As almost everywhere in the world no public services are allowed to take place here because of the Corona crisis.
In order to keep in touch with our members, supporters and friends especially during this time, we stream the Holy Mass from Blessed Gérard's Church in Mandeni every weekday at 7:30 am and every Sunday at 9:30 am (GMT +2).
Visit https://www.facebook.com/BGCC.NGO and celebrate with us!
With this picture of the tapestry in my office, handwoven at Ndonyane Centre by Hemista Mkize, I would like to wish you a very happy and blessed Pentecost.
It depicts the Holy Spirit as flames behind God Father and Jesus Christ.
May the warming and enlightening fire of the Holy Spirit comfort you, light up and inspire your life in these challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic and always!
The Corona Virus keeps us under strict control and makes our services extremely difficult:
- Our volunteer service for foreigners is suspended until further notice. We have even reduced the volunteer service of locals to the absolutely necessary minimum in order to minimize the risk of a potential infection with the Covid-19 virus.
- One of our nurses died of Covid-19. Fifteen other full-time employees have been infected but have recovered and are back at work. A girl from our children's home, who came to us in January, was also infected, but had already recovered when she was admitted to the children's home and therefore, thank God, did not infect anyone.
- Unfortunately, I had to cancel my planned travels to Europe in 2020, as well as the planned begging trip now after Easter until June 2021. Whether a fundraising tour to Europe will be possible and promising again from September or October 2021 seems to be questionable at the moment, but I just can't predict this at the moment. Otherwise I always hoped to be invited by parishes, associations, groups, schools, clubs and much more to the most promising events possible (church services, lectures, etc.) and was always grateful when such invitations were given to me. My schedule can be viewed online at http://lagleder.net/2021.htm.
- The South African Postal Services have stopped again sending mail to most countries. That is why we can neither receive nor send letters or parcels.
- Our kindergarten is still closed.
In view of the ongoing Covid-19 threat, we currently cannot take on the responsibility for reopening our kindergarten. Because of the long-term funding we are hoping for, we are now in negotiations to register the kindergarten with the South African Department of Social Development, which turned out to be a lengthy and exhausting process.
- Our hospice home care service and home visits by our AIDS therapeutic counsellors are still suspended because we are responsible for our staff and have to minimise the risk of infection (especially with the so-called South African virus variant, which also infects young people and is much more aggressive than the original virus that the first South African Covid-19 patient brought along from Italy). The employees of the kindergarten, the hospice home care service and the AIDS therapeutic counsellors are temporarily working in our inpatient hospice and fill the gap in the suspended voluntary service there.
- Our inpatient hospice has meanwhile started to accept new patients again under strict hygiene restrictions and quarantine measures.
Here is the text of our current appeal for donations with the heartfelt request to forward it to all good people who may be willing and able to help us:
CORONA: WE HELP!
In addition to our usual services, the Covid-19 pandemic has presented us with extraordinary challenges:
We have to finance all of our charitable work exclusively through grants and donations. Unfortunately, due to the global corona pandemic and other disasters and emergencies, the general willingness to donate is so exhausted that many of our previous donors support us less or no more. All the more I have to beg for your further support of my missionary work also this year in this way. We need help so that we can continue to finance our work in future.
- Please support us with freely usable (NOT earmarked) donations so that we can use the money where it is needed most. You may donate here: http://bbg.org.za/donate.htm. We are of course very grateful to everyone who has supported our work so far.
- It is currently not possible to accept donations in kind from overseas, because international air and postal traffic have been suspended. That means, neither letters nor parcels are transported. Sending donations in kind from abroad therefore makes no sense. In addition, the freight costs for the donor and the customs costs and the formalities during the so-called home office are infinitely difficult and of course customs fees are expensive for us and that is often out of proportion to the value of the goods. Therefore, it is better that you sell the donations in kind and donate the proceeds to us.
The "Newsletter 2021 · Annual Report 2019/2020" of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gerard is now online at: http://bbg.org.za/newsletters.htm. Enjoy reading!
Detailed up-to-date reports on our relief work and situation are available online at: http://bbg.org.za/chronicles.htm.
We are and will remain there for everyone who is entrusted to us at Blessed Gérard’s Care Centre. Remain one with us in prayer and in the support of those who cannot help themselves.
- We celebrate Holy Mass daily, on weekdays at 7:30 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. (GMT+2), in Blessed Gérard's Church. This is always broadcast live on https://www.facebook.com/bgcc.ngo.
- We pray in particular for those most affected by the Corona crisis among the addressees of this letter at our daily Eucharistic Adoration at 7:00 p.m. in Blessed Gérard's Chapel. We would also like to ask for your prayers for those entrusted to our care and for ourselves.
Allow me to make two very personal and intimate remarks:
- I am - directly or indirectly - getting more and more concerned inquiries about why I have lost so much weight. I really do not suffer from consumption! I have fasted strictly for more than twenty-two months for preventative health reasons and lost 55% of my original weight in the process. I have had normal weight for more than one year already. As a result, I feel absolutely comfortable and have gained a lot of energy and strength.
- My constant begging is really embarrassing to me and I ask for forgiveness if it causes displeasure. Unfortunately, I have no choice but to follow Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Count Moy once calmed me down and said: “You give us the opportunity to do good through you, and we are very grateful to you for that.” Finally, 2 Corinthians 9:7 also tells us: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
I sincerely wish you a Blessed Pentecost and remain with best regards
27 years ago, on 24 May 1994, we started our AIDS Education and Counselling Programme.
17 years ago, on 1 April 2004, was the official commencement of our AIDS Treatment Programme.
22 years ago, on 30 March 1999, our first aid and emergency service made its first deployment.
28 years ago, on 15 March 1993, we opened our Malnutrition Clinic.
Our bursary committee met on 11 February 2021 and granted 360 bursaries for 2021:
The number of bursaries approved are as follows:
School Reapplicants = 154
School New applicants = 194
Tertiary Reapplicants = 2
Tertiary New applicants = 10
Please note that these are the number (360) of bursaries APPROVED.
We will only know at a later date how many bursaries are actually PAID because some children may not have passed the year or been accepted at universities etc since the bursaries have been approved.
25 years ago, on 26 January 1996, Blessed Gérard's Disaster Relief Project was initiated, when the Department of Water Affairs issued a flood warning for all people living along the Tugela River.
28 years ago, on 4 January 1993, Blessed Gérard's Relief Fund started tto operate. We help people in our area in genuine cases of immediate need,
- to give food to starving families,
- to give clothing to the poor
- to give building material to needy people whose huts have burned down or just
- to counsel and give advice to those who have no solution to so many different problems.
28 years ago, on 18 December 1992, the activities of our Poor-Sick-Fund commenced.
It was 28 years ago, on 28 October 1992, that the -Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard was founded by Father Gérard Lagleder O.S.B., Dr. Paul Thabethe, Sr. Thuli Thabethe, Geoff Kalkwarf and Clare Kalkwarf.
More about this in our chronicle.
Our Pre-Primary School & Crèche was opened on 1 September 1994.
Our children's home was started 20 years ago, on 9 July 2000.