St John's College

The 2nd Archbishop Emeritus Tutu Memorial Mass & Lecture held in the Memorial Chapel on Sunday, 8 October, was a profound event presided over by College Chaplains The Revd Fr Thapelo Masemola and The Revd Dr Jeremy Jacobs, with apologies from The Visitor, The Right Revd Dr Steve Moreo, Bishop of Johannesburg, who was unfortunately not able to join us.

The morning's highlight was a compelling lecture and sermon delivered by The Revd Frank Chikane, an inspirational leader, teacher, motivator, mentor, counsellor, and struggle hero who has made significant contributions across various sectors.

In his thought-provoking address, The Revd Chikane spoke of Desmond Tutu as a special creation of God, with a larger-than-life commission during a crucial time in history. He emphasised the importance of truth-telling, drawing from the prophetic tradition exemplified by the Arch. He delved into the formative elements that shaped Archbishop Tutu and the unjust conditions that drove him to raise his voice for the oppressed, the poor, and the suffering.

The Revd Chikane quoted John Stuart Mill: "Bad [people] need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good [people] should look on and do nothing." He passionately positioned these words as a challenge to the entire community, urging them to take action and never remain silent in the pursuit of justice for their country.

The magnificent voices of the Veni Cantare male chamber choir led by conductor Sizwe Mondlane filled the Memorial Chapel with sacred music, adorning the occasion with a sense of spirituality and holiness.

The newly appointed Peer Mediators were blessed and commissioned at the mass as part of the College’s broader Restorative Justice Programme. They had completed their training alongside students from partner schools Barnato Park High and Highlands North Boys’ two days prior with Conflict Dynamics. Marion Shaer, Managing Director, and mediators Nomande Keswa and Alice Brown from Conflict Dynamics were in attendance to present them with their certificates.

“The 2nd Tutu Memorial Mass & Lecture was a powerful reminder of the enduring legacy of Desmond Tutu and an inspiration for all to follow his example of fearless advocacy and unwavering commitment to justice,” said Mr Allan Magubane, Deputy Head: Transformation and Diversity.