Fr Russell Pollitt SJ
Fr Russell Pollitt SJ, is the Director of the Jesuit Institute. He was born in Pretoria, South Africa. He lived in Port Elizabeth for a short while but grew up in Johannesburg. He studied Philosophy, holds a Bachelors of Arts majoring in Sociology and Socio-Cultural Anthropology, and a Masters Degree in Theology. He was ordained a priest in February 2006. Before joining the team of the Jesuit Institute he was Parish Priest of Holy Trinity – the Jesuit staffed multicultural Parish and University/Hospital Chaplaincy in downtown Johannesburg. During his time there he initiated numerous ministries for the marginalised and tried to implement the Jesuit vision of a faith that does justice. He worked for the Johannesburg-based Catholic station, Radio Veritas. He served as National Chaplain to Catholic Engaged Encounter in South Africa. He has also served on the advisory board of the Social Communications Department as well as the Justice & Peace Gender Desk of the Southern African Catholic Bishop’s Conference. He has done retreat work in South Africa and at the Jesuit Retreat Centre in Los Altos, California. Fr Russell is interested in the impact that communications technology has on society and spirituality. He has conducted numerous workshops in South Africa on social media and the human person. He is interested in the relationship between faith and society and the contribution that faith can make to public policy. He is also interested in South African Politics and the analysis of issues in the Catholic Church. In 2014 he worked for Vatican Radio’s English section, covering the Synod of Bishops on the Family. He has written numerous articles for newspapers and magazines, including Daily Maverick, The Natal Witness, The Southern Cross and the USA weekly Jesuit Magazine, America. He has done numerous interviews for Talk Radio 702, 567 Cape Talk, SAFM, Jacaranda and Vatican Radio. He has appeared on SABC TV and the eNCA News Channel. He is the author of Now is the Favourable Time and co-author of Rejoice Mountains and Hills! and Why do you weep? In his spare time he enjoys running and has completed a number of marathons. He has run the ProNutro AfricanX twice – this is South Africa’s premium 90km three day trail run. Email Russell
Fr Anthony Egan SJ
Fr Anthony Egan SJ, was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1966, and entered the Society of Jesus in September 1990, having completed an MA in History at the University of Cape Town. He studied Philosophy and Theology at Heythrop College, University of London (1992-1995) and at Weston Jesuit School of Theology (1999 – 2003), as well as completing a PhD in Political Studies at University of the Witwatersrand. He was ordained a priest on August 30, 2002. He made final vows as a Jesuit on January 20, 2013. He teaches in the Fordham University Ubuntu Programme at the University of Pretoria, and at the Steve Biko Bioethics Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand. In the second half of 2012 he was a visiting lecturer in theology at Fordham University, New York. He also teaches applied ethics at St Augustine College of South Africa, and has published in the areas of history, politics and ethics. His second book The Church and War in the 21st Century was published in 2012 by Cluster Publications, Pietermaritzburg. He has written for a number of newspapers, including The Argus (Cape Town), Beeld, The Southern Cross and the Mail & Guardian, and is a regular commentator on radio and television. Apart from regular spots on Radio Veritas, he has spoken on SAFM, Radio 702, Classic FM, Radio France International and Vatican Radio. He has also appeared on ETV, Al Jazeera, SABC and OneGospel television channels. His interests include: political leadership, South African politics, moral theology and bioethics. In his spare time he indulges in poetry and painting. Email Anthony
Frances has worked in the area of Ignatian Spirituality since 1999. With Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell she helped to establish Vuselela Ignatian Spirituality Centre which was eventually incorporated into the Jesuit Institute. Frances is passionately committed to finding ways to introduce lay people to the depths of Ignatian Spirituality. Her particular area of interest is the interface between Christian Spirituality and Catholic Social Teaching. In line with the comment from Pope Francis that the church must not become simply a ‘compassionate NGO’, Francis is involved in finding ways of helping people working in Church organisations to see their work as an expression of love in service. The role of teachers, nurses, advocates for social justice and other charitable acts is often extremely demanding. These vocations are rarely well paid, and yet they are essential to the functioning of a just society. They are also vocations inspired by the Holy Spirit, and in keeping with the call of Christ to feed the poor, cloth the naked, to visit and comfort those sick or in prison. Frances desires to aid people working in these vocations to live a more fulfilled and committed life, sustained and renewed by the gifts of Ignatian Spirituality. Frances has been involved in developing and presenting training courses in Spiritual Direction since 2000. She has also worked in the Jesuit Institute as a Spiritual Director and Retreat Director, and as a Supervisor of Spiritual Directors. For some years (2007 – 2012) she led the Spirituality team of the Jesuit Institute. Email Frances
Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell
Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell currently heads up the Jesuit Institute School of Spirituality (JISS). Annemarie is a Catholic laywoman who has studied and worked in the area of Christian Spirituality for the past 16 years doing spiritual direction and retreat work, and training spiritual directors in the Ignatian tradition. Her particular focus is the training and supervision of spiritual directors and retreat givers. A related area of interest is in the interface between Christian Spirituality and Psychology. Annemarie’s doctoral research is on “The impact of imaginal and dialogical processes on shifts in image of self and image of God in women making the Spiritual Exercises as a 19th Annotation Retreat.” Annemarie is also a registered psychologist (and life coach), and has worked in particular in the areas of trauma counselling and community psychology. In 1998 Annemarie completed a Masters Degree in Christian Spirituality at Heythrop, the Jesuit College of the University of London and a three month course in Apostolic Spirituality at St Beuno’s North Wales. On her return to South Africa she founded the Centre for Ignatian Spirituality funded by the Society of Jesus. Working with Frances Correia and later Puleng Matsaneng and a strong core of volunteers, much foundational work was done particularly in the area of developing retreats in daily life. In 2006 the Centre became part of the newly formed Jesuit Institute South Africa offering new possibilities for further developing the work of Ignatian Spirituality. Annemarie values the connection with the international Ignatian world. She has had the privilege of being a guest director at St Beuno’s in North Wales giving the 30-day retreat. She is an editorial correspondent for The Way Journal of Ignatian Spirituality and has given presentations at International Spirituality Conferences in Rome, and Ethiopia and has been a delegate to international Ignatian conferences in Spain and Zimbabwe. In 2012 Annemarie was one of the organizers of an international conference on Spiritual Direction in the African context. Email Annemarie
Puleng Matsaneng was born in Johannesburg and grew up in Soweto. She attended school at Mohaladitoe Senior School. Puleng then completed her BA degree at the University of Johannesburg. After being introduced to Ignatian Spirituality at a week of guided prayer offered at her parish in 2002, Puleng joined the Centre for Ignatian Spirituality team, which is now part of the Jesuit Institute of South Africa.
Puleng works in Spirituality and researches Ignatian Spirituality in an African context.Her area of speciality is in exploring how African themes and practices of spirituality dialogue with the Western traditions, and how that is understood in relation to Ignatian Spirituality. She has looked at how Ignatian Spirituality can be integrated into the African worldview. Most especially, how the use of song and storytelling can be part of the prayer process.
She is currently managing retreats in daily life and training prayer guides. Puleng is also involved in ongoing Spiritual Direction, giving 8-day and 30-day retreats. Here latest venture is a pilot programme of healing workshops that use the principles of Ignatian Spirituality.
Puleng has wide experience both at home and internationally. In 2005 she completed a course in Apostolic Spirituality at St Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre in Wales. In 2006 she was part of the delegation attending a meeting in Rome to look at the Spiritual Exercises throughout the world. In 2010 she went to Kenya for a meeting on giving the Spiritual Exercises in Africa. In 2011 she went to Democratic Republic of Congo to share her article on Spiritual Direction in African Context that was published in The Way. In 2012 she was part of the organising team and a speaker at the International conference on Spiritual Direction in the African context. Email Puleng
Paulina is a Chartered Accountant who spent a number of years working for an international auditing firm and with a major retail bank. She is married with two daughters. On the birth of her second daughter she left the corporate world and became a full time mom. She spent a few years doing some consulting work and now works three mornings a week for the Jesuit Institute. Email Paulina
Margaret Backwell was born in South Africa (of Dutch Origin). Attended St. Roses Convent and matriculated at Sir John Adamson High. Married with 3 grown-up children and proud Gran to 3 granddaughters (one living in Dubai). Love animals and worked at the Jhb Zoo for many years in finance and tour guiding. Worked with the Jesuits at various stages for many, many years and also with Srs of Notre Dame for about 7 years. Returned as a part time staff member at the Jesuit Institute and thoroughly enjoying it! Email Margaret
Thapelo Justice Letsoela is a young South African from Daveyton, a township on the eastern part of Gauteng. He Studied ICDL, Comptia A+ and N+, Technical Support, CCNA at CIDA ICT Academy Thapelo joined the Jesuit institute team as IT Manager and has been doing a great job. One of his great successes was the development of The Lent Reflection App. Email Thapelo
Francis John Tuson was born in 1988 in East London in the Eastern Cape. He grew up in Johannesburg and was exposed to Ignatian themes from a young age through his family’s involvement with Christian Life Communities (CLC). He attended De La Salle Holy Cross College for his initial schooling and then was home schooled from Grade 4, returning to De La Salle for his matric year. After trying both Music and Law at the University of the Witwatersrand, he studied Post-Production sound engineering at the Academy of Sound Engineering in Auckland Park. For a short time in his first year of study, he stayed at Trinity House Residence where he joined the Schola Cantorum, and was reintroduced to the Jesuits and Ignatian Spirituality. Before joining the Jesuit Institute, Francis, worked variously as a dubbing engineer, a sound designer, and a final mix engineer-working on a wide variety of projects, with a wide variety of languages from around the world including; Mandarin, Kiswahili, Portuguese, Hindi, Hausa, French and Zulu. Francis is working on as much of the Jesuit Institute’s media as he can get his hands on, attempting to drag the Jesuit institute, and ultimately the Catholic Church into the 21st century. In his free time, Francis enjoys extreme sports and activities, and playing music. Email Francis
Pamela Maringa was born in Boksburg, EastRand of Johannesburg. She grew up in Daveyton and then lived in Limpopo. Pamela studied BA Communication Science in the University of South Africa. She worked as a volunteer journalist at SABC Radio News Input and then as a sound writer. She then did a radio course with broadcaster Ray White and the Jesuit Institute’s Fr Russell Pollitt SJ. Pamela has joined the Jesuit Institute as an to write news articles and assist with marketing. She also produces the Jesuit Institute one hour slot on Radio Veritas