’s mission was briefly introduced. Mrs. Mokoena also invited the head of Justice and Peace, Mr. Joseph Dube, who spoke about the importance of parishioners getting involved in social justice concerns.
The CYNESA team had brought with them copies of the Eco-parish Guide, developed by the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM). The guide is a resource that assists parishes take action on caring for creation, and features best practices from parishes and communities across the world-among them, Regina Mundi Catholic Church. Our delegation officially presented the Eco-parish guide to the parish, which was well received by the congregation. “This shows that we are already doing something here in taking care of our environment, and motivates us to do even more”, said Mrs. Mokoena as she invited parishioners to participate in Justice and Peace activities on care of creation, in response to the call from Laudato Si’.
CYNESA is deeply honoured and grateful to have been welcomed at Regina Mundi-and special thanks go to Mrs. Ndivile Mokoena, Ms. Nelly Ndimande, Mr. Joseph Dube, parishioners and the parish priest.
Allen Ottaro, GCCM Steering Committee and Executive Director of CYNESA, a volunteer organization. To donate, please contact Allen at [email protected]