Institute Connects February 2019

Institute Connects

February 2019

News from the Jesuit Institute

Our newest team member, Cynthia Ndala. (Picture: Francis Tuson)

Cynthia joins our team: Cynthia Ndala has joined the Jesuit Institute (JI) team as of the beginning of January 2019. Cynthia’s will be the friendly voice you’ll hear when calling the office. She will also be responsible for some of the day-to-day administration. Welcome, Cynthia!

Jesuit Institute team on retreat at ‘in Harmonie’ in Franschhoek. (Picture: in Harmonie)

Team Retreat and Reflection Days: The JI team travelled to Franschhoek, Cape Town, for a week in the middle of January to take time out and reflect on our work and mission. It was a time for prayer, reflection, study and fellowship led by the team at in Harmonie, who guided us in reflections on the theme: ‘The soul of my leadership’ We would like to thank Johan Beukes and his team for providing us, individually and as a team, with this valuable opportunity to focus on our lives and mission.

A team of spirituality volunteers meet to work on ‘Hearts on Fire’ manual.
(Picture: Francis Tuson)

Writing ‘Hearts on Fire’ Manual: We are blessed to have a wonderful team of volunteers. And, the contribution that so many make, so willingly and generously, is growing greatly. One such example is the work being done by a team of our spirituality volunteers. A group of volunteers came together at the beginning of the year to rethink and repackage the Hearts on Fire programme so that it can be more easily used by trained facilitators. They have begun work on a manual for trainers along with a workbook/journal for participants. We hope to make the fruits of their labour available by the end of May.

Fordham Ubuntu group on retreat at Good Shepherd Retreat Centre with Annemarie Paulin-Campbell and Anthony Egan SJ.
(Picture: Annemarie Paulin-Campbell)

Fordham, UP and JI Ubuntu Programme: Our ongoing partnership with Fordham Jesuit University in New York is off to a wonderful start this year. Nine students pursuing academic degrees at Fordham, across the arts and sciences, have come to South Africa on a study and service learning exchange programme. They study at the University of Pretoria for five months while working in poor communities.  Throughout their stay, they also learn how to reflect on their experience using Ignatian pedagogy. A few days after they arrived they went on retreat, led by Annemarie Paulin-Cambell and Anthony Egan SJ along with trained spiritual directors and JI volunteers, Kathi Tarantal and Annie Erickson. The retreat introduced students to local life, helped them to begin forming a community among themselves and offered them Ignatian ways of reflecting on their experience.

Trevor Hudson lectuers on presence at one of the SDT sessions at Lumko Centre, Benoni.
(Picture: Russell Pollitt SJ)

Spiritual Directors’ Training: The next module in our Spiritual Directors Training (SDT) course took place at Lumko Retreat Centre in Benoni, Gauteng from 7-10 February 2019. This time the course was preceded by a day’s workshop on the Enneagram facilitated by Justine Cooper, who has contributed her expertise to our spirituality team for many years.

Bishop Abel Gabuza, coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Durban is interviewed by Ricardo da Silva SJ
(Picture: Ricardo da Silva SJ,

SACBC Plenary Session: The southern African bishops meet twice a year for a plenary session to discuss important matters of faith and public life. Their first session was held at Mariannhill Monastery, just outside Durban. Ricardo da Silva SJ, of our media team, went down to cover some of the moments of their meeting and interview some of the bishops for During the meeting, Abel Gabuza was also officially received as coadjutor archbishop of Durban at a Mass held at St Henry’s Marist College. READ SPOTLIGHT.AFRICA COVERAGE OF THE BISHOPS’ PLENARY.

(Picture: St Augustine College SA, Facebook)

Teaching at St Augustine College, Wits and UP: The academic year is under way, which means that Anthony Egan SJ is teaching a varied series of courses across Gauteng. He offers a course on Old Testament Prophets and Wisdom Literature to theology students at St Augustine College and Modern South African History and Literature to the Fordham Ubuntu students. Along with this, he continues to do some postgraduate teaching and academic supervising at the Wits Faculty of Health Sciences. In the past month, he offered three guest lectures for the MSc Bioethics programme.

View of the Jesuit Institute taken from our gardens. (Picture: Heather Mason)

JI Trustees’ Meeting: The board of trustees of the Jesuit Institute met on 13 February for the first time this year. This board oversees various aspects of the governance and mission of the JI. It is their role to ensure that the JI is fulfilling its mandate as envisioned. Russell Pollitt SJ presented the JI’s new vision and strategy document at the meeting. The trustees were happy with the draft new vision and strategy of JI.

Upcoming events

2Summers Book Launch: Join blogger, Heather Mason, at the Jesuit Institute, 15 Molesey Ave, Auckalnd Park on 21 February 2019 at 6.00pm for 6.30pm as she presents her newest book, in conversation with Jozi tour guide Kennedy Tembo. The book is a compilation of the 52 blog posts she wrote in 2017. It is is part coffee table book, part guidebook, part quirky blogging nonsense, with beautiful photos, design and text. RSVP: Online or by emailing

Ash Wednesday Day of Reflection: We will host a day of prayer entitled “Reconciliation with self, others and God” on Ash Wednesday at 15 Molesey Ave, Auckland Park from 9.30am-4pm (including Mass). The day will be led by Fr Bryan Massingale and Fr Russell Pollitt SJ. Tea and coffee will be provided. Please bring a packed lunch and a bible. The cost of the day is R200 per person. Register at or send an email to

Lent Day of Prayer: We will host a day of prayer on the Saturday after Ash Wednesday, 9 March 2019 at 15 Molesey Ave, Auckland Park from 9.30am-3.30pm. Tea and coffee will be provided. Please bring a packed lunch and a bible. The cost of the day is R200 per person. Register at or send an email to

Hearts on Fire: Join us for Hearts on Fire, an introduction to Ignatian spirituality. On Tuesday evenings during Lent, starting 12 March 2019 at 15 Molesey Ave, Auckland Park from 6pm-8.30pm. The cost of the course is R500 per person. Register at or send an email to

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.

Jesuit Institute Spokesperson
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