A few months ago, my friend Ang at JOZI.REDISCOVERED asked me to partner with her on a blogging project. It would be called #TheGodProject, and the two of us would go around Joburg exploring different places of worship. Ang would interview the various religious leaders and write about the services, and I would take photos.
I’ve always been fascinated by religion so I jumped right on board. It took us a few months to get the project off the ground but we’re finally ready with our first post, about the Rosebank Church of the Immaculate Conception.
The Rosebank Catholic Church, at 16 Keyes Avenue in Rosebank.
I’m not going to say much about the church because the whole point is for you to go read Ang’s post. But I will say that this was my first time visiting this church, which is about 80 years old, and I found it incredibly beautiful and interesting. Here is my collection of photos from the Sunday evening service that we attended.
A statue of the Virgin Mary in the church’s courtyard.
A window inside the church illustrating one of the 14 Stations of the Cross (religious images of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion). Interestingly, this is the second time this year that I’ve mentioned the 14 Stations of the Cross in a blog post.
A full house for the Sunday evening service. It’s technically called the “Youth Service”, although the parishioners were all different ages.
Brent Chalmers, one of the deacons of the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Ang will have a lot more to say about Brent in her post. He looks stern in this picture but is actually a very friendly guy.
The cross above the pulpit. Brent told us that the reddish lines on the marble below Christ’s hands just appeared there over the years, and no one knows how.
The section of the church where parishioners go to light prayer candles.
Maxine, a cute young girl who played guitar in the “youth band”. Maxine was the only youth in the band though. All of the other musicians ranged between 30 and 80.
At the end of the service I approached the priest, Tony Nunes, to thank him for letting Ang and I attend the service and take photos.
“It was a pleasure,” said Father Tony. “And what is your religious faith?”
A logical question, coming from a priest. But I had to pause for a panicky second, thinking of an answer.
“I’m Jewish,” I said.
This answer is 100% correct. My mother is Jewish so technically I’m Jewish too, even though I know next to nothing about Judaism. I was also baptised Episcopalian when I was a baby, attended a Methodist Sunday school as a kid, and now don’t follow any particular religion. But I didn’t want to get into all of that with Father Tony.
“Ah, I’ve just returned from Israel!” exclaimed Father Tony. “Amazing place.”
I smiled and nodded, praying (pardon the pun) that Father Tony wouldn’t ask me if I’ve ever been to the Wailing Wall or which shul I attend in Joburg.
“It was great meeting you, Father,” I said, backing away. “Thanks so much.”
“Of course,” said Father. “Shalom!”
#TheGodProject is going to be interesting.
Thanks to the Church of the Immaculate Conception.