Institute Connects

December 2018

News from the Jesuit Institute

‘Denied Acccess’ Premiere Screening: Our media team has been working on the production of their latest documentary: “Denied Access — Stories of Forced Migrants in South Africa”.  In the beginning of October Katleho Khang, Francis Tuson and Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya of our media team, along with Rampe Hlobo SJ,  responsible for the social apostolate of the Jesuits in South Africa, travelled to the town of Musina. This town on the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe is a place where many migrants and stateless people converge. We received information of the struggles of these people there and took the decision to raise awareness of their plight and make a documentary film to tell the stories of this extremely vulnerable population. These stories are told in their words,  in the place where they find themselves and with their own voice. Please join us next Monday for the premiere screening of this important project. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.


Directors of Jesuit Social Centres meet in Kigali, Rwanda (Picture: JENA, Nairobi)

Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network Africa Meeting, Rwanda: At the end of November Russell Pollitt SJ attended a meeting of the directors of Jesuit Centres in Africa and Madagascar in Kigali, Rwanda. At the meeting the directors were introduced to and began a process — led by the Miller Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University — of looking at how they can make Jesuit Centres financially sustainable. The Centres will be accompanied by the Miller Centre as they begin to explore new and creative ways of being sustainable.


Delegates from IMBISA region at Lumko for Media and Communications Workshop (Picture: Francis Tuson)

IMBISA Media and Communications Workshop: Catholic communicators from the nine southern African countries represented by the Inter-Regional Meeting of Bishops in Southern Africa (IMBISA) were put through their paces during an intensive three-day IMBISA Media and Communications Workshop held in Benoni, South Africa. Russell Pollitt SJ and Ricardo da Silva SJ worked as trainers at the workshop, along with Tim Harris, a graphic designer from Cape Town, and the director of the English speaking section of Vatican Radio, Seàn Patrick-Lovett. READ MORE ON SPOTLIGHT.AFRICA


Prayer Guide Training at Jesuit Institute in Johannesburg (Pictures: Annemarie Paulin-Campbell)

Prayer Guide Training in Johannesburg: Four days of intensive Prayer Guide Training took place at the Jesuit Institute at the end of October. Many from Botswana completed their final practical certification as prayer guides, while new trainees completed their theory module. Volunteers Cherie-Lynn Van Der Merwe, Reggie Venter, Sue Edwards, Lynn Fletcher and Goretti Rule RSM formed the training teams. Prayer guides are equipped to guide on parish retreats in daily life.


Russell Pollitt SJ interviews Br Alois, the Prior of Taizé, in Rome during the Synod on Young People (Picture: spotlight.africa)

Synod of Bishops on Young People: Russell Pollitt SJ was in Rome for the recent Synod on Young People reporting for Vatican Media. He attended the daily press briefings, interviewed many of the delegates who attended, wrote daily reports and produced regular inserts for Vatican Radio and SA’s own Radio Veritas on the happennings at the Synod. READ DAILY COVERAGE FROM THE SYNOD ON SPOTLIGHT.AFRICA


Some of the participants at the Discernment Workshop held in Tembisa (Picture: Puleng Matsaneng)

Discernment Workshop in Tembisa:  The newest spirituality initiative at the Jesuit Institute is a Discernment Workshop. Following the success and apparent thirst for Ignatian Spirituality in the townships, Puleng Matsaneng has designed a one-day programme to equip people with the tools needed for Ignatian discernment. The latest of these was held for young people in Tembisa, north-east of Johannesburg. Twenty young people and five volunteer facilitators were in attendance. It was wonderful to hear young people sharing, how they see the world — particularly through the lenses of social media.


(Picture: Catholic Women Preach)

Annemarie Paulin-Campbell on CatholicWomenPreach.org: Annemarie was invited by Catholic Women Preach (CWP) to reflect on the upcoming Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December. CWP is “a project of global reach, [and…] uses modern technology to bring the voices of diverse Catholic women to the proclamation of the Gospel through web-based resources. Following the liturgical year, Catholic women will reflect on how the texts relate to all Catholics today with a special emphasis on the lives of women, their apostolic call, and their roles in the Church and the world.” LISTEN TO ANNEMARIE


Panelists at MMA MFW18 pose for a photograph with the director of Media Monitoring Africa, William Bird (Picture: Media Monitoring Africa)

Media Freedom Week — Discussion on the SABC: The Jesuit Institute hosted an event at our Johannesburg offices during “Media Freedom Week” (MFW18) at the end of October to mark the importance of safeguarding press freedom in South Africa. Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) organised the event entitled, “The SABC: On its way up or on its way out?”. The evening was ably chaired by Krevani Pillay, journalist, editor, producer and current affairs radio anchor at the SABC. She was joined by an impressive panel of speakers: Justine Limpitlaw, a private electronic communications lawyer; Madoda Mxakwe, CEO of the SABC; Lethabo Dibetso of the Media Development and Diversity Agency and Duduetsang Makuse the National Coordinator of SOS Coalition. It was a lively event that provoked great thought and discussion. We look forward to future partnerships with public bodies like the MMA.



Spotlight.Africa: Our online news, reflection, and analysis website is becoming more widely known and the growing numbers of visitors to its pages attest to this. If you haven’t yet visited, now is a good time to see what we’re up to. There are a number of articles written by staff members of the Jesuit Institute for you to read. Go to Spotlight.Africa.


The Institute Engages: Over the past few months, members of the Institute have contributed to various media. The following were recently published (click on the title to read the article):

South Africa is seeing a spike in protests. Will the government finally address economic inequality? — America Magazine, 29 October 2018

South African Archbishop excommunicate abuser priests — America Magazine, 2 November 2018


(Picture: Unsplash, Chris Benson)

A very Happy Christmas to all our friends

As Christmas nears and the year winds down, giving us more time to be with those we love and also to slow down for a few days, we would like to thank you for all your generosity in 2018. To you who has shown your support for us: we wish you well over this time of Christmas and New Year and pray that you may be filled with the blessings of the baby Jesus. We will also take a short break during this time and our office will be closed from 22 December 2018 until 7 January 2019. Institute Connects will be in your inbox again in February. We hope that you will continue to show your generous support for us in 2019.