Episcopal Ordination

The Episcopal Ordination of the Auxiliary Bishop of Cape Town Bishop Sylvester David OMI was live-streamed on Sunday 25 August 2019. Here is a recording of the event:

Cape Town [exposed] beyond the beaches

A new documentary short film produced by the Jesuit Institute South Africa provides an 8-minute snapshot into another side of life in Cape Town — other than the tourist beaches and the opulent hotels. The township of Nyanga is notorious for being the area with the highest number of reported murders in the country. Katleho Khang SNJM and Ricardo da Silva SJ visited the community for a week and discovered that amid the violence there is also great hope.

In the past calendar year, 308 murders were reported in the crime-infested Western Cape township of Nyanga, South Africa. This startling revelation is according to the 2017/18 national crime statistics.

For its latest short documentary film project, the media team at Jesuit Institute South Africa in collaboration with the Society of Jesus in South Africa (Jesuits), visited Nyanga for a week to shoot an 8-minute snapshot of daily life. This palisade-fenced area of the province encloses people as though they were caged zoo animals, a local Catholic priest said.

Cape Town exposed beyond the beaches (2019), reveals the despicable reality of the crime and desperation lived in Nyanga. In stark contrast to the Cape Town known to many — as a tourist’s paradise — we wanted to highlight the inequality and the multitude of problems faced by its people.

The fatalities in the township are numbing and, crudely understood, mean that a life is lost here almost every day of the year. This revelation alone should bring politicians and our national government to act definitely and with haste. Sadly, it appears little is being done. The latest statistics reveal an upward trend in criminal activity in the region of almost 10% — especially in sexually-related offences and murder.

Rampeoane Hlobo SJ, Jesuit parish priest at St Mary’s, the local Catholic Church in Nyanga, confessed that “if one tries to abide by the law, one may just end up being a victim and a crime statistic as well. The problem is not that people do not want to obey the law but that those who do not want to obey the law terrorise the rest of the community and there are no policing and law enforcement agencies to protect law-abiding community members who want the rule of law. Consequently, lawlessness flourishes and reigns.”

Almost a quarter of those who live in Nyanga are between the ages of 15 and 24, making young people in the area perhaps the most susceptible to crime. In many cases, it is these very young people who are the perpetrators of such odious crimes, making it difficult to escape “the cycle of poverty, violence and death”, said Matsepane Morare SJ, the former Catholic priest at St Mary’s. But, Hlobo says, “the Church becomes a necessary and indispensable haven, not least for its young community members. We find ourselves journeying in solidarity with the people of Nyanga, the murder capital of South Africa and giving hope to many, especially the young”, he said.

But that’s not the whole story.

Beyond the blood-splatter and filth-lined streets, there is an incredible joy and a hope among those who live there. It was encouraging to see young children playing in the parks, albeit accompanied by their parents for fear that they may be kidnapped or enticed into a life of crime by local gang lords. Nyanga residents also braai openly on the streets, sharing their food generously with one another, amid township song and sips of the finest brew from the local shebeen.

The sense of community is undeniable. We met with a group of mothers at St Mary’s Catholic Church. They come together to support each other through the grief and pain of losing their children to gang violence. I beheld their sense of hope, even amid the turmoil and senseless violence. One student we interviewed at the Church said: “No one pays attention to us”, but her warm smile showed that she held no grudge or contempt.

How to live a Happy life – Winter Living Theology 2019

The Jesuit Institute in collaboration with the SACBC Bishops’ Lenten Appeal and Fordham University invite you to join them in this year’s Winter Living Theology.

The lecture series will be presented by Father David Marcotte SJ, professor of psychology and associate director of clinical training at Fordham University in New York.  He will look at stress, burnout, depression, anxiety, compassion-fatigue, suicide and addiction – offering participants practical skills that will counter these and advance well-being. He believes that meditation and contemplative practices are an essential part of well-being and has done empirical studies, which he will share with participants.

This will beheld at St Francis Xavier Seminary in Athlone. From June 11 – 13 – from 0930 – 1530.

Cost will be R1100.00 for the three days including lunch.  There is also accommodation available at the seminary.

For more information and booking: www.jesuitinstitute.org.za/wit2019 <http://www.jesuitinstitute.org.za/wit2019> or contact them at 011 482 4237, or send an email to wit@jesuitinstitute.org.za

Download (PDF, Unknown)

 

Bicentennial Mass Pics

Below see gallery of pics from the bicentennial Mass at the Bellville Velodrome. Click on first pic to open the gallery.

 

SACBC Statement on SONA

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

The Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference heartily welcomes the State of the Nation Address delivered by His Excellency the President Cyril Ramaphosa. We are particularly happy with the emphasis on Unity, Ethical Leadership, and the total equality of all citizens. The intention to reduce poverty and youth unemployment, improve education access for the children of the poor, deconcentrated effort on greater employment will certainly bring hope to all South Africans.

The emphasis on the reduction of corruption in all its forms can only be welcomed. The stream lining of government services, the placement of State-Owned Enterprises in safer hands, the investigation of state capture, the careful appointment of reliable leaders for the National Prosecuting Authorities and Revenue Services will allow for a more efficient government.

The State President’s speech showed awareness of the many areas of national life which need investment and nourishment. We are happy that more lands will be distributed and make available to our people. That the troubled mining sector will receive attention can only be a benefit for all. The idea of engaging and enabling many more people to participate in the economy through small business investment, the highlighting of manufacturing and industrialisation, the establishment of a basic minimum wage from May 1st are all to be applauded.

The setting out of a generous and enlightened national plan is only the first step. We now all look to implementation. But at least, we now have a benchmark against which we can make assessment of our national progress. The first step in realizing our hopes will become visible in the appointment of cabinet ministers and in the budget speech of next Friday. Let us hope that free tertiary education for first year can be financed while leaving money for the other necessary investments.

We welcome the State of the Nation Address. Yet so much depends on stable family units which are the basis of all society. If we are not trustworthy within our families can we be trusted anywhere else?

Yours in Christ,

+William Slattery OFM

Archbishop of Pretoria