Posts Tagged ‘Jesuit Father Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator’

Jesuit Provincial from East Africa to Speak at Jesuit School of Theology Commencement

The spiritual and community leader for Jesuits in six countries in Africa, Jesuit Father Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, will be the commencement speaker at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (JST) May 19 at 3 p.m.

Fr. Orobator is the Jesuit provincial for the East African countries of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, and North Sudan. A Jesuit priest originally from Nigeria, he teaches theology and religious studies at Hekima College, Jesuit School of Theology and Institute of Peace Studies in Nairobi, Kenya.

A delegate to the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, he is considered one of the most brilliant of a new generation of Jesuit leaders worldwide.

“We are delighted to feature Fr. Orobator as our commencement speaker this year,” said Jesuit Father Kevin Burke, dean of the Jesuit School of Theology. “He is one of the most important theological voices in all of Africa and he is deeply respected in the theological community all over the world. We are especially proud of him as a graduate of our school, for he embodies the attributes we cherish in our graduates: a global vision of justice; a deep, rigorous, and rich theological perspective; and a culturally contextualized application of his faith.”

A stirring public speaker, Fr. Orobator is especially known for his writings in the areas of social analysis and ethics, and for his reading of the Christian dogmatic tradition in the distinctive light of African religious experience. In his recent book, Theology Brewed in an African Pot (Orbis Books, 2008), he examines such core Christian themes as God, Trinity, creation, grace and sin, Jesus Christ, Mary, the saints, as well as the meaning of theology itself with extraordinary depth, nuance, faithfulness to the tradition, and skill at rendering faith credible today.

Fr. Orobator received his Ph.D in theology and religious studies from the University of Leeds in England and his licentiate in sacred theology from JST. He received a bachelor’s degree in theology from Hekima College and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Institut De Philosophie, Saint Pierre Canisius in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He has written or co-written numerous books on topics including Church as family, Catholic social teaching and social justice, Church mission in the age of HIV/AIDS, and African ecclesiology. Fr. Orobator is an advisory board member for the Jesuit Refugee Service, a board member of the Zaidi Centre for Lay Spirituality, and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Religion in Africa.

Jesuit Provincial of Eastern Africa Discusses the Situation in Uganda Today in This Month’s NJN Podcast

Last month, a video detailing atrocities committed by Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which he heads, caused an Internet sensation. The video, which has been viewed by some 100 million people, made Joseph Kony a household name.

The warlord and his ruthless guerrilla group are responsible for a 26-year campaign of terror in Uganda that has been marked by child abductions and widespread killings. Last year, President Obama dispatched 100 U.S. troops — mostly Army Special Forces — to Central Africa to advise regional forces in their hunt for Kony.

The group running the Kony 2012 campaign is holding a nationwide event today – Friday, April 20 —  titled “Cover the Night,” where supporters are encouraged to spread the word of Kony 2012 around their local communities.

The Society of Jesus, the largest religious order of Roman Catholic priests and brothers in the world, has worked in Uganda for more than 40 years.  The Society’s Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has conducted peace-building workshops, run schools and economic development projects and ministered to refugees in Uganda. In 2005, the Jesuits of the Eastern Africa Province began planning for a secondary school in northern Uganda, the Ocer Campion Jesuit College in Gulu. The co-educational high school admitted its first students in early 2010 and is already having a tremendously positive impact in a region devastated by over 20 years of civil war. The school will grow to a capacity of 1,200 students and includes agricultural and vocational training as well as rigorous academic formation in the Jesuit tradition, religious formation and peace education.

In this podcast, Jesuit Father Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, the Jesuit provincial of Eastern Africa, speaks with National Jesuit News about the Jesuit’s work in Uganda, the progress that’s been made, the work that still needs to be done and how young people can get involved.