Thomas Plastow, S.J.
I grew up in Cape Town, the eldest of four brothers. At eighteen I met the Jesuits through the chaplaincy at the University of Cape Town. It’s now thirty years since I entered the Society of Jesus. My discernment was done during a time of crisis in South Africa. I came to see that religious life provided an alternative model to the greed, division and confrontation that characterised apartheid. As I learned to pray according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, so the Lord Jesus drew me closer to himself.
Jesuit life has been tough at times, but it has also provided opportunities to live in different cultures, both at home and abroad. I am currently the rector of the St. Francis Xavier Orientation Seminary where diocesan seminarians from all over South Africa and Swaziland grow in knowledge of God and of themselves, and equip themselves with the skills necessary to handle the academic study that comes later.
Working with young people makes me confront my own assumptions and enthusiasms at a time in my life when I would prefer to relax into familiar ways of doing things! There is so much in Church and State that is in need of continuing conversion. I trust that Christ will continue to show me how to play my part in that process until I too am fully one with Him.