South Africa

Archbishop Denis Hurley OMI
This week, the Church in South Africa – and more widely – has been celebrating the centenary of the birth of Archbishop Denis Hurley. The event coincides with the opening of the Denis Hurley Centre in Durban – a facility which continues Hurley’s work with the marginalised: feeding the homeless, tending the sick and welcoming refugees, according to its Director, Raymond Perrier. “We do so in the ecumenical and interfaith spirit that drove him,” he says. “And we find ways to be a voice for the...
Reviewing the Synod on the Family, October 2015
Three weeks of intense work have ended. It has been an incredible experience to be at and live through a Synod of Bishops. No significant changes to Church discipline or doctrine are on the cards. There was no agreement on the hot-button issue of admitting the divorced and civilly re-married to Communion. As the Synod ends there are two reactions: for some, relief that Church teaching has been affirmed; for others, disappointment - especially for those in difficult circumstances who had hoped...
The Summer 2015 edition of Jesuits and Friends takes us from the devastation faced by remote communities in Nepal to the serenity of the North Wales countryside; and from the celebrations surrounding the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero to the streets of South Africa, where post-apartheid democracy is still to be realised.From Kathmandu, Fr Jomon Jose SJ describes the events of 25 April when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. The Jesuits in the country immediately launched a...
Xenophobic attacks in South Africa have been condemned by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). It has called upon the country and its leaders to show respect for and solidarity with each person – irrespective of their race or nationality.The statement by JRS follows attacks and fear of reprisals in KwaZulu-Natal province, Johannesburg and other parts of the country. Shop lootings and violence over the past two weeks have left five people dead and have displaced nearly 2,500 Malawian, Zimbabwean,...
The Jesuit Institute in South Africa will be hosting a special screening of the multi-award winning documentary Miners Shot Down at St Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Orlando West, Soweto, on 27 April 2015. The documentary follows the events leading up to the Marikana massacre on 16 August 2012 and includes striking footage from numerous sources, including the South African Police Services, Lonmin security and Al Jezeera. It also presents interviews with key players in the events of...
The Jesuit Institute South Africa has called for an end to xenophobia in the country, saying it is a “shameful phenomenon”.  With its partner organisation, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), it says xenophobic violence should be addressed by systematic civic education and by facing the social, economic and political cocktail that leads to fear, hopelessness and anger.The statement from the Jesuit Institute and JRS follows recent violent attacks on and looting of foreign nationals’ shops in...
The Jesuits of Africa have committed themselves to upholding the rights of migrants and refugees and to continuing their work of responding to their needs. Meeting before the World Social Forum on Migration in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 5-8 December 2014, the Social Apostolate of the Jesuit Superiors of Africa and Madagascar (JESAM) held a pre-forum meeting to share their experiences of working with refugees, and to define priorities so that they could offer an effective global response...
The Jesuit Institute of South Africa has a new Director. Former parish priest of of Holy Trinity in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, Fr Russell Pollitt SJ has taken over from Raymond Perrier who had been the Institute's Director since January 2010.Russell (pictured here) was born in Pretoria, South Africa, and grew up in Johannesburg. He studied Philosophy, holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Sociology and Socio-Cultural Anthropology, and a Masters Degree in Theology. He entered the...
The Jesuits have returned to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape of South Africa after a gap of 40 years to take part in the National Arts Festival. They left St Aidan’s College in Grahamstown in 1973, after almost 100 years, the year before an Arts Festival was established in the town.  The festival has grown substantially over the past four decades: with 3,500 performances in dozens of venues over 11 days, it is close to Edinburgh in its scale and diversity.This year, for the 40th...
The latest attacks in Kenya have highlighted the dangers to both Kenyans and visitors. The murder of 48 locals in the coastal town of Mpeketoni yesterday is reinforcing the climate of mistrust and fear in the country. But for Jesuits working in Nairobi, these events have emphasised the importance of their work in peace building and reconciliation.“For those of us missioned here, nothing is achieved by becoming paralysed with fear,” says Fr Peter Knox SJ of Hekima College in Nairobi...

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