Book-launch: Journey under the Southern Cross
Sr Brigid Rose Tiernan’s book ‘Journey under the Southern Cross, The Story of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur’ was launched at St Vincent’s School for the Deaf in Melrose, Johannesburg, and in Cape Town at Erin Hall in Rondebosch.
The Johannesburg launch included a panel discussion with Sr Ann Wigley OP, Mark Potterton, Sr Judy Coyle IHM, and Douglas Irvine.
Journey under the Southern Cross is a testimony of the lives of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur from 1975 to 2021. The author, Sr Brigid Rose Tiernan, has taught in several high schools and worked in the Justice and Peace ministry and served as a leader in her congregation. She was the second director of the Catholic Institute of Education and has worked in facilitation, leadership training and organisational development. She has written numerous articles and books. This book is a culmination of the various ministries she has been involved in over the years.
“The introductory chapter shows how religious life has evolved over the centuries and provides a background to the Notre Dame in South Africa story. The establishment of the congregation is explained in relation to the turbulent times of the French Revolution, and the early history of the congregation is carefully explained. This feature sets this book apart in that it provides a solid basis for understanding changes to religious life,” Mr Potterton explained in a review of the book.
The impact of the Second Vatican council on the congregation is explored in the second chapter, especially in relation to the changes in the structures of the congregation.
“The design of the book is fresh which makes it easier to read,” Potterton said. “Sr Brigid Rose uses archival material to illustrate the book, as well as maps, posters, and pamphlets. Wherever possible, photographs of the people mentioned in the text are included. Another wonderful feature of the book are the small profiles written about colourful characters. This feature allows the author to go in depth. Another feature she uses is to get past students to reflect on past times which also makes the book very very readable and engaging.”
Mr Potterton said that “the rich description of the context and history also makes this book very engaging”, referring to themes such as the important role that women play in the Church. “The story of the sisters in Zimbabwe and Botswana is beautifully told, and a taste of the tension of colonial times gained,” he said.
“Journey under the Southern Cross highlights the power of what a small group of individuals can do when they do God’s work,” Mr Potterton said.
Journey under the Southern Cross is available in Johannesburg from:
email@example.com / 072 300 8873
Or in Cape Town from
firstname.lastname@example.org / 072 480 5021
Cost: R400 (plus postage)