South African Cardinal to visit England

 Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Durban, South Africa, is visiting England from the 18th to the 21st September for a pastoral visit to celebrate the strong links that exist between the two countries. He has been invited by the National Director of the Association for the Propagation of the Faith (APF) in England and Wales, Fr John Dale. This year the APF in England and Wales is supporting Catholic Church projects in South Africa with $1,414,742. The funds collected in each diocese in England and Wales are sent directly to local bishops in our sister churches according to the specific needs they themselves have identified. The APF collects money through donations and through the well-known 'Red Boxes' which can be found in more than 200,000 homes across England and Wales. This year a significant amount of the money raised by the APF will go to South Africa to support this growing, vibrant Church. Projects include leadership and catechist training, welfare programmes for Aids orphans including schools, and building programmes in rural areas. The Catholic Church in South Africa has about 4 million members. Cardinal Napier said: "I am very happy to visit the Church in England and Wales, because a personal visit is a much better way of expressing and celebrating the strong links that exist between our Churches. During my stay I hope to convey our South African Church's gratitude and appreciation for the encouragement and support we received from our Sisters and Brothers in the UK and Ireland, during the struggle against apartheid, as well as in our struggle now against poverty, unemployment and AIDS. "With St Paul, I hope to say and even to sing: "I thank my God each time I think of you, and when I pray for you, I pray with joy"." Fr John Dale said: "We are very privileged to be able to welcome Cardinal Napier, the partnership of friendship and mutual support that exist between our two churches is extremely important. "It is an important opportunity for us to find out more about the lives of the people our members and donors make sacrifices to support and pray for. We hope that through his visit Catholics in England and Wales will gain a deeper understanding of the unity and 'universal bond' which links all local Catholic Churches to each other. Source: APF

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