15 December 2023
15 Dec 2023

100 years SCJ Presence in South Africa

From 27 to 30 November 2023, the South African Province celebrated the centenary of the presence of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in South Africa.

by  Sylvester Mutale SCJ

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Participants from our SCJ entities

16 SCJs from various entities around the world joined the confreres of the RSA Province for the celebration of the centenary of the SCJ presence in South Africa. Among the visitors is Fr Luca Zottoli SCJ, General Treasure and Mr Aldo; Fr Gerd Hemken SCJ, the Mission procurator of the German Province and Fr Edwin Rombach SCJ who worked in RSA SCJ Province; Fr Vien V. Nguyen SCJ, the Provincial Superior of the USA Province; Fr Slawomir Knopik SCJ, the provincial of the Polish Province and Fr Marek Bialozyt SCJ, the secretary of the Polish province; Fr. Marek Przybys SCJ former Provincial of the Province RSA;

Fr. Zbigniew Chwaja SCJ Polish Mission procurator and former Missionary in RSA Province and Fr. Wojciech Wozniak SCJ former Missionary of RSA SCJ Province, all representing the Polish SCJ Province; Fr Noudjom Tchana Pascal Alban SCJ the provincial of the Cameroonian SCJ Province and Fr Gilbert Kamta Tatsi SCJ, representing the Cameroonian Province; Fr Sandro Capoferri SCJ Provincial of Mozambique Province; Fr Ramarofanomezana Jean Leonard SCJ, Regional superior of Madagascar; Fr Michael Benedict SCJ from India.

They were welcomed by Fr Piotr Surdel SCJ Provincial of the South African SCJ Province. This 100 Years Presence in South Africa has been celebrated with the presence of our two SCJs Bishops, Archbishop Zolile SCJ the Archbishop of Bloemfontein Diocese and Bishop Adam Musialek SCJ the Bishop of De Aar Diocese.

Historical memory and pastoral commitment

On Monday the 27th  of November was the opening of the celebration. The day started with the Holy Mass celebrated by Fr Lucas SCJ, the General treasure of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The main program of the day was the Theological Seminar which focused on the historical aspect of the Province, the Pastoral work in the Church of South Africa done by the First Germany SCJ Missionaries in Aliwal North, Eastern cape, South Africa on 28th November, 1923. And later, the Americans SCJ Missionaries arrived in the Northern Cape around 1940s in De Aar Diocese and in the late 1980s the Polish missionaries joined the south Africa SCJ Mission.

The Priests of the Sacred Heart have been involved in social work, Education, Health care, Prison Ministry, Justice and Peace and Parish work in line with the Mission of the Church and the mission of the congregation.

Mass celebrations

The 28th of November 2023 was the official opening with a Solem Mass celebrated by Archbishop Zolile SCJ, in attendance was Bishop Adam Musialek SCJ and Bishop Joseph Kizito, the Bishop of Aliwal North diocese at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral Aliwal North, Eastern Cape South Africa.

On the 29th of November the day started with Mass celebrated by Fr Vien SCJ the Provincial of the American Province, in  his  Homily Fr highlighted the similarities and the relationship between the two Provinces.


Followed by the Jubilee excursion to Teresa Mission which is made up of 10 out stations were our first Missionaries worked, currently served by diocesan priests. The day was marked by a traditional welcome at Mmusong Outstation with a Sotho Tradition meal served by the loving community of Mmusong alongside with traditional dance and sharing the memories of the Missionaries who planted the Faith in the area.

On the 30th of November was the Jubilee excursion to De Aar Diocese which was the first place the SCJ Missionaries from America worked from 1940s and now served by Bishop Adam Musialek SCJ.

The visitors from different SCJ Entities were received by Bishop Adam Musialek SCJ and celebrate mass at the Cathedral of De Aar Dioces in Northern Cape and the main celebrant was Bishop Adam Musialek SCJ who gave an historical reflection on the foundation of the Diocese and the presence of the SCJ Missionaries from America who came around 1940s to this part of the South Africa.

Bishop Adam SCJ took the visitors around the Diocese missions and social projects that were started by the SCJ Missionaries in the Diocese.

In thanks giving of our 100 years Dehonian presence in South Africa we are looking to the future with hope as we have been blessed with our young religious brothers full of talent and zealous to continue the Mission of the Church and our congregation which was planted by our SCJ Missionaries 100 years ago.

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