Diocese of Oudtshoorn Commemorates Titanic Anniversary and Plans Diocesan Census

The Diocese of Oudtshoorn in South Africa commemorates the 112th anniversary of the Titanic sinking, honoring 3 Catholic priests who sacrificed their lives to minister to passengers. The diocese also plans a census to better serve its community.

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Mazhar Abbas
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Diocese of Oudtshoorn Commemorates Titanic Anniversary and Plans Diocesan Census

Catholic Diocese Honors Heroic Titanic Priests on 112th Anniversary

The Diocese of Oudtshoorn in South Africa is commemorating the 112th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, honoring the bravery and selflessness of three Catholic priests who sacrificed their lives to minister to passengers as the ship went down on April 15, 1912. The diocese is asking for prayers for the spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of its clergy, having lost five able and dynamic priests within the past four years.

In addition to the anniversary commemoration, the Diocese of Oudtshoorn is planning to conduct a thorough diocesan census, the last one having taken place over 25 years ago. The census aims to better understand the needs of the community and plan accordingly for the future. The diocese also runs a weekly radio program called the 'Catholic Hour' that brings news from the diocese, the Southern African Catholic Church, the Vatican, and the worldwide Church to its listeners.

The heroic actions of the three priests on the Titanic - Father Thomas Byles, Father Joseph Peruschitz, and Father Juozas Montvila - have become an enduring legacy of faith and sacrifice. Eyewitness accounts recall the priests praying with passengers, offering blessings and absolution, and helping women and children into the limited lifeboats. They all chose to remain on the sinking ship to provide spiritual comfort to those who could not escape.

"The bravery and selflessness shown by these priests as they put others' needs before their own is an inspiration to us all," said Bishop Joseph Oudtshoorn. "In honoring their memory, we also pray for our own clergy who dedicate their lives to serving God and their communities, often in the face of challenges and hardships."

Why this matters: The heroic actions of the three Catholic priests on the Titanic continue to inspire people of faith around the world more than a century later. Their sacrifice serves as a timeless example of putting others first and providing spiritual comfort in the darkest of times.

With the Diocese of Oudtshoorn marking this solemn anniversary, it also looks ahead to better serving its community through the planned diocesan census. "We must take stock of where we are as a diocese and determine how we can best meet the needs of our people going forward," Bishop Oudtshoorn stated. The weekly 'Catholic Hour' radio program will keep parishioners informed and connected to their faith as the diocese carries on the legacy of those brave Titanic priests.

Key Takeaways

  • Diocese of Oudtshoorn commemorates 112th Titanic sinking anniversary.
  • Honors 3 Catholic priests who sacrificed lives to minister passengers.
  • Diocese plans census to understand community needs and plan future.
  • Runs weekly 'Catholic Hour' radio program to inform parishioners.
  • Priests' heroism inspires faith and sacrifice, a timeless legacy.