Saturday, 21 December 2019

Christmas Services

Christmas in Hogsback is always a very special occasion. Being so far from the hustle and bustle of of the commercial Christmas vibe in cities, provide for an amazingly blessed setting where we can focus on God's greatest love for us!

Christmas shopping is limited to locally produced labour of love and our version of jingle bells is the squawking of loeries in the trees and the occasional flash of red of their wings as they play from tree to tree. The focus here is family, friends and the soft embrace of God in nature as we wait for more rain blessings.

Most of us seem to have had a hard and busy 2019 and our serene little chapel is just the place to come and take a breather. We do have our usual, very festive Christmas eve carol service where the little ones gets to build the nativity scene and we all get to sing our favourite christ-mas songs in awe of little Jesus who came to save us. It will take place on Tuesday the 24th at  5:30pm. All is welcome and we advice you to come early as we have limited space.

Our Christmas day services will take place at 8am and 10am on Wednesday the 25th. The early service will be an Anglican mass and the later one will be a joyous family affair.

Friday, 25 October 2019

2019 St Patrick on the Hill Annual Retreat

This year we have made the decision to not have our retreat in and around Hogsback, but to take some time out to go and recharge our spiritual batteries at one of our favourite locations in Keiskammahoek, Cata Lodge. There is something really special in getting away from our normal grind and responsibilities, and spend some time out with God and fellow Christ followers in a really beautiful and inspiring setting.

This year we are really blessed to have Dr Bill Domeris leading our retreat. Our topic for the retreat is "Loving God" and Bill will deal with all the dimensions of loving God, with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. This is a time for us to renew our relationship with God. We will emerge ourselves in the topic over 4 sessions and there will also be time to go and stroll through the Afro-montana forests, while contemplating our closeness with our awesome God.

Cata lodge is about an hour an a half from Hogsback and is situated very high up in the Keiskammahoek mountains overlooking the Cata dam. The facilities are outstanding and the beautiful setting lends itself to inspiring reflection! You will stay in an award winning, three-star self-catering accommodation which includes self-catering chalets, a communal retreat area consisting of a fully equipped kitchen, a central fireplace, a dining area where you can enjoy your meals and a lounge area where you can chill paging through wonderful coffee table books and magazines. There is also an outdoor braai lapa overlooking the mountains and Cata village.

Cost and logistics:
The cost per person is R500 for the 2 nights accommodation and includes the 4 guided sessions. It excludes food and Maggie will tell you what to bring with, just check with her when you book your place.

We will depart at 10am on Thursday the 14th of November from Hogsback Information Centre and share lifts. We will return to Hogsback after lunch on Saturday afternoon, the 16th.

How to book:
  • Send Maggie a Whatsapp message (0835566962) to book your place, after which she will confirm your booking with you and provide you with banking details for payment.              
  • Closer to the date Maggie will tell you what to bring  regarding food and drinks as well as travel arrangements. 

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Praying for rain

As you all know our little village is currently experiencing a severe water crisis. We ask that you all pray with us for rain for Hogsback. We will be gathering at the Village Green opposite the arboretum (next to the Arminel) at 12 noon for 15 minutes of prayer. Let's ask God together for the blessing of rain as our dam is empty.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Wrapping up for winter!

This afternoon the senior residents of Boldpoint congregated at their community hall at 5 pm. An icy south-easterly wind was driving the message loud and clear: "Winter has arrived".It was an appropriate day and moment to distribute warm, fluffy blankets to elderly folk.

A good representation of the Boldpoint community forum members were present. Siya Madondile had negotiated with his committee and a list of 13 households' names were compiled. The criteria for this warm little blessing, were the most elderly, needy, frail and un-well residents.

The event started off with prayer, where Norma asked God's special blessing on each of these special members of our community. The blankets were presented to each household, with a photograph taken of each, to capture the joy and gratitude. They then blessed us and touch everybody deeply with hymnal songs of praise and thanksgiving.

Simon closed the event with a short speech where he expressed their sincere appreciation to the Council of St Patrick, for providing warmth and love in this manner. Thank you to Jan Delport, the board member for our local outreach organisation in Hogsback, Jikani, Norma Fivaz as well as Siya and his committee for helping to spread of a bit of warm for this winter. May they all feel the love of God enveloping them every time they wrap up!


Sunday, 12 May 2019

Mothers day Service

This morning we celebrated all our village mothers, with treats and poems as well as an inspiring service by our resident priest, Liz.

Trevor, our warden, also did a beautiful poem to celebrate mothers.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Easter Services

You are warmly invited to come and join us as we celebrate Easter at St Patrick on the Hill Chapel. Out Easter services is a time of deep reflection and remembering our Saviour's  sacrifice for us. The chapel services are as follows:

  • Friday 19 April
    12 noon to 13h30
  • Sunday 10 o'clock 

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Wednesday Wisdom: Make me a channel of your peace

The words of the Prayer of St Francis of Assisi, set to music in the chant-like melody created by the South African songwriter Sebastian Temple in 1967, are beautiful. The wisdom encapsulated in the hymn sings out to the simplicity of what lies at the root of human-ness.

It matters not what faith one chooses to follow; it is universal that in seeing and reaching out to the souls of those around us we experience life to its fullest.

There is little, if anything, more meaningful than feeling loved; understood; hopeful; consoled; pardoned when necessary and having the ability to walk and live in the light. When others embrace us in this way, we thrive.

It is in the giving and receiving of these most basic human offerings that we connect with the essence of being, in both the best and the worst of times.

Reflecting on the warmth and closeness shared during our chapel service at the beautiful St Patrick’s-on-the-Hill on the last day of March 2019, it struck me yet again, how the busy-ness of modern life so often blinds and deafens to the extent that we fail to engage and experience the full strength and impact of our personal power.

While the world spins; titles and promotions are chased; technology develops and replaces the work of human hands; science discovers and we get caught up in the race towards ‘the next best thing’ in the pursuit of advancement, we become vulnerable to forgetting that in the end, the most honest memory and legacy we can leave, is that of who we were and how we connected with one another, as people.

The community in which I have been living for the past year survives through drought, fire and flood, and thrives through festival, celebration and day-to-day living; ensuring that busy-ness, for its own sake, is pushed aside in the interests of connectivity. That is not to say that folk are not busy. They are, but it is their choice to balance activity with the channelling of a peace that emanates from the most pure recognition of what South Africans refer to as ‘Ubuntu,’ which draws people together.

The resonance of the words of St Francis of Assisi, the power of giving and receiving and the strength of community – Ubuntu – could not have been more soulfully experienced than when one of our members shared her journey of the imminent adoption of her infant daughter during the above-mentioned service. There can be no further search for meaning and no greater sense of human-ness than in a moment when one becomes an integral part of the palpable love demonstrated by hugs, smiles and tears of joy, all while asking what is needed, how to help and what support can be provided. The giving and receiving was perfect in its completeness as we all became part of the story.

There are opportunities all around us, every day, to share the spirit of peace and connectivity with one another, whether something said; an action carried out or merely the offering of a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on or a hand to hold.

Opportunity is not always grand and loud, with the trimmings of recognition and favour; nor does measuring success by some man-made socially or intellectually created methodology always equate to being successful.

Every one of us has the ability to become an instrument of adding value to the life of another, every day. No more is required than conscious awareness and the mindful use of the many moments in which it is possible to connect in this spirit of human-ness.
ELISE HOFFMANN 3rd of April 2019 Re-posted with permission from: