This is my first post from the glorious country of South Africa! It’s a very nice early winter here, with none of the snow I am accustomed to in the states. My trip in Ethiopia was finished and was certainly both exciting and fascinating. More to come on both fronts, I assure you. As for South Africa, I’m staying with the Dominican Friars in Johannesburg and am looking forward to a very active program of immersion in the Dominican’s programs with peace and justice here. Again, more to come on what this entails along with pictures of my trips to both S. Africa and Ethiopia.
As a good start on an update, I thought I’d share my little tour-about-town today. I and the 4 Dominican novices from the S. African province’s novitiate went in the morning to a parish in Soweto run by the friars, St. Philip Neri Church. There I was greeted impressively with songs and dancing; it was an incredibly warm and vibrant reception. The Mass was resplendent with fantastic singing that I wish our American Catholics would pick up on; music is one of the most important parts of the Holy Mass, as Saint Augustine noted that “to sing once is to pray twice.” Most importantly, the parishioners gave me my new Soto African name: “Jabulanyi.” [I have no idea if that is the correct spelling or not.] This is from the word “jabu” which is the adjective “happy,” so that with the ending it becomes the substantive “Happiness,” or “Joy.” The parishioners also cooked up a storm of wonderful food for the four of us.
Afterwards, we traveled throughout the town to see a little here-and-there. We visited the Cathedral of Christ the King, the famous apartheid-fighting parish of Regina Mundi (a huge basketball-court like building), and drove through the downtown and the rich northern suburbs a bit. But there’s more on that later, I imagine.
Br. Isaac, one of the novices, was just snapping pictures here and there, so I trust he will be able to provide further pictures in the future to document my trip. (Isn’t community life wonderful!?)
And that’s where I leave you.
Yours in Christ,
Br. Happiness, OP