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St Augustine new appointments

encountering dialogue in community
It is with appreciation to inform you that at St Augustine College’s Board of
Directors AGM on the 03rd of October 2023, Ms. Elizabeth Maepa was appointed
Chairperson and Dr. Tau Motsepe Vice Chairperson of St Augustine College’s Board
of Directors.

The Executive Committee of the College is grateful that these appointments
have been confirmed, with the awareness that the College is in dire need of stability,
given the recent years of continuous turbulence.

In addition, we wish recently appointed Board of Director members, Mr. Dan
Ngwepe, Dr. Tau Motsepe and Fr. Hugh O’Connor, God’s blessings for good health,
energy, and wisdom.

We hope that the newly constituted Board of Directors, including Dr. Dan
Pretorius, Bishop T. G. Rose, and Prof G. Duncan (Senate Representative) is filled
with courage, trust, and inspiration with chartering waters towards new horizons.

Farewell Mass and Bonum Commune Award to Dr Sr Judith Coyle IHM

Farewell Mass to Dr Sr Judith Coyle IHMSrJudithCoyleFarewell
Farewell Mass and Bonum Commune Award to Dr Sr Judith Coyle IHM
On the 22 July 2023, St Augustine College of South Africa hosted a memorable event at Holy Trinity church in Braamfontein.

The event started with the celebration of the Eucharist conducted by the Reverend Father Bruce Botha SJ with Martin Badenhorst OP, Emmanuel Mosoeu OMI, David Dryden SJ, and Billy Davies. The celebration was attended by current and former staff of St Augustine, friends, and students that Dr. Sr. Coyle taught in Theology.

The big moment took place before the final blessing when Fr Martin Badenhorst (New Head of Theology Department at St Augustine) calling upon Mel Antonie (Chairman of the Board of Directors), Professor Terry Sacco (St Augustine President) and Dr Sr Judy Coyle the recipient of the Bonum Commune Award.

St Augustine’s President read the citation starting with elucidating the meaning of the award to the congregants saying, St Augustine’s Bonum Commune Award honours individuals “who have made outstanding contributions to the common good or who have made significant and exceptional contributions to the academic endeavour ...”.

The College bestowed the 2023 award on Dr Sr Judith Coyle: lecturer, speaker, and until recently, Head of Theology at St Augustine College. The citation noted that sometimes an “outstanding contribution” is made through a single spectacular achievement - a moment in history. She quoted few Nobel prize laureate (Peter Higgs, Watson and Crick) to substantiate factors used in decision making. Sr. Judy has not been selected for the Bonum Commune award because of a single spectacular achievement nor an “outstanding contribution” obsessively pursued, oblivious of the enabling groundwork provided by others (such as Rosaline Franklin in Watson & Crick’s work). Sr. Judy’s academic career has been nothing like these instances. It is closer to Rosalind Franklin’s. Her “outstanding contribution” has been over many years of quiet unassuming labour, carried out in the background, whose cumulative effect has been to significantly contribute to Catholic Higher Education, and establishing a Catholic tertiary academic platform in South Africa.

Sr. Judy joined the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) at an early age. Three months later after getting an MA in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame in USA, she was sent to South Africa as a missionary. She spent the first 19 years at St Joseph’s Theological Institute, Cedara, KZN. Since her MA focus was on liturgical studies, her teaching centred primarily on liturgy.

By 2004 Sr Judy had completed a DTh in Christian Spirituality at UNISA. Her thesis focused on St. Therese of Lisieux’s spirituality as articulated in the saint’s well-known “little way” -- a teaching that the least action done in love is of immense worth in God’s eyes. Based on her thesis, Sr. Judy subsequently published “Therese of Lisieux: Heroine of Struggle”.

After spending a year lecturing on UNISA’s staff, Sr. Judy took up a post at St Augustine’s College in 2006 and remained a key member until her recent retirement in June 2023. For more than 17 years she has taught various courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and supervised research work of postgraduate students. She has presented numerous liturgical, catechetical, and religious workshops on topics related to theology, liturgy, catechetics, music and spirituality, religious life, and Vatican II. She frequently has been called upon to give public talks on such topics. She has represented St Augustine’s as an active member of various professional organisations such as the Catholic Theological Society of South Africa, the Liturgy Network at Notre Dame’s Centre for Liturgy, and the Spirituality Association of South Africa (SPIRASA).

 Addition to these various academic activities, Sr Judy has been an immense but low-key source of strength and support at the “back end” of the tertiary Catholic institutions in which she worked. At various times while at Cedara, she held posts of registrar and dean of studies, and at St Augustine’s she was head of the Theology Department. We are inspired by the way in which she has role-modelled St Therese’s “little way”, carrying out so many tasks, both small and large, with love, diligence and thoroughness. It is wholly fitting that she should be honoured with the Bonum Commune award for her sustained and cumulatively exceptional contribution to the Catholic academic endeavour in South Africa.

After the citation, the Bonum Commune Award was handed to Dr Sr Judy Coyle by the Chairman of the board of directors Mr Mel Antonie.

After receiving the Award, Professor Terry Sacco surprised Dr Sr Judy Coyle by reading a letter sent by her sisters of Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, (Monroe, Michigan) to congratulate Sr. Judy Coyle for her dedication in serving St. Augustine College in educational ministry during very challenging times.

The letter emphasized that Sr. Judy was among the first four IHM sisters who were invited to co-minister with the Redemptorists in South Africa in 1985. Sr. Judy is a noted and sought-after speaker in Johannesburg. She is also a poet and musician, a deep thinker and a committed religious. She is a humble and caring support to others – quietly building community wherever she is. As Sr. Judy will be the last member of our congregation to leave South Africa, they wish to thank the church, her colleagues and the people of your beautiful country for almost 38 years of hospitality. IHM Sisters will hold South Africa in prayer for years to come.

Lastly, Prof Terry Sacco shared her academic and administrative life experience with Dr Sr Judy Coyle with the congregants. St Augustine College’s financial struggle created a vacuum in leadership and administrative positions since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic. Sr Judy was committed to assisting with the transition from the Victory Park premises.

Prof Sacco expressed how Sr Judy has been a blessing to her and how she has been privileged working intimately with her by saying, “Yet, while we navigated St Augustine College’s transition from the old into the new, we experienced fun, laughter, and joy. Your humour was rain in our desert. We walked the path of not-knowing together, and with confidence that all will be well”. She ended her speech by wishing Sr Judy continued good health and wellbeing and hoped that she will be as appreciated as much as she is by those she leaves behind.

In her response, Sr Judy thanked those who were present at the celebration of the event on their contribution for her past 38 years spent in South Africa as a missionary and her 17 years academic journey with St Augustine College.

Before the end of the event, Professor Celia Koure and the representative of St Augustine BTH Alumni gave a gift to Dr Sr Judy as a sign of appreciation for her contribution in building the new South Africa.
The congregants were invited after the celebration of the mass to the parish hall to share refreshment in honour of Dr Sr Judy Coyle.

Dominicans in Southern Africa Hold Symposium on Faith and Politics

Dominicans in Southern Africa Hold Symposium on Faith and PoliticsDominicans in Southern Africa Symposium on Faith and Politics
From July 10-12, the Dominican family in Southern Africa gathered at Emaphethelweni Dominican Community in Pietermaritzburg for a two-day blended symposium, on the theme “Faith and Politics”.

The inspiration for the theme was born from reflections on the political upheavals in South Africa, eSwatini, Zimbabwe and other countries within the Southern African Development Community (SADC), where cases of injustices, corruption and human rights abuses or violations are reported.

These cases have exposed the widening gap between the rich and the poor, and the rising unemployment rates particularly among the youth, as economies remain static, and countries fail to create employment opportunities.

As countries such as Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, and Namibia prepare for elections in 2023 and 2024, participants at the symposium discussed several questions based on different presentations: Should the Church participate in political matters, and if so, in what ways? How should faith communities respond to issues of corruption, injustice, and political unrest? Should people of faith direct the moral choices that lie behind electoral allegiances? How does religious belief relate to politics? Does one dominate the other?

Thirteen members of the Dominican family presented papers, which were followed by substantial discussions and debates – seven Dominican priests, five Dominican students, all studying at St Joseph’s Theological Institute in Cedara, and a lay Dominican, Prof Terry Sacco, who also gave the keynote address.

In her keynote address, Prof Sacco, president of St Augustine College of South Africa, said:
“I open myself to being educated by you, expectant that wonder, joy, and anticipatory revelation infuse my being so that I leave our gathering changed and inspired. My educational stance is shaped by one in our communion of saints, Meister Eckhart, who says, ‘unknown-knowing keeps the soul constant yet spurs her on to quest.’ “It is this Dominican inheritance that encourages a search for truth that is continuously uncovered through the avenues of study, contemplation, action, and our being and sharing-in-community.”

The proceedings of the symposium will be published as an edited book by DOMUNI Press, a Dominican publishing house based in France.

This year’s symposium was organised by a steering committee chaired by Br Jacob Madondo OP with the support of Fr Isaac Mutelo OP, regent of studies; Fr Neil Mitchell OP, student Master; and Br Philippe Denis, lector and member of the studies commission.

Breaking News

Reluctant Prophet Tribute to Albert Nolan OP: A Huge Success! 

2023 07 01 Book Launch Tumi Morake & Terry Sacco
In a remarkable display of unity and celebration, the Reluctant Prophet Tribute to Albert Nolan OP turned out to be an enormous success, leaving attendees inspired and uplifted. The event, which aimed to honor the influential theologian Albert Nolan OP, surpassed all expectations, thanks to the outstanding contribution of keynote speaker Rev Frank Chikane.

Rev Chikane, a prominent figure in social justice and religious circles, went above and beyond in delivering an awe-inspiring keynote address that resonated deeply with the audience. With his eloquence and passion, he captivated the hearts and minds of all those present, leaving a lasting impression on everyone in attendance.

The tribute event itself was a testament to the enduring legacy of Albert Nolan OP, whose insightful writings and teachings have had a profound impact on numerous individuals and communities around the world. The organizers meticulously curated an immersive experience, featuring thought-provoking discussions centered around the profound influence of Nolan's work.

Attendees were treated to a rich tapestry of intellectual discourse, fostering an environment of collaboration and dialogue. Participants seized the opportunity to exchange ideas, share personal experiences, and forge meaningful connections, further deepening their understanding of Nolan's philosophy and its practical implications for social change.

The overwhelming success of the Reluctant Prophet Tribute to Albert Nolan OP serves as a reminder of the enduring relevance of his teachings and the significant role he played in shaping the theological landscape. This event will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on all those who attended, encouraging them to carry forward Nolan's vision of justice, compassion, and solidarity in their respective spheres of influence.

Stay tuned for more updates as we delve deeper into the inspiring stories and remarkable moments from this remarkable tribute event.

We have a new Theology Head Of Department 

Fr Martin Badenhorst is confirmed at Head of Department in Theology at St Augustine College South Africa

St Augustine College is part of the Laudato Sí Action Platform in South Africa

As the world celebrates the first anniversary of the launch of the Laudato Sí Action Platform (, St Augustine College is proud to be part of this initiative in South Africa. It is our firm conviction that what the world needs is a conversion to an integral ecological worldview. A worldview that is radically relational, that is as open to the cry of the earth as to the cry of the poor; a worldview that strives to make practical the vision of the world as a common home for all beings. From 2023 onwards St Augustine’s offerings in Philosophy and Peace Studies will also reflect this vision.
Watch the address of Pope Francis here -
Download the Laudato Sí report here - PDF Download

St Augustine signing of the lease agreement for the new building

signing of the lease agreement for the building Oct 2022

Letter to friends of St Augustine

June 2022 Press Release

Letter from Board Chair

Ready to Join?

St Augustine offers short courses, certificate courses and a range of degrees from the bachelors through to the doctorate level, all of which are recognised and accredited by the relevant branches of South Africa’s Department of Higher Education and Training.
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Tel: 011 380 9000
Address: Cedarwood Office Park, Mount Lebanon Rd, off Western Service Rd, Woodmead, 2191
Business Hours: Mon - Fri 07h00 to 15h00 
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