A visit to South Africa

A visit to South Africa

“The Republic of South Africa has been an important part of the US province’s missionary outreach for many years,” wrote Fr. Steve. “I first remember hearing about this apostolate as a teenage high school student at Divine Heart Seminary. On a visit home, one of our alumni and a former superior general, Bishop Joseph DePalma from the De Aar Diocese, celebrated Mass for us. He impressed on us the difficulties of ministering to the various groups of faithful separated by the apartheid system, but also the faith, resilience and beauty of the people.

“Over the years, I heard many similar stories from missionaries. Besides parishes, we staffed trade schools in Aliwal North and in neighboring Lesotho. A seminarian a few years ahead of me served his apostolic internship overseas and his letters home kindled my interest further.”

One of the primary reasons Fr. Steve was in South Africa was to be a part of the province’s assembly, during which, SCJs held elections.

“Before the election, each of the finally professed members had a chance to highlight for the group what he saw as the greatest needs for the province,” wrote Fr. Steve. “The three candidates for provincial superior then spoke about themselves and their vision for the province. Fr. Chris Grzelak, SCJ, who was eventually elected, spoke about how becoming provincial superior would cost him a high price – putting aside his ministry as a theology teacher in the seminary for a time. It is so true that anyone called to leadership will likely have to pay a price by giving up another apostolate where he is doing good work.”

Click here to read Fr. Steve’s full text.

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