Blessed Gérard's Feast 2009

celebrated at Blessed Gérard's Care Centre in Mandeni on 11th October 2009

Festive High Mass

at 9:30 at Blessed Gérard's Church

The reading was read by Caroline Beaumont

Carolyn Nunn read the responsorial psalm

Father Gérard explained Blessed Gérard's biography and his importance today in his sermon.

Father Gérard blessed the members' medals after the sermon and received the new members of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard officially and solemnly:

Father Gérard presented the members' medal to a special VIP: Mother General Theodora Ntuli O.S.B. of Twasana Convent

Sr. Thuli and Dr. Paul Thabethe presented the members' medal to all other new members

and Father Gérard blessed all the new members.

Festive Function

The function was well attended

Father Gérard welcomed the guests of honour:

Sr. Theodora Ntuli O.S.B., the Mother General of Twasana Convent

Brs. George and Gabriel from Inkamana Abbey

John Schnell and Victor Claudius from the Most Venerable Order of St. John

Trudy and Erich Winkler (a member of our president's council)

The Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard celebrated

15 years of service of Blessed Gérard's HIV/AIDS Education Programme

In 1994 "Eighteen members of the Brotherhood attended a course given by the Diocesan team from Eshowe. Whilst we enjoyed these courses, we also found the subject of AIDS very shocking. Three teams were set up, one to work in the Mandikini area under the leadership of Johannes Hlongwa, one in the Whebede area under the leadership of Conrad Khumalo and one in the Sundumbili area under the leadership of Dr. Paul Thabethe. Dr. Thabethe has had the opportunity to speak on many occasions and had one of his talks broadcast on Radio Zulu. The Brotherhood finds this kind of coverage to be advantageous as we can reach a greater number of people. The shocking fact is that there are still some people who have not heard of the disease called AIDS. 1st December, 1994 is World AIDS Day - let us remember all the victims of this terrible disease in our prayers."

quoted from Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard - Newsletter No. 04

Meanwhile Blessed Gérard's HIV/AIDS Education Programme has given many talks at youth meetings and factories, for industrial managers and peer educators and other people involved in HIV/AIDS work.

We have also been very busy with publications via different media:

Most of our HIV/AIDS education is now part and parcel of our Home Care Training and HAART Programme.

10 years of service of Blessed Gérard's First Aid and Emergency Service

In 1996 we got our first ambulance.
In 1997 we held our first First Aid Course.,
did an Emergency drill (mock accident) and had our First Rescue: We helped to save a life (1997)
In 1999 we introduced Blessed Gérard's First Aid and Emergency Service and had our First First Aid Duty and inaugurated Blessed Gérard's First Aid & Emergency Service.
In the following years we provided First Aid services at the Tugela Raft Race, the Mandeni Spring Fare, at Rugby matches in Mandeni and Stanger, at a Factory Sports Day in Amatikulu and at the Diocesan pilgrimage to Fatima (a service rendered every year).
In the Holy Year 2000 we had the great honour to provide First Aid Duty in the Vatican's Basilicas in Rome.

5 years of service of Blessed Gérard's Hospice - HAART Programme - Highly Active Anti Retroviral Therapy

It was on the 5th August 2003 that BBC Newsnight broadcast "BBC Newsnight 5 August 2003: Hilary Andersson reported from the first national AIDS conference in South Africa" where the South African Director of Health said in an interview: "You can't even think about antiretrovirals in that environment".

In September 2003 Johan Viljoen from the South African Catholic Bishops' Conference's (SACBC) AIDS-Desk phoned us asking whether or not Blessed Gérard's Hospice was prepared to become part of the ARV rollout programme of the SACBC.

Johan Viljoen referred to Blessed Gérard's Hospice as "the flagship of the AIDS work of the Catholic Church in South Africa".

We accepted the challenge and it was on 1st April 2004 that we could employ a registered professional nurse and from 1st August 2004 also a medical doctor to become part of our HAART team.

On 7th September 2004 at 20:11 hrs the first dose of ARVs was given to our first HAART patient: Blessed Gérard's Hospice - HAART Programme - The Story of Qalile Uhlelo.

Meanwhile we have close to 250 patients on continuous antiretroviral treatment. Dozens more are in preparation (some of them not yet in need of the treatment as their CD4-count is still too high).

What makes our programme so special and distinguishes it from many others is

Father Gérard presented Mother General, Sr. Theodora Ntuli O.S.B. of Twasana Convent with a Candle of Blessed Gérard in acknowledgement of her sending Benedictine Sisters (Sr. Edith and Sr. Conradine and two more to follow soon) to establish "Blessed Gérard's Convent" at Blessed Gérard's Care Centre.

Our General Manager Mr. Axel Pape was acknowledged in the same way for the tremendous work he has done for our organisations in less than a year of his most valued leadership.

Dr. Khaya Nzimande has also achieved an unparalleled improvement in leadership and quality of service as member of our management team, Hospice Project-manager and as our medical doctor. Father Gérard remarked especially on his excellent medical care but also on his friendliness to patients, staff and volunteers.

Victor Claudius, a pensioner from Durban, who has devoted his retirement to fundraising for Blessed Gérard's Care Centre received a special vote of gratitude and a personal gift from the Marian Shrine of Lourdes/France.

Father Gérard very proudly announced that the Order of Malta has issued a postage stamp depicting Blessed Gérard's Pre-Primary School & Crèche and presented Miss Zanele Zikhali with an enlarged print of the stamp and mentioned that the stamp does not only show her looking after the children, but was even issued on her birthday, the 23rd September 2009.

In gratitude for the establishment of a Benedictine Convent at Blessed Gérard's Care Centre Father Gérard presented Sr. Edith and Sr. Conradine with a statue of our Lady for the convent.


Everybody was most pleasantly surprised about the "secretly" prepared and not previously announced entrainment staged by children of Blessed Gérard's Children's Home and their friends

our staff members and volunteers

Srs. Conradine and Edith

and DJ and sound technician Mthokozisi Xulu

We thank our management for having prepared everything so well:

Axel Pape

Dr. Khaya Nzimande, Carolyn Nunn, Caroline Beaumont

and Victor Himunchul

We acknowledge and thank Axel Pape and Victor Himunchul for taking all these photos.

This page is part of the Newsletter No. 29 of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard

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This page was last updated on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 12:50:20