News from the Jesuit Institute
Documentary on Sisters of the Holy Family in SA: Katleho Khang SNJM and Francis Tuson of our media team have for the past six weeks been filming and editing a 45-minute documentary film showing the more than 150-year history of the Holy Family Sisters in SA. This is their second documentary project in the last three months. It is really heartening to see the longstanding work of the sisters in service of our Church at a time where much of its credibility has been called into question. Watch the documentary on our YouTube channel HERE.
EcoJesuit Conference in Colombia: Martin van Nierop, who has been collaborating with the Jesuit Institute on environmental issues, attended the annual EcoJesuit meeting in Colombia on behalf of JASCNet, which took place in the first two weeks of August. During the first days he attended a one-day workshop at the Pontifical Javeriana University, hosted to grow the links between academics, NGOs and Jesuit social and apostolic centres with specialist knowledge in water and the Amazonian ecology. Twelve delegates from around the world then headed for Leticia, a small town on the southeastern border of Colombia along the Amazon river and deep into the Amazon jungle. The aim of the meeting was to develop the five-year strategy for EcoJesuit around the theme of water. Following the three-day meeting they spent two days exploring the region, this included a boating expedition up the Amazon River.
Religion and Racial Justice SA and USA: We partnered with the theology department at Fordham University in New York and the Centre for Contextual Ministry at the University of Pretoria to host an academic conference on one this most pressing issue in society today. The conference attracted more than 50 delegates from all over the world, including Mexico, Guatemala, USA and UK. Some 28 presentations were given addressing the interface between racism and religious experience from a variety of angles. Our own resident academic, Anthony Egan SJ presented a provocatively titled and extremely well-received paper: “Is Catholicism Racist?”. We hope that this will be only one in a series of initiatives between Fordham and the Jesuit Institute geared at stimulating conversation and practice around this growing and worrying concern plaguing our respective countries.
Panel discussion with Divine Renovation author Fr James Mallon: Our media team was enlisted by the team at Alpha Africa to host a panel discussion between James Mallon, authour of Divine Renovation; Nqobile Ngcobo, Africa coordinator for Alpha; and Russell Pollitt SJ, director of the Jesuit Institute. The discussion formed part of the Divine Renovation Conference which intended to spur parish renewal by encouraging a more collaborative leadership model for parishes by involving lay leaders in a much closer and more accountable partnership with the parish priest working as a team. Listen to the conversation on our YouTube channel HERE.
Hearts on Fire in Botswana: A Jesuit Institute trained team consisting of Lorraine and Piet Groenewald, Bernadette Masekamela SC and Lebatha offered a residential Hearts on Fire Training in Botswana in early August. This gave a new group of people the opportunity to experience Ignatian ways into prayer and to get to understand more about “Finding God in all Things” and becoming “Contemplative in Action”.
Spiritual Direction Training Course – 3rd Module: The Spiritual Direction Training Course (SDT) concluded its third module in August. Included in the training this time was discernment of spirits; ethics and theology for spiritual directors as well as various practical exercises. Now, the participants will begin to offer spiritual accompaniment under the close supervision of trained directors.
Ricardo da Silva SJ missioned to team at Jesuit Institute: The regional superior of the Jesuits in South Africa, David Rowan SJ, has appointed Ricardo da Silva SJ, a South African Jesuit scholastic to be a fulltime member of our team. He recently returned to the country having completed his theological studies in Brazil and has already been working at the Institute for a number of months. Ricardo has mainly been writing and editing for Spotlight.Africa, you can read some of his writings HERE, working on our communications and graphic design needs on and a number of other projects. Welcome to the team, Ricardo!
When Political Transitions Work Book Launch: Fanie du Toit launched his book When Political Transitions Work: Reconciliation as Interdependence at the Jesuit Institute in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. The launch saw Fanie in conversation with Elinor Sisulu, activist and civic leader and Stephen Friedman, political analyst, public intellectual and academic at the University of Johannesburg. Despite the cold, there were some wonderful exchanges between the dialogue partners and we were left asking many questions about the process of reconciliation upon which we have embarked in South Africa, further afield on the continent and even beyond Africa in distant places like Iraq. The book is published by OUP and is available in print and as an ebook HERE.
Weekend Hiking Retreat – 21-23 September in Heidelberg: A retreat offering a unique experience for prayer and reflection. Perfect for those who wish to couple their love for the outdoors with their desire to deepen their relationship with God. The retreat will be led by Jesuit Institute director, Russell Pollitt SJ and others of the Jesuit Institute team. For more information go HERE, or to apply please contact email@example.com.Individually Guided 8-Day Retreat in Johannesburg: The Jesuit Institute will host an individually guided eight-day residential retreat from 14-22 September at Lumko Institute in Benoni. For more information go HERE, or to apply for the retreat please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.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. Go to Spotlight.Africa.