South Africa

Franciscan (O.F.M.) mission work in South Africa began in the 1920’s, and our Third Order Regular Franciscans have served there since 1982.

The crisis in South Africa:

  1. widespread poverty, which contributes to hunger and poor living conditions
  2. post-apartheid social problems including inequality and economic disparity
  3. an estimated 3 million people suffer from HIV/AIDS
  4. other health concerns and poor health care contribute to a life expectancy of only 56.9 years (compared to 78.7 years in the United States)
  5. between 40-50% of young adults are unemployed
  6. South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world

In South Africa, we care for the poor, orphaned, ill, and elderly. By providing health care and education, we hope to permanently reduce some of the country’s most pressing problems. We also strive to promote peace and reduce tensions between ethnic and religious groups.

A Year of Grace

Mission Reflection by Rev. Roland J. Faley, T.O.R.

My superiors asked if I would go to South Africa for a year in order to be a support to our young province there. I was warmly received and took up my residence with our seminary students in the state of Natal. This proved to be one of the most exhilarating times of my life.

South Africa is rich in terms of progress and natural resources. Its major problem at that time was violence. For years, under apartheid, the black community was prevented from availing itself of much that the country had to offer. Now there is complete freedom, but a large segment of the population was not ready for all that freedom entailed. Tragic incidents were common, many of which were never prosecuted.

What remains true is that South Africa as a country has the best infrastructure in all of Africa. If it succeeds in solving its social problems, its future is assured.

The church there is young and full of capabilities. The possibilities there are many. It should have a very bright future.

You can make a difference in South Africa