We traveled to St. John Vianney Seminary in Pretoria to pay a visit to our friend, Fr. Masilo John Selemela.
When we first came to South Africa in 2000, Masilo was a young parish priest and later was chaplain at St. Brendan's School. In 2008 he visited our home in Oxford; met family and friends in Michigan, Indiana, and New York City; and concelebrated mass at our church with Fr. Joe.
After five years study in Rome, Masilo is now Vice Rector at the seminary, which educates about 120 seminarians from all over South Africa. Their singing at morning prayer and Sunday mass is something that we will remember.
Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa and Masilo led us on a great tour of the city highlights. Especially notable is the front of the Union Building, often seen in movies, where the president is inaugurated. The new statue of Nelson Mandela (30 feet tall, 3.5 tons of bronze, moving forward, embracing all South Africans) graces the front gardens and the adjacent large public park.
Prior to 1990, this area was forbidden to anyone who was not white. Now it is a public area, open to all.