The Sisters of the Cape Province are present in some of the most disadvantaged communities of the Western Cape. Within our ministry of education, pastoral Work, social work, health care (practice, training and education), early childhood development, child and youth care we encounter a domestic Church which is threatened and challenged by:
- A lack of ongoing faith formation in adults and children
- A weak social and moral value system resulting in families facing challenges e.g. drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse and sexual activity among the youth, inappropriate behaviour, learning and behavioural problems and children who are more aggressive and abuse towards parents and teachers
- Single parent families headed by women
- Grandparents who are the main caregivers and breadwinners.
As sisters, we attempt to meet these challenges by integrating the Message of the General Chapter to respect, protect and promote life into our ministries, our community life, prayer life, and vowed life.
Through our pastoral ministry we are involved in and touch the lives of families through:
- Parish involvment
- Scripture sharing and prayer groups
- Days of prayer
- Home visiting to support troubled families
- Social outreach
- Catechetics and liturgy
- Additional catechetical training and support for catechists
Our involvement in the field of education brings us to an encounter with learners who experience learning and behavioural problems that are brought about by:
- Broken down family and support systems
- Single parent households
- Communities affected by violence, gang activity and substance abuse
Education is not solely about intellectual formation and development, but about educating, learning holistically and treating each one individually and with dignity. The Principal and staff are being empowered with knowledge which enables them to assist parents and caregivers in accessing:
- Community social workers for home visits
- Psychotherapeutic therapy
- Legal resources e.g. maintenance courts, restraining orders
- Social service grants
We believe that a good educational foundation and formation is essential for a child and therefore our educare centres have implemented up to date Early Childhood Development programmes that will assist the children in their education and formation.
In the field of social development we work with the most marginalized of society especially vulnerable children, youth and the elderly.
We have responded by:
- Running senior citizen clubs where the elderly can experience a sense of companionship, friendship, sharing, respect for their human dignity and acknowledgement of their contribution to society.
- Assisting senior citizens when applying for old age pensions
- Helping senior citizens to get out of exploitative situations
- Helping those aged who are left at home alone to be admitted to an institution for the aged
- Being a presence in old aged homes
Through the Child and Youth Care Centre we respond to the needs of children and youth who have experienced being removed from situations of:
- constant abuse
- domestic violence
- substance abuse by their care givers which led to neglect, abandonment rejection and isolation
by providing a:
- comprehensive residential care programme focussing on the holistic development and formation of children and youth entering the facility
- reintegration programme to facilitate the reunification of children and youth with their families or communities of origin, by providing services and support that will enhance the family functioning so that children can be placed back with their families.
- Transitional Living Programme to assist children and youth in their transition from institutional care to live back home within a family structure or community.
Health System - care, formation and training
Patients and their families:
- At times feel alone, afraid
- Some lack understanding and acceptance of the illness
The sister nurse responds in ways such as:
- spends time praying with and speaking to the patient and the family about the illness
- Helps them to understand what is happening
- Encourages family members to visit regularly
- Where needed she calls in the priest or Church ministers
- Empowers them to take responsibility for their health by regularly taking their medication and following their prescribed diets
One sister is involved a hospice for HIV and Aids patients, another works in a children’s hospital and one is involved in the formation and training of nursing personnel as well.
Prayer plays a pivotal role in all that we engaged in from our interpersonal relationships in community to our interaction with all those whom we meet in our ministries. Regular gatherings as sisters of the Cape Province are times for reflection, evaluation and renewal.
Holy Cross Provincial House
PO Box 1405
ZA-7499 Parow Cape
Tel. +27 21 934-6348
Fax +27 21 934-6749
Sr Mary Quimpo