Memorial Mass Celebrates Justice Pioneer Fr Ted Rogers
Cardinal Wilfrid Napier celebrated a special Memorial Mass for the late Jesuit Father Ted Rogers, a great pioneer of social causes in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe, at Mariannhill Monastery.
The cardinal concelebrated with Mariannhill provincial Fr Bheki Shabalala, Jesuit regional superior David Rowan, as well as Frs Cas Paulsen CMM, Sibusiso Mkhize CMM and Chris Richmond OMI.
In his tribute, Cardinal Napier described Fr Rogers as always alert to new social needs and ever-ready to rally all to tackle initiatives such as establishing the School of Social Work at the University of Rhodesia, and starting the Jesuit Aids Network throughout Africa.
St Ignatius’ Questions
Fr Rowan in his homily presented Fr Rogers as a fine example of a Jesuit who responded to the three questions put to his followers by St Ignatius: “What have I done for Christ?” “What am I doing for Christ?” “What will I do for Christ?”
Fr Rogers, he noted, always answered these questions with energy and creativity.
Fr Shabalala reminded those gathered that St Anne’s Hall, where the Mass was celebrated, had a special significance for Fr Rogers. This was where in the late 1980s he had urged a plenary session of the bishops of the SACBC to take up the Aids ministry in each of their dioceses.
It was also the venue where his memoirs were launched in 2012, and where his last book, Missionary Martyrs of Rhodesia and Zimbabwe: 1976-1988 was launched just weeks before his death.
The Zimbabwean Choir of Emmanuel cathedral led the singing, including Shona and Ndebele hymns and a rousing rendering of the Zimbabwean national anthem.
Ted Rogers: Jesuit, Social Pioneer and AIDS Activist in Zimbabwe and Missionary Martyrs of Rhodesia & Zimbabwe: 1976-1988 can be ordered from Paddy Kearney at email@example.com, 031 201 3832, or 072 806 4417.