Archbishop Buti Tlhagale (centre) presents the new priests to the congregation: Fr Shaun Carls SJ (left) and Fr Bruce Botha SJ (right)
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Two new Jesuit priests for South Africa
Two young Jesuits were ordained to the priesthood in Johannesburg, South Africa on Friday 8 September, bringing the total number of men ordained for the British Province of the Society of Jesus this year to six - the highest number in one year since 1988.
Bruce Botha and Shaun Carls were ordained by Archbishop Buti Tlghagale of Johannesburg in a ceremony at Holy Trinity Church, Braamfontein on Friday evening.
Durban-born Bruce (37) entered the Society of Jesus in 1996 and studied for his MA in Theology and Philosophy at Heythrop College in London from 1998 to 2000. On returning to South Africa, he was made the Co-ordinator of the Region's work among people with AIDS, and underwent further rigorous training at Baragwanath Hospital.
42-year-old Shaun entered the Society in 1993 and is currently studying at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California. He also studied at Heythrop College (2002-5) and as part of his intensive formation was a Parliamentary Liaison Officer.
In his homily, Archbishop Tlhagale reflected on the way that the priesthood is a reflection of the love of Christ, who feeds the hungry, proclaims liberty to captives and brings good news to poor. He used the opportunity to ask Catholics to pray for more vocations, directing his comments particularly at families and asking them to consider whether one of their members might consider life as a priest or religious. At the end of Mass, he congratulated the Jesuits on adding two new priests to their number, adding that he hoped at least one of them might be made available to continue serving in the Diocese of Johannesburg.
In February, Russell Pollitt was ordained at the same church by Archbishop Tlhagale, in a ceremony at which Shaun and Bruce were both ordained deacons. Fr Russell is now an assistant priest at Holy Trinity. In July, three Jesuits were ordained in London: Nick Austin, Dushan Croos and Jim Conway. The September ordinations of Bruce and Shaun were attended by families and friends from South Africa and overseas, who gathered afterwards in the Holy Trinity University Chaplaincy to congratulate the new priests at a reception.
NOTE: South Africa is a part of the British Province of the Society of Jesus. Jesuits have been working in the country since 1875.
Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley
Baragwanath Hospital on Wikipedia