Emmanuel Cathedral, Durban South Africa

Emmanuel Cathedral – Seat of the Zulu Missions and Home of the City’s Poor

Our Emmanuel Cathedral can rightly be called an inner-city mission. The meaning of Emmanuel is ‘God is with us’ – and so are the poor.

The Cathedral community is a vibrant and diverse one. The Saturday and Sunday Masses are celebrated in two languages – isiZulu and English – though use is also made of other languages because of the growing number of refugees and immigrants making up part of the a regular attendance of over 2500. Most of the Cathedral’s parishioners are poor and unemployed.

Every day, large numbers of homeless people come to the Cathedral for help and sustenance. This need has been addressed by several projects which were previously held in the community centre across the road from the church.

But the building fell into such disrepair that it had to be demolished. The new building going up on the same site will be known as the Denis Hurley Centre.

From the time that the original foundation stone was laid by Bishop Jolivet in 1902, the Cathedral has depended on donations for its existence. The same applies today, and the new Centre is being built on an act of faith, with a lot of work being done to attract the funds needed for completion.

Pictured above is Cardinal Wilfrid Napier and project co-ordinator, Mr Paddy Kearney who were joined by Rev. Tony Gamley of the Presbyterian Church, Mr A V Mahomed from the neighbouring Islamic mosque and Paddy Meskin, Chairwoman of the World Council of Religion and Peace. Ela Ghandi (granddaughter of Mahatma Ghandi) represented the Hindu faith, and Rabbi Hillel Avidan represented the Jewish faith at the multi-faith blessing of the new Denis Hurley Centre foundation stone on 14 February.

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