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With the British Spring slowly warming up our parish, Penny and Mick Finn are planning their next support event for Mercy House - "Probably our popular lunch in August".
Diana sends news of their summer, now merging into Autumn.
"First, Sister Fidelis has celebrated her diamond jubilee".
Diana says of her "Well, her surname is Diamond, and she certainly is one of the jewels in our Mercy House crown. She made it to her diamond jubilee too. On 6 February, Sister celebrated the 60th anniversary of her religious profession with a Mass and luncheon. Father John concelebrated at the Holy Mass and a Mercy House contingent attended. In the photo we see two young refugee priests - Father Robert on the left and Father Paulin on the right - who were assisted by Sister when they first arrived, together with Sister and Diana on the very happy occasion.
But there was also a farewell, to a distinguished friend and supporter.
"It is always hard to say good bye to someone greatly loved, and this time it was goodbye to one of our "greats." Father John Converset of the Comboni Missionaries, has been with us since 2001, giving ever increasing support to our Mercy work. Apart from his guidance, practical help and general backup, he was instrumental in accessing funding for our Play Centre, which has become a great source of joy, relaxation, friendship and healing. On Sunday 21 February we had a "braai" lunch (that's a barbecue) and celebration to thank Father John for all he has done for us and to bid him farewell.
In the photo Mr Peter Holding, our accountant and member of our management team, is giving a farewell speech. In the background on the left is Anja, our young German volunteer who will also be leaving us soon - so quite a few goodbyes seem to be on our current agenda!
Donatien thanked Fr John on behalf of our refugees.
Farewell also to Richard - for the time being! Well, like Samson, he has cut his long locks by now and has temporarily left Mercy House for distant KZN, to do a year's practical which is necessary as a third year in his studies for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. We bade farewell to him on Sunday 21 February on the same occasion as we said goodbye to our beloved Father John. We will miss Richard greatly but he will be back: - no-one likes to leave Mercy House, that we know.....
As an aside, in this photo Richard was wearing one of the jackets sent out from St Richards by Mrs Judy McGregor to Mercy House last year. Smart boy was feeling good in his classy attire!
Shadadi's favourite Sunday afternoon activity is getting his bush of hair plaited into a smart style before going back to school. His room mate, John, also in high school, seems good at the job, if one judges by the weekly results. John could not exactly wear the same style...!!!
There's a remarkable success story for our resident media producer whose website is already well viewed by St Richard's parishioners.
Emmanuel has broken through into cinema film production and has found success in the world of editing - post production work on a major film. Emmanuel writes:
"It is with great Joy to let you know that I am having a second credit on a feature movie. VideoVision Entertainment is in the final stage of post-production of another feature film to be realized on big screen (Cinemas) here in South Africa. I have been part of the post production team, and I have credit as Post Production Intern.
At the moment, the movie in which I hugely assist the editor, is playing at the cinemas and I always smile to see my name on a big screen. I wish I could describe the smile in my face each and every time I see my name on the big screen in the cinemas!
The biggest news is that I have been progressing very well. I have learnt a lot and now I can see a bright future. I have been promised to be the Second assistant Editor on the Big movie of Mandela called Long walk to freedom. I have improved my editing skills.
attached is my photo in our studios. The photo was taken after I finished exporting the entire movie for Grading and shoot out.".
We congratulate Emmanuel on a great leap forward in a very competitive media world.