The First Dominican Friars in Boksburg, Brakpan and Springs: South Africa (1917-1927)
This book speaks of the arrival of Catholic priests (friars of the Dominican Order) in the gold-mining towns of Boksburg, Brakpan and Springs a century ago, and how they coped or failed to cope with their situation. Arriving from a very different milieu in England, they found it difficult to fit in. They chose not to get involved with the racial and social animosities, the labour unrest, and even the socio-economic factors that led eventually to an apartheid government. Instead they focused on the task of building up parishes.
The social situation they encountered led to frustration. Personal relationships between them deteriorated, and most of the first group returned overseas unhappy or ill. It was only after 1925 with the arrival of more friars, that the work of building not just churches, but of living communities of priest and people, could be begun. It was due to the persistence of two men, Bede Jarrett and Laurence Shapcote, that the mission survived at all.
The book should be of interest to anyone from the East Rand, anyone connected with the mining world, and all Dominicans.
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