RepositoryJesuits in Britain Archives
TitleSouth Africa
DescriptionSt Aidan's College: establishment, college publications, correspondence and negotiations leading to closure; Jesuit communities at Dunbrody (closed in 1934) and Johannesburg (established in early 1970s); Southern African Mission Seminar, 1968-1969; audio-visual material (2 cassette tapes); 3 miscellaneous files relating to travel, stocks and shares, and apartheid.
Admin_HistoryThe earliest settlers in the colony of South Africa were for the most part Calvinist or Protestant. It was not until the 1850s that the beginnings of a Catholic hierarchy was established in South Africa. The English Province of the Society of Jesus was approached by Bishop Ricards in 1875 to run a Catholic school (St Aidan's College) in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. The College and subsequent Jesuit missions formed the first foundations of the Zambesi Mission. The first Jesuits to head north in this missionary enterprise set out from Grahamstown in 1879.

In addition to St Aidan's College, the Jesuits established missions at Graaff-Reinet (1875-1889), Dunbrody (1882-1934), Vleischfontein (1884-1894) and Keilands (1886-1908). These stations were intended to be staging posts to support Jesuits heading north to the Zambesi Mission. By 1934 the last of these mission stations, Dunbrody, was closed. The Jesuits continued to run St Aidan's College until its closure in 1973.

The 1970s marked a change of direction for the Society in South Africa. With the closure of St Aidan's there was a conscious effort to create a South African apostolate and increased recognition that the Jesuits in South Africa no longer simply provided support for those in Rhodesia [Zimbabwe]. A community was established in Johannesburg in the early 1970s and around the same time the Jesuits assumed responsibility of their first parish in the city. In 1978 the Superior General created the Zimbabwe Vice-Province; South Africa remained a region of the English Province.

There are two Jesuit communities in South Africa - Johannesburg and Cape Town. The Jesuits in South Africa are involved in parish work, university chaplaincy, education and mission work. As of 2016, South Africa is no longer part of the British Province.
Related Material - Zimbabwe/Rhodesia (Zambesi Mission): see index cards.
- Papers of Fr Edward Buckland SJ: see index cards.
- Papers of Fr Peter Prestage SJ: see index cards.
- Papers of Fr Henry Schomberg Kerr SJ: see index cards.
- Papers of Fr Thomas Conlan SJ: see index cards.
- 'Southern Africa 1988: A tour', Jesuits and Friends 10 (1988)
- Pamphlet collection: Africa: I Bantu Background; Africa II: Race Relationships; Nationalism in Africa I: The Congo and the Union; Nationalism in Africa II: Pan-Africanism East and West. #138
- W.E. Brown, The Catholic Church in South Africa: from its origins to the present day (London, 1960). (Lib catalogue ref: BX3764.B7).
FormatAudio tape
AccessConditionsThe papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to archive material in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.

    Showcase items

    A list of our latest and most exciting new items.

    Copyright ©