Rouxville

Rouxville was always served from St.Francis, Aliwal, and it never had a resident priest. In 1952 a Catholic School was built which also served as church on Sundays. The Catholic teacher also served as catechist and conducted services when the priest could not come from Aliwal.

 

In 1988 a proper church was built and on 3 December was blessed by bishop F.Lobinger. It was a long, low, rectancular building with little indication of a sacred building. The large room is divided by a sliding door, so that the smaller part can serve as a hall.

 

1988 the Catholic School was closed and the building sold.

 

Small Christian Communities were established in Rouxville township during the 1980s, about eight of them. As in other places some of them became weak, stopped meeting and had to be revived again. Some preferred a more emotional and traditional way of praying to the demanding way of gospel sharing. As from 1994  there was an annual Community Week when the bishop comes, takes part in one of the house meetings of the eight communities, and on the final day blesses the leaders. The Community Week became a regular feature since 1994 and the parishioners are keen to continue with  it. It was also a time where more attention was paid to the re-training and re-dedication of the many adult leaders.

 

Around 1998  the church became too small. The congregation proved to be far bigger than the statistics indicated, perhaps twice the size. This was surprising because at the same time many other parishes realized that their statistics were inflated while the actual congregations were dwindling.

 

At the same time the congregation expressed its feeling that the combination of a hall and a church was not satisfactory. They felt the church should have a more sacred character and the noisy dancing sessions of the youth should not be conducted under the same roof, divided from the church only by a thin sliding door.

 

In August 1998 a separate hall was therefore built, while the former hall became part of the church. The altar was now moved to the side, so that all people would be close to the altar and in order to give the building a sacred character. The drawing shows in the upper part the original division of the room into a church and a hall, and in the bottom part the renovation with the new sanctuary.