Institute Connects June 2019

Institute Connects

June 2019

News from the Jesuit Institute

Winter Living Theology 2019

How to live a Happy Life. The spirituality and psychology of well-being.


Fr David Marcotte SJ presents Winter Living Theology 2019 — ‘ How to live a happy life’ (Picture: Russell Pollitt SJ)

Winter Living Theology 2019: This year’s series brings Fr David Marcotte SJ, US Jesuit priest, clinical psychologist and professor at the Jesuits’ Fordham University in New York to South Africa for a series on the spirituality and psychology of well-being. He will address and reflect on our growing culture of psychological illness and the possibility for well-being that spirituality can afford. There is undeniable scientific evidence that shows the practices of mindfulness, meditation and prayer can significantly contribute to our overall well-being and to our desire for peace and compassion for ourselves and others.

Listen to this podcast and receive a taster of what’s in store at this year’s series.

If you’re interested in attending one of his talks across Southern Africa this month, please visit our website for more information.

COMING SOON — New documentary film: The Jesuit Institute in collaboration with the Society of Jesus in South Africa has produced a documentary short film exploring a lesser known side of Cape Town and the life of its residents Cape Town: exposed beyond the beaches shows life in Nyanga, one of the oldest black townships and among the poorest places in the Western Cape. Cape Town. The film exposes the conditions in which the people of Nyanga live, and the serious socio-economic problems faced by the people of the township and especially how its youth are vulnerable and most affected. The film will be released later this week and will be made available on our YouTube channel.

Fordham 2019 cohort (Picture: Annemarie Paulin-Campbell)

Fordham Ubuntu programme student presentations: Our students did their final presentations on their service learning projects on 24 May. During their time in SA, they worked in the community making eco-bricks; helping the community to set up the production of re-usable sanitary products and taught English and Maths skills through baking classes. Annemarie Paulin-Campbell has been helping the students reflect on their experience each week using Ignatian approaches.

Baobab tree in Limpopo (Picture: Anthony Egan SJ)

Fordham students visit Limpopo: On the weekend 10-12 May, Anthony Egan SJ, who taught the students a core course in South African literature and history, travelled with the group to Limpopo. There, they were hosted by the family of the programme’s New York organiser, Professor Booi Themeli. He showed them many beautiful natural sites in the Makhado-Thohoyandou area. These included visiting the Big Tree, a giant baobab over 3000 years old, and the Phiphidi Waterfalls, a sacred site of the Venda people. They also visited two Venda chieftains, relatives of Themeli, and joined the community in Venda dancing.

Participants during the discernment workshop (Picture: Katleho Khang)

Discernment workshop: On three consecutive Saturdays during the month of May, we ran a discernment workshop for women young and old. The conversations were real and refreshing. Participants benefited from listening to each other, which is something that most families are losing more and more. The spiritual conversations and the Examen were a graced gift for the group.

Donations being distributed at the Catholic Women’s Shelter in Musina (Pictures: Sr Francis Grogan, HC)

Denied Access (2018): Our documentary film Denied Access will be screened at the Labia Theatre on June 5, 2019. Rachel Bridge, the Organizer of Cape Town Refugee Food Festival says “our team is hoping to screen a film about refugee experiences in South Africa and we were all so moved by your film”. This will be the first time the film is screened outside of a Catholic context.

Since the release of this film, the Jesuit Institute has collected donations which have assisted some 120 refugees and migrants, among them women and children as can be seen in the picture above.

Trevor Hudson training participants on SDT course (Picture: Annemarie Paulin-Campbell)

Spiritual Directors’ Training: Module 6 of the two-year Spiritual Directors’ Training course was held from 14-18 May focusing on theory and skills for group spiritual accompaniment such as discernment in decision-making, personal vocation and offering retreats to children and teenagers.

People casting their votes at Laudium Community Centre in Laudium, Pretoria 08/05/2019. (Picture: GCIS/Ntswe Mokoena)

Talks by Jesuit Institute staff:

1 May — Anthony Egan SJ gave a workshop on interculturality to the Comboni Missionaries. The discussion focused on mission as the encounter of cultures, the challenge we face to respect others’ traditions and the inevitability that in such encounters our cultural views and values are changed. He drew on historical case studies, personal experiences and even on the profoundly anthropological science fiction novels: The Sparrow and Children of God by Mary Doria Russell — sometimes summed up as “Jesuits in space”.

Later that day, Anthony also presented a talk on the forthcoming elections to the Carmelite sisters where he addressed the (unlikely) possibility of a coalition government and the possibilities of splitting one’s vote.

25 May — Russell Pollitt SJ presented Pope Francis’ encyclical Evangelii Gaudium to the Parish Pastoral Council of Rosebank.

30 May — Matthew Charlesworth SJ celebrated the Feast of the Ascension with Holy Family College and participated in their “Thinking Day”.

Upcoming events

Winter Living Theology 2019

How to Live a Happy Life. The spirituality and psychology of well-being

presented by Fr David Marcotte SJ

Want to learn skills to become your best self?

It is not too late to book for this year’s Winter Living Theology series.

[tribe_events_list category=”winter living theology”]

For more information and booking:

or contact us on 011 482 4237 or send an email to

The 8-Day Retreat is rooted in the tradition of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola. The Exercises are a compilation of meditations, prayer and contemplative practices developed by St Ignatius to help people deepen their relationship with God.

Join us for this 8-day retreat at St Dominic’s Retreat House, 10 Baudry Road, Bluff, Durban from 18.00 on Friday 12 July 2019 to 08.00 on Sunday 21 July 2019. Cost: R5,300 per person.

Jesuit Institute Spokesperson
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