BROTHER JUDE PIETERSE (1939-2022) MHDSRIP
It is with great sadness that we share the news that Br Jude Pieterse passed away on the evening of 12 December 2022.
Br Jude was a man of immense courage and deep compassion who dedicated his life to the service of God and humanity. He leaves a remarkable legacy through the social justice work he did to help bring reform to our country, to transform our schools and through the many lives he impacted on a personal level. A man of conviction, yet humble and kind, a Marist of Champagnat in every respect!
Br Jude was born in Cape Town in 1939 and matriculated from St Joseph’s Marist College in Rondebosch. He joined the Marist Brothers and after initial training in Australia, he taught at Sacred Heart College in Johannesburg and at the former Marist Brothers’ College in Port Elizabeth, where he was later appointed Principal.
When the Marist Province of Southern Africa was formed, Brother Jude was appointed the first Provincial Superior in 1974. As Provincial, he promoted the desegregation of church schools and collaborated extensively with members of other religious congregations to achieve this. After nine years as Provincial Superior, the Catholic Bishops of Southern Africa asked Brother Jude to become the first director of the newly-established Catholic Institute of Education. Thereafter, he was appointed Secretary General of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
The work that Brother Jude undertook in these roles is captured in the historically significant work, The Open Schools Era (1976 – 1986).
Brother Jude also served as a Provincial Councillor for Marist Province of Southern Africa and travelled to different parts of the world supporting Marist missions. He ‘retired’ to the Eastern Cape to assist with the Marist Outreach programme there and then returned to the Brothers’ community at Sacred Heart College in the last few years.
Br Jude’s wisdom and passion set the tone for much of the work done in Southern African Marist Schools during his time as Provincial Superior and in the years since. In an address given in 2012 at the St David’s Marist Foundation donor evening, Br Jude quoted from Proverbs 29, “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” challenging everyone present to continue working towards the vision of Marcellin Champagnat. Br Jude Pieterse dedicated his life to this vision and the challenge remains for each of us, now more than ever, to continue this work- to the Glory of God and in honour of a great Marist man, Br Jude Pieterse.