South Africa

An international community of twenty-one Spiritans of ten different nationalities supports the Archdioceses of Durban and Johannesburg, and Dioceses of Bethlehem and Dundee.

In the years from 1945 to 1974, nearly forty churches and chapels, five schools, parish houses, houses for catechists, and parish halls were built. Since the 1950s, the Spiritans have fostered local vocations and established Spiritan Postulancy adjacent to the Bethlehem Parish.

Glen Ash, a farm bought in 1979 to create a practical basis for training, is now both the administrative quarters for the district and retirement home for Spiritans. It has been entrusted with the Novitiate for SCAF (South Central African Foundation).

Our ministry encompasses a pastoral care ministry that serves hospitals, a penitentiary, immigrant and refugee communities, and it relieves suffering and death due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, unemployment, and exploitation.

Bethlehem is the mother diocese in South Africa where the Spiritans have left an indelible mark. The parish Vrede, in the Eastern part of the Free State, is a rural parish that used to have many farm stations, but as people moved into the townships these farm stations gradually closed causing high unemployment. Father Adrien Hebert from the US Province is among the Spiritans stationed there.

Carletonville is the mining area close to Soweto that is in the part of Archdiocese of Johannesburg called the West Rand. The parish takes care of four mines which are still productive and which have many immigrants from neighboring countries.

Our missionary work has expanded to an area of great urbanization where the local churches have difficulty in finding workers. Presently, we are in five parishes. There is also a lot of work to be done to uplift the people in the area, assist the victims of forced migrations, treat HIV/AIDS, and support those who seek to break ties with their family roots and religion. Our facilities are St. Anne Chesterville, Cato Manor, and House of St. Paul Reitz.