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Friday, October 21, 2016
Archbishop Pius Ncube at Westminster Cathedral
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 Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, appealed for prayers for his country when he celebrated Mass in Westminster Cathedral yesterday. Speaking briefly after a pastoral letter from Cardinal Cormac, Archbishop of Westminster, for Good Shepherd Sunday was read, he said: "I ask you to pray for my country which is going through a difficult time. Change will come but not just through our action but through the will of God." Reflecting on the day's Gospel, Archbishop Ncube said: "We all need to discern God's call in our lives - the different states to which we are called. The more we discover, the happier we are. "Jesus said today, 'I know my sheep and my sheep know me. I am the Good Shepherd'. This is a central theme for us all. The strength of the Catholic church and indeed all churches and all world religions depends upon our knowing God, our relating to God. Relating to God means we have a personal relationship to him. It is people who have a relationship with God who can work for the good of the world and for humanity." "Jesus speaks also of the relationship between him and the Father," Archbishop Ncube said. "We are all called to share in that relationship. To deepen our relationship with God we need to spend time each day in personal prayer." The Archbishop said he had once heard a Medjugore visionary say that priests needed to pray two hours a day, bishops three hours a day and retired bishops four hours a day. "He didn't say anything about nuns" the archbishop said. "Presumably he thought they prayed enough already." "People work very hard. This can be our downfall in the church. We want to be great and busy but all we are asked to do is to love God and to love our neighbours as ourselves. Lets take time to be with God." After Mass, the congregation applauded when the Cathedral Administrator, Fr Mark Langham, thanked Archbishop Ncube for his visit, describing him as a "heroic and outspoken defender of human rights in Zimbabwe". Archbishop Ncube replied: "I'm a small man - only a country boy." He said the last time he had visited London was in 1981 when he spent a week in Clapham South. He said: "I ask you to continue to pray for Zimbabwe. It is a very difficult situation when leaders who started out being very exemplary all of a sudden forget people. There is widespread starvation. Thanks to CAFOD and the World Food programme half a million starving people are receiving food. But conditions are difficult. There are 100% price increases every week. We hope these difficulties will be overcome by God's mercy."
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